The Best Tours and Day Trips in London, UK

The 10 Best Tours and Day Trips in London, UK

London is an incredible city that urges you to get out and explore it. While some places can be fun to discover on your own, London really comes to life with the help of a tour guide. Whether you’re seeking a rich cultural experience, want to experience the city’s buzzing nightlife, are hungry to dive into the local foodie scene, or want to see the big sites everyone goes on about, signing up for one of the best tours in London is a great way to guarantee you’ll have the ultimate experience.

But even when you’re armed with this useful information, putting together an incredible itinerary is still a major challenge. Where do you go and which tours do you choose? We’re here to help you make your way through this maze and find the perfect vacation plan in the center!

With such a fantastic choice of things to see and do, it can feel impossible to simply get started. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best tours and day trips in London. Stick to these exciting London tour recommendations, and you’re guaranteed to have an incredible time exploring the Big Smoke.

The 10 Best London Tours and Day Trips 

1. See the Best That London Has to Offer 

Best London Day Trips: Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus

One of the best tours in London to kickstart your vacation, the city’s hop-on, hop-off bus allows you to get your bearings and see some of the biggest and most important sights in London. As you wind through the city’s ancient streets, a helpful audio guide will fill you in on info about the architecture, culture, and history of the area. London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch, and Harrods are just some of the fascinating places you can visit.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing during your trip, the hop-on, hop-off bus can be an excellent way of getting around. Consider buying one of the multi-day passes so you can use it for the rest of your time in the city. As an added bonus, you’ll also get a scenic river cruise and several walking tours thrown in for free!

Discover London’s Most Iconic Sights

2. Go Behind the Scenes on a ‘Harry Potter’ Set

Day Trips from London: ‘Harry Potter’ Set

If you’re a “Harry Potter” fan, this is definitely one of the coolest London tours for you. On this magical day out, you’ll discover the hidden secrets that went on behind the scenes to produce the “Harry Potter” movie series.

You’ll have the unique opportunity to see the props, costumes, and sets up close. Hagrid’s motorcycle, Harry’s Nimbus 2000, and Platform 9¾ are just a few examples of the whimsical things you’ll see.

During the tour, you’ll be invited to walk along the mysterious Daigon Alley, past the enigmatic shop fronts you’ve seen in the movies. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Flourish and Blotts, and Ollivaner’s Wand Shop are all here!

See the Sets of ‘Harry Potter’

3. Step Back in Time and Visit the Cotswolds

Must Books Tours in London: Cotswolds

When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, sign up for one of the best day trips from London – a full-day Cotswolds tour. On this small-group tour, you’ll spend a laid-back day wandering through historic villages brimming with gorgeous scenery, winding country lanes, and an enchanting atmosphere you’ll never want to leave behind.

You’ll visit Burford, home to ancient buildings that are 500+ years old, and Bibury, said to be the prettiest village in England. Then it’s onto Bourton-on-the-Water, where you can wander along the riverside admiring the cute bridges, and finally, Stow-on-the-Wold, where you’ll find the oldest pub in England.

Join a Cotswolds Day Tour

4. See the Sights Along the Thames

Cool Tours to Book in London: River Thames Cruise

A River Thames cruise is one of the best tours in London if you want to snap stunning photos from a new angle. This relaxed river cruise takes you from Westminster to Greenwich, passing by iconic attractions such as the Tower of London, the Tate Modern, and the Shard. These quintessential buildings take on a whole new look from the water and make for some fabulous pictures!

While you’re enjoying the panoramic views, there’ll be a live guide explaining the scenery around you and making sure you don’t miss a single thing. For the best experience, head to the open deck at the top of the boat as soon as you board.

Cruise along the River Thames

5. Eat Your Way Through Borough Market

Best Tours to Book in London: Borough Market

England doesn’t have the best reputation for food, but a trip to Borough Market can turn things completely upside down. One of the best food markets in the city, this ancient building is bursting with vendors selling everything from aged cheeses and freshly baked sausage rolls to international street food and locally brewed beers.

On this incredible London food tour, you’ll join a guide who will walk you through the age-old market, stopping at the very best places to eat and drink. As you’re eating your way through the market, your guide will tell you the incredible story of the food you’re digging into and the role it played in the history of the city. 

Take a Delicious Food Tour of Borough Market

6. Walk in the Footsteps of Royalty

Best London Day Trips: Westminster Abbey

This is one of the best tours in London if you don’t have much time to spend in the city. It packs loads of the city’s most iconic sites into a single day, along with the company of a 5-star guide who will tell you secrets and extra info along the way you’d never hear otherwise.

On this 4-hour walking tour, you’ll visit Westminster Abbey to discover the eerie crypts, royal chapels, and Poet’s Corner. You’ll be given a skip-the-line ticket so you won’t have to wait, no matter how long the line is! When you’ve had your fill of the fascinating abbey, you’ll move on to other landmarks in the city, such as Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, and Buckingham Palace. 

Visit the Iconic Westminster Abbey

7. Walk on the Roof of The O2 Arena

Day Trips from London: Roof of the O2 Arena

Looking for something weird and wonderful to do in London? Then you’ll love this exciting tour! On this action-packed adventure, you’ll don a safety harness and climb onto the roof of The O2 arena. This quirky building is 170 feet tall and rewards you with phenomenal views of the city that stretch on for miles.

From the top of the building, you can easily spot the River Thames, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and the Shard. Make sure you’ve got your phone with you because you’ll definitely want to take some pictures. To make the experience even more magical, you can opt for a twilight or sunset tour.

Climb to the Roof of The O2 Arena

8. See 4 Major Sites in One Day Trip

Must Books Tours in London: Windsor Castle

When it comes to London day trips, this one is tough to beat. On this epic day out, you’ll explore the ancient walls of Windsor Castle, uncover the mysteries of Stonehenge, dive into the fascinating city of Bath, and immerse yourself in therapeutic Roman baths that date back over 2,000 years. 

Highlights of the tour include seeing world-famous artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci inside the State Apartments, admiring Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House (complete with working lifts and running water!), and tasting authentic spa water, renowned for its health benefits. 

Discover Windsor Castle

9. Hear the Stories of Jack the Ripper’s Victims

Cool Tours to Book in London: Jack the Ripper

If you’re fascinated by ghoulish and macabre stories, you’ll love this Jack the Ripper guided walking tour. Your morbid day takes place throughout East End London, where you’ll assess photo evidence, hear true stories, and uncover hidden clues, all in an attempt to solve real-life murders that remain unsolved to this day.

You won’t have to take on this monumental task yourself. You’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable Ripperologist who will tell you about Jack’s victims, what everyday life in Whitechapel used to be like, and the most plausible theories that come closest to explaining the horrible murders. 

Embark on a Jack the Ripper Tour

10. Walk Along the Edge of the White Cliffs of Dover

Best Tours to Book in London: White Cliffs of Dover

One of the coolest London day trips if you’re craving a change of scenery, this laid-back day out will prove just how beautiful the south coast of England really is. A midi-coach will whisk you away to Kent, where you’ll start off with a captivating walking tour of the ancient city of Canterbury.

After you’ve explored its magnificent cathedral and strolled through its centuries-old streets, you’ll move onto the White Cliffs of Dover for a spectacular coastal walk. On clear days, you can see all the way to France! Here you can enjoy some free time to admire the view and indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea before heading back to London.

Explore the Famous White Cliffs of Dover

There you have it! The 10 best tours and day trips in London. Do you have any London tours or day trips you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below!



  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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