Mega-London: The Tower, The Thames, Changing of the Guard and Afternoon Tea
- Tower of London: Enjoy reserved early-morning entry to the Tower's Jewel House, so you can view the world's most famous crown jewels with less chance of long lines and crowds – and see the famous Beefeater guards' opening ceremony.
- Thames cruise: Relax between royal engagements as you glide under London Bridge and view iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, and more.
- Palace walk: Colorful commentary enlivens your guided walk through the Horse Guards to St. James Park and Buckingham Palace – a route steeped in history, pageantry, and tradition.
- Changing of the Guard: Witness one of the British Empire's oldest and most revered traditions from an optimum vantage point; your expert guide will have you in the right spot at the right time for the best pictures.
- London landmarks: See the sites at the center of Her Majesty's Government on a guided walk from Trafalgar Square to Westminster Abbey, passing Whitehall, the Horse Guards, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and more.
- Afternoon tea: Savor this quintessential London ritual at a luxury hotel, with finger sandwiches, buttery scones with clotted cream, and fresh-made pastries.
- Small group = more personal: Groups are limited to no more than 25, for a relaxed and intimate experience with deeper guide interaction and audio headsets to ensure you hear it all.
About this London tour
In a city with 2,000 years' worth of world-shaping people, places, triumphs, and tragedies, the idea of covering it all in a day may seem overly ambitious. Then again, ambition is what made London the grand city it is. So let's just say that this tour covers about as much of its sights, sounds, and tastes as you can handle without getting totally knackered.
We start at the Tower of London, the Thames-side fortress and sometime-royal residence that's been key to controlling the country since 1078. A baron, an earl, a countess, a viscountess, and three of Henry VIII's queens lost their heads here, but a vast collection of royal orbs, swords, rings, crowns, and scepters has been kept safe for centuries by the Yeomen Warders: the famous Beefeaters, who open and close the gates each day in ceremonial style.
As grand as that ceremony is, it's just the warm-up act to the spectacle of the Queen's Foot Guards, in their snappy red tunics and bearskin hats, and their elaborately choreographed Changing of the Guard. Joined by the dashing Household Cavalry in their silver plumed helmets astride magnificent steeds, with the royal band playing a sprightly soundtrack, it's quite a thrilling show.
Just as central to the British sense of identity – and only slightly less choreographed – is the day's next high point: afternoon tea, at a hotel well-versed in royal treatment. (It's a five-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, and played its own role in shaping history; check the lobby.) This is an unforgettable indulgence in "savories" and sweets, crust less finger sandwiches, flaky scones and thick clotted cream, and delicious hot tea – sweetened, if you wish, with honey created by 350,000 long-term guests laboring for their queen at the hotel's third-floor "Bee and Bee."
One queen upstairs, another just up the road. How's that for grand?
But blimey, that chap on the label is a looker
The Beefeaters at the Tower of London have been at their post continuously since 1485. For centuries, they could take the edge off after a hard day's work at multiple taverns inside the Tower. These days, just one endures, reserved for Yeoman Warders and an occasional guest. The house gin isn't hard to guess; Beefeater even sends each warder a birthday bottle every year – payment for the image on the label. Nevertheless, warders are said to be less than fond of their nickname.
Please make your way to the Ticket Office at the Tower of London at London EC3N 4AB to meet your expert guide.
To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour.
Don't forget your camera for some amazing photo opportunities along your tour!
This tour involves a moderate amount of walking. It is not wheelchair accessible. Travelers with limited mobility may not see all sites fully but can participate at their discretion.
Full Day, Walking Tour, Tickets, Boat Tour
Entrance to Tower of London
River Shuttle Cruise
Visit to Buckingham Palace
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
Please inform us in advance of any special dietary requirements.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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