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best London day tour

The Best London Day Tour

The internet could not answer my one burning question about London–what was the best London day tour?

Since every traveler’s needs and wants are different, I summarize the three tours I took below and describe each tour’s ideal traveler. This way, you can determine the best London day tour for you.

Stonehenge

Best London Day Tour Company

Early in my three-week stay in London, I decided to get outside the city limits for awhile. Three times, in fact. I had heard rave reviews of tour companies associated with Viator, a tour booking company. The particular company for London day tours, Evan Evans, was quite expensive, though.

I decided to splurge with Evan Evans for one of the day tours, and by splurge I mean spend an extra 20-something dollars. For the other two tours, I booked with Golden Tours.

Spoiler: I preferred Golden Tours, and for more than its cost.

Golden Tours includes lunch on their tours, employ only cautious bus drivers and vibrant guides, and allows a lot of freedom at each destination. You don’t have to follow the tour guide! Golden Tours is cheaper than their competitors and they offer a student discount. The London Tourism Board actually recommends Golden Tours, so the tour company must be doing something right! You can read more about my experience with them here.

Bath

My tour with Evan Evans felt dull and even unsafe at times. Plus, it was more expensive. Lunch was not included and a chunk of our tour time was dedicated to following the tour guide. Their website’s tour description could use a copywriter’s help, too, because some of the descriptions misled me. You can read more about my experience with them here.

Whichever day tour you choose, ensure it’s with Golden Tours.

Best London Day Tour for Backpackers

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath is the quintessential day trip from London. It offers an overview of English history and brings you to many tourists’ favorite spots.

Windsor Castle

If you’re short on time, this tour will bring you to a variety of classic English sites. It’s also perfect for a quick overview of the country’s history.

Backpackers will appreciate the cost of this tour, which is typically less expensive than the other day trips because of the sites’ popularity and proximity to the city.

Photo fail at Stonehenge

Young children may not enjoy this tour because of the focus on history. Each site consists of walking around and listening to its history.

Read about my experience on this day tour here.

…for Repeat Travelers

If you have visited London several times, or have been in the city for several weeks already, then the Leed’s Castle, Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury day tour is perfect for you.

Inside the Cathedral at Leed’s Castle

I do not recommend this tour for travelers who have not yet visited Windsor, Stonehenge, and Bath. However, if this other tour doesn’t interest you, then Leed’s, Dover, and Canterbury might be a better option for you.

If you want to escape the London crowds, then you’ll find this day tour less busy then the others.

Check if your tour visits the actual Cliffs of Dover or if it stops in the city of Dover for a quick photo-stop of the cliffs. Most tours stop in the city of Dover at a beach for photos, which I think is sort of a let-down. If you expect Dover to be a highlight for you, ensure the tour stops on top the actual cliffs.

Canterbury Cathedral

Read about my experience on this tour here.

…for Families

A day tour to Warwick Castle, Stratford, and Oxford is perfect for families. The tour was obviously geared towards children due to the kid-centric activities at Warwick Castle, interactiveness at Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford, and the college tour at Oxford.

Windsor Castle

Somehow I missed the memo that this was a family-centric tour.

Warwick Castle stands out as the kid-friendly location. There are interactive exhibits, medieval costumes, games, and more.

Shakespeare’s birth home at Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford are not as kid-friendly destinations, but the children on the tour still seemed to enjoy the cities.

Backpackers who want to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford should try traveling to these cities independently. While the tour is fine, you won’t miss anything by not visiting Warwick Castle and will likely save money visiting the two cities independently. That said, a day tour is an easy option if you don’t want to plan all the travels.

Oxford

So, which day tour will you choose on your next trip to London?

Booking.com

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