London bus tour. Around all the main sites of the capital city of the UK. An excellent weekend for a change of scenery, some great food and a show too!
Hey folks, join me today for a recent London bus tour around all the main sites of the capital city of the UK!
Lady Lynne and I were there last weekend on a quick getaway for a change of scenery, some great food and to see a show too.
Can you believe that 400 miles south of our home town Glasgow, it was actually colder? It’s supposed to get warmer as you go south!
Indeed I’d planned for that and spent much of this London bus tour shivering, even with several layers of warm clothing on.
Still, I suppose that’s what you get for sitting in the top of an open top bus eh?
If you want to follow along our actual London bus tour route you can get that from the day tour London tourist map.
And I’ll give you the official / best links I found for attractions I mention, below.
Hopefully those links will still be up to date when you read this post!
Right, here we go.
So we started at number on the green route of our bus tour. That’s St Pancras Station above.
Stunning isn’t it? You’d be shocked to know that it was once proposed for demolition. Fortunately now though its been completely restored.
Not only is it an extremely prestigious 5 star hotel now, but it’s also where the Eurostar trains arrive, right into the centre of London from Paris. It’s used by 45 million passengers annually.
Right next door to St Pancras Station is Kings Cross Railway Station.
This is the main station for all routes North up the East coast of the UK to Edinburgh.
Again, like St Pancras Station, this too was up for demolition once.
Fortunately that never happened either and this station too has been completely restored to handle it’s annual 30 million passengers.
We then changed bus onto a blue route.
On the blue route we pass by Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
This has been a pub since before the great fire of London in 1666 when it had to be rebuilt.
It has been a popular drinking establishment for many literary figures including Charles Dickens!
Just after the pub we caught a glimpse of St Paul’s Cathedral in all it’s magnificence.
You can get off the London bus tour at any of the stops I’m mentioning.
But as this was a quick tour around the city on the Saturday, before our theatre trip, we just sat
shivering enjoying the scenery and the commentary.
There were amazing blue skies above St Paul’s Cathedral.
We saw this break in the sky as our bus made it’s way past.
Was it a sign? Is the sun going to come out for the day?
Not a chance! 😆
As we crossed London Bridge, we saw The Shard.
At one time The Shard was the tallest building in Europe.
Today it’s a mixture of shops, offices and a luxury hotel.
And, of course it provides stunning views over London!
In the picture above you can see what I mean about the blue skies disappearing!
Anyway as well as The Shard when crossing London Bridge looking West down The Thames River you also get this stunning view of Tower Bridge, which we travelled under later.
On the right is HMS Belfast.
She took part in the Second World War and is one of only three remaining vessels from the bombardment fleet which supported the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944.
Again, it’s possible to get on board her if you have the time.
We then crossed Tower Bridge for this view of The Tower of London.
Look at all the cranes! There just seemed to be a whole lot of building work going on in London at the moment.
The Tower of London is of course where you can see The Crown Jewels.
The jewels are still worn by The Queen on many official state occasions.
To the left of The Tower of London we also got a view of “The Gherkin”.
Did you know it’s official name is actually 30 St Mary Axe?
It houses a number of offices, retailers and restaurants and was built on the site, where a huge IRA explosion caused extensive damage to the historic chamber of shipping.
The damage of which proved so severe that unfortunately it was deemed impossible to restore.
We passed under one of the arches of Tower Bridge (built 1886 – 1894).
You can see the Gothic Revival architecture close up that it was based upon.
The bridge was built to it’s current design to allow sailing ships carrying cargoes up the river, with tall masts to pass through, when the roadway is raised on each side.
Over 50 designs for the bridge were submitted when the bridge was first decided upon in 1877.
Although the bridge was designed with its two high-level open air walkways, these were actually closed in 1910.
The walkways were only accessible by stairs and those stairs gained a reputation as an area where pickpockets wold hang about, and thus were avoided by the public!
If you look closely at The Tower of London above you’ll see it’s actually built in several stages and features “layers” that have been added on throughout the ages.
It was originally built during the reign of Richard the Lionheart (1189 – 1199).
Extensions were done by William the Conqueror, Edward I, Henry III and then it was finally expanded to it’s current size under Richard II (1377 – 1399).
We next drove past London Blackfriars Railway Station.
The station spans the width of the Thames.
It has recently been fitted with thousands of solar panels.
Any finally on our london bus tour, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what iconic structure this is!
So that was your quick London bus tour. Thanks for reading!
I thought it would be something different. If you’re anything like me, you just love looking at people’s pictures of their holiday’s and breaks away.
I only wish I could have been there longer and perhaps shown you a bit more
blue sky of the city.
Still, at least it didn’t rain for our weekend, and the show that we saw, The Railway Children was absolutely excellent!