Rick Steves' Best of London in 7 Days with Tom Hooper
Join world-class guide Tom Hooper as he leads a Rick Steves group on a magical history tour through London. He'll guide us along the Thames and through the Tower, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, historic neighborhoods, friendly pubs, and plenty of priceless art. Let's go…
Day 1: Welcome to London
We'll meet our guide and group at our hotel in central London to get acquainted. Then we'll set off on a neighborhood walk before stepping aboard our very own vintage double-decker bus for a panoramic tour of "The Old Smoke" (London). We'll finish the evening with a "Welcome to London" dinner together.
Day 2: Westminster and Whitehall
After an Underground/Tube orientation, we'll wander through the City of Westminster. Our walk will take us past Buckingham Palace — punctuated by the smartly dressed, stony-faced Queen's Guard — and through St. James Park, a favorite for its resident pelicans, on our way to the majestic Westminster Abbey (pictured). We'll enjoy a guided tour through the abbey, where England's kings and queens have been crowned and buried since 1066, and continue with a history-laced walking tour along Whitehall. After lunch, we'll visit the Churchill War Rooms, where we'll get the inside story on the London Blitz and Britain's leadership during World War II.
Day 3: The Tower, The City, and the British Museum
This morning we'll head out early to witness the opening ceremony at the medieval Tower of London. Our early arrival will leave us first in line to join a Yeoman Warder "Beefeater" for an entertaining tour and a close-up look at the UK's magnificent collection of crown jewels. This afternoon, we'll take a walking tour of The City, the oldest part of London and today one of the world's key financial centers. Then we'll rest our feet and enjoy that quintessentially English experience — afternoon tea — before we end our day with a guided tour through the treasure-packed British Museum (pictured).
Day 4: Windsor Castle and a Pint
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. Tonight, join your guide and fellow tour members for a pint at a local pub and share the stories of your day's experience.
Day 5: East London and St. Paul's
We'll venture out to the culturally diverse East End of London today, where we'll find our lunch on a food tour. The tour will guide us through the history of the East End, tasting the influence of cultures along the way — from a traditional English bacon butty to Indian curries to the beloved London takeaway, fish and chips. Once we've had our fill, we'll continue on to England's national church — Christopher Wren's majestically domed St. Paul's Cathedral (pictured) — and hear how local "fire watcher" volunteers saved this symbol of British resolve during the bombing raids of World War II.
Day 6: South Bank Walk and Borough Market
We'll begin our morning with a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the half-timbered and thatched-roofed replica of the original theater that was home to the playwright's productions in the late 1500s. Then we'll take a walking tour along the South Bank of the Thames. We'll see the Tower Bridge (pictured) and Southwark Cathedral, and learn how this side of the river has evolved since Roman times. We'll end our tour at Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest food markets in London, with colorful produce and the wafting scents of grilled-cheese and duck-confit sandwiches. The afternoon is yours to enjoy lunch at the market, visit the Tate Modern, hop on a Thames River cruise, or take a ride on the London Eye. Tonight, we'll meet for our "last supper" and raise a toast to London and new friends.
Day 7: Cheerio!
Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning and wish you a fond farewell. Cheerio!
Experience the magic of your own great guide on a 2022 Best of London in 7 Days tour.