London as the Londoners do it

At British Tours, we understand that you’ll want to get off the beaten track and experience London as a local and as such we’ve written a small list to help you discover your inner Londoner when you tour with us.

1) Take the Tube

One of the world’s oldest underground passenger trains, the London underground (or the tube as it is more commonly known) is one of the fastest ways to get across London. Its symbol and map are now as well known as the trains themselves.

2) Take a stroll around the British Museum.

British Museum – used with kind permission of Nigel Young Foster And Partners

While some of the items in the British Museum aren’t British in origin, the museum is a cultural highlight for Londoners. The Egyptian Gallery for example houses some of the most well-known Egyptian artefacts in the country, with the Rosetta stone and the giant statues of Ramesses the great, sourced by the Italian strongman and Archaeologist Belzoni.

3) Go for a ride in an iconic Black Taxi.

Iconic and comfortable, Black Taxi drivers are a proud and much loved addition to London. You can take a 3 hour highlights tour or a longer tour popping in and out of sites.

4) Grab a bite to eat at Borough Market

For most Londoners, Borough Market is a well-deserved treat, with fresh produce and preserves from country farms. It also hold a street food market, which makes it a perfect fit for those wishing to maximize the time they have on tour with a quick but scrumptious meal. 

5) Immerse yourself in one of London’s many historical suburbs.

Surely the best way to see London like a Londoner is through one of its many neighbourhoods. Take a browse through Greenwich Market, take a drive through Chelsea or travel up to Hampstead Heath to see one of the city’s most famous views.

Once you’ve completed all of these, relax in the comfort of your hotel and make sure to order yourself a well-deserved cup of tea!

British Tours Twitter interview with Concierge99

We’ve had many interviews over the years and very recently we had our first twitter interview! For those of you not familiar with the format, Twitter interview questions and answers must be under 140 characters, so quite a challenge!

Our interview was hosted by the brilliant online concierge service Concierge99. They make it their mission to put their clients in touch with the experts, from everything from yoga instructors to private tours. While we’re not so great on the yoga front, we pride ourselves on the bespoke tours we create. I could go on, but the fantastic folks at Concierge99 had some pretty great questions for us that will give you a bit more of an insight into the work we do.

Exciting times! To get us started, Concierge 99 asked us some basic ‘getting to know you’ facts.

Concierge99 asked a question many of our clients want to know – how do we pick such great guides?

We have several wonderful guides on our books who love taking visitors to see London’s highlights on a bespoke London tour, and Concierge99 we keen to know more about them! We gave them a bit more information about their backgrounds.

 

You can read more about our driver-guides here We’ve also had a few famous faces, both as vistors and as guides.The actor Tom Conti was also once one of our tour guides!

Then, it was time for one of the most important questions of the interview – what makes us a good fit for our client’s needs?

Over the years, we’ve arranged many personalized services, including family heritage tours, tours to WW2 bases for the descendants of American soldiers stationed in the UK and even tours relating to some of England’s famous literary figures from Shakespeare to J.K.Rowling!

Concierge99 gave us a chance to demonstrate just how British we are!

Certainly a hard question – Just three things!! What about the essential jam and clotted cream to go with those scones!  Finally after an enjoyable twitter chat, it was time for a goodbye from Concierge99…

 

…and a goodbye from us!

To see the full conversation, please click here to go to our Twitter page. We’re also on Facebook and Pinterest too! If you’d like to listen to one our radio interviews, please see the below tweet to our interview with Share Radio!

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Windsor Castle Tours – explore the history

A must-see location to for any British tour is Windsor Castle. One of the homes of Queen Elisabeth herself, this stately castle is steeped in history and tradition. Windsor Castle tours take your through some of the defining moments in the British monarchy and has some truly astounding sights.

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and has been the family home to British kings and queens for over 1000 years. If you’re lucky, you may even time you Winsor Castle tour for when the Queen is in residence. There is a flag flying from the castle’s Round Tower and if this flag is the Royal Standard then it means Queen Elisabeth is staying at the castle.

Start your Windsor Castle tour with one of the castle wardens and get the most out of your trip. Windsor Castle is home to one of the world’s finest collections of art known as the Royal Collection. Visit the State Apartments and the Drawing Room to view some of these masterpieces including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. Queen Mary’s doll’s house is the largest, most beautiful and most famous doll’s house in the world and is filled with exquisite miniature pieces of furniture all hand crafted by some of the most renowned craftsmen, designers and artists of the time. St George’s Chapel is a stop on your Windsor Castle tour that cannot be missed. The final resting place of 10 British monarchs, including King Henry VIII and Charles I, the chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Visitors are invited to attend Sunday services in the chapel although it is closed to tours on a Sunday.

Book your Windsor Castle tour today to get a glimpse into life in the British monarchy from the past and present.

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Explore London With River Thames Tours

What better way to explore London than by boat? River Thames Tours wind their way through the capital city along the River Thames, taking in some of the most famous landmarks and historical buildings in the United Kingdom.

The River Thames is a vital part of London’s infrastructure, and has been used by monarchs, tradesmen, The Royal Navy and many more as a transport route, but it also offers some of the best views of London for those who take to the waters.

