The Best Way to Tour London for Free

free London walking tour, England, Big BenOn our second full day in London, we focused on the city’s most famous sights and its history. We’ve come to love free city tours and went with the same company we used in Munich. Our tour guide, Andy, was loud, funny, and so knowledgeable.

Like the Munich tour, this one ended at a pub. Well played, Andy.


London Walking Tour – Day 2

 

 

Sandeman’s New Europe London Tour

These tours run every day and are free, but you need to make a reservation to hold your spot. For some reason they don’t count kids, which is weird since the kids ask so many questions. Anyway, make a reservation and be sure to tip your guide at the end. They don’t get paid for the free tours.

The free city walking tour goes to:

  • Covent Garden
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Nelson’s Column
  • The National Gallery
  • James’s Palace
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Mall
  • Victoria Memorial
  • James’s Park
  • Horse Guards Parade
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Big Ben
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Houses of Parliament

Trafalgar Square

lions at Nelson's column on • Trafalgar Square in LondonWe went back to Trafalgar Square after the pub stop. It was so warm and sunny, that we were looking for a place to hang out. The kids climbed the memorial to Nelson and ran around the fountains.

There are several museums, cafes, and cultural and historical buildings surrounding the square. The National Gallery has a big presence on one side of the square and is free to visit.


London Accommodations

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and it worked out really well. Click the link below and search “Holiday Inn Express London – ExCel.”


Eat and Drink in London
Draft House Tower Bridge

Even though we lunched at a pub, we went to another that evening. One of Henry’s friends from Bozeman is now living outside of London, and we never miss a chance to connect with people. Or go to pubs.

The Draft House is across Tower Bridge from the Tower of London. They say they have a “ extraordinary range of strange and wonderful brews.” I only tried two – next time I will get the sampler like Brett did—but I can attest that they were wonderful. The food was good, too.


London city tour, walking tours of LondonDIY London Walking Tour

Maybe you’d rather be on your own schedule as you walk around London. City Walks: London has 50 adventures, so you can DIY your own walking tour of London. And you can buy it on Amazon. Take the card of your choosing with a map and description and hit the pavement.

 


See Our Whole Easy Going London Tour

Planning a walking tour of London. All the highlights, plus a pub or two.


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32 thoughts on “The Best Way to Tour London for Free

  1. Clare

    I love doing free city tours, I always find the guides are so much better than on paid tours. They are always so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I haven’t done one in London though, but maybe next time I am down there playing tourist I can’t find some new sites to visit with one of the tours.

  2. Grace

    I agree with Clare that the free city tours are surprisingly great. London is a place with such rich history and what a better way to learn than having an enthusiastic tour guide who knows it all! I used to live in London and forgot to look at it from a tourist perspective, so thanks for sharing as it made me wanting to do more touristy things on my return there.

    1. Mel Post author

      I love playing tourist in my own backyard- you learn so many things that you take for granted when you are there everyday.

  3. Susan

    This sounds like a great walking tour! I love finding free and educational tours like this when I travel. I also think it’s great that you included the DIY walking tour too. My husband and I usually have good intentions to make a guided tour, an then we loose track of time! We often do self guided tours, so it’s great to have that info handy too. Great post!

  4. Jean

    Walking the streets of London is always an amazing way to see the city. It means that you can see and feel more of the city then just a bus tour. So sad that you didn’t get to try all the brews at the pub. Next time!

    1. Mel Post author

      We never even made it on a bus. Someone did suggest using them to get around rather than the Underground as you get to see more.

  5. Rosie Benton

    We’re from the UK but have lived in Korea for 2 years, finally heading home this Summer and excited to visit London!!! Your post is going to come in handy for sure. London can be such an expensive city to visit so it’s great to know there are some free options available. Draft house tower bridge will definitely make it on our walking tour!

  6. Flo @ Yoga, Wine & Travel

    I love exploring a new city via walking tours! I find you always stumble across the hidden gems in quiet corners this way, London is such a wonderful place to walk around, especially along the Thames! Amazing that they offer this service for free!

  7. Joanna

    I love free walking tours, I always take them when I visit a new location. In London however I’ve only attended the Soho free walking tour, never the general one. I like it how in big cities they split them so that you can get to know an area more in depth.

  8. Only By Land

    These tours are in demand! I wonder why they don’t count kids, my daughter would make them work twice as hard as an adult! I’m happy they got Trafalgar Square in there! You didn’t need your sunglasses that day did you! I can’t think of a better end to all that walking than a pint in a pub!

  9. Suma - Tales of travelling sisters

    I love a good walking tour, makes exploring a city so much easier! The walking tour covers up many of the must visit spots in London. A city like London has so much to offer, a guided tour to main spots is definitely needed here to learn about the city.

  10. Julie

    A walking tour sounds like a great way to experience London! I haven’t been since college so I definitely want to go back and bring my son!

  11. Cassandra

    Last time I visited London, I was in the 7th grade… I think that was a little over 10 years ago! I loved watching your video with, too! I think I need to make my way back to the city to really explore it again. The first time, I left not liking it too much.

  12. Cat

    London can be expensive so it is very nice to have free tours available! And those tours take you to so many attractions! I’ve never been to London so I’m saving this for future reference!

  13. Ivy

    We walked around with Google Map the last time we were in London and really enjoyed ourselves. Maybe we’ll do a guided tour the next time we’re there so we can learn about it from a local! It’s so nice that they do this for visitors even though they don’t get paid.

  14. Rima Gor

    Great itineraries! London is one of my dream destination & atleast once I wish to visit. Thanks for sharing such a great post for budget travelers.

    1. Mel Post author

      It does take some figuring out since it is so big! The walking tour took us all over and gave us a great overview of the city.

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