16 London Walking Tours
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The 16 Best London Walking Tours (2024)

Ever wondered what it feels like to step into the enchanting tales of London? London walking tours take you on an immersive journey through its iconic landmarks and quaint neighborhoods.

Allow yourselves to savor the charm of cobblestone streets and historic architecture. You can navigate the vibrant tapestry of culture and history, from the regal Buckingham Palace to the trendy streets of Shoreditch.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the city’s tales, guided by knowledgeable locals who breathe life into its narratives? This article explores London’s vibrant tapestry with our curated list of the 16 best walking tours that London has to offer.

1. London Bridge and Borough Market Tour

People crowded at the Borough Market. a site for London walking tours.

Step into the heart of London’s essence through London walking Tours. You can begin by savoring gourmet delights at Borough Market, a haven of culinary treasures. Set on a history-infused walk along the Thames, discovering tales and secrets.

Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Thames from London Bridge. Wander through Borough Market’s lively stalls, a convergence of culture and cuisine. Also, you can enjoy a delectable lunch from the diverse options available.

Post-lunch, delve deeper into the market’s wonders. You can explore stalls offering spices, herbs, and flowers. Indulge in the market’s renowned bakery goods, boasting some of London’s finest bread.

Conclude your adventure by returning to London Bridge, either on foot or via the tube from Southwark station. This unique London walking tour seamlessly blends cuisine, architecture, and history, leaving you both informed and enthralled. Ready for an unforgettable exploration?

2. James Bond Walking Tour

https://youtu.be/ijYbtA1gJCE?si=AJgnHQbMCYj7sJ0k
Video Credits: Brit Movie Tours

Get ready for a thrilling adventure with a James Bond Walking Tour. A captivating journey through iconic film locations in cities worldwide. London, a Bond hotspot, unveils MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Cross, Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, and more. 

Dive deep into the Bond legacy by exploring St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the Skyfall Lodge (Glencoe House) among other gems.

These tours, priced at $20-$30 per person, offer more than just movie magic. 

Engage in Bond film trivia, uncover secrets of the British Secret Service, and embrace the chance to don the suave Bond attire

Perfect for groups, friends, or family, these tours blend adventure and history seamlessly.

For a 007 experience beyond the screen, immerse yourself in the world of James Bond. 

Book a walking in London tour today, and let the excitement unfold on the streets where Bond’s legacy was crafted.

  • Days: Each Friday through Sunday.
  • Starting time: The tours start at 11:00 AM.
  • Duration: About 2.5 hours.
  • Tour languages: Held in French, Spanish, and English.

3. Westminster Walking Tour

Video Credits: Renata Pereira

Explore London’s iconic sites with Westminster Walking Tours, an ideal way to discover landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. 

This London walking tour with knowledgeable guides provides you with an overview of London’s political and historical core

It is one of the interesting London walking tours that combines famous sites, culture, and history. 

These tours, typically covering 1-2 miles, provide an insightful local perspective on London’s rich history and culture.

  • Days: Every Wednesday and every Monday.
  • Starting time: The tours start at 10:30 a.m.
  • Duration: The duration is roughly 2 – 3 hours.
  • Tour languages: Held in French, Spanish, and English.

4. British Museum Tour

people inside British museum in a London walking tour

This British Museum is home to a vast collection of historical treasures from around the world. 

Admission to the museum is free, allowing you to take a self-guided tour using an audio app, provided by the museum. 

However, navigating through its 8 million objects can be overwhelming. Opting for a guided tour is advisable, providing clarity amid the maze of galleries and civilizations. Learn more about the museum’s controversies, fakes, and scandals; no visit is complete without these intriguing facets.

For those pressed for time, a 1- hour virtual tour offers a glimpse into the museum’s highlights. 

You can discover the museum’s rich history, architecture, and insider information from a professional guide. 

Here you can see treasures like the Rosetta Stone, Ife Head, Benin Bronzes, and more. From the Assyrian Guards to the Parthenon Sculptures, this tour spans all 6 inhabited continents. 

You can find the mysteries of the Younger Memnon, Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, and Lewis Chessmen. This tour ensures accessibility for all, leaving you captivated and enlightened about the world’s renowned museums.

5. Harry Potter Walking Tour

Video Credits: A Lady in London

Set on the magical journey of the Harry Potter Walking Tour in London Walking Tours, commencing at Minerva Square. 

Traverse iconic landmarks like Borough Market, Winchester Palace, The Clink Prison Museum, Shakespeare’s Globe, Leadenhall Market, Millennium Bridge, and Daniel Radcliffe’s School

If you’re a Potter enthusiast, this walking tour is a must in your London itinerary. 

