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Introduction to London Tour: Highlights from Big Ben to St. Paul's Cathedral

Explore the key monuments of London's history with a leading expert
From US$196 for 1 person
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Tour Details
Duration
4 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Palace of Westminster/Houses of Parliament
  • Westminster Abbey
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Tower of London
  • Buckingham Palace
Photos & Highlights
  • Join an engaging local expert as you explore the ancient and modern stories of this complex and thrilling metropolis
  • Unique, personal tours for the intentional traveler. Choose from private tours for just you and you party, or join a small group tour with up 6 other travelers
Select a date
Tour Description
The tour starts with Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square where you'll dive into the heart of the City of Westminster, home to Pugin's Palace of Westminster and Edward the Confessor's 11th-century Abbey. You may proceed to St. James's Park, where you will discuss its palace and tales of Georgian royalty, before making your way to the house that superseded it in the Victorian era: Buckingham Palace. If time allows, you’ll also stop by Horse Guards Parade, home to a multitude of royal ceremonies and rituals, including the famous 'Trooping of the Colour,' before beginning our journey eastwards. 

The trusty London Underground will transport you underneath the city towards the 'City of London' in the East, where the Tower of London still presides over the modern, commercial metropolis. The remnants of the Roman 'London Wall' and the narrow alleys, secret gardens, and abundance of Baroque churches that make up this extraordinary district will transport us through several millennia-worth of history. Depending on time and interest, you’ll make your way toward Wren's spectacular St. Paul's Cathedral, where you’ll complete your rigorous exploration of the city.

At the end of our introductory London tour, you will have a deeper understanding of this nuanced capital having journeyed across London both on foot and by "Tube" and learned how the city has evolved since its foundations.  
  • It’s your first time in London and you’re seeking to get the perfect introduction to some of London’s major sites in just half a day.
  • You’re returning to London and wish to refresh your memory exploring the city from West to East, gaining a strong overview of its history and geography.
  • If you’re traveling with children under the age of 12, we recommend our family-oriented London in a Day Tour for Kids.
  • Parliament Square – Located in the heart of London, England, Parliament Square is a historic and iconic public square surrounded by impressive buildings and statues. It is a significant location for political demonstrations and gatherings.
  • Westminster Abbey (exterior only) – A magnificent Gothic church in London, England, known for its stunning architecture and as the traditional location for the coronation and burial of British monarchs.
  • Houses of Parliament (exterior only) – Also known as the Palace of Westminster, this majestic building houses the two chambers of the UK Parliament: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It showcases remarkable neo-Gothic architecture and the famous Victoria Tower.
  • Big Ben (exterior only) – Although often mistaken as the name of the clock tower itself, Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell housed within the Elizabeth Tower, which is part of the Houses of Parliament. The tower's striking design and the clock face have become iconic symbols of London.
  • Buckingham Palace (exterior only) – The official residence of the British monarch in London, Buckingham Palace is an opulent and grand building with a famous balcony where the royal family appears on special occasions.
  • Tower of London (exterior only) – A historic castle and fortress situated on the River Thames, the Tower of London is known for its White Tower and the captivating Crown Jewels exhibition.
  • Monument to the Great Fire of London (exterior only) – An impressive stone column located near the northern end of London Bridge, commemorating the Great Fire of London in 1666 and offering panoramic views of the city from its top.
  • St. Paul's Cathedral (exterior only) – An iconic cathedral in London, England, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, boasting stunning Baroque architecture and a majestic dome that stands as one of London's most recognizable landmarks.
Itinerary
  • All sites will be exterior only. 
  • Depending on your group’s walking speed and interests, the exact route and sites included on this tour are subject to change. Your guide will discuss your interests and priorities with you at the start of the tour.
Costs on-site
  • You are pre-paid for the tour, but there may be additional nominal costs – it is a good idea to keep some local currency on hand for this. 
  • You will also be using the tube on this tour and the best way to pay for this journey is with a contactless card.
Meeting and Ending Point 
  • We meet on Parliament Square and usually end at St. Paul's Cathedral, but this will depend on your group's walking pace and priorities for things to see on the tour.
  • The exact meeting point and map are communicated in your confirmation email.
Resources
  • If you are looking to learn more about London prior to a visit, check out our online lectures at Context Learning.
Itinerary
  • This tour covers a lot of ground in order to view so many of the major sites in the East and the West of the city. It is a fast-paced tour and so best suited to those who are ready and able to do a lot of walking.
  • The route can be adapted for clients who are less able to walk long distances, but this may involve missing some of the sites. We would advise booking a private tour if this applies to you.
Wheelchair accessibility
  • This tour covers a lot of ground, including quite a few narrow alleys and cobbled streets, so is probably not our most suitable tour for wheelchair users. Please contact us for alternative suggestions.
For more information about Context tours, please visit our FAQs.
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Where You'll Start
128 Reviews (4.9)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Our family including two teenagers enjoyed this walking tour early in our stay. An overview with plenty of history was just what we needed to start our visit to London.
Our tour with Jonathan was awesome. He was so knowledgeable, and catered the tour to our own interests.
Fantastic way to learn or refresh your understanding of key aspects of the history of Britain, experience the magnificence of architectural treasures of Westminster and the city of London, all while getting more than your daily quota of steps in. One of the great things about a Context private tour is your guide. can tailor your experience to your groups individual interests. This was our third Context tour. We are 3 for 3 in terms of top shelf guides, each very knowledgeable and personable. Highly recommended!