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london hop on, hop off tours

Hey Everyone,
Just wondering what experiences have been with the hop on, hop offs. It looks like there are two major ones to choose from: Big Bus and Original. It seems that RS recommends Original over BB, but want some opinions from those who have done them. Also, opinions on which tour within each company to pick from. On the Original I am not sure to pick the yellow line or the red. Any advice and experience appreciated, thanks!

Posted by
643 posts

With Rick's London 2008 book you get a pretty good discount on the Original tour. My wife and I will arrive on a Monday in London, and we are planning to spend all day Tuesday using the Original tour busses as our primary transportation around London to get an orientation. Seems like a great deal when you get a free river tour too!

Posted by
23266 posts

We always try to use them when we hit town for the first time. We have been on the Original London, both loops. and they were fine. At the time we used them the tickets were good for 24 hrs so we bought around noon and rode till late PM, took a break, and started early the next morning till noon. Gave you a chance to digest some of what you saw the day before and you wanted to see the next day.

Posted by
158 posts

I like the Original verus the BB.....and both the yellow and the red line are good..........great to get the lay out of the city and the boat tour is a plus!

Posted by
977 posts

We recently did the Original Tour. Enjoyed the bonus boat trip. Can't recall which line we did??

Posted by
14 posts

We just returned from England including 4 days in London. We did the Original Tour starting around noon. We did the yellow - I think that's the live guide. He was terrible, said almost nothing for several blocks, then one sentence and then nothing, plus he said they were late so they were skipping parts of the route. We got off and did some touring and exploring and walking the rest of the day. Next day we got on as soon as we could 9:00 and rode to St. Pauls. This guide was excellent, she talked nonstop about what we were passing as well as London lore, etc. We stayed a couple hours at St. Pauls and then rode it back to the Tower, this guide again was excellent and had many interesting things to share. We picked up the Thames cruise with 30 min. to spare on our 24 hours - you just have to board within the time, not complete the trip by the time limit. So my advice is if the guide is not what you want, get off and catch another.

Posted by
10 posts

Last summer I bought a 24 hour pass on the Original Sightseeing Bus Tour. I loved that I could hop off and hop on multiple bus tours. I spent time on the green, red, and yellow lines throughout the 24 hours. Very affordable and I thought it was a wonderful way to see a lot of London on my first day there! :)

Posted by
38 posts

The boat tour is very good - would highly recommend that to see London from the river. There's a boat ride that goes from London proper to Greenwich and return, which will allow you to see the entire city from water and also a bit of Greenwich - good to do in the afternoon. Don't know if Rick covers this in his book, but I thought it was quite good.