London hop-on hop-off Guide

Exploring Britain's amazing capital city in a day or two... 

 

 

 

 

The hop on hop off London Tour makes a great way to explore Britain's charming capital city

You have to spend time in London. You can’t just visit this cosmopolitan city on a whistle-stop tour. You need to spend time exploring the city’s major sights, its little nuances, the special personality of each different part of town. You need to speak to the people, and watch them – as they climb up on soapboxes in Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park and speak their minds. As they jog or stroll around Hyde Park or Green Park or St James Park. As they enjoy a ‘cuppa’ in their favourite little teashop, or unwrap newspaper to savour freshly fried fish and chips.

 

You need to visit the famous department stores where the rich and famous rub shoulders with the rest of us, if only to say you visited Harrods, and Harvey Nichols, and Selfridges. You need to enjoy a pint of ale at the pub on the corner with the locals, and ride on a red double-decker bus. Ah… those red double decker buses are as much a part of London as the black taxis. But there’s one thing you need to know about those red double decker buses. They may be synonymous with all that is London, but they are also the signature of the city's famous hop on hop off sightseeing tours.

 

There is a choice of three different routes which run around this exciting city and cover most of its sightseeing spots and places of interest. The 27-stop London City Sightseeing Tour (Red Route) visits all those sights that have made the city so famous. You can also discover London’s magic on the 25-stop Original London Tour, on the Yellow Route (Although the Yellow Route is almost identical to the Red Route, so if you opt for the more comprehensive Red Route, there is no much point in doing the whole Yellow Route). And if you are a museum buff, you should note that London’s most fascinating museums are included in the third route, the 21-stop Museum Tour, which makes up the Blue Route.

 

Take one route, take two or all three, depending on how much time you have in London, and how much of this vibrant city you want to explore. Combine them to make up your own personalised sightseeing trip around London. Then hop on the bus to visit a sight you’re keen to see, and hop off when you arrive at your destination. It’s that easy.

 

How much does it cost?

 

At the time of writing, a 24/48 Hours (depends on season) Unlimited Travel Ticket costs US$ 50.5 for an adult and US$ 25.5 for a child.

 

Important tip: The ticket includes 3 FREE Walking tours, as well as a FREE hop on hop off Thames River Cruise !

 

Departure times

 

First buses for all 3 routes (see departure points below) depart at 8.30am and every 10 to 20 minutes thereafter.

Red Route starts at Victoria
Blue Route and Yellow Route both start from Piccadilly Circus.

All 3 tours take 130 minutes.

 

Places to see and things to do along the route

A) The "London City Sightseeing Tour" (Red route): 27 stops - From Victoria

1. Hop onto the bus at Victoria Station at the start of the Red Route, your comprehensive 27-stop London City Sightseeing Tour. Located in the heart of the city, the station is located on Victoria Street, close to Westminster Cathedral, Westminster City Hall, New Scotland Yard and a variety of shops, banks and restaurants. 

 

Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park, on the London hop-on hop-off bus tour

Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, London

2. Your next stop is at famous Hyde Park Corner, in one of London’s largest parks, which is divided into two by Serpentine Lake. Hyde Park has been the location for a number of famous rock concerts, but it equally famous for its Speaker’s Corner, where people get to practice public speaking, sometimes with amusing results. Also in the park is a memorial fountain to Diana, princess of Wales, and a statue of Achilles (Wellington Monument), both of which are worth taking a look at.

 

Don't miss a visit to Apsley House when you are in Hyde Park Corner.  Better known as 'Number One London', this impressive 1770s townhouse served as a home to the Duke of Wellington after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, and is now housing a museum that boasts one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens as well as a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain.

 

3. Hop off the bus at Marble Arch, a marble monument near Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park at the western end of Oxford Street. Designed by John Nash in 1828, it’s based on the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome. Originally built on The Mall as the gateway to the new Buckingham Palace, the arch was moved here during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1953. In the area you’ll find a number of excellent restaurants, shops and pubs.

