The Original Tour guided tours aboard Hop-On-Hop-Off buses

Who I am
Emilie Filou

Author and references

The Original Tour buses allow you to discover the most emblematic monuments of London without the slightest effort while benefiting from explanations and anecdotes about the places crossed. In addition to guided tours on double-decker buses, The Original Tour also offers a cruise on the Thames and guided walking tours on different themes.

Visit London aboard The Original Tour double-decker buses

Introducing The Original Tour buses?

Original Tour offers many tourist activities to discover London:
-  6 bus routes to explore the different districts of London
3 guided walking tours: Changing of the Guard, Rock n 'Roll, Jack l’Eventreur
1 cruise on the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich

All these activities are included with a 24, 48 or 72 hour ticket.

With the concept of Hop-on-Hop Off, you are free to get off or get on the bus at the stops served and then take the bus again to continue the route. You can also do the route in one go as I did.

The buses are double-decker with an open roof in summer on the upper deck allowing you to enjoy a clear view and take cool photos!


What are the tour routes of The Original Tour buses?

The Original Tour offers 6 different itineraries through London with commentaries in French, very interesting to know the history of London.

Yellow Itinerary: The Original Tour

Ideal for a first stay in London, this itinerary offers an overview of the capital and allows you to discover the main monuments.

  • Duration 2 hours
  • Frequency: every 5 to 20 minutes per day
  • French comments
  • Principales attractions : Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Sea Life Aquarium, Saint Paul's cathedral, London Bridge, The Shard, Tower Bridge, Tower of London.


Blue Itinerary: Royal Borough Tour

The blue route takes you through the chic districts of London, crossing Kensington and Chelsea.

  •  Duration 1h30
  • Frequency: every 15-20 minutes per day

  •  Commentary with audio guide in French
  •  Main attractions: Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Victoria Albert Museum, Harrods, Albert Hall, Chelsea.


Orange itinerary: The British Museum Tour

You arrive in London at St Pancras Station, start your visit with the orange route that will take you to the British Museum, Chinatown and Covent Garden.

  • Duration 1h00
  • Frequency: every 20 to 30 minutes per day
  • Commentary with audio guide in French
  • Principales attractions : Piccadilly Circus, Russel Square, British Museum, King’s Cross St Pancras.


Red Itinerary

This route connects Hyde Park to Regent's Park via Marble Arch and Baker Street.

  • Duration 1h00
  • Frequency: every 30 to 60 minutes per day
  • Commentary with audio guide in French
  • Principales attractions : Marble Arch, Marylebone, Madame Tussauds, Sherlock Holmes Museum, Regent's Park.


Violet route: Capital Connector

With this route follow Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and go all the way to Notting Hill. You can also get off at Queensway and proceed to kensington palace in less than 10 minutes.

  • Duration 30 minutes
  • Frequency: every 30 minutes per day

  • Commentary with audio guide in French
  • Principales attractions: Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Holland Park, Notting Hill, Paddington Station.


Gray Itinerary

This route runs along part of the blue, yellow and purple routes and connects the main areas of London.

  • Duration 30 minutes, only in the morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • Frequency: every 30 minutes per day
  • Commentary with audio guide in French
  • Principales attractions: Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Holland Park, Notting Hill, Paddington Station.


Which routes to choose: my advice

  • Do not miss: the yellow route but also blue and purple

I advise you to choose the yellow route because the route is the most complete and the explanations are given in French thanks to the audio guide. The blue and purple itineraries complete your visit to London by presenting the most upscale areas of the city to know Kensington et Notting Hill.

  • Arriving in London at St Pancras station: the orange route


How to find the bus stops?

The stops of the Original Tour buses are the same as those of the red city buses. They run to stops every 15-20 minutes and every 10 minutes in summer.