The River Thames Tour will guide you through London’s rich history, from ancient Monarchs of England through to the modern day. From the water you’ll get a different view of the awe-inspiring Houses of Parliament and a complete guide on all its history, to the Tower of London, with its gruesome past. As well as a stunning view of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which has been standing since 1599.

Not only that, but you’ll also pass under some of the world’s most iconic bridges including, Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the most recent addition, the Millennium Bridge. These bridges link the two sides of the city and are an awesome site to see as you sail down the River Thames.

As you cruise along, you can take it all in, with a unique view of the city’s skyline, including London’s tallest building The Shard and Canary Wharf’s medley of skyscrapers. You also wind your way past the London Eye that stands out along the river skyline, the famous Southbank, Battersea Power Station, Queen’s House originally part of the Royal Palace of Greenwich which was a favourite royal residence of the Tudors. River Thames tour is the ideal way to see the top sights of London in a relaxing environment.

London to Paris – A Journey of History And Wonder

Paris is a magical city, full of romance, history, culture and an atmosphere that is like no other city in the world. It’s easily reached from London, meaning you can be on the continent, sipping a café au lait in the heart of Paris in a matter of hours.

Why not embark on a journey of history and wonder with our London to Paris tours. We will take you on a unique trip through the city where you can submerge yourself in the culture and history of this wonderful city in style.

Visit Paris’s most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, which has been standing since 1889 when it was built for the World’s Fair. Climb to the summit and see breath-taking views of the entire city during the day or evening.

Paris tours also include other famous attractions such as the artist district Montmartre, where you can visit the Sacre-Coeur and lose yourself in the pretty winding streets, which have been home to famous artists such as Picasso over the years.

Take a walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which is famous throughout the world for luxury shops, theatres and cafes. It’s the perfect opportunity to get up close to the Arc de Triomphe too, which stands proudly at one end.

Your journey to Paris isn’t complete without a visit to the Louvre. As one of the world’s largest museums and home to the Mona Lisa, you can take in art and culture that spans across centuries of French and international history.

With so much to see in this expansive city, you can be sure that with a Paris tour you will see all the best that Paris has to offer and get an authentic feel for the history and wonder of this bustling capital city.

Big Ben Tours – Why Big Ben is the most iconic London sight

A visit to London is never complete without a mesmerizing tour of this lovely and historic city; Big Ben is by no means an exception.  Big Ben’s official name is the Elizabeth Tower, but local residents have affectionately nicknamed her “Big Ben” after the nickname of the Great Bell that is housed within the stunning Elizabeth Tower. This massive clock tower is considered by many to be the most iconic sight in the city, not only for its spectacular view, but also for its colourful and inspiring history.

Guided tours of Big Ben will take its visitors up 334 spiral steps to the top of the 62 metre high clock tower to hear Big Ben strike the hour, as well as a unique opportunity to visit the mechanism room where you can learn about how Big Ben’s clock works. These tours are available free to UK residents, but require to be sponsored by a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords.

The actual origin of the nickname is not known; however there are 2 theories; one that is was named after the commissioner of works Sir Benjamin Hall who because of his large size was lovingly known in the house as Big Ben. The other theory is that it was named after heavy weight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt who was also referred to as Big Ben. Historians and landmark enthusiasts have argued these theories for decades.

Aside from its timeless beauty, masterwork construction, and unfaltering timekeeping, is the sensational history that surrounds it. Most notably its role in the Second World War, during this time Big Ben’s chimes were heard the world over on the BBC World Service radio. During the blitz people would listen for Big Bens uplifting chimes, it was these chimes that let the world know that Great Britain had not yet been defeated, which offered people a much needed feeling of comfort and hope.

British Museum Tour – Why the British Museum has something for all

Embarking on an exuberant and engaging day tour of London would not be complete without a visit to London’s magnificent British Museum where you can explore a wide array of historical and iconic artefacts from all over the world such as, stunning Parthenon sculptures, as well as a wide variety of relics from ancient Egypt to name a few. Whether you are young or old, a history enthusiast, have a passion for art and design, or enjoy learning about other cultures, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the British Museum.

Visitors touring this world-renowned museum get to experience an up close and personal look at the many historical and cultural items that the world has to offer in an exquisitely architected building.  View various currencies from all over the world, such as coins, banknotes and even shells, some of which that date back as far as 4000 years!

The British Museum hosts a wide variety of fascinating and engaging exhibitions, such as this years “Celts art and identity” exhibition that runs from 24 September 2015 through to 31 January 2016 which is the British Museums first ever major exhibition that examines the full history of Celtic art and identity.

Children of all ages will also find enjoyment at the museum with their various child friendly displays and hands on arts and crafts sessions that will give your children a genuine passion for learning.

While on your tour be sure to take advantage of the museums shop where you can buy anything from kid’s history gifts to stunning museum replicas that will allow you to continue to enjoy your favourite British Museum displays from the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to learn more about what the British Museum has to offer, or if you are interested in finding out about any of their upcoming events or exhibitions then why not get in touch and let us help you plan the perfect trip.