 

4. Next stop is near the corner of Gloucester and George Street, which is just a few minutes' walk from Regent and Oxford Streets, where you will find some of the best shopping opportunities in Britain’s fashionable capital. There are also a number of bars and restaurants in the vicinity.

 

5. Your next hop off point is at London’s famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds, which has been enchanting visitors with its wax models since it first opened in the late 18th Century. A highlight here, aside from wax models of the rich and famous, is the Chamber of Horrors, where you can see victims of the French Revolution as well as more modern monsters. Some of the sculptures created by Madame Tussaud herself still exist today.

 

6. Next stop along the route is at the Whitehouse Hotel, on the fringe of London’s commercial centre, close to Great Portland Street, with its unique shops and character, and Portland Place, where Broadcasting House, the BBC's headquarters, can be seen, as well as to the lush Regent’s Park where you can enjoy a respite from the busy city centre.

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Wait! Did you know you can actually save a lot of money on attractions in London, as well as on transport, dining and shopping, with the London Pass? Click here to find out more!

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7. Hop off the bus at bustling Oxford Circus close to Regent and Oxford Streets, bang in London’s famous West End.  You’ll have your pick of shops, cinemas, pubs and restaurants here – and of course, this is where you come to enjoy some of the city’s famous theatre productions.  Handel House Museum, five minutes' walk from here, (25 Brook Street – near the corner of Bond) is nestled within the former house where George Frideric Handel once lived, and is dedicated to the life and works of the famous German-born baroque composer.  You can also take a short stroll to Hamleys, on 188 Regent St., which is the world's largest toy shop.

 

Piccadilly Circus, one of London's best known spots, is also on the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour of London

8. Next stop is at Piccadilly Circus, also in London’s West End. The circle was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the city’s busy shopping area, Piccadilly. Today it’s still a shopping, dining and entertainment hub famous for its video display and neon signs. Piccadilly Circus is also surrounded by a number of interesting buildings and attractions, including the London Pavilion, which currently houses the museum of Ripley's Believe It or Not!  which is dedicated to the world's most bizarre events and items, and Criterion Theatre.  The Royal Academy of Arts, in Burlington House on Piccadilly, is also just a few minutes' walk from the circus…  The famous winged nude statue in its midst of the circus was created by Alfred Gilbert, and is part of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, which was built at the end of the 19th Century.

 

9. At the next stop you can get off at Trafalgar Square close to Pall Mall, a major thoroughfare in the upmarket district of St James. The square itself was built to commemorate Admiral Nelson’s victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and is the site of Nelson’s Column, with four giant lions at its base, as well as two water fountains. There are also some other beautiful statues, monuments and fountains in Trafalgar Square, which turned it into one of London's most popular tourist attractions.

 

 

The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square can be visited as part of the London hop-on hop-off bus tour

Still on Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, one of England's best known art museums, houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1,900

 

10. You should also hop off the bus at Whitehall, on the southern side of Trafalgar Square. Whitehall connects Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square, and is lined with some of Britain's most important governmental buildings.  A short walk will take you to the Household Cavalry Museum, near the Horse Guards Parade, a living museum that offers a unique “behind- the-scenes” look at the work that goes into the ceremonial and operational role of the Household Cavalry Regiment.

 

11. The Cenotaph in Whitehall is the next hop off point along the route. This memorial was erected in 1919 to commemorate more than one million British citizens who perished during wartime in the 20th Century. The dates of both the First and Second World Wars are inscribed on the memorial.  A short stroll will lead you to No. 10 Downing Street – Britain's best known address.

 

12. Explore Westminster Bridge from the next stop along the route. As you will see, the bridge is painted green, the same colour as the leather seats in the House of Commons located near the bridge. The bridge links the Palace of Westminster with County Hall and the London Eye. 

 

 

13. Experience the world famous London Eye firsthand from your next hop off point. This was the tallest observation wheel on earth, when erected, in 1999, and is still is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, at 135 meters high, and offers unrivalled 360-degree views of the city of London in all its magnificence.