Free Thames River Cruise with The Original Tour

With your bus ticket, you can also enjoy a cruise on the Thames for free with City Cruise. It serves Westminster Pier, Tower Pier and Greenwich. I really encourage you to take this entire cruise which will offer you a magnificent view of Tower Bridge and allow you to discover many monuments along the water.

In addition, take advantage of the cruise to discover the pretty district of Greenwich which is lively on weekend with its markets and from where you can visit the Cutty Sark or stroll through Royal Greenwich Park. Finally, be aware that it is easier and above all more pleasant to reach Greenwich by boat than by train, the route of which is not direct.


Free walking tours with The Original Tour

The Original Tour also offers free guided walking tours on the themes of the Changing of the Guard, from Rock n 'Roll and Jack the Adventurer

Lasting 90 minutes, they are provided every day in English and are included with the purchase of a 24, 48 and 72 hour ticket /


Changing of the Guard - Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 10 a.m. Departure in front of The Original Tour agency: 17-19 Cockspur Street in Trafalgar Square.
Included in this tour : St James Palace, The Mall, Buckingham Palace

Rock n Roll - Every day at 13:00 p.m. Departure in front of The Original Tour agency: 17-19 Cockspur Street in Trafalgar Square.
Included in this tour : Scottish Club of St James, Apple Corps Headquarters and Trident Studios (UK recording studio, located in Soho).

Jack l’Eventreur - Every day at 16:0 p.m. Depart from The Original Tour stop at the Tower of London on Tower Hill.
Included in this tour : Whitechapel, Aldgate et Mitre Square.



The Original Tour a good photo plan


If the weather is fine, The Original Tour is a good photo plan to take original photos both from the point of view (high in the bus, along the water during the cruise) and from the subject. Indeed, during the cruise I discovered the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and the craft and flea markets. Don't miss the view of Queen's House seen from the Royal Park Observatory in Greenwich.



The Original Tour, a good plan for children?

Children aged 5 to 11 receive a passport including games, quizzes and stories. On the blue and red routes, audio commentaries for children are available. Unfortunately these services are only available in English.


The Original Tour adapted for people with reduced mobility (PRM)?

All boats and 90% of buses are wheelchair accessible.


How much do guided tours cost with The Original Tour?

Deal ! To benefit from the best price, book your ticket directly on the site internet de The Original Tour  !

24 hour ticket price


48 hour ticket price


72 hour ticket price


Which ticket to buy? 24 hours, 48 ​​hours or 72 hours?

First of all, be aware that a 24-hour / 48-hour ticket begins when it is validated by a member of The Original Tour. Thus, if you validate your 24 hour ticket on a Saturday at 11:00 a.m., it will be valid until the next morning at 11:00 a.m.

Then, if you want to do all the activities (bus, guided walking tours and cruise), I advise you to opt for the 48 hours formula. The price difference between the two packages - £ 10 for an adult and £ 4 for a child - will allow you to enjoy all the activities without rushing and will also save you the cost of a Oyster Card. In addition, if you arrive in London with the Eurostar, you can directly take the Orange route which serves the stations and thus not buy tickets to use the city's red buses.

A 72-hour ticket can be interesting on condition that you really do all the activities offered (bus, cruise and the 3 guided tours) in order to amortize the cost!


How to book guided tours with The Original Tour?

The best plan is to book your tickets directly on the Grand Site website by The Original Tour. On the one hand, to benefit from the best price and on the other hand to save time. In fact, by purchasing your ticket on the site, you do not need to go to the agency and you can start your visit directly by presenting your reservation email to a member of the company.


How to activate my ticket?

Once your ticket has been purchased on The Original Tour website, you will receive an email with a bar code which must be presented to the agent at one of the bus or boat stops or to the guided tour guide.



Despite some prejudices, the visit to London by the services of The Original Tour was a pleasant surprise for me both from the point of view of the reception and the quality of the comments and visits. Enjoy the cruise from Westminster to Greenwich for some great photos of Tower Bridge and discover the charms of Greenwich.


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