London Diaries

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If there was one destination that you must visit now it is London as after all the much loved cricket world cup is currently on going here at the moment.

Being in London this June, I was lucky to catch the India Australia world cup match at The Oval courtesy Hariharan Subramaniam, CEO, La Fleur who made all arrangements for a lovely once in a lifetime opportunity. Being hard pressed for time I badly wanted to see the city as well when he suggested that I do a tour via the hop on – hop off bus service that the city is known for.

Hop on Hop off
Hop on Hop off

Tour Tales

Getting the bus at Gloucester Road, I hopped on to the bus and made my way to the top open section. A pro tip is to sit here as you can get some brilliant images of the stunning architecture. It is best to download the app as well that will allow you to track the bus location in real time. I hopped on to the Big Bus Tours that has a recorded commentary in 12 languages as well as a live commentary (if a guide is present) that will take you through all the stations. You are free to hop off the bus at a stop that catches your fancy or simply sit and enjoy the sights with great commentary. There are four routes that ply each day and the commentary will also tell you where you can change the line and hop on to another route. There are four colour coded routes – Red, Blue, Green and Orange with some overlapping stops that allow you to have a great insight into London’s important sights. Also a basic Classic day pass will cost you about 35 pounds and you can use it for 24 hours. A free night tour and free river cruise as well as free walking tours are also part of the ticket price. Premium tickets and deluxe tickets are also available for two and three day tours respectively. There is free WiFi on board the buses so you can also remain connected socially and otherwise.

Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace

Sights & Sounds

The Red Tour will take you through sights like Green Park Underground, Clarence House St James’s Palace, Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch & Wellington Memorial, Queen Mother Gates, Marble Arch, Mayfair, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Craig’s Court, London Eye, Sealife Aquarium, Covent Garden, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tooley Street, Tower Of London, Westminster Pier and Buckingham Palace. On the Orange line you can stop additionally at Victoria Station, Baker Street, Oxford Street and Lambeth Palace while the Blue Route stops at Harrods, South Kensington Museums, Kensington Palace, Notting Hill and Praed Street. On the Green Route you can see Woburn Place, Kings Cross Station, Euston Road and British Museum. The best part of the tours is the flexibility that comes with seeing sights that you want to spend more time and skip through the rest of them. This is ideal especially when you are short on time as you can get a ring side view of the city in the comfort of your seat and also listen to the interesting commentary on the way. At each stop you can also explore the entire area so for instance at Baker’s Street you can see the famed Madame Tussauds as well as the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The tour is certainly a great way to get a high level overview of the city while you admire its stunning architecture. It is a journey that will connect the past and the present beautifully weaving a story of the city that will always be etched in your memory.

London Telephone
London Telephone

Fact File

  • Book all tours online on https://www.bigbustours.com/en/london
  • Carry an umbrella or rain coat with you always as the weather in London is highly unpredictable.
  • Ensure you have sufficient space and battery in your camera as you will be clicking many images.
  • Keep the map handy as it will help you navigate the routes very easily.

This story first appeared in Sakal Times dated June 23, 2019 here: 

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