 

London Eye is one of the world largest observation wheels, and one of the most prominent attractions along the route of the Hop-on hop-off London bus tour

 

While there, you can also visit the neighboring Sea Life London Aquarium (on the ground floor of County Hall).

 

14. Step back in time at your next stop along the route, Covent Garden, the site of a fruit, vegetable and flower market that was first held here in the 1500s. The market only moved to New Convent Garden Market in 1974, and has been transformed into a pedestrianised square with lively pavement cafes, market stalls and street performers. Shopping and entertainment is excellent here, and the area is also home to the Royal Opera House, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, making it one of the city’s major performing arts venues.

 

15. Explore St Paul's Cathedral at your next stop. Located on Ludgate Hill, on the site of a church that burned down here in 675AD, the church is currently the seat of the Bishop of London. The present church was built to replace one completed in 1240. Its impressive dome was inspired by Rome’s renowned St Peter’s Basilica.

 

16. Next stop is at The Monument, a proud reminder of London’s revival after the Great Fire of 1666. It’s famous for being the tallest freestanding column in the world and you can climb 311 steps to the top, for a panoramic view of London below.

 

17. Hop off at City Hall, right next to Tower Bridge, at your next stop. Located over the water from the Tower of London, the City Hall is home to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. In the visitor’s centre, where temporary exhibitions are held, you will see a giant walk-on floor photo of London.

 

18. The bus takes you across the Thames to explore the Tower of London, one of the most distinctive buildings in the world. Once the location of the Royal Mint, the Tower has also been a fortified prison and a Royal Palace. Three queens of England were beheaded here, including Anne of Boleyn. Today visitors flock here to see the British Crown Jewels.

 

19. Next stop is at Shakespeare's Globe, a modern reconstruction of the original 16th Century Globe Theatre that was demolished in 1644. Officially named Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, it opened in 1997 and is dedicated to the famous playwright Shakespeare’s works. An exhibition here housed underneath the theatre highlights Shakespeare’s life and works. You can also tour the theatre itself.

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20. Hop off the bus at the next point to visit Tate Modern, Britain’s museum of Modern Art. Its galleries are located in the former Bankside Power Station, built between 1947 and 1963. The gallery’s permanent collection is on the building’s 3rd and 5th floors and there are temporary exhibitions on the 4th floor. The Turbine Hall, where the old power station’s electricity generators were kept, now houses specially commissioned artworks by contemporary artists.

 

Westminster Millennium Pier in London

21. Embankment Pier on the Thames is our next hop off point. It’s a busy point for circular cruises and riverbus services that run to Tower Bridge, Greenwich and other destinations. It’s also a lively entertainment area day and night, and lots of bar and restaurant boats are moored here.

 

22. You can hop off at another pier at the next stop. Westminster Millennium Pier is also located on the Thames and it serves a number of river transport and cruise operators. It’s located right next to Westminster Bridge, close to London’s famous landmark, Big Ben, the famous clock tower at the northern end of the Palace of Westminster that celebrated its 150th birthday in 2009.

 

23. Next stop along the route is at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury when he is in London. Located in Lambeth, on the Thames’ South Bank, it’s just a short distance upstream from the Palace of Westminster. Next to the palace gardens you’ll find Archbishop’s Park, a public park. Guided tours of the palace can be arranged. In the palace grounds is Lambeth Palace Library, which boasts a collection of ecclesiastical historical documents.

 

Another sightseeing spot that is well worth visiting, while here, is the Garden Museum ( formerly known as the Museum of Garden History).

 

 

24. Hop off at Lambeth Bridge at the next stop, a red bridge crossing over the Thames. On the east side of the bridge is Lambeth Palace, the Albert Embankment and the International Maritime Organisation. On the west side you’ll find Westminster, home to Thames House, headquarters of M15, the Millbank Tower (dining and entertainment venues at the "Altitude 360", where you can enjoy gorgeous panoramic views over the city) and Tate Britain, sister gallery to the famous Tate Modern.

