If there’s one thing that’s truly unique about London, it’s the amount of walking you have to do around the city to really get to see and appreciate what the bustling metropolitan hub has to offer. Visiting the city for the first time can be daunting with all the attractions you may have on your to-do list.
London’s top tour guides have taken to the streets, offering incredible tours you can do on foot, and others that show you a different side of the city - letting you explore sites you won’t see on your typical postcard. If you’re looking to experience something different in London, then you have to get involved with one of these unusual tours in London.
London High Tea Bus Tour
London is famous for its high tea and classic red buses. The London High Tea Bus Tour combines these two iconic concepts and takes you through the city the old-fashioned way, while you dine on crustless sandwiches, delicious pastries and an abundance of different flavoured teas. This is certainly one of the more unusual tours to do in London, albeit one of the more glamorous.
London Gin Distillery Tour and Gin Making
London is home to some of the most well-known gins around and the spirit has certainly become one of the pinnacles of the city’s culture. The London distillery is home to one name gin lovers are well-versed with - none other than Whitley Neil. The tour will take you around the surprisingly small distillery, explaining the process behind making your favourite tipple. You’ll also get to enjoy a gin tasting, where you’ll get to sample an array of flavours from the gin brand.
Self-Guided Blue Plaque Walk
If there’s one thing that helps you out when navigating the streets of London, it’s a little bit of local knowledge. Here’s a tip for you - if you’re walking around some of London’s older areas, you may notice some blue plaques on some of the buildings. Stop for a minute and take a look at the names on these signs. These plaques tell passers-by about the influential people who lived and worked in these buildings. Although there is no formal tour for these, it’s a great way to see the city on a self-guided mission.
Fashion Sustainability Shopping Tour
Do you have a flair for fashion but are unsure of where the best places are to shop for your next new look? The Sustainable Fashion and Shopping Tour will take shoppers to all the best retail spots, specifically those who are making a real effort to practise sustainability in their manufacturing and materials sourcing processes. This is a great way to get to know the London fashion scene and indulge in some guilt-free retail therapy while learning a thing or two.
Jack The Ripper Tour
As with any major city, London has a rich history, not all of which is a testament to the hub of success it is today. The Jack the Ripper Tour takes you through the gruesome shenanigans of one of history’s most feared killers. Guests are guided through the borough of Whitechapel which is where the famed villain operated. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in true crime and is keen on learning more about the depths of London’s history.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
The Harry Potter walking tour is the perfect activity to do with the kids or anyone who is a keen fan. Although there are several Harry Potter-themed tours around the city, the Tour For Muggles is by far the best one to do. During the tour, you’ll see some of the sites from the famous movie and encounter some of the points of inspiration behind JK Rowling's bestsellers.
Street Art Walking Tour
London is home to some of the most talented street artists around, making the walls of the city come to life with colour and thought-provoking imagery. This unusual tour takes you through inner-city London and tells you about the concepts and culture behind graffiti art, and street art as well as a bit about the artists themselves. This unusual London tour shows guests the creative side of London and provides interesting insights into the world of underground art.
Hidden London and Underground Tours
Delve into London’s hidden past in underground walking tours. These expeditions allow you to discover some of the best-hidden gems in the city as well as some historical secret locations like disused tunnels, forgotten crypts, and clandestine chambers that reveal centuries of history. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours offer a unique perspective on London's past, from mediaeval times to wartime bunkers. These tours are perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the underground side of the city.
James Bond Walking Tour
After 60 years of Bond, the films have been shot in some of the most iconic places in the English capital. On the James Bond walking tour, you’ll be guided around some of the sites used as sets in the films, including Kings Cross, Vauxhall, and Trafalgar Square while hearing about the sites and how they featured in the famous film series.
In this unusual London tour, you’ll get to experience the glamour and intrigue of MI6, explore the settings of thrilling car chases, and visit some of the luxurious haunts frequented by the suave 007.
Hidden City Cryptic Tour
This is one for the brainboxes. The Hidden City tour is a treasure hunt where you have to follow the clues given to you in order to get to the locations on the tour before learning about them upon your arrival. The tour is done via text, where guests receive messages with clues guiding them to their next destination. This is a great way to see the city of London and combine it with a fun activity to do with the whole family.
Indian Food Tour
London's love affair with Indian food is more than a mere culinary trend; it's a reflection of the deep historical ties between the UK and India. On the tour, you’ll get to delight in the aromatic spices, intricate flavours, and diverse regional dishes that have found a second home in London. The tour takes you from the historic Brick Lane to Southall's Little India and reveals the hidden gems to guests.
Your guide will also tell you the stories behind these restaurants, including those of migration, trade, and cultural exchange that have made Indian cuisine an integral and beloved part of London's culinary identity. This is the ideal tour of London for those who have a thing for tantalising curries, flavourful street food, and sweet Indian delicacies.
Underground Urban Farm Tour
Ever heard of an underground farm? The world’s first one is located in an old bunker near Clapham. With an increasing population and less and less space for agricultural infrastructure, the farm was established in an effort to explore new spaces for farming.
On this tour, you’ll get to hear about all the ins and outs of what it takes to run an underground farm and enjoy learning about the equipment, operations and prospects of underground farming for the future. The farm currently supplies local restaurants with micro greens to incorporate into their dishes and serves as a pioneer for sustainable farming.
London’s Women Tour
Although a lot of London’s history revolves around powerful and influential men, this tour serves as a way to appreciate the women who helped shape the course of London’s history. There are several tours that allow guests to learn about the various roles women played in different parts of London, including around Westminster and even in the manual labour boroughs of East London. This tour is a great way to learn about stories less told and about the powerful women who helped make London into the city it is today.
Medicine and Disease Tour
There are several events that shaped London’s medicinal history and gave rise to the likes of Florence Nightingale and the NHS. On this tour, you’ll delve into the history of London’s most significant epidemics, and visit the sites of some of the first medical establishments in the city.
London has also been the home of several medical breakthroughs, and its medical institutions have been home to innovative advances in the global medical sector. If you’re at all interested in the history of medicine and want to learn more about the pandemic history of the city, then this tour is certainly one not to be missed.
With so many unusual tours in London to choose from, you’ll certainly leave the city feeling more enriched with knowledge not many others know about. From fun high tea bus tours to delving into the grimmer parts of London’s history, you’re spoiled for choice.
If you want more inspiration on how to spend your time in London during your visit, check out the Love To Visit website for more unusual things to do in London.