After a comfy night at the Hyatt Regency Churchill we stumbled down for breakfast at 9am. Plenty of choice, from fruit, meat, cheese, cereal, yogurt, pastries and the good old traditional Full English. I had fruit, yogurt and full english – set up for the day along with copious cups of tea!
Over breakfast we decided we would do a real touristy thing and join one of the Hop On/Hop off open bus tours. A quick check on the internet revealed that the ‘The Big Bus’ was the one to take if you want good commentary and a bit of fun. Big Bus Tours.Com
The tour has around 50 stops and you can get on busses with live commentary(red route) or recorded that you listen to via headphones (blue route). You can also take a river cruise and any or all of 3 walking tours.
We checked out of the hotel and decided to walk back to Victoria Bus Station and drop off the overnight case in the Left Luggage. A quick walk back up the main road to the Big Bus stop. At £27 each it seems rather expensive but we would only have traipsed aimlessly around all day and probably spent the same amount on the underground and busses. We hopped on and sat on the top open deck (oh a word of advice at this point… if you go this time of year wear warm clothes, scarf and hat as you are in the open and quite exposed to the wind!), the guide started his commentary and it was very interesting and funny. How they can make it sound fresh every time I don’t know – imagine having to say the same things day in, day out without it sounding boring.
The tour took us from Victoria through Belgravia and onwards to Marble Arch – you can get off here and get the blue route that takes you to Knightsbridge – Harrods and all the posh shops. We stayed on and carried on through Portman Street, Marylebone Road, Regent Street, Whitehall and Westminster Bridge. This is where we made our first Hop off to take a closer look at the London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Whitehall.
So here are a few photos from our first stop.
Big Ben / Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge
London Eye from Westminster Embankment