 

The Buckingham Palace is one of the highlights along the London hop on hop off bus tour

25. It is time to visit the most famous palace in London at your next stop. Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official residence, and has been a Royal residence for less than two centuries. Originally built in 1762 and called Buckingham House, the palace is still nicknamed Buck House by the Royal Family. These day’s the palace is the location for state occasions and Royal events. The ‘public face’ of the palace is the eastern façade, which was refaced in Portland stone in 1913. It also includes the famous Royal Balcony, and serves as a backdrop to the Victoria Memorial. The palace gardens are the largest private gardens in the city, and its man-made lake was completed in 1828.

 

26. Hop off in Victoria the heart of London, near Victoria Station, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster City Hall, New Scotland Yard and selection of shops, banks and restaurants.

 

27. Last stop on the Red Route is at the Green Line Coach Station, also called Victoria Coach Station. Located in Buckingham Palace Road, it’s the hub of Britain’s long-distance railway network around the country.

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A) The Original London Tour (Yellow): 25 stops – From Piccadilly

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Please note: The Yellow line is almost identical to the red line above, and there is absolutely no need to ride them both (although you should still read this chapter of our Hop-on Hop-off Guide, as you might discover more info about these sightseeing-spots you are going to see…

 

1. Hop on the bus at the start of the Yellow Tour at Piccadilly Circus in the West End built in 1819 to connect Piccadilly and Regent Street. It’s still a lively area to this day, full of shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities. (See point No. 8 of the red route above for more details about Piccadilly Circus and its environs).

 

Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, London hop-on hop-off bus tour

 

2. Next stop is Trafalgar Square, originally built to commemorate Admiral Nelson’s victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 (look at point Nos. 9 & 10 of the red route, above, for more details).

 

3. Hop off at the next stop to explore one of the oldest palaces in the city, St James's Palace, located in Pall Mall, north of St James Park. This is the most senior Royal palace in the United Kingdom, although the British Royal family has lived in Buckingham Palace instead of St James for the past 200 years. Several members of the Royal Family do live here, and some members have their offices here. It’s often used for official functions and is not open to the public.

 

4. The bus takes you back to Piccadilly, London’s famous intersection in the West End, and home to the Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain, built in 1839. From here you can visit Shaftesbury Avenue, where a number of London’s theatres are located, as well as Regent Street, Glasshouse Street and Coventry Street, which leads to Leicester Square.

 

5. Hop off the bus at Hyde Park Corner, close to lush Hyde Park, and home to famous Speaker’s Corner, where people get to practice public speaking. Take a breather from the busy city and relax in the park, or visit the popular memorial fountain to Diana, princess of Wales. (See point Nos. 2 & 3 of the red route above).

 

6. Next stop along the route is at Park Lane, one of London’s poshest residential areas, close to upmarket Mayfair. This point is actually closer to Hyde Park's well-known Speaker’s Corner, as well as to Marble Arch and Oxford Street.

 

7. Next hop off point is at Victoria, where there’s lots to explore, including Westminster Cathedral, Westminster City Hall and Scotland Yard. You can also do some shopping here, or have a bite to eat in a choice of restaurants.

 

Big Ben, the world's most famous clock-tower, can be seen from the London hop-on hop-off bus tour

8. Visit the internationally famous Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from your next hop off point along the route. Although Big Ben is actually the name of the main bell in the bell tower, people have called the clock tower by that name since time immemorial. The tower itself is 316 feet high and the bell weighs in at 13.8 tonnes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of London below. Nearby you can explore the Houses of Parliament, which are located in the Palace of Westminster, which boasts almost 1,200 rooms, 100 staircases and over 2 miles of passageways!  You enter the Palace through St Stephen’s Entrance in Old Palace Yard and can then watch the proceedings of either the House of Lords or the House of Commons, who both conduct their sittings here. In August and September you can also take a tour of the Houses of Parliament.

 

9. Explore Lambeth Palace from the next hop off point. This is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official London residence. Adjacent is a public park called Archbishop’s Park, and in the palace grounds is Lambeth Palace Library, which contains a fine collection of historical ecclesiastical documents (Point No. 23 of the red route above)

 

10. Just a short distance upstream along the Thames is Westminster Bridge, right next to the 150 years old Big Ben and the complex of the Palace of Westminster.

