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Alternative tours of London

If you have been to London before, the chances are you have already seen Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Once you and the family have ticked off these major sights, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper into the life and culture of London. A fun way to see a different side of the capital is to take an alternative tour and with so many to choose from, you are bound to find one that suits you.

Cycling tour

Exploring London on two wheels is a great option for when the kids have energy to burn. There are plenty of providers, but Fat Tire Tours are conveniently located near the hotel, making it a great place from which to start your adventure. See attractions as diverse as Kensington Palace, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey while getting some exercise at the same time. Not only will your guide impart tales about the places you visit, but they will also ensure you don’t get lost.

Street art tour

London’s East End has become a world-class destination for street art, with everything from murals to small sculptures having popped up across the district in recent years. Shoreditch Street Art Tours will take you to some of the best examples, including works by Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Eine. You’ll also get to know some of the backgrounds behind the works and the culture they represent. A street art tour is sure to be a hit if you have teenagers!

Classic Routemaster tour

There’s nothing more iconic than a big red London bus and the 1960s Routemaster is back on the road with The Classic Tour. Little ones will be delighted to hop aboard the vehicle that features in so many children’s stories and TV programmes. The tour guides are both informative and humorous, ensuring nobody will get bored during the trip.

Royal tour

For all those caught up in royal wedding fever, what could be better than a jaunt around the capital taking in sites associated with Britain’s favourite family? The Royal Walking Tour will give you an expert guide to take you to no fewer than three palaces and two royal parks, as well as allowing you to witness the changing of the guards. It’s all the pomp and ceremony any royal fans could ask for.

Food tour

Join Eating London Tours to get a real taste of the British capital, quite literally. Pick a tour that taps into the kind of cuisine that your family loves or is interested to learn more about. It could be classic dishes in historic pubs, authentic curries on Brick Lane or an explosion of cultures in the East End. Nothing tells you more about a place than its food.

Harry Potter tour

Dress your little Potterheads up and take them on a tour of the London locations that feature in the Harry Potter franchise. Tour for Muggles has won prizes for its Harry Potter-themed adventures, which take in everything from the visitors’ entrance to the Ministry of Magic right through to the winding lanes of Charing Cross that inspired both Diagon and Knockturn Alleys. The guides are great fun and have plenty of facts to divulge to young fans.

Ghost tour

For a spookier experience, discover the darker side of London with The Ghost Bus Tours. Probably better for families with older children, these wonderfully atmospheric tours will help you relive tales of the demon barber of Fleet Street and the black dog of Newgate Prison. Even Westminster Abbey and Downing Street have gothic secrets to reveal if you’re brave enough to ride the Ghost Bus.

Hidden London tour

The complete antithesis of a classic sightseeing tour, checking out hidden London will offer you a much more enlightening experience. Fun London Tours will take you to the oldest part of the city and invite you to look up at your surroundings and peek through windows and around doors, as you visit medieval courtyards and ancient churches. You will be on the lookout for tiny clues to London’s past, its most noteworthy residents and tales that were seemingly forgotten over time.

Tea tasting tour

Spend a very pleasant afternoon doing what Brits love to do best – drinking tea. T-Lovers offers tours around the capital, interacting with those who are passionate about tea, learning its history and rituals, and - most importantly of all - tasting different types of tea. Whether you are an Earl Grey type of guy or a Chinese Sencha girl, there will be a tea to suit your taste as you make your way around a specific area. This is a must-do for all tea drinkers.

Extract: From tea tasting to ghost tours, and Harry Potter to hopping on a classic red bus, there are plenty of tours to help your family make the most of their time in London.

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