Follow your adept guide to learn more about the secrets behind the movie’s enchanting locations. You can discover the wizardry that unfolded behind the scenes. 

The Tour for Muggles tour is consistently rated the best Harry Potter walking tour in London. Guiding you to renowned filming spots like Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾

The passionate guides ensure an unforgettable experience. 

So get ready to discover the mysteries of your favorite wizards. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world crafted by J.K. Rowling. Trust us, you’ll be spellbound!

6. Food Tasting Walking Tours

Video Credits: STUFR – Travel & Food

London, a city teeming with history and culture, also boasts a vibrant and diverse culinary scene. Stepping out for a food-tasting walking tour in London is a fantastic way to tantalize your taste buds and delve into the city’s rich gastronomic tapestry. 

Start with Traditional English Food Tours, relishing classics like fish and chips at Borough Market. Indulge in International Food Tours, navigating Chinatown’s treasures or savoring Brick Lane’s Indian spices. For a local touch, opt for Neighborhood Food Tours in Camden or Soho.

Choose from renowned providers like Secret Food Tours, unveiling hidden gems, or London Walks, offering historical foodie walks. 

Eating Europe Food Tours caters to specific tastes, from chocolate lovers to pub enthusiasts.

When choosing, align your preferences, consider duration and budget, and decide on group size for an intimate or lively experience. 

Don’t forget to communicate with your tour operator about any dietary restrictions you may have to ensure that suitable options are available.

Lace-up your shoes, ignite your appetite, and enjoy a flavorful journey through London’s captivating streets!

7. Historic Pub London Walking Tours

Video Credits: Zhiguli Travel

Raise a toast to London’s past! Discover the allure of London’s historic pubs through captivating walking tours. 

The Original London Pub Crawl Tour’, takes you through the tales of 4 iconic pubs, each with its own unique story to tell. You’ll learn about the Great Fire of London, Jack the Ripper, and the literary luminaries.

For a spine-tingling experience, join the Haunted Pubs of London tour, unveiling ghost stories in eerie pubs featured in paranormal shows, even sipping on “haunted” beers. 

Uncover the city’s hidden treasures with the Secret Pubs of London tour, navigating alleyways to find tucked-away gems, while unraveling the history of these clandestine drinking spots. 

Lastly, transport yourself to the 17th century with the ‘Ye Olde London Pub Tour’, exploring the city’s oldest pubs and indulging in the rich tapestry of brewing history. 

London’s pub culture unfolds in these unique, immersive journeys, offering a glimpse into the city’s vibrant past.

8. Changing of the Guard Tour

Video Credits: Free Tours by Foot – London

Step into the grandeur of British tradition with the Changing of the Guard Walking Tour, an enchanting journey through the heart of London’s regal heritage.

Discover prime spots for the ceremony, guided by insightful commentary on its history and traditions. 

The ceremony takes place at Buckingham Palace, although you can also watch it from St. James’s Palace or Horse Guards Parade.

The ceremony involves music, marching, and the handover of duties between the old and new guard.

This ceremony is free to watch, but you may want to book a tour in advance if you want to get a good spot.

Several companies provide unique tours such as – City Wonders, Viator, GetYourGuide etc.

  • Days: Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Starting time: At 11:00 AM.
  • Duration: About 45 minutes.
  • Tour languages: Conducted in English, Mandarin, Italian, and Spanish.

9. Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour

the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London.

A Private Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour takes you on an immersive exploration into the world of the venerable detective. 

Commencing at the hallowed address of 221B Baker Street, participants are transported into the milieu of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

In the Sherlock Holmes Museum, housed in 221B, you can see meticulously recreated Victorian rooms, showcasing Holmes’s distinctive collection of curiosities and glimpses into Mrs. Hudson’s kitchen.

Trace the paths of iconic cases through the streets where Holmes and Watson unraveled mysteries, including those immortalized in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” 

Explore literary landmarks integral to the Sherlock Holmes tales, such as Speedy’s Restaurant, Simpson’s Restaurant, a favored breakfast place of Holmes, and the Diogenes Club, a meeting place for intellectual luminaries like Mycroft Holmes.

Expand your purview beyond Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s original narratives to include modern adaptations. 

Engage in discussions about popular reinterpretations, such as the BBC series “Sherlock” and Guy Ritchie’s film adaptations, offering a contemporary lens on the timeless characters.

