London is packed full of landmarks but for an introduction to some of the capital’s more unorthodox sights you’ll want to book yourself onto a hidden London tour.
There’s more to London than Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Those who venture off the well-trodden tourist path will be richly rewarded with everything from secret medieval crypts and Roman ruins to 800-year-old pubs and ‘ghost train stations’. The best way to explore the unusual, quirky and eccentric is with a knowledgeable local guide on a dedicated ‘hidden London’ tour. With so many to choose from, we’ve rounded up seven of the best hidden London tours based on customer reviews, value for money and itinerary.
Secrets of London Walking Tour
Think you’ve seen everything there is to see in London’s West End? This 90-minute tour has been designed to prove you wrong. Starting at Trafalgar Square, the tour meanders through back streets and alleyways to show you the places time has forgotten. There are stops at a tiny old police station, an eccentric 18th-century social club, and the most superstitious hotel in London. You’ll get to rub one of the seven noses of London, get up close to old gas lamps and stroll along the streets that inspired J K Rowling’s Harry Potter too. From £18 per person.
Hidden London Walking Tour
This 1.5-hour tour is an excellent option for those looking to get under the skin of a little-known neighbourhood to tourists. The experience kicks off outside Temple Underground station and winds around the Old City, an area once used by the legendary Knights Templar. Instead of palaces and famous bridges, you’ll get to visit an old Cabman’s shelter, a so-called Roman Bath, Sweeney Todd’s barber and one of London’s ‘ghost stations’. Along the way, you’ll get to hear all about the city’s weird and wonderful tales of tradition, folklore and ceremony too. From £18 per person.
Secret Old London Walking Tour
This 90-minute walking tour is ideal for history buffs who already know a little bit about the capital city. Led by a local guide, the tour takes place in an area few tourists bother to venture to – Barbican. Highlights include Charterhouse Square (the dumping ground for the Black Death), Smithfield and St Bartholomew the Great Church, which you might recognise from Hollywood hits like Four Weddings and a Funeral. Tour groups are limited in size to ensure a more personal experience. From £18 per person.
Hidden City Electric Scooter Tour
Sick of pounding the pavements? This three-hour electric scooter tour is the perfect option for those looking to dive into the city’s more unusual sights without making a dent in their pedometer. You’ll get to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time too. Tours begin at Circus Place near Liverpool Street Station, then wizz around some of the City’s quirkiest sights, including St Bartholomew the Great Church, Smithfield Market and an 800-year-old pub. Tours are limited to ten people, so there’s no need to get your elbows out to hear what your guide has to say either. From £52 per person.
Private Tour with Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems
For a more intimate introduction to London’s hidden highlights, this private tour is an excellent option. Led by a local guide, the three-hour excursion offers entertaining anecdotes and unusual insights into well-known landmarks like Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Borough Market and more. Unlike most tours, this private tour is run by a local Londoner, which means plenty of tips on the best places to eat, drink and visit along the way too. Prices include a local drink or food tasting to top off the experience. From £111.55 per person.
London’s Hidden Gems and Secret History Private Guided Tour
This private tour offers the opportunity to see London from an alternative perspective, tailored to your specific interests. Tours are led by a qualified guide and last between 3-4 hours. Stops vary but highlights include a trip to Charles Dickens’s favourite Chop House, London’s oldest pub and a hidden medieval chapel buried beneath Roman pavements. Hotel pickup and all admission tickets are included in the price for a hassle-free experience too. From £145 per person.
London’s Hidden Treasure Tours by Black Taxi Cab
London might be synonymous with black cabs but there’s nothing remotely predictable about this four-hour tour. As well as hitting some of the city’s blockbuster sights, passengers are treated to trips to hidden treasures most tourists never get to see. It’s a jam-packed itinerary full of sights, but highlights include the oldest church and the smallest house in the city, a Roman Bath and temples and King Henry VIII’s Royal Cow Shed. Passengers pay per group of up to six people, making it the best value for money for those travelling as a family or with a group of friends. There’s an option to extend the trip to an eight-hour excursion too. From £449 per group.