• River Thames guided tour
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich guided tour
  • Imperial War Museum London guided tour
  • Buckingham Palace driver tour

Full day London tours

London is one of the most famous cities in the world. It has a long history, but some of the architecture is very cutting-edge. It is a mixture of historic buildings, modern offices, wonderful shops and world-class restaurants.

It is the home of royalty and the seat of government, but where many Londoners go about their lives visiting the parks and markets.

Take a private tour by car and ask your guide all the questions you cannot ask a guidebook.

Classic London day tour

Visit Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. Sit back in the comfort of your car and let your professional Blue Badge tourist guide drive you around London while explaining our history and entertaining you with stories. During the day you will also see St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. You might also be driven through some of our famous parks.

london guided tour
Further information on destinations on the Classic London day tour

Westminster Abbey

This is where coronations have taken place since 11thc. It is where our medieval monarchs are buried and where Prince William married Kate Middleton. It is a bit like walking through a history book as many of England’s famous people are buried or commemorated here. Do you know which one of King Henry VIII’s wives is buried here?

Tower of London

The Tower started life as a castle and then became a state prison. It was safe enough to store the Crown Jewels and is now a famous landmark beside the River Thames. Come and learn about the ravens and the Beefeaters. You can see the Ceremony of the Keys in the evening if you book tickets in advance.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

The correct name for the building is the Palace of Westminster and ‘Big Ben’ is the Elizabeth Tower. It started life as a royal palace until King Henry VIII moved out and it became the Houses of Parliament. After a major fire in 1834 it was rebuilt to house the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

St. Paul's Cathedral

The baroque masterpiece of the architect Sir Christopher Wren built after old St Paul’s was badly damaged in the Great Fire of London. Wren is buried here and so are the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson. This is where Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. If you are feeling energetic you can walk to the top of the Dome for a bird’s eye view over the City of London.

Trafalgar Square driver tour

© MD111

Trafalgar Square

This is considered the centre of London and is where people gather to celebrate, especially at Christmas and New Year. Admiral Lord Nelson’s statue stands atop the tall column surveying London. The National Gallery houses an amazing collection of paintings from 1200s to 1900.

London Eye

Take a flight on the London Eye. It takes 30 minutes for a complete revolution. There are wonderful views over London. Your private guide can point out the main sights like St Paul’s Cathedral, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. They will also show you the ones you might miss like Nelson’s Column, Westminster Cathedral, the various parks and if you are lucky, Heathrow airport.

Classic London day tour including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

This tour cannot take place daily, as the Guard Change is only every 2 days for part of the year and is cancelled when it rains.

Guard Change guided tour

Harry Potter tour of London

This tour will show you some of the film locations used in London. Come and see Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station, the location of the Ministry of Magic and the bridge crossed in the Knight Bus scene. This can be combined with a tour of the Warner Brother’s studio on the outskirts of London (tickets can sell out in high season).

Leaky Cauldron guided tour
Further information on destinations on the Harry Potter tour of London

Platform 9 ¾:

Don’t miss a visit to King’s Cross Station to see the luggage trolley at Platform 9 ¾. This is where Harry, Ron and Hermione caught the Hogwart’s Express to get to school. Next door is the place where Ron and Harry took the flying Anglia car when they missed the train.

Ministry of Magic

See where Mr Weasley had such trouble trying to work out how to use a ticket for the London Underground. Also, where the telephone box was which was the entrance to the Ministry.

Warner Brother’s studio tour

The film studio where they actually filmed Harry Potter has now been turned into a visitor attraction. It is well worth a visit. You see the costumes, sets and get a chance to ride a broomstick. See the knight bus, Hagrid’s motorcycle, the flying Anglia car and walk down Diagon Alley.

Knight bus bridge

Ask your private tourist guide to drive you over the actual bridge that Harry Potter went over in the knight bus, with the crazy driver. You might also visit where Diagon Alley was filmed and see the Leaky Cauldron pub.

Shakespeare’s London

Visit the recreated Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the British Library, which houses one of the first books published of William Shakespeare’s dramas. The Museum of London has artefacts from the Shakespearian era.

To finish off your day, maybe you would like to book a seat at the Globe Theatre for an evening performance or the new Sam Wanamaker Theatre, which is candlelit.

Globe Theatre driver tour

© Neil Willsey

Further information on destinations for Shakespeare’s London

Globe Theatre

To have some idea of what theatre was like in William Shakespeare’s time, make a visit to the Globe Theatre. It was the dream of the American actor Sam Wanamaker to rebuild the Globe. It is a’ wooden O’ beside the River Thames, open air and with a thatched roof.

Southwark Cathedral

This church is on the south bank of the River Thames and parts date back to 1200s. William Shakespeare may have been present at the baptism of John Harvard here. His brother, Edmund Shakespeare, is buried in the Cathedral and there is a William Shakespeare memorial.

British Library driver tour

© Nick McPhee

British Library

In Shakespeare’s day they did not publish the finished play. It was only in 1623 that the First Folio was published and the British Library has a copy. The Library also contains manuscripts by Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Bronte, plus Beatles original music.

Museum of London driver tour

© Elliott Brown

Museum of London

Displays on medieval London give an idea of life in 16th - 17thc. The museum houses a wonderful collection of items from prehistoric times to World War II. You can even see the Lord Mayor’s coach that is used every November.

Museums and Galleries

London has many famous galleries with pictures both ancient and modern. You can choose from the National Gallery, Tate Britain or Tate Modern. Museums include the British Museum, which features artefacts from around the world, including the Rosetta Stone and the Sculptures from the Parthenon. Children often enjoy the Natural History Museum with its dinosaurs, or the Science Museum or even scrambling around HMS Belfast, a cruiser that fought in World War II and was at the D-Day landings in June 1944.

National Gallery guided tour
Further information on destinations on the Museums and Galleries tour.

Tate Britain

This is the original Tate Gallery founded by Sir Henry Tate in the late 1800s. The Tate Gallery houses the national collection of British art, about 70,000 artworks. It is divided in two, with Tate Britain housing mainly artwork from 1500s to 1900.

Tate Modern driver tour

© Alquiler de Coches

Tate Modern

The other half of the Tate Gallery’s London collection is housed in an old power station near William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This collection is more modern with paintings, photography, film and sculpture from 1900 to the present day.

Britsh Museum

Founded after Sir Hans Sloane bequeathed his collection to King George II for the nation. It houses artefacts from around the world. Marvel at the Egyptian mummies and learn about the process of mummification. Stare at the Rosetta stone, which finally unlocked the secrets of hieroglyphics. Ponder on the Sculptures of the Parthenon, dating back to 440BC, they would have originally been brightly coloured. Admire the artefacts from Africa, especially the Benin bronzes with their intricate work.

Natural History Museum driver tour

© andrew wales

Natural History Museum

Come and meet ‘Dippy’ in the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum. He is just one of the dinosaurs on display. You can also explore insects, the human body and the animal kingdom. There is a whole section dedicated to volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains and rocks.

Science Museum driver tour

© Walter Lim

Science Museum

Do you have inquisitive children who love science? Then this is the place for them. Early steam engines, trains, boats and planes – they are all here. Up at Launch Pad they can push buttons and pull levers to their hearts content.

HMS Belfast

A World War II cruiser that was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was at the sinking of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst and supported allied troops during the D-Day landings in Normandy. She has 9 decks to scramble over and explore.

Children’s London

Take a ride on the London Eye before visiting the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels and King Henry VIII’s suits of armour. You can see how fat he grew! Then take the boat to Greenwich to stand with one foot in each hemisphere, astride the Meridian Line. The National Maritime Museum houses Nelson’s uniform from the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805, and you can see the bullet hole where he was shot.

London Eye driver tour

© ramonbaile

Further information on destinations on the Children's London day tour

London Eye

London’s new icon that has swept away Tower Bridge as the symbol of London. Take a flight on the Eye and see if you can see Heathrow airport or Windsor Castle. Your private guide will be able to point out many of the well-known landmarks and some of the hidden places on your 30 minute circuit.

Tower of London

How many wives did King Henry VIII behead at the Tower? Why are ravens here? When do they use the Crown Jewels? How do you become a Beefeater? Your personal tour guide will explain the ghosts, prisoners, murder and mayhem that went on at the Tower.


Where else in the world can you stand with one foot in each hemisphere? Visit Greenwich and stand astride the Prime Meridian of the World. See the house that Sir Christopher Wren built for the 1st Astronomer Royal and admire the chronometers that solved the longitude problem.

National Maritime Museum driver tour

© Elliott Brown

National Maritime Museum

The finest maritime museum in the world. The galleries tell the story of Britain’s maritime heritage over the past 500 years. Boats of all shapes and sizes, information about exploration through the ages, Britain’s trade throughout the world, model ships and uniforms – it is all here. You can even see the uniform that Admiral Lord Nelson was wearing when he was shot at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Britain at War

London has several museums dedicated to war. The Imperial War Museum houses exhibits from both World Wars, plus a Holocaust Exhibition. The Churchill War Rooms tell the story of Sir Winston Churchill and his role as Prime Minister in World War II. The Royal Air Force Museum on the outskirts of London is dedicated to airplanes and pilots and has one hanger with the story of the Battle of Britain. Depending on your interests, HMS Belfast might be included in this tour, but there will not be time for everything.

Guardsman driver tour

© Nathan

Further information on destinations on the Britian at War tour

Churchill War Rooms

Hidden away just down the road from Downing Street is the bunker where Sir Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet made some of the major decisions during the Second World War. It was locked up at the end of the war and only put on display in 1980s. The Churchill Museum is the only one in the world telling the life of this exceptional man.

Royal Air Force Museum driver tour

© Roland Turner

Royal Air Force Museum

Hendon used to be a World War II airfield. It now houses a collection of over 90 historic aircraft from around the world. There are original hangers from the First World War, plus a separate Battle of Britain Hall dedicated to the 1940’s when the Royal Air Force stood alone against the might of Germany.

HMS Belfast

A cruiser from World War II, she is now moored in the River Thames near Tower Bridge. There are 9 decks to explore from the engine room and boiler room in the hull to the Gun Direction Platform and the Bridge. Belfast played her part supporting the allied troops at the D-Day landings in Normandy.

guards museum driver tour

© kiwi1824

Guards Museum

A chance to learn more about the 5 regiments of Foot Guards who provide the soldiers who guard the Queen and the royal palaces. You can watch them Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace most days. They are also part of Britain’s professional army and have served in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.


We are now all safely back home in the States and reflecting on the wonderful trip. Frances has not stopped talking about her two days with you - thanks again. (read more...) LS, Virginia. Sept 2011

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