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All You Need to Know About London Walking Tours 2020

One of the most popular tourist cities in the world, London is a sight to behold! Be it history enthusiasts, art lovers, adrenaline junkies, or kids, couples, and families, this vibrant city has something for everyone. 

While a guided tour is one of the best ways to discover this wonderful city, a London walking tour is the way to go if you want to take a closer look at the city and explore every nook and cranny. 

There are many walking tour options to choose from such as those that explore historical sites, food & pub tours, and Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter tours, among others. Read on to find out more about walking tours in London.

Why Take a Walking Tour in London

london walking tours
A new perspective

While bus tours are a popular way to explore the city, walking tours in London show you a different side of it. While bus and bike tours are a great way to cover more distance, with a walking tour you can enter alleys and winding roads and take shortcuts to the attractions, ensuring you can access more of the city.

london tours
A smooth experience

If you undertake a guided walking tour of London, you will also get a lot of information and trivia about every single place you visit. You don’t have to plan anything, just get your comfortable shoes on! There's no hassle of catching a bus or driving out of town; it's just you and the wonderful city.

free walking tour london
Pick a theme!

While there are many free walking tours in London, you can also pick tours that specialize in a particular area or theme, such as Harry Potter or James Bond walking tours. These are great for fans of particular book, film, or television series to experience, as this walking tour brings it to life.

Best Walking London Tours

The following are some popular walking tours in London:

harry potter london tour
Harry Potter Tour

Discover the magical world created by J. K. Rowling with the Harry Potter London Walking Tour. Visit popular filming locations in London such as Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station, Diagon Alley at Leadenhall Market/Borough Market, Tower Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, and Millennium Bridge with an expert guide.

Harry Potter Tour Tickets
sherlock holmes london tours
Sherlock Holmes Tours

Take to the mysterious streets of the city on a Sherlock Holmes London Tour. Visit locations mentioned in books, such as the Criterion Restaurant, the place where Holmes and Watson first meet. You will also get to visit filming locations from the popular BBC series and the movie featuring Robert Downey Jr.

walking tours in london
Jack the Ripper Tour

If you’ve got the stomach for it, take a Jack the Ripper London Tour and retrace the steps taken by the city’s infamous killer, Jack the Ripper. Take a trip back to Victorian London when this murdered wreaked havoc and made the citizens cower. Your guide will take you to the murder sites, and tell you all about the victims and suspects.

london walking tour
Royal London Tour

A Royal London Walking Tour will give you insight into all things about the British royal family. Visit Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace, Fortnum and Mason, and Westminster Abbey, among other famous sights. When in Buckingham Palace, you can also expect to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Top Attractions to See on a London Walking Tour

tower of london walking tour
Tower of London

This historic castle on the bank of the River Thames was founded in 1066. The monument has played a pivotal role in English history, having served as a prison, armoury, treasury, home of the Royal Mint, and home of the Crown Jewels. Visited by over 2 million people annually, this is one of London’s top attractions.

Tower of London Tickets
st. paul's cathedral walking tour london
St. Paul's Cathedral

One of the most easily recognizable sights in the London skyline, St. Paul’s Cathedral is over 300 years old. Right in the heart of London, the cathedral has witnessed many historical events, such as the Great Fire of London, both the World Wars, and even the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

St. Paul's Cathedral Tickets
buckingham palace london walking tour
Buckingham Palace

The official residence of the Queen, Buckingham Palace is a highly popular attraction in London. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is one that visitors should not miss. The palace is where investitures, ceremonies, garden parties, and state banquets are held by the Royal Family.

Buckingham Palace Tickets
westminster abbey tour london
Westminster Abbey

A Gothic abbey in the heart of London, Westminster Abbey is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for the British monarchs, and has been given the status of Royal Peculiar. It is also a popular site for royal weddings, most notably that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

river thames london tour
River Thames Cruise

A lot of walking tours in London also include river cruises to give visitors a different view of London. From your boat on the river Thames, one can see some of the most popular landmarks of London such as the Tower of London, London Eye, and Madame Tussauds, among others.

River Thames Cruise Tickets
big ben london walking tour
Big Ben

Big Ben is a massive striking clock and is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. This neo-Gothic structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that still uses its original Victorian mechanism, backed by an electric motor. At 315 feet tall, it is one of the most striking parts of the London skyline.