 

11. Your next stop along the route is at Parliament Street, home to the offices of the British Parliament. Parliament Street is located between Parliament Square and Downing Street in the district of Whitehall. (Please look at point No. 10 & 11 of the red route above).

 

12. The bus stops north of Downing Street at the Horse Guards Parade, on the site of the guard house of Whitehall Palace, an immense palace that was burnt down in the late 17th Century. The 18th Century Horse Guards building is the headquarters of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, a combination of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals. These regiments protect the Queen. The Life Guards’ fancy red tunics and white plumed helmets and the Blues and Royals’ blue tunics and red plumed helmets make fabulous photo souvenirs – and they’re very happy to be photographed, too! Try to be there during the changing of the guards. Although most of the building is not open to the public, a small section has been turned into the Household Cavalry Museum, and you can visit there.

 

13. Hop off the bus at Charing Cross, a major railway and underground station next to Trafalgar Square (look at point Nos. 9 & 10 of the red route, above, for more details).

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Wait! Did you know you can actually save a lot of money on attractions in London, as well as on transport, dining and shopping, with the London Pass? Click here to find out more!

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14. Stanley Gibbons is the next hop off point on the route. This historic stamp dealer and philatelic publisher has been located at 399 Strand, across the street from the famous Savoy Theatre, since 1893 – and it’s still going strong.

 

Covent Garden in London is on the hop on hop off London Guide

15. Charming Convent Garden is your next stop along the route. Once a fruit, vegetable and flower market that has been immortalised in literature and on film, it’s now a pedestrian area where you will find lots of restaurants, shops and entertainment, including London’s major performing arts venue, the Royal Opera House, which is also home to the Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

 

16. Explore St Paul's Cathedral on Ludgate Hill from your next hop off point. The current church replaced one that was built in 1240, but there is evidence that a church has been on that particular site since 675AD. The cathedral’s impressive dome was inspired by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

 

17. Next stop is at Queen Victoria Street, close to the Victoria Embankment, home to London’s famous financial district, called The Square Mile. A number of international banks are located on the street, as well as the Church of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe and the global headquarters for the Salvation Army.

 

18. The Monument is your next port of call. This is the tallest freestanding column in the world, a monument erected as a reminder of London’s revival after the Great Fire of 1,666. You can climb to the top if you’re prepared to climb up 311 steps. But the view of London from the top is worth it – it’s spectacular!

 

 

19. Explore London's City Hall from your next stop. Located next to Tower Bridge, it’s home to the Mayor of London and also the location for the London Assembly. Temporary exhibitions are held in the visitor’s centre, which also boasts a giant photo of London on its floor.  (look at point Nos. 18 & 19  of the red route, above, for more details).

 

The City Hall of London can be seen next to Tower Bridge - Hop on Hop off London bus tour

20. You can’t visit London without exploring the famous Tower of London, home to the British Crown Jewels. It’s had an illustrious career – it was once a fortified prison, then a Royal palace, and three Queens of England were beheaded here, including Anne of Boleyn! (look at point Nos. 18 & 19   of the red route, above, for more details).

 

21. For a change of pace, explore Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at your next stop. This modern reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre that was built in the 16th Century is not only a theatre. Underneath it is a museum highlighting the famous playwright’s life and works.

 

22. At the next stop you can visit the most popular modern art gallery in the world, Tate Modern, located in a converted 1940s power station. Also here is famous Turbine Hall, where a succession of excellent temporary exhibitions are displayed. The permanent collection encompasses a vast collection of modern art from 1,900 to the present day. You can enjoy free 45-minute guided tours of the collection throughout the day.

 

23. Hop off the bus at Embankment Pier, a busy point for riverbus services and circular cruises around London. It’s also a lively entertainment area day and night, with lots of bar and restaurant boats just waiting for you to come aboard and have fun.

 

24. There aren’t so many pigeons in Trafalgar Square anymore, but the square, which was built in 1805 to commemorate Admiral Nelson’s victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, is still worth visiting. It’s now a popular site for political demonstrations, and also boasts a café, where you relax and enjoy people watching.

 

25. St James is your next hop off point and the last stop on the yellow route. The area, located in Pall Mall, includes St James Park, and St James's Palace, home to Royalty until they moved to Buckingham Palace 200 years ago. Some of the Royal Family do still live here, and the palace is also used for official functions. It’s not open to the public.

 

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A) The Museum Tour (Blue route): 21 stops - From Piccadilly

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1. The Blue Route starts at Piccadilly Circus in London’s busy West End. Originally built in 1819 to connect Piccadilly and Regent Street, it’s a lively area, with lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities.

 

Green Park on Piccadilly, London Sightseeing bus tour

2. Next stop is at Green Park, located between Kensington Gardens and the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The park is made up entirely of trees and lush parkland. It’s a great place to enjoy a stroll, surrounded by Constitution Hill, Piccadilly and the Broad Walk.

 

3. Our next hop off point is at Hyde Park Corner, and you can read all about it in point Nos. 2 & 3 of the red route above.

 

4. Knightsbridge is your next destination. This is one of London’s most unchanged and beautiful areas, famous for its upmarket shops and restaurants. Here you can shop till you drop in Harrods, the most famous store in the city, which boasts over 300 staff and the same amount of departments. Close by is chic Harvey Nichols, which boasts some of the world’s best designer wear. You will also find high fashion and magnificent lingerie on sale in Sloane Street.

 

5. Hop off at Kensington Road, a section of road in Kensington and Chelsea that runs along the southern edge of Kensington Gardens. To the north is Kensington Palace, and to the south, you’ll find the Palace Gate.

 

6. Visit the Albert Memorial in Kensington Road from your next stop. The memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria as a tribute to her late consort, Prince Albert. It was completed in 1876, 15 years after Albert died aged 41. Erected opposite the Royal Albert Hall, the monument is adorned with marble reliefs of 178 people, mostly artists. At each corner is a bronze statue depicting one of Albert’s interests – engineering, agriculture, commerce and manufacturing.

 

7. Historic Kensington Palace is at your next stop. Here you can explore the magnificent 17th and 18th Century King’s and Queen’s Apartments, which are decorated with beautiful paintings from the Royal Collection. You’ll see the rooms where Queen Victoria lived as a child, and learn all about her life as a wife, mother, queen and empress.

 

Albert Memorial in the Kensington Gardens, London, England

8. Hop off at Palace Gate in South Kensington, near the Albert Memorial in the Kensington Gardens, facing the Royal Albert Hall. Nearby you’ll find the Royal College of Art, which contains an excellent collection of over 1,000 works of art by staff and students, including famous artists like David Hockney. There’s also the Musem of Instruments within the Royal College of Music (RCM), on Prince Consort Road, just behind the Royal Albert Hall, which features over 600 musical instruments, some dating back to the 15th Century.

 

9. Explore Baden-Powell House in Gloucester Road from the next hop off point. Located in South Kensington, this is a Scouting hostel and conference centre, built as a tribute to the founder of Scouts, Lord Baden-Powell. There’s a small exhibition about Scouting and the house, which has been restored, provides affordable lodging for Scouts, Guides, their families and the general public

 

10 & 11. Next hop off points are at Stanhope Gardens in Kensington / Chelsea, as well as on nearby Harrington Road, from where you can easily walk to the British Natural History Museum.

 

12. Hop off the bus on Brompton Road, near the corner of Exhibition Road, where three of London's most popular and amazing museums are located.  The British Natural History Museum, with more than 70 million specimens of insects, fossils and rocks. A highlight for both kids and adults is the Dinosaur Gallery.  From here you can proceed to visit the Science Museum, which is also on Exhibition Road, just a few steps away, and gives an insight into science and industry through a large number of creative displays.

