7 Unusual Tours In London

1: Mini Cooper Tour
See the city in style with smallcarBIGCITY’s Mini Love tour as you whizz through London in a restored 1960s Mini Cooper. Driven by a guide and carrying up to three passengers, these iconic British cars are the perfect way to see sights without the usual tour crowds. Robert Welch, who founded the company in 2008, says: ‘I’m passionate about classic cars, so my first vehicle was a classic Mini Cooper. I quickly realised how popular it was when strangers began waving at me as I drove around.

‘I now have a fleet of eight cars which have been used for everything from weddings and TV adverts to a private Monty Python-themed tour. Last summer, we even had two 6ft 5in WWE wrestlers squeezed in the back of one!

‘Celebrities love them. British chef Heston Blumenthal and his team hired us to drive them to Paris. We zipped about piazzas and he cooked a duck dish on a camping stove from the boot.’

Inspired? Then consider designing your own tour – Robert likes a challenge – or pick 
a themed one, such as The Beatles or Harry Potter. You can also opt for the Treasure Hunt tour, which involves fancy dress, timed challenges and prizes. Alternatively, pick from different experiences. Traditionalists, or those short on time, should try Landmarks of London. On London’s Best Bits, you’ll hurtle around local markets, back streets and a tunnel covered with street art. Repeat visitors will want to try Live Like a Local, which you can tailor to your interests. 
It includes a stop at a coffee shop and lunch at a street-food market. From £119 per car. T: 020 7839 6737. smallcarbigcity.com

Helicopter Tour2: Helicopter Tour
Live the high life on one of The London Helicopter’s 12, 18 or 30-minute tours, which are guaranteed to 
be the highlight of your trip. Whichever option you choose, you’ll soar 1,000ft before swooping between iconic sights such as The Shard, the ‘Gherkin’, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace – all very James Bond! From £150 per seat. 
T: 020 7887 2626. Helicopter Tour

3: Afternoon Tea Bus Tour 
Combine two classic London experiences in one with BB’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. Once aboard a vintage red Routemaster bus, you’ll see iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace while indulging in sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries. Adult £45; child £35. T: 020 3026 1188. bbbakery.co.uk

4: Kayaking Tour
Kayaking London offers various routes by day or night, all starting and ending in Chelsea. Highlights on offer include Big Ben & Back, Big Ben by Night and Discover London, which pass by the Houses of Parliament, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge. From £39. T: 020 8968 4500. 

5: Thamesjet Tour
Strap yourself in for 50 exhilarating minutes aboard a ThamesJet Tour. Starting at Big Ben, you’ll make your way along the River Thames, past all the major riverside sights such as the London Eye and The Shard. Once you get to Tower Bridge, the excitement amps up as the boat goes into high speed. 
Adult £35; child £21. T: 020 7740 0400. 
Thamesjet Tours

6: Capital Taxi Tours
Explore London with Capital Taxi Tours, which has been showing visitors around since 1976. Licensed taxi drivers, who are also qualified Blue Badge or City of London guides, accompany you around London’s sights from the Houses of Parliament to Greenwich. You can also opt for themed tours such as The Beatles and Dickens. Each taxi seats up to five people, so they are ideal for families. 
Prices vary. T: 020 8590 3621. 
Capital Taxi Tours

7: Pedibus
Hop on a Pedibus for a sociable way to explore the city. Perfect for groups of up to 12 people, these vehicles allow you to sit as if at a dinner table with the extra fun of pedalling. Routes include ones around London Bridge, Covent Garden, St Paul’s or Borough Market, with a pub stop, too. 
From £23. T: 020 0011 3590. pedibus.co.uk

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