Your London Walking Tour Experience

A London Walking Tour is a great way to explore this cosmopolitan city that remains proud of its history. Regardless of whether or not you take a guided tour, to walk through the streets of this marvelous city is to experience it firsthand.

Select your walking tour and choose the experience date

When booking your ticket, you can choose the date when you want to take the tour. On the selected day of the tour, you need to show up to the meeting point, which will be visible on your ticket, at the predetermined time to meet your guide.

Explore the city of London

As part of your walking tour, whether it is guided or not, you will explore many different landmarks of the city. A guided walking tour can take between two to six hours, depending on the kind of tour chosen.

Tips for Walking Tours in London

  • Guided walking tours typically don’t include entry into attractions as most of them last for 2-3 hours. If you’d like to visit the attractions, it is advised that you take a self-guided walking tour of London.
  • Despite the duration of the tour, it is done at a very relaxed pace with plenty of stops ensuring you don’t feel tired.
  • Ensure you wear comfortable shoes, and carry a light jacket and an umbrella as London weather can be unpredictable at times.
  • Note that tipping is not customary in the UK, but is a sign of exceptional service. You can tip your guide after your tour is done should you enjoy their service.
  • London has many free attractions such as the National Gallery, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, British Museum, and others. When on a self-guided walking tour of the city, try to incorporate as many of them as you can.
  • Most attractions are close to each other, so try to plan your London walking tour in such a way that doesn’t require you to use the Tube a lot.
  • Don’t just stick to Zone One, there is a lot to see beyond that in the city. Ensure your walking tour in London is planned in a way that covers as much of the city as possible. 

All Your London Walking Tour Questions Answered

Should I book the London walking tour of my choice in advance?

In order to get your preferred date of visit, it is advisable that you book your tour in advance.

How early should I come for the tour?

Please ensure you reach at least ten minutes before the tour starts at the specified meeting point.

Are there any discounts on London walking tours?

This depends on the walking tour chosen. Most tours offer discounts to children. Some offer discounts to students (with a valid ID), seniors, and the disabled.

How long does a walking tour in London last?

This depends solely on the walking tour chosen. While some take 2-3 hours, others, especially those that include a river cruise, can go on for six hours.

What is the best walking tour in London?

Some of the best walking tours in London are those that cover landmarks frequented by the royal family (especially those that involve Changing of the Guard); or those that are themed around Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character, Sherlock Holmes; or those based on the immensely popular Harry Potter books and films.

How far will I walk on a London tour?

A walking tour in London typically consists of 10-15 stops with a 5-7 minute walk in between.

Are London walking tours conducted in languages other than English?

This depends on the tour chosen. However, most London walking tours are conducted in English.

What happens if I don't turn up for my walking tour in London?

You will not be able to get a refund on your walking tour if you don't turn up. When booking the tickets, do check the cancellation policy — while some let you cancel for free up to 24 hours in advance, others are strictly not refundable.

Can I join a walking tour in London without booking in advance?

It is perfectly fine to join a free walking tour as it requires no booking, but when it comes to guided walking tours, it is advised that you book in advance in order to get your preferred date.

Which walking tour in London is best for those on a budget?

If you're on a budget, pick a tour that covers the best of London. Avoid themed tours and choose the one that shows you iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Which experiences are best for walking tours in London?

As London is the setting for a lot of popular films, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, and James Bond-based London walking tour experiences are best. On the other hand, any walking tour experience to do with the Royal family is also bound to be wonderful and captivating.

What is the best walking tour in London for families?

Children and families will love the Harry Potter, Paddington Bear, and food tours — each of which provide a wholesome and comfortable experience for families and kids.

What are the best London walking tours for couples?

Couples can indulge in historic pub tours, gin tasting, or royal London walking tours.

Will the London walking tour continue if it starts to rain?

All guests are advised to carry their own umbrella or rain coat should there be rain, so the tour can carry on as usual.

What's the best walking tour in London for a group?

While this varies based on the group, some popular London walking tours for groups include Royal London walking tour with Changing of the Guard, Magic of Film experiences, and tours that cover iconic landmarks such as Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral.