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London - Best Hop on Hop Off

Want to see 10 Downing Street where the PM is - can one take pictures and allowed on that street? And also
the Hop on Hop Off want to see Imperial War Museum too - just cannot figure out best way to see - ideally from
a Hop on Hop off bus selection. Thank you!!

Posted by
89 posts

Actually with the thread here I see none of the HO bus lines stop at Imperial War Museum. I guess will just city bus there - any suggestions? I think the War Museum is walkable to the PM 10 Downing Street location? Worse case will just have taxi take us so at least we can drive by and get a photo.

I still think HO always good on first day visit especially after a long international flight? Is Big Bus still the preference as best?

Thank you all!

Posted by
533 posts

The Imperial War Museum is a 5-minute walk from the Lambeth North tube station. It's also on several bus lines.

In general, the HOHO buses may be a good way to get your bearings in a new city, but they're not a very efficient way to get from place to place after that. Use the regular public transportation system instead - that's what it's there for.

Posted by
5355 posts

No you can't routinely walk along Downing Street any more and haven't been able to since 1982. You can peer in through the barriers.

Posted by
8889 posts

Diane, Downing Street is a small side-street off Whitehall. Whitehall runs from the Palace of Westminster to Trafalgar Square.
You used to be able to walk up Downing Street and stand opposite the door of No. 10, but they blocked it off and put gates across the entrance of the street decades ago (blame the IRA, London has had terrorist problems before), so you only get an indirect view now.

Hop-On/Hop-Off buses are OK for getting your bearings on day 1, but are useless (and expensive) to get from A to B. Public transport is what you should use, tubes and buses.
The official "Transport for London" site is here:
Start by reading their visitor's guide:
Then the world famous tube map:
and a map of main bus routes in the centre:

Posted by
8802 posts

Before the world went mad (years ago) you could see down #10 Downing Street with ease. Not now. Large gates, guards. No public access. Waaaaay back saw Edward Heath emerge from the iconic doorway.

In days of yore the guards at Buckingham Palace stood outside the gates. Not any more. Until the early 2000's Trafalgar Square was surrounded by traffic. Now you are able to walk up the steps from the square as the street which ran in front of the National Gallery was closed and the square extended. There also used to be massive hordes of pigeons in Trafalgar Square. You don't see many now. Piccadilly Circus was a roundabout without the neon lights.

London is always changing, yet always the same.

Posted by
6113 posts

You are far better walking on the first day, not sitting on a HOHO (or any) bus. Use normal buses for getting around - far more cost effective and more likely to run where you want to go!