Experience the tailored flexibility of a private tour, wherein the guide can customize the experience to align with your specific preferences, be it delving into particular stories, characters, or thematic elements associated with Sherlock Holmes.

Bonus Thrills:

  • Theatrical reenactments: Some tours might incorporate actors portraying Holmes and Watson, performing snippets from the stories and adding a touch of dramatic flair to your walk.
  • Pub crawls: Immerse yourself in Victorian London with a Sherlock-themed pub crawl, visiting establishments frequented by the characters and enjoying traditional British fare.

Your Sherlock Holmes walking tour’s specific details and inclusions will depend on the chosen company and your preferences.

The days and availability of Sherlock Holmes walking tours depend on the specific tour company you choose and its offerings. 

10. Thames River Walking Tour

Video Credits: Free Tours by Foot – London

A walk along the Thames River. It’s a fantastic way to experience the bustling heart of London and delve into its rich history. 

Prepare to be mesmerized by the ever-changing panorama of the Thames. Glide past iconic landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye, capturing stunning snapshots along the way.

The walk isn’t just about grand sights, you can also visit quaint riverside pubs, charming alleyways, and historical markers whispering tales of the past. 

The Thames has been a witness to centuries of London’s evolution. Your guide will regale you with fascinating stories about Roman settlements, medieval monarchs, and the Industrial Revolution’s impact on the river.

During the tour, you can admire the architectural diversity lining the Thames. From grand Victorian palaces to quirky modern bridges, each structure tells a unique story about the city’s architectural journey. 

The Thames Walk is a fantastic activity for families. Kids will love spotting boats, ducks, and maybe even the occasional historical reenactment along the way.

After your walk you may also refuel at one of the many riverside restaurants or cafes, savoring delicious food with breathtaking views.

Combine your walk with a visit to a nearby museum like the Tate Modern or Shakespeare’s Globe, enriching your experience with art and history. 

Popular starting point options include Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge, or Greenwich. Consider your desired length and theme when making your choice.

Book your tickets in advance, especially during peak season, consider booking your tour or guided walk beforehand to avoid disappointment.

With its picturesque scenery, rich history, and vibrant atmosphere, the Thames River Walk promises an unforgettable London experience. So lace up your shoes, grab your camera, and prepare to be enchanted by the magic of the Thames!

11. Blood and Tears London Walking Tours

Video Credits: Walk With Me Tim

The Blood and Tears Walking Tours delve into the darker side of the city’s history, exploring tales of crime, horror, and the macabre. 

These tours are not for the faint heart, but for those fascinated by the shadows of London’s past, they offer a thrilling and informative experience.

Here’s what you can expect from a Blood and Tears tour:

  • Walk the cobbled streets where the infamous Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper stalked his victims, and hear chilling details about the unsolved murders.
  • Visit sites like Tyburn Tree, where public hangings took place for centuries, and learn about the gruesome realities of historical punishments.
  • Explore haunted locations like the Old Bailey courthouse and St. Bartholomew’s the Great church, where whispers of paranormal activity persist.
  • Know more about the city’s dark alleys and hidden corners, uncovering stories of grave robbers, body snatchers, and the grim realities of London’s underclass.

The tours are led by passionate and experienced guides who weave historical facts with captivating storytelling, bringing the past to life in a vivid and often unsettling way.

Some focus on specific themes like Jack the Ripper or haunted locations, while others offer a broader overview of London’s dark history.

Choose a tour that suits your comfort level and preferred duration, as they range from short evening strolls to more in-depth explorations.

Note: Blood and Tears tours are not suitable for young children or individuals who are easily disturbed by graphic content and explanations.

Be sure to research the specific details of each tour before booking to ensure it aligns with your expectations and interests.

If you’re looking for a unique and spine-tingling way to experience London’s history, a Blood and Tears walking tour might be just the ticket. 

12. Notting Hill Tour

Video Credits: A Lady in London

Notting Hill! This vibrant London neighborhood is renowned for its colorful houses, bustling Portobello Road market, and charming atmosphere. 

Highlights of a Notting Hill Walking Tour:

  • Portobello Road Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic market, browse through antiques, vintage clothing, and unique souvenirs, and savor delicious international street food.
  • Colorful Houses: Marvel at the rows of brightly painted houses that give Notting Hill its signature charm, snap some Instagram-worthy photos and learn about the history of the neighborhood’s artistic residents.
  • Film Locations: Relive scenes from the beloved “Notting Hill” movie by visiting the famous blue door, the travel bookshop, and other locations featured in the film.
  • Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts Sights: For fans of the movie, many tours make stops at locations associated with the actors, like the house where William Thacker (Hugh Grant) lived and the bookstore where Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) worked.

