Exploring London with #LondonPass – The Ultimate Guide

London is a city that every traveller should experience.  The city’s multicultural vibe and historic connection makes it a compelling destination for many travel enthusiasts. You ask me what I like about London, I would say “there’s always something new to see/do/eat there”!

That’s one city we’ve travelled many times (we’ve lost count, actually!), but still we look forward to go and explore many new things – it could be the striking street art in Brick Lane or trying the organic green juice in Borough Market. Such is the beauty of this city.
Seeing London for the first time can be a bit overwhelming considering too many attractions to see, and they are all scattered across the city.

If you simply want to scratch the surface as “Been There, Done That” style, you can take a bus tour which does  a perfect job taking you through the history of London, and stopping over at all the main tourist attractions.  If you want to dig deep into the history, and make the best of your visit, I recommend you taking London Pass.

What is London Pass:

Simply put, it is your passport to exploring all the great attractions in London, economically.  There are 70 tourist attractions ranging from museums to stadiums, historic and heritage attractions to gardens and cruises.  Plus the pass provides you fast track entry to many attractions,  and discounted rates at wide range of gift shops and cafes
1 Day Adult Pass is £52.00
2 Day Adult Pass is £71.00
This does not include Oyster Travel card. We recommend a 2 day adult pass that comes with a free London guide book along with London map (covering central London) and Tube map for transport directions.

It’s impossible to see all these 70 attractions given that the opening time is 9am and closing time 6pm.  But with a good planning, you can maximise the use of the card.  We’ve put together a little guide and tips that might help you decipher London Pass and optimise your visit.

Day 1 Itinerary
Start your day early, and be sure to reach the attraction at 9.00am.

Tower of London

5

7

Tower of London is a historic castle and Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress in Central London.  Discover the majestic White Tower that features Royal Armories collections and marvel at the world famous Crown Jewels including the Imperial Crown with Koh-i-noor diamond.

Fast track Entry

Standard Entrance Fee: £22.00 

Time Required: 2 hours
Nearest Tube: Tower Hill

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Collage

One of the iconic symbol and an engineering marvel of English Heritage, Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge built 120 years ago. Get to know the history of the bridge and its existence, explore the panoramic views from the high-level walkways and new glass floor and be awed seeing the Victorian Engine rooms.

Fast Track Entry
Standard Entrance Fee: £9.00
Time Required: 1.30 hours
Nearest Tube: Tower Hill

HMS Belfast

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast

Unfold the history of surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship – HMS Belfast and explore their nine decks and hear the stories about Arctic Convoys, D-Day, Cold War, Korea and beyond.

Standard Entrance Fee: £15.00

Time Required: 1.15 hours

Nearest Tube: Tower Hill

The London Bridge Experience and Tombs
This is not a museum or exhibition.  The tour tells you the 2000 year old history of London Bridge through an interactive yet scary experience.  But it’s not really horrifying experience altogether, although the scare maze was good.

Fast Track Entry

Standard Entrance Fee: £24.00
Time Required: 1 hour

Nearest Tube: London Bridge

NOTE: We wouldn’t recommend this unless you have London Pass.  The attraction is highly overrated and there’s a waiting time to enter the tour (even for London pass holders).

Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Theatre Tour

Shakespeare Globe Theatre - London, United Kingdom
 Flickr Creative Commons Doug Kerr

A reconstructed theatre and an open air playhouse, this is where William Shakespeare originally worked and wrote many of his plays. This is a great place to tick if you are Shakespeare’s fan just like us. After visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon, we knew we would never want to miss visiting this place.

Standard Entrance Fee: £13.50

Time Required: 45 minutes
Nearest Tube: London Bridge

Monument
Monument Collage

The Monument is a symbol of historic importance, and reminds people of the Great Fire of London and how the city rose from ashes. This imposing column was built by Sir Christopher Wren  and Dr.Robert Hooke in 1677.  Climb 311 steps on the spiral staircase, you will be floored by the panoramic view of London.

