London has so many famous sites to see and the most popular way for tourists to travel is by bus and, even though there are designated bus tours that are completely dedicated to the tourist trade, they are more often the pricier option. Travelling around the famous sights by bus can be done for pennies if it is done on the usual public bus routes outside of rush hour.
The Number 11
This tour begins in the City of London at Liverpool Street station and it travels through the banking district. It takes you past the famous Bank of England which is the second oldest bank in the world, starting life in 1694. It holds a free museum where visitors can try to lift a gold bar. A few more minutes down the road, past the Montcalm Royal London spa, is St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most famous, world-renowned landmarks in London. Built in the 17th century, it has held many famous processions including the funerals of the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
As well as being famous for being the fictional home of Sweeney Todd, Fleet Street is home to the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub which has been open for hundreds of years; its visitors range from W.B. Yeats to Charles Dickens to Dr Samuel Johnson, who lived near by. The bus will continue through a few more junctions before you can see the top of Nelson’s column which signals that you are nearing Trafalgar Square. The bus will take you down Whitehall to the Horse Guard’s Parade and the Banqueting House which shows where Whitehall Palace used to be.
Downing Street is to the right while Parliament Square is seconds away up ahead. Big Ben and Westminster Palace, more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, lie to the left and a short glimpse of Westminster Abbey can be seen; remember that this is public transport and so you are able to jump off the bus to explore the abbey and Parliament.
Starting in Hampstead Heath, this 60-minute bus trip journeys into Camden with Stables Market on the right and the iconic railway bridge straight ahead. Camden town can be seen briefly before the bus travels past Amy Winehouse’s favourite pub, The Hawley Arms, and gets to Camden tube station where there is an option to leave the bus, walk north and explore the stalls of the famous Camden Markets.
After taking in the historical surroundings, the bus approaches Great Russell Street where the world-famous British Museum can be found. Housing over 8 million artefacts including parts of the Parthenon in Athens, the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies, it holds wonders from all over the world and will keep you entertained for hours. It is only a short trip from The Montcalm Royal London House and it offers free entry.
As the bus heads down Charing Cross road and heading past the famous Shaftesbury Avenue, home to the theatres, and on to Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square; here you can visit the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.