 

The fascinating Science Museum is one of the three excellent museums on Exhibition Road in London.  Part of the hop-on hop-off London bus tour

The famous Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A, which claims to be the world’s greatest museum of art and design, is just across the street. Originally opened in 1852 to inspire British designers and manufacturers, it now boasts more than 4 million items that span many centuries. You’ll find European, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Islamic artifacts – and that’s just the start! Highlights include a collection of dresses from the 17th Century to the present, the four-poster Jacobean Great Bed of Ware that was immortalised by Shakespeare in his play, Twelfth Night and more. There are a number of different galleries and facilities, including Theatre & Perfomance Galleries, Medieval & Renaissance Galleries...

 

13. Harrods is located next to your next stop. This upmarket department store in Knightsbridge covers 5 acres, making it the largest department store in Europe. Many of Harrods’ departments, including the Harrod’s Food Hall and its Christmas Department, are world famous, which make this super-store  an absolute delight to explore.

 

14. The bus stops off at Hyde Park Corner once again, (see point Nos. 2 & 3 of the red route above).

 

15. Next stop is at Green Park, (also stop no. 2 above), which offers another opportunity to personalise your sightseeing.

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Did you know? you can really save a lot of money on attractions in London, as well as on transport, dining and shopping, with the London Pass... Click here to find out more!

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16. Hop off at the next stop to explore Ripley's Believe It or Not! , in the West End, near Piccadilly Circus. The museum celebrates the weird, wonderful and wacky and on display are over 700 items and a number of amazing interactive displays. View a life-size knitted Ferrari, enjoy a Mirror Maze… This is an opportunity to return to your childhood and step into the world of the legendary Robert Ripley, who devoted his life to finding the bizarre and unusual.

 

The British Museum in London is probably one of the world's 10 best museums! It can be visited from the London hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour

17. You should dedicate plenty of time to explore The British Museum at your next stop in Great Russell Street, in Bloomsbury. The museum’s 7 million items on display from all over the world tell the story of human history and culture. Originally opened in 1753, the museum contains all sorts of displays, from prehistoric items to modern artifacts. Its world-famous collection of ancient Egyptian mummies and the central glass domed Great Court are both must-sees. The Great Court is the largest covered public square in Europe (Click here for an online visitor's guide to the British Museum).  Nearby, on Little Russell Street (access via Museum St), you’ll find the Cartoon Museum, home to everybody’s favourite childhood cartoons, caricatures and comics.

 

Get a different perspective on the central part of London, when you explore the Building Centre, with its permanent exhibition of a scaled down model of this area (Located on Store Street, which can be accessed via Bloomsbury St).

 

19. Hop off the bus at Woburn Place in Camden and explore the Foundling Museum, which was originally a hospital for abandoned children. Today the museum tells these children’s stories and explores their lives. You can also visit the 19th Century St Pancras Church nearby. It’s the most expensive church to be built in London since St Paul’s was rebuilt in the 17th Century after the Great Fire.

 

20. Bedford Way is the next hop off point. It’s located near the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, which is part of the University College London, which contains one of the largest and most interesting collections of Egyptian archaeological artifacts in the world. Here you can see the earliest surviving item of clothing in the world, a dress from around 2,800 BC

 

21. Hop off the bus at Bedford Place in Bloomsbury to visit Conway Hall, the London home of the Ethical Society. Today it hosts a variety of lectures, community events, live music and community events.

 

22. The final stop on the route is once again at Great Russell Street (see no. 17 above), so that you can personalise your sightseeing, and Hop off to visit the British Museum from here, before proceeding to Piccadilly Circus, or any other central spot 

 

Click here now to book your seat on the London hop-on hop-off bus tour.

 

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And here is something that is well worth knowing about: Taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is one the best ways to explore any large city, as it saves you lots of precious holiday time and takes you EXACTLY to those places you really want to visit... (Not to mention the great views you can enjoy from the open top...).

 

We offer dozens of free "Hop on hop off guides" that cover quite a few cities across the world... All you have to do is to click here to see them in a webpage format (with embeded videos), or here, if you want to view and download them as eBooks (PDF format).

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Wait ! Did you like this mini-guide ? Here are some other hop-on hop-off guides you may like: