• St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Whitehall
  • Tower Bridge
  • British Museum
  • Windsor Castle
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster and Big Ben

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of London in 7 Days Tour

London has just what you need for a quick escape: direct flights; the best live theater scene on the planet; an inviting pub on every corner; and the simple pleasure of conversing with Europeans with (almost) no language barrier. During your week in London, your Rick Steves guide will lead you on a magical history tour through The Tower, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Churchill's War Rooms and plenty of priceless art — and even take you on a train trip to Windsor Castle. Join us for the Best of London in 7 Days! 

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of London come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 15 group sightseeing events • London neighborhood walk & Tube orientation • 7-day Underground (Tube) & Bus pass • Westminster Abbey tour • Thames River cruise • Tower of London "Beefeater" tour • Whitehall walking tour • Churchill War Rooms • National Gallery tour • St. Paul's Cathedral tour • "City" walking tour • Windsor day trip • Windsor Castle tour • British Museum tour • British Library visit • London Eye...and more
  • All group transportation during the week in London
  • 6 nights accommodations in a memorable, centrally-located hotel
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' London guidebook, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Arrive in London

We'll meet at our hotel in central London around 3 p.m. this afternoon to get acquainted. Then we'll set off on a neighborhood walk, Underground/Tube orientation, followed by afternoon tea together. Walking: light.

Day 2: Westminster Abbey and the Tower

This morning we'll tour the majestic Westminster Abbey, where England's kings and queens have been crowned and buried since 1066. A thousand years of English history lie within its stained-glass splendor and under its stone slabs. Then we'll hop aboard a boat on the Thames and cruise past monuments, skyscrapers, and cathedrals on our way to the Tower of London, the city's historic "tower of power." We'll join a Yeoman Warder "Beefeater" for an entertaining tour and a peek at the legendary Crown Jewels. We'll finish the day with an Indian dinner together. Boat: ½ hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Whitehall and the National Gallery

We'll take a history-laced walking tour along Whitehall, from the Westminster Houses of Parliament to the Renaissance-inspired Banqueting House, punctuated by the smartly-dressed, stony-faced Horse Guards. Then we'll get the inside story on the London Blitz and Britain's leadership during WWII on our tour of the Churchill War Rooms. This afternoon, we'll learn about the adventures of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square and have a guided tour of the National Gallery's masterpieces, including works by Leonardo, Botticelli, Turner and the Impressionists. This would be a perfect evening for the theater (book something in advance from the Colonies or pick up a ticket in London). Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: St. Paul's Cathedral and The City

This morning we'll tour England's national church — Christopher Wren's majestically-domed St. Paul's Cathedral — and hear how local "fire watcher" volunteers saved this symbol of British resolve during the bombing raids of WWII. Then we'll continue on with a walking tour of The City, the oldest part of London and now its financial heart. After our pub lunch together at the Counting House (an elegant former bank), your afternoon is free to enjoy one of London's many museums (perhaps the Victoria & Albert Museum) or take a leisurely stroll through one of the many beautiful parks. This is another good night for the theater. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Historic Windsor Castle

Today we'll catch a train and head out of town to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest castle residence in the world. We'll spend the morning touring the Royal Family's castle, ornate St. George's Chapel and the surrounding park. The remainder of the day is yours for poking around the quaint town of Windsor or for more sightseeing back in London. Train: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: The British Museum and Library

This morning we'll dive into the treasures of the British Library, including the Magna Carta, Gutenberg's Bible — even Beatles lyrics! Then we're off to tour the British Museum and the chronicle of Western Civilization — the Elgin marbles, Rosetta Stone, mummies and more. The rest of your afternoon is free for the Imperial War Museum, shopping around Covent Garden, or other sightseeing. Before meeting for our "last supper," we’ll admire the city and raise a toast to new friends aboard the London Eye. Cheers! Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Tour Over After Breakfast

Following breakfast, we'll say our goodbyes. Heathrow and Gatwick airports can be easily reached by Tube, train or bus from our London neighborhood. For those not ready to return home yet, London is a great jumping off point to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and many other exciting destinations. Cheerio!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of London in 7 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry your luggage up several flights of stairs to reach your hotel room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate around the city on your own.
  5. Be able to climb many flights of stairs in and out of the London Underground system.

Reviews

Gary

Baldwin, WI

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second experience on a Rick Steves' tour (Paris in 7 Days in 2013 and now London in 7 Days). We loved our tour. We had a group of travel companions who just 'clicked' and got along so well together. Thanks to our guide, Tom, for helping to make this happen! We were impressed with the balance of guided tour time, with time to go explore on our own. That's the joy of these tours - learning how to navigate a city and then become independent and a 'temporary local'.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was Windsor Castle and Eton, across the Thames River from each other. I just never imagined that the Royal Apartments could be so lovely. A palace really worth visiting; especially with its artwork and furnishings. Walking the streets of Eton brought us into small town England, a real contrast from big city London. I'm glad our guide, Tom, suggested that we cross the bridge and take a look!"

Deborah

Beloit, WI

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steves tour. Last year was Paris and that was great as well. This year was even better because the weather was a little more springlike (green grass and daffodils!) so that was icing on the cake. We felt that the pacing was just right - we didn't feel exhausted but we certainly saw many of the highlights of London and had some free time to explore on our own. It left us wanting more of this great city and I'm sure we will return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We especially enjoyed the trip on the train to Windsor Castle and the small towns on Windsor and Eton. The castle was huge and amazing and we're so glad it was included."

Carol

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was well organized, educational, included sites that were interesting and historical. I felt I received a grand overview of the city of London. I now feel confident to explore the city via public transportation (very appreciated). Our accommodations were centrally located, comfortable and clean. Easily accessible from the airport.

Randi

Baldwin, WI

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second Rick Steves Tour and I was not disappointed. I think our excellent guide and a great tour group made it a perfect experience! Really, I have no complaints. It was fine, lovely, and brilliant if I may use a bit of British lingo.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful things but it is always nice to experience something outside the city. So I think I would have to say that Windsor Castle and Eaton rank right up there."

Margaret

Wolfe City, TX

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic. Tom was excellent. He was professional without being stuffy, very knowledgeable about everything and went out of his way to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. Hotel was good and in a great location. Saw everything I wanted to and much more. It was the little "sides" that made it so special. I liked the fact that we were exposed to public transport. We used it a lot on our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out of the "tube" in front of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. That's when I knew I was in London!"

Charles

Bothell, WA

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing. The tour was obviously planned well, meticulously tested and implemented. Low stress and high entertainment. My compliments to the chef!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the sites we visited again from the Eye."

Jenny

Carol Stream, IL

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Tom Hooper, was outstanding. He was incredibly knowledgeable on all areas covered, humorous and an excellent teacher and leader. The days were planned perfectly with a wonderful balance of group activities and time to explore on our own. Learning to use the "Tube" so that we felt confident exploring the city without needing to use expensive cabs was wonderful. The size of the group was conducive to group touring in a busy sitting- very small by "tour group" standards.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, my favorite day was Windsor Castle. I enjoyed the chance to see outside London for a day, loved the history of the castle and the touring and the chance to explore the town a bit too. Tom timed it perfectly so we were right in place to watch the band and guards walk into the castle right in front of us! But really every day brought a wonderful new adventure. We were also blessed with mostly sunny days and weather in the 50's for late February!"

John

Carol Stream, IL

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely outstanding. In addition to seeing sites we were also "trained" on how to navigate London ourselves and encouraged to do so. Our guide Tom was incredibly knowledgeable in all aspects of English history and culture. The group was a mix of experienced travelers and rookies and it blended well together. We believe we received excellent value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was seeing Westminster Abbey. Seeing all the tombs of kings and queens for many hundreds of years was stunning. The Unknown Warrior tomb with the US Congressional Medal of Honor hanging on the wall near it was also quite moving and a testament to UK-US relations. History aside, I was also fascinated by the architecture as well."

Linda

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a magnificent experience. Every day was jam packed full of the best of London. Our tour guide, Tom Hooper, made the experience invaluable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was looking at St. Paul's Cathedral from across the Thames. This also includes the tour of St. Paul's, a beautiful London landmark."

Maria

Kamloops, BC

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience exceeded my expectations. I have followed Rick Steves' on TV, DVD, web shows etc for years. To actually do a tour was incredible. I am certain that one of the reasons it was so amazing was Tom Hooper, our guide. This was our first tour with Rick Steves and we plan on doing more in the future. Doing an England tour is something we have in mind after hearing Tom talk about it. It would be amazing to be in a tour with Tom again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many things, it is difficult for me to pick one moment. I thought I would also use this space to comment again at how amazing our tour guide was!!"

Janice

Chagrin Falls, OH

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Nice mix of planned and own time. London offers much to absorb!

Frank

Chagrin Falls, OH

Tour: 02/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tom, our guide, was very competent, knowledgeable, and entertaining. We liked London: -There was plenty to see and do. -Londoners are friendly and polite. -Transportation was easy. -We never felt unsafe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scientists, like Newton and Maxwell, are my personal heroes so seeing there graves and memorials at Westminster abbey was important to me."

Patricia

Springfield, MO

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did a lot, ate a lot, saw a lot, had a lot of fun, learned a lot and I'm well prepared to go back and do a lot more, eat a lot more, see a lot more, have a lot more fun, and learn a lot more--on my own next time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"actually my best wow moment came before the tour started. the hotel was within easy walking distance to the v&a. while I was talking to one of the guides near the entrance, in came about 2 dozens young girls in their private school uniforms and hats. they walked in briskly two by two and I instantly regretted not having a camera to take a picture of something so quintessentially English."

Cynthia

Birmingham, MI

Tour: 02/16/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My favorite way to travel is with a friend and a good guide book. When I have to travel alone, I book a Rick Steves tour because they successfully combine group activities, introductions to the highlights of the area, and the independence I want. This was my fifth Rick Steves tour. I have never been disappointed. I have always found tour members and guides to be interesting people who go out of their way to make a solo traveler feel welcome, and that held true on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not a fan of castles or chateaus, and I almost skipped the trip to Windsor Castle. I'm so glad I didn't! Perhaps because it is still lived in and used every day and on state occasions, this castle was different from any I've ever seen. When I was in London in 1999, the room at the British Museum housing the Lion Hunt panels was undergoing renovation, the new Tate was under construction, and so was the Millennium Wheel. I'm glad that I was able to see all of them on this trip."

Roberta

Palos Park, IL

Tour: 12/26/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My overall tour experience was one of exhaustion. Previously, I'd been to Europe on three Tauck tours, and the motor coach was always waiting to transport us. Having to travel by underground in London was a travel "culture shock" for me compared to the comfortable luxury of a motor coach. However, I am not deterred from trying another Rick Steves tour. Now that I know what it's like, I'll be better prepared, mentally and physically.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The state apartments at Windsor Castle were the highlight of the tour for me. When I went to London with Tauck in April ("A Week in London and Paris"), the state apartments were closed to visitors, because the Queen was entertaining the president of the United Arab Emirates for lunch. When I climbed that Great Staircase and entered that Great Hall, I realized what a spectacular part of the tour had been denied to us last spring."

Gloria

Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Tour: 12/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour allowed a complete "being there" experience! Our amazing guide, marched us to the beat of London and fascinated us around every corner! Her knowledge and personal touch brought comprehension and appreciation to the vast amount of information we were exposed to each day. Our schedule left the perfect amount of "bumbling around" on our own time. Gillian gave individual guidance to each of our interests, allowing us to feel quite accomplished with our attempts to navigate the great city!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because of the variety of experiences our agenda afforded, there were "wow" moments throughout the entire gambit of my emotional and intellectual realm. Having "Lady Chadwick" sing the verses to the chiming of Big Ben, will always be a very special moment in my memory."

Lori

Arlington, VA

Tour: 11/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! I could not have asked for a better tour guide or itinerary. The hotel was centrally located and incredibly easy to get to from Heathrow. The fellow travelers in my group were a fun bunch and we all got along well. I would highly recommend this tour to everyone and I look forward to taking another tour in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to limit my "wow" moments to just one. Cruising down the Thames when Tower Bridge first came into sight was definitely a "wow" moment as was seeing Big Ben at night the first night of the tour."

Amy

Arlington, VA

Tour: 11/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fabulous and it lived up to all of the positive things I had read online and heard from friends. There were no unpleasant "surprises"--the tour lived up to the descriptions and marketing materials in a very accurate way. I will definitely consider doing another Rick Steves' tour in the future and have already recommended it to friends. As a single woman in my 30's traveling alone, abroad for the first time, this tour was the perfect fit and lived up to all of my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved seeing London during the holidays. Lights on Regent Street. Loved St. Paul's Cathedral, learning about Wren and also the blitz--I climbed to the top of the Golden Gallery. I really enjoyed Windsor Castle--Windsor and Eton were beautiful little towns and it was nice to get out of the city, so peaceful. The Cenotaph covered in poppies for Remembrance Day. Plays in the West End. Walking by Parliment at night."

Sandra

Newark, CA

Tour: 11/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour was just about everything I expected and more -- in a single word, it was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the State apartments at Windsor Castle in the process of being decorated for Christmas. I expected Windsor Castle to be opulent and beautiful, and it was all that and more, but I wasn't prepared for this homey touch in the midst of all its splendor."

James

Chevy Chase, MD

Tour: 11/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was superb, in no small part because of our guide, Mr. Tom Hooper. The sites that we visited were well-selected, as they had to be given that this was a one-week tour of one of the world's major cities, and given the diversity of interest and background of tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have long worked internationally, and so am not so easily "wowed" by such tours. Because of a personal interest, I found the visit to Churchill's underground war rooms extremely interesting. Interesting also--and educational--was the visit to the British Library, which houses the Magna Carta and other documents of import in the Western experience."

Ellen

West Hartford, CT

Tour: 11/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to London before. For me the group was filled with wonderful travel companions. I loved our guide Tom. I think it is the guides and other folks on the tour is what makes them outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The British library., I just can't believe what I get to see there, from the Magna Carta to handwritten Beatles lyrics. St Paul's was also spectacular."

Barbara

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Concentrating in London for a week was well worth it. On our duplicate day from our England tour, my husband & I went to the Warner Brother Studios and saw their Happy Potter sets. It was excellent for those of us who read the books and watch the movies. We also went to Greenwich, rode the Eye on a beautiful blue morning, and saw a couple of Plays on our own. We saw St. Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Churchill's War Room, the British Library, & British Museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting Windsor Castle. It was beautiful inside and outside the castle. It's amazing to think the Queen actually lives there most of the year. I also got to see the change-of-guard before entering the Castle."

Jean

Brandon, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. Our guide was fun, knowledgeable and informative. There was enough time to do things on our own and we saw many of the sites that we wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The British Museum on our last day was the wow moment for me. I would have loved to have spent more time there."

Glenn

Brandon, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'll not take your time to tell everyone how great the tour and how our guide was the most personable one on the tour(including myself). Let's just say "A good time was had by all".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've always wanted to see the rosetta stone. To have its importance presented so clearly while in its presence was my highlight."

George

Dayton, OH

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lodging at The Lime Tree Hotel was excellent. Remodeled recently and close to both the National Coach (bus) Station and Victoria Station (The Tube and rail) were a plus. Our tour guide, Thomas Hooper, could be both serious and funny with a very apparent deep breadth of knowledge in British history and culture. The tour hits some of the more important highlights of London and Windsor, leaving one with a strong desire to return and see more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although The Tower of London was fascinating, touring the country home of Queen Elizabeth, Windsor Castle, was perhaps my most favorite. The grandeur of the rooms was stunning. Most appealing was what I would call the Knight's Hall which is a long narrow hall decorated by the banners of all the knight of the past and still used today for recognizing distinguished guests and honorees."

Janis

North Little Rock, AR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Through our tour experience, we fell in love with London and look forward to returning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, a big "wow" moment was taking in the stunning enormity of Windsor Castle. Other tops were seeing the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum, and the Wilton Diptych and Arnolfini Portrait at the National Gallery. My husband's top favorites were the British Library and the Churchill War Rooms."

Edith

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotel was charming and the hosts were extremely helpful. Morning breakfast was very good, with a variety options and even some special requests were provided. Thomas was an absolutely fabulous guide. He made sure we always understood where and how we were traveling around London. His personality and good humor was infectious and helped our group to bond. He was full of stories, tales and anecdotes about London and it's history and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowing all the time. This being my 1st trip to London; Big Ben, River Thames, the palaces, the Museums, the street names I had so often heard of. Tower Bridge and the architecture all over London. Loved walking the streets and just taking in the sights and sounds."

Barbara

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a "do-over" from December 2011 when Heathrow was closed for several days due to weather conditions. It was worth the wait. We saw a lot but there was a lot I did not see which is just an excuse to go back. We had a nice bunch of people, Tom Hooper was a fabulous guide and I fully intend to stay with your tour program in the future as I really appreciate your overall philosophy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two. One of my favorite movies, The Commitments, was turned into a stage show in September so I was going no matter what. Four tour mates joined me and really enjoyed the show as well. We had dinner at a Wagamama prior to the show. Your review was right on the money. The Churchill Museum and underground bunker was awesome, so much so, that I missed lunch in order to not be late meeting the rest of the group. Again, your review was extremely accurate."

Debra

Brandon, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having been to Europe a couple of time but never with a tour group, I was happy to find Rick Steves' was done very well. I enjoyed the use of local travel and the several meals that we shared. I particularly found our guide, Tom Hooper, to be incredibly knowledgeable and witty. In addition to the expected historical and cultural information and anecdotes, Tom gave us excellent recommendations for restaurants and travel options wherever we were going on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite London memory was the British Library, could have stayed many hours more. Favorite tour moment is harder - the afternoon tea or the arrival 'parade' for Windsor's changing of the Guard are up there"

Kathryn

Fountain Valley, CA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've been watching Rick Steves on television for years/checked out the DVDs - and now it was our turn to live the experience. Not enough superlative words to describe what a great time we had - hotel was great, Tom was a fabulous leader and friend, and the itinerary was perfect with plenty of free time to do more. Can't wait to take another trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On our last day we went to the British Museum and Library - it was an historic motherlode of experiences. On the way back I got off the bus to stop by and see the National Portrait Gallery . Then, across the street was St. Martin in the Fields . Two of the gals were missing our last dinner because they were going there for a concert that evening. I ducked into the church and came upon a full-on rehearsal for the concert. I couldn't believe my good fortune. Wow!"

Carol

South Bend, IN

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! The tour was well thought out and moved along smoothly. The other people in the tour were friendly and got along well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just walking and seeing the wonderful architecture in London. Walking allows a view that riding a bus or taking the Underground does not allow."

James

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth Rick Steves tour and, consistent with the others, was an exceptional experience. The tour had a nice balance of organized activities and free time. For a first time visit to London it covered all of the major elements. The accommodations were exceptional and centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Assyrian carvings in the British Museum"

Fran

Canton, OH

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to London to wonderful!

David

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Hotel Great Guide Great Pace

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Navigating the "Tube""

Connie

Gainesville, GA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an absolutely wonderful time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Paul's cathedral and seeing the Rosetta Stone."

Jack

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Actually, London would not have been my first pick as a travel destination. Good friends of ours picked this Rick Steves' tour and invited us to join them. We had such a good time any future travel to Europe will included a London stopover. I felt this tour had the right balance of guide time vs. free time. We will definitely be doing more Rick Steves' tours in the future.

Linda

Mount Horeb, WI

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was well-organized and our guide, Gillian, was lovely. She made us feel comfortable and answered questions with good humor. I loved the day we went to King's Cross & St. Pancras on the way to the British Library & British Museum. Platform 9 3/4 was wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel was much nicer than "small family-run hotels" described in the guide. The Washington Mayfair was wonderful (and obviously expensive), located a few blocks from the Green Park Tube station and within easy walking distance of many of the sights we wanted to see. Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral were the high points for me. We missed out on touring Windsor Castle because of an investiture. The Churchill War Rooms were a lot to take in."

Linda

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

London was fabulous, our hotel was the best and Gillian our guide very very English - so fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually feeling comfortable using the TUBE to get around!"

Michael

Owings Mills, MD

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a marvelous time! Our tour guide, Gillian Chadwick, was outstanding and the group was an excellent mix. There was just enough group time and free time which made for a "balanced" experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have recently discovered that my 9th great grandfather was Sir Henry Norris, Baron of Rycote. There is a memorial to him, his wife, and 6 sons in Westminster Abbey. When Gillian learned this she arranged to have my wife and I escorted to the memorial for a private viewing. Now that was a memorable and unexpected "wow" moment I'll never forget."

Marilyn

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. We didn't have a drop of rain the whole time we were in London. I got to see and do almost everything I wanted. You have to leave something for the next trip, right?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None. Every day was a "wow" for me."

Kathleen

Alexandria, KY

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved London. I am really glad we had a full week to explore. We had enough time at most places and if we didn't we had free time in which we could go back. Gillian was an excellent guide. She was funny and intelligent. We were impressed with all of the people who had previously done Rick Steve Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is going to sound silly, but I loved when I understood the tubes and planned several non tour outings using the system. What great transportation London has. I think my other wow moment was the boat ride. It was just nice to see London from that perspective."

Lynne

Guerneville, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great fun. I think i finally understand British humor

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all those places youve always heard about. The palace, the tower, the beefeaters, the magna carta. But maybe the biggest wow was the doll house at Windsor Palace. And a quiet individual changing of the guard around the corner from Green Park."

Jeanne

Sheridan, IL

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciated the fact that the London tour included all the "must sees", but also scheduled free time. This, along with the confidence of learning how to use the tube and busses, allowed me to explore my own, somewhat unusual, interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't think that I particularly wanted to go to the War Rooms, or even to the British Library, even though I am a librarian. Silly me!... because I found myself overcome to the point of weeping, first at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, then while reading the letters exchanged between Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine at the Churchill War Rooms, and again at the British Library when I came upon an early manuscript by Jane Austen placed beside her writing desk."

Lynelle

Woodbridge, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our time in London. Our hotel location was in a amazing spot. Close to Buckingham Palace and the tube.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed the British Museum and Windsor Castle"

Evaline

Westminster, CO

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Gillian, couldn't have been better. The tour itself was just about right. The number of sites we saw along with free time to explore on our own was a good balance. I feel that we saw the best highlights both of places we went to and tours inside the museums. I liked that we got a lot of experience using the transportation system in London. I feel that I could now go to London and easily find my way around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the train ride to Windsor Castle. The castle itself and St. George's Chapel were definitely 'wow' moments. The chapel is breathtaking. The town of Windsor was very fun to explore."

Margaret

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an incredible time. It was our first trip to Europe and we were so glad we decided to do London as our main focus. The tour plunged us right away into using the tube and finding our way in various neighborhoods. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and at ease with her job of handling a group which made us at ease with her and with our daily itineary. She took good care of us (down to providing snacks midway through our journey). There was laughter and good humor throughout the week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Westminster Abbey and hearing the hourly prayer. Actually, I don't think I can say that there was just one "wow" moment. Everyday we experienced something new and I saw buildings and places that I had just seen on television or read about in books. I was able to walk on the old, old cobblestone streets and see centuries old buildings."

Peter

Guerneville, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gillian Chadwick is a classic - straight from central casting, with a little help from Monty Python. London had several surprises. We ate very well, despite England's reputation. Food is fresh and local and the fish is excellent. Londoners are very helpful. This is Europe in English. Signs, directions, newspapers, TV, all English. Makes the Tube very easy. Many of the world's treasures are in London "for safe keeping" and most are on display. Most British coins are beyond comprehension.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We took the Metro from the airport to the hotel. In English it was easy to ask questions, read signs figure options and make good decisions. There are elevators so luggage was not an issue. The various lines are easy to figure out and trains come every three minutes. The bus system's maps are also easy to understand and the same payment system works here as well. This was a great intro to mainland Europe and very helpful in figuring out the transportation system in Paris."

Rochelle

Rockledge, FL

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My trip was amazing! I loved the activities that were picked out for us, and I felt like there was a happy balance between the activities that were planned for us and our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really appreciated the back alleys we visited and places that I wouldn't have discovered using my guidebook."

Richard

Quechee, VT

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly enjoyed London and all it had to offer. Our tour guide was magnificent; especially at the National Gallery with her knowledge and insight of the paintings. Mary lead the tour at St. Paul's Cathedral and City of London; she was also wonderful. The hotel, transit pass and almost all food were excellent. The only food not enjoyed was the farewell dinner at the English Pub. The atmosphere, service and company were fine, but food was a little off. I enjoyed this trip tremendously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the cathedral at Windsor the most, but everyday during the tour had "wow" moments."

Margaret

Quechee, VT

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first day until the last day, the tour was fabulous. We learned so much about London, and can't wait to return. Under the guidance of Gillian, we learned how to navigate the "underground", see the sites for which London is famous, find the best restaurants, walk (and walk, and walk!!) the different areas of the city, and enjoy every aspect of being in London.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming from New York, I thought nothing could beat the sites and sounds of NYC. Was I wrong! I couldn't help taking every chance I could to stop and wonder at the beautiful historic buildings and train stations of London, and take picture after picture so I could relive all these wonderful sites once I came home. There were so many "wow" moments, it is so hard to choose just one."

Sally

Tryon, NC

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

All tour material I read prior to the trip expressed the tour is strenuous. I chose to believe that my daily walking routine prepared me for strenuous days. I had not "pounded the pavement" for miles, however, and found the days exhausting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"l loved Windsor Castle - the state rooms, the doll's house and St George's Chapel with King George VI, Elizabeth and Henry VIII interred there. The day was complete with a meal by the Thames in a restaurant recommended by our guide."

Hindy

Perryville, MD

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of the tour. It was great to be back in London. The tour was well planned and [INVALID]d and my group was friendly and great company. Meals were delicious. Unlike the "old" London I remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love the British Museum. Its my wow moment. All of our site visit were terrific but the British Museum is my favorite."

Linda

Modesto, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and we could not have chosen a better way to start than with the RST London trip. Our guide was so knowledgeable about out this fabulous city. She took us to places that we would never have seen on our own. She had so many stories about the history of the places and sites we toured that it made us feel like we like we went back in time and became a living part of that era. Her style and wit were infectious. What a great first-time experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have read extensively about Henry VIII and Elizabeth I so anything I saw connected to their lives was a "wow" experience for me. My husband's "wow" experience was seeing the Magna Carte. We also were both wowed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the locals,"

Barbara

Burlington, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was great, the hotel was outside the box in terms of what we had in Italy with a Rick Steves' tour. We had elevators, air conditioning and it was in a posh district, that was close to most everything. Our contingent of 23 people were amiable and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The British Museum and seeing the Rosetta Stone in person. Also, the Magna Carta at the British Library."

Scott

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's tour. Had a great time, looking forward to the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very much enjoyed the National Gallery."

Janet

Pottsville, PA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

London was everything we hoped it would be and the tour provided all of the expectations we looked forward to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Windsor Castle and the history surrounding the castle."

Cindi

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although 7 days in London is a very short tour, it was a wonderful experience with Gillian as our guide. Gillian's knowledge of London's history as well as English history in general was amazing. Her sense of humor and willingness to poke fun at her countrymen was refreshing. Even though the weather was less than ideal, we all made the most of the days we had together. Gillian was extremely well organized and kept us moving but it was great to have open time to spend how we wished. 5 Stars!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but certainly at the top was the tour of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's. Also, the train station at St. Pancras was fun historical experience. The "couple" statue with the sculptures below are amazing!!"

Lorna

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trip on the river Thames inspite of the weather."

Rick

Xenia, OH

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

OK, but not up to Rick Steves standards

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Eye was a WOW moment ( not part of tour)"

Pamela

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had done the Best of England trip 2 years ago and wanted to just have a London experience. This was just great. We had so many wonderful walks around the city that I enjoyed and Roy was loaded with information no matter where we went. I would highly recommend this tour - I was there an extra 2 days before the tour and will go back again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really pick one moment - it was all great. I loved all the walks."

Edward

Xenia, OH

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was enjoyable especially the visits to Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Churchill War Rooms, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Windsor Castle. On the other hand, too much time was allotted for the British Library. Most of us stood around waiting for the time allotted to expire. Buckingham Palace should be included as it was the highlight of our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Buckingham Palace ( not included ) and Windsor Castle. The Eye was also enjoyable but was not included."

Lynne

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The only drawback was a room with no air and 80 degree F days...made sleeping difficult.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the science museum, but it was not on tour - could have spent whole day there."

William

Camillus, NY

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a 25th wedding anniversary present to my wife and it could not have gone better. It was the best decision of my life second only to my marital proposal. This was our first guided tour and we were the only "RS rookies" in the group. Everyone in the tour group mixed well, displayed good senses of humor and looked out for one another as we moved through the tube and maneuvered the streets. London was a fascinating experience and someone could spend years uncovering its history. However

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had "wow" moments but four occasions stand out. Standing next to the "Tomb of the Unknown Warrior" in Westminster Abbey was a very emotional experience. I was astounded with the random historical objects in the grand vestibule in Windsor Castle like seeing the locket containing the musket ball that caused the death of Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar. Walking into the ambiance of the Counting House pub and then enjoying a great pint of refreshment with our tour group at lunch. In the Nation"

Jane

Selbyville, DE

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed London but think that the tour could be improved. It was very difficult to hear our guide because of the street noise and crowds and him being soft spoken. I would recommend audio receivers.The afternoon tea could be eliminated as one could do on their own and have a better quality one. Although the Indian dinner was enjoyed by me many did not like the food. Less time at the British Library.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there was numerous wow moments, my favorite was Windsor Castle."

Michael

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great hotel, lovely breakfasts in a great neighborhood. Roy was a very classy and helpful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Windsor castle and finally understanding what a medieval castle really looked like 500 years ago. Also St Paul's Cathedral was sublime."

Katherine

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This must have been the height of the tourist season and the city was jammed with people. I was surprised with the variety of people, from top to bottom Arab ladies looking at Scottish kilts, to us middle aged or older Americans to Chinese. This was the most ethnically diverse of all the places I have traveled. Being on a tour helped us navigate and appreciate the city in the midst of the chaos.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"English tea, esp Roy's explanation and his personal experiences growing up with the High Tea experience . This put it in a much more human and accessible perspective. Then There was the story of the beans, which I will save for another time, but the story of the beans, which our guide only heard about later, was the tippy top experience. Tell me where to send it."

Judith

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since we had been to London before, I wasn't sure how "unique" an experience this tour would be. A good tour guide can make all the difference when visiting a place that you have been to before, and Roy was brilliant! His love of London, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the city, and lovely sense of humor really made the tour fun and exciting. In addition, the hotel staff at the Lime Tree could not have been more pleasant and accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely, High Tea at Washington Mayfair Hotel on our first day was a highlight! It was totally unexpected, and was a delightful way to kick off our week."

Wyman

Live Oak, FL

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

every thing was exceptional. The itinerary was perfect. There were highlights of course.The group we worked with were all nice and interesting people. our guide was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Paul's cathedral, The War Room westminister Abbey Windsor Castle Evan Song at Westminister Abbey"

Patrick

Plainfield, IN

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A warm thanks for a great 'first visit' to London. We enjoyed the hospitality, history, sites, fellow tour members, Lime Tree staff, the meals, learning so much [my journal is full and my camera took 930 pictures and movies], from orientation to final meal together, the experience was worth every minute of our time and resources. The Tube and trains and taxis and buildings and boat ride all added to a well planned tour that was filled with memories we shall cherish for a long time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cathedrals of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's were breath taking. Our guides made you a part of the experience and history and architecture and spirituality of these places of worship for centuries."

Lori

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Windsor castle."

Jim

Ocean Springs, MS

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a really great time on the London in 7 days tour. Our guide was terrific. We were taught how to get around London by tube, train, boat, bus and taxi. By the time we left we were very comfortable going wherever we wanted. The tour was a guided tour, with enough time to venture out on our own. The restaurants were good with great food, the hotel was good and having breakfast included really helped in getting your day going. The other people on the tour were very compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Westminster Abby. and Windsor Castle. My wife and I play tennis and we had time one afternoon to venture out to Wimbledon. That was really fun."

Douglas

Chester, VA

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was absolutely wonderful! The sites were magnificent. The pace was just right and there was plenty of free time each day. We also really enjoyed using the tube and buses. Mind the gap please. Getting around town like a native enhanced the adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and St. George's Chapel are very near the top of my list. I think the "wow" moment for me was the National Gallery. It was more about Tom Hooper's showing us [INVALID]ed works of art than anything else. His knowledge of each piece was rather impressive. At each painting the tour group grew from 19 to about 40+! All week I was super impressed with Tom's guide skills but the trip to the gallery really put me over the top."

Joseph

West Islip, NY

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good pace for a 1 city tour with plenty of group time and free time. Excellent balance of both. Tour guide, Tom, was extremely knowledgeable and just an overall great guy with a concern for "all" group members and with a enjoyable "Dry" British sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Westminster Abbey tour and Tom's insight and knowledge made that visit the most "wow" moment. Isaac Newton's and Charles Darwin's tomb really made me feel the history of London."

Mary

Ocean Springs, MS

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were immediately comfortable in our London location near Hyde Park, and followed sugggestions to arrive a day or so early and walk outside in the fresh air to prevent jet lag. We had a wonderful afternoon walking all through Hyde Park, and then walking through Green Park and St. James Park before meeting our tour group on Sunday afternoon. Our group was small, and everyone was eager to enjoy London and to enjoy the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one wow moment for me[INVALID]I loved everything from the buildings that looked exactly as I had thought they would to the fast walking Londoners to the beautiful art in the National Gallery."

Gloria

Englewood, CO

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I think this tour was exceptional, not only because of the sightseeing events but because our tour guide made it so! I appreciated the London guidebook, printed info and maps we received before the tour. I felt as though I was ready to begin the tour as soon as we arrived in London! It was the "trip of a lifetime" for me! And I really enjoyed each day with our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, there were actually many "wow" moments! But if I had to pick just one, it would be seeing the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. That was an impressive exhibit and well worth the wait in line to see it."

Robert

Englewood, CO

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

London is exciting. The people in our tour group were very friendly and we had great fun together as we experienced the sites of London. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. This was our first Rick Steves' Tour, but not our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tower of London tour provided the oportunity to view the Crown Jewels. An unbelievable WOW."

Brenda

Bridgeton, MO

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful trip and enjoyed it very much. Our guide was so knowledgeable and really a nice chap. Every person was friendly and upbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All moments were great. I loved it all."

Georges

Mississauga, ON

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Really enjoyed the pace of the tour in that we were not busy each and every day but had time to do our own thing- visiting a friend, touring a site not on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The size and scope of Windsor castle."

Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in London before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' London guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in London that we will not do as a group: Houses of Parliament; Tate Galleries (British or Modern); Imperial War Museum; Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; Victoria & Albert Museum; Kew Gardens; day trips to Cambridge and Oxford.

Many tour members like to attend a play or a concert while in London (see Rick Steves' London guidebook for details on how to buy tickets). Your guidebook will also have plenty of ideas for any extra time you may have and your guide will be happy to help you with post-tour plans.

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

London is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your tour hotel, as well as contact information for your hotel in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

Learn more about London: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.