London - the capital city of England, is synonymous with busy metropolitan life. Full of skyscrapers, buses and a lot of people, this modern city has a lot to offer. And if you’re into 21st-century living then you’ll definitely find it here; but tours of London can and do include a lot of history! A lot has happened since the capital was first established, and there are plenty of London tours that showcase events and places that will satisfy the curiosity of even the biggest history-lovers. Here are a few of our favorites…
WWII Westminster Secrets – Churchill’s War Rooms and Museum Tour
A London tour like no other, explore a different side to the city as you embark on a walking tour of the Westminster area with WWII in mind. You’ll pass iconic sites such as Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and more, while your expert English-speaking guide regales you with stories about how these buildings and spaces were used during the war effort. See the Cenotaph National War Memorial too, which really brings these harrowing events home.
You will also head underground, beneath the city streets and into the wartime bunker where Sir Winston Churchill spent many a day and night. It will feel like stepping back in time to 1945, as the bunker remains unchanged save for the interactive exhibits that have been added to make your visit all the more interesting. If you are interested in war secrets, international history and how London impacted (and was impacted by) the war, then this tour is perfect for you.
The tour lasts for 2.5 hours and runs multiple times a week. You will be in groups of 20 or less, and your guide will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have! If you are a history lover planning to visit London, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see such important historical sites.
Interior Tour of Buckingham with Royal Walking Tour & Afternoon Tea
If you are interested in the royal family and their colorful history, then this tour could not be better suited to you. Built in the 1700s, Buckingham Palace is absolutely steeped in history and it still oozes charm today; originally a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham, it was acquired by King George III in 1761 for Queen Charlotte. Thus, it became known as The Queen’s House, and was gradually extended. Structural additions continued to be made throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, too.
This tour includes a royal walking tour to get you in the mood for visiting the palace. It’ll be a royally good day for sure as you enter the opulent palace, usually closed to members of the public, to explore the royal home of Queen Elizabeth II. Your tour will conclude with a traditional afternoon tea for a quintessentially British day out. Your English-speaking expert guide will be at your side to answer any questions you may have about the royals, the palace or the finger sandwiches. The tour is four hours long, includes skip-the-line entry and includes visiting the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. This tour runs between July and September, while the Queen is vacationing at one of her other royal residences. Availability is limited so be sure to book early to avoid missing out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Tower of London and Private Audience with Authentic Beefeater Guard
The Tower of London is one of England’s most famous locations, and it has an almost unparalleled history. Guarded by Beefeaters (officially known as the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London), it is absolutely iconic. The guards are ceremonial, and they are all retired members of the armed services. You will likely recognize their dark blue and red uniforms, and they are somewhat synonymous with London as a whole.
This is one of the best tours in London, starting early so you've got the whole day ahead of you and offering something completely unique: the chance to chat to and take pictures with one of the Beefeaters! This is a completely exclusive tour, and one that will make you the envy of fellow travelers with an interest in British history. See the crown jewels and the White Tower (another historical treat, as this is where the Princes in the Tower were held before being murdered by their uncle - allegedly) then have the rest of the day to yourself, free to explore the Tower of London at length before heading off to see what else the city has to offer.
In groups of 30 or less, meet a real Beefeater and gain some in-depth knowledge from both them and your expert English-speaking tour guide. Tour departure times vary, and the tour lasts for one hour and fifteen minutes. A favorite London city tour amongst history buffs, definitely!
Westminster Abbey and Changing of the Guard
There are some things that are on most travelers’ bucket lists and seeing the Changing of the Guard is definitely one them. It is an iconic ceremony where one batch of soldiers is replaced with another batch in a formal manner; the red jackets and tall black hats epitomize London itself in some ways!
Another iconic part of London is Westminster Abbey; this is somewhere that has seen multiple coronations, royal weddings and more. It is also the resting place of poets, authors, historical figures and monarchs from various centuries. The Abbey is practically dripping in history, and visiting is an absolute must if you’re a history lover in London!
In groups of 25 or less, explore Westminster Abbey and witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, stroll through St. James’s Park and then, at the end, drink in the sight of Buckingham Palace. You will have an expert English-speaking tour guide with you, and you’ll be able to skip the line at the Abbey.
The city has a very rich history, and you can do plenty of historical sightseeing. London is one of the greatest cities in the world, and there is just so much to see and do; from these London city tours to simply walking through the streets looking out for iconic monuments, you’ll be immersed in world-shaping history while vacationing here!