Walking Tours are a great way to experience the neighborhood’s atmosphere, get insights from knowledgeable guides, and discover hidden gems. 

Notting Hill comes alive on Saturdays with the bustling Portobello Road market, but weekday tours offer a quieter experience. Consider the weekend market crowds and choose accordingly.

With its lively atmosphere, rich history, and charming streets, Notting Hill offers a captivating experience for visitors. A guided tour is a fantastic way to delve deeper into the neighborhood’s magic, uncover hidden gems, and gain insights from local experts.

  • Starting time: Morning tours, starting from 9:00 AM, let you explore before the Portobello Road Market crowds. Afternoon tours, starting around 1:00 PM offer a different market perspective. Evening tours are also available highlighting nightlife scenes.
  • Duration: 2 – 3 hours.
  • Language tours: Held in English, Spanish, and Italian.

13. Covent Garden Walking Tours

Covent Garden a site for London walking tours.

Covent Garden! This bustling piazza in the heart of London’s West End offers a captivating mix of history, entertainment, and vibrant street life. 

Exploring it through a walking tour is a fantastic way to delve into its charm and uncover hidden gems.

Highlights of a Covent Garden Walking Tour:

  • Covent Garden Piazza: The lively atmosphere of this iconic square, enjoy the beauty of its grand architecture, and hear fascinating stories about its history as a fruit and vegetable market dating back to the 17th century.
  • St. Paul’s Church: This beautiful church was designed by Christopher Wren, learn about its connection to the Covent Garden piazza and admire its elegant interior.
  • Neals Yard: Step into this colorful courtyard tucked away from the main piazza, browse unique shops and cafes, and discover the area’s reputation for sustainability and natural beauty.
  • Seven Dials: In this charming area with its seven radiating streets, discover hidden alleyways and independent shops, and learn about its literary and artistic connections.
  • Theatreland: London’s West End theatres, here you can learn about iconic shows and famous actors, and perhaps even peek inside a grand theatre like the Royal Opera House.
  • Hidden Gems: Many tours venture beyond the main attractions, discovering secret courtyards, quirky vintage shops, and historical pubs frequented by writers and artists.

Weekends can get crowded, especially during market hours. Consider weekdays for a more relaxed experience, but remember shops and cafes might have shorter opening hours.

With its rich history, diverse attractions, and lively atmosphere, Covent Garden offers a delightful experience for both locals and visitors. A London walking tour is a fantastic way to gain local insights, uncover hidden treasures, and truly appreciate the magic of this iconic London corner.

14. Camden Market Walking Tour

Famous Camden Market in London. a site for walking tours in London.

Camden Market is a vibrant hub of alternative culture, vintage finds, and quirky street food, that promises an unforgettable London walking tour experience. 

Explore the maze-like alleys of Camden Lock, Stables Market, and the Electric Ballroom, encountering a sensory overload of street performers, independent stalls, and unique merchandise.

Discover one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, vinyl records, antiques, and handmade crafts. Find hidden treasures and uncover stories behind each quirky item.

Savor diverse street food, from spicy Thai noodles and juicy burgers to vegan delights and global culinary surprises. 

Learn about the market’s evolution from a humble timber yard to a punk rock haven, and its transformation into a cultural melting pot attracting artists, musicians, and diverse communities.

Experience the vibrant atmosphere with live music spilling from Camden’s pubs and venues, witness street art murals, and get a feel for the neighborhood’s creative energy.

Camden Market Walking Tours offers a comprehensive overview of the market, covering its history, key sections, and street food recommendations.

Planning Your Camden Market Walking Tour:

  • Weekends see the market at its busiest, while weekdays offer a more relaxed atmosphere. Consider your preference for crowds and market stalls’ availability.
  • Keep some cash handy while some stalls accept cards.
  • Feel free to negotiate prices at some stalls, adding to the market experience.

With its eclectic mix of stalls, street performers, and vibrant energy, Camden Market offers a unique London experience.

15. Royal Parks Walking Tours

Video Credits: George and Dan

Royal Parks Walking Tours offer an enriching exploration of London’s green sanctuaries, including St. James’s Park, Kensington Gardens, and Hyde Park, the largest of the Royal Parks. 

Led by expert local guides, these tours provide a captivating journey through historical landmarks, culminating at Buckingham Palace. 

Gain profound insights into the rich historical legacy, the verdant ambiance, and the diverse array of species inhabiting these revered landscapes.

This walking tour seamlessly intertwines the tranquility of nature with the grandeur of regal heritage

You can participate in this well-structured and informative London walking tour, and acquaint yourself with the nuanced history and ecological diversity of these green royal parks. 

This experience is tailored for those discerning individuals who seek a serene and natural refuge amidst the urban clamor, rendering it a distinguished choice for those with an inclination for cultural and environmental appreciation in the heart of the metropolis.

16. Paddington Bear Walking Tour 

Video Credits: Hannah Ricketts

Paddington Bear! This loveable British icon has captured hearts of all ages for over 60 years with his charming clumsiness and endearing marmalade obsession. 

And what better way to celebrate this furry friend than by embarking on a Paddington Bear Walking Tour through London?

This tour offers a delightful experience for fans of all ages, whisking you away to the iconic locations featured in the books and films. 

Highlights of the Paddington Bear Walking Tour:

  • Mr. Gruber’s Antique Shop: Step into the charming shop where Paddington first encountered the Brown family, and imagine the treasures nestled among the dusty shelves. 
  • Spot Paddington’s Statue: Pay homage to the beloved bear at his very own bronze statue located in Paddington Station. Snap a photo and recreate his iconic pose! 
  • Paddington Basin: Stroll along the picturesque canals and bridges that are featured in the “Paddington 2” film, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere and imagining Paddington’s daring escape on a barge. 
  • Hidden Gems: Your knowledgeable guide will lead you to secret locations and lesser-known spots mentioned in the books, like the St. Mary’s Hospital where Paddington was found, or the Portobello Road market where he loves to rummage for goodies. 
  • Paddington’s Stories: As you walk, your guide will bring the stories to life with captivating anecdotes and trivia about Paddington’s adventures. Learn about the origins of the character, the filming locations, and the timeless themes of kindness, family, and finding your place in the world.

Choose a tour appropriate for the age and interests of everyone in your group.

With its blend of iconic locations, fascinating stories, and charming atmosphere, a Paddington Bear Walking Tour is an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages.

How to Come Prepared for a London Walking Tour?

  • Before your walking tour, check the weather forecast for London to ensure you dress appropriately.
  • Choose comfortable shoes suitable for walking long distances.
  • Charge your phone and camera to capture memories and navigate using maps or tour apps.
  • Carry a portable charger to ensure your devices stay powered throughout the tour.
  • Bring some local currency with you for small purchases or tips, as not all places may accept credit cards.
  • Be prepared for the occasional rain by carrying a waterproof jacket or a compact umbrella.
  • Familiarize yourself with the walking tour itinerary to know key stops and interesting points.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated, especially if the tour is long.
  • Pack light, energy-boosting snacks to keep you fueled during the tour.
  • Learn some basic local phrases to enhance your interaction with locals during the tour.
  • Before leaving, check for any last-minute updates or changes to the walking tour schedule.
  • If it’s a sunny day, apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays.
  • Familiarize yourself with local public transportation options in case you need to navigate back to your accommodation.
  • Make photocopies of essential documents like your passport and keep them in a separate bag for any emergency.
  • Pack a first aid kit with basic items like bandaids, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.
  • Arrive at the meeting point a little early to ensure you don’t miss the start of the walking tour.

Conclusion

Explore London’s rich history with one of the many interesting walking tours available, each catering to a different interest.

These walking tours of London reveal hidden gems, rich history, and cultural delights, from the historical splendor of Westminster to the wizarding wonders of Harry Potter. While walking in London, let this city unfold its secrets before you.

So, put on your walking shoes, join a tour, and let London’s captivating stories and landmarks come to life with every step you take.

FAQs On London Walking Tours

1. Are there free walking tours in London? 

Yes, there are free walking tours in London. The gratuity-based London Free Tour begins at the Apple Store in Covent Garden and concludes near Westminster Abbey. It operates on a pay-what-you-feel basis, with tips directly supporting the local guide.

2. What to do in London walking tours? 

Take a walking tour of famous sites in London, learn about the past, sample a variety of foods, and become fully immersed in the culture of the area. Take part in themed excursions, such as Harry Potter or royal parks, and find undiscovered treasures.

3. What is the London Walking Tour for 5 hours? 

This 5-hour London walking tour unveils 30+ iconic sights in the City of London and Westminster. Explore the best attractions, immersing yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of this dynamic city.

4. Can you just walk around London?

Of course! London is a bustling city that offers a wealth of cultural experiences, including walking around its historic sites and lively neighborhoods. Stroll through parks and along the Thames. Experience the city’s charm on foot.

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