Standard Entrance Fee: £4

Time Required: 45 minutes

Nearest Tube: London Bridge
Last Admission: 18.00

Day 2 Itinerary

Stadium Tour

Lords

Are you a sports enthusiast like us? Do you enjoy Cricket, Tennis, Rugby or Football?  You should then check out one of the stadium tours that London Pass offers.  We have seen both Wimbledon and Lords Cricket Stadium tours and it was such a gratifying experience.  We wanted to see Arsenal or Chelsea FC Tour, but had to skip due to other personal plans, but we totally recommend taking one of these tours.

Also note that most of these stadium tours are located slightly away from the touristy part of London.  So we recommend you go there first, and then continue your trail within the central London. The Standard Entrance Fee for some of the stadium tours are as follows:

Wimbledon Tour Experience: £22.00
Lords Cricket Ground Tour: £18.00 
Twickenham Rugby Stadium Tour: £16.00
Arsenal Stadium Tour: £18.00 and Chelsea FC Stadium Tour: £20.00

Greenwich Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark
Greenwich

Greenwich 2

Don’t fancy sports? Take the river cruise to Greenwich and discover the Prime Meridian, see the oldest refracting telescope and explore the wonders of astronomy here while enjoying the London Skyline. Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea clipper, the fastest and greatest of her time.

Standard Combined Fee: £16.80

Time Required: 2 hours

Nearest Tube: Greenwich (20 minutes from Greenwich station)
Opening Time: 10.00

River Cruise
London Eye 2

London River Cruise Westminster

Red Rover Cruise provides an all day pass to hop-on and hop-off any of the 4 piers – Westminster, London Eye, Tower Pier and Greenwich. If you opt to visit Greenwich, ideal choice is to utilise the river cruise and enjoy many vistas of London along the shores.

Standard Entrance Fee: £18.00 (Red Rover Cruise)

Time Required: 1.5 hours 

Nearest Tube:Westminster, Tower Hill or Greenwich 

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey 2

Not only this has been the wedding venue for Royals, but also been a coronation church of the British monarchy since 11th century, Westminster Abbey is a beautiful Gothic church, a UNESCO Heritage site, and a significant part of British history.  Visit the church to be amazed by the architecture, paintings, stained glass, sculptures and religious artifacts.

Standard Combined Fee: £20.00

Time Required: 1.15 hours

Nearest Tube: Westminster
Closing Time: 16.30 (No public entry on Sundays)

Royal Mews and Queens Gallery

Royal Mews Collage

The Royal Mews is home for stables, coaches, carriages and most recently a garage serving the British Royal Family. When you do a tour inside, you will understand it’s more than just a stable. It’s a living tradition of British Heritage. Visitors can see the Glass Coach (used by Royal Brides), Australian State Coach, and the most impressive Gold State Coach (most recently refurbished for Queen’s Diamond Jubiliee Celebration). You can combine this visit with Queen’s Gallery that houses about 60 collection of paintings/drawings, a place for art lovers.

Standard Combined Fee: £17.10

Time Required: 1.5 hours

Nearest Tube: Victoria
Last Admission: 16.15


Churchill War Rooms

CWR

When I realize that I’ve walked the corridors of where Sir Winston Churchill has walked, it gives me goosebumps. We’ve had an opportunity to learn and discover the war rooms during the crucial times of world history, the planning and execution of WWII, exploring the War Cabinet Room, Map rooms, Transatlantic Telephone room, Churchill room that takes you back in time. This, by far is the most gratifying experience I’ve ever had.  The photos doesn’t do any justice at all.

Standard Combined Fee: £16.35

Time Required: 1.5 hours

Nearest Tube:Westminster
Last Admission: 17.00

NOTE: Standard Entrance Fee is the entrance ticket for those who do not have London Pass. 


Practical Information


–>Understand that you can only see the attractions between 9am to 6pm.  Your sightseeing itinerary for 2 days are going to be bit hectic, if you intend to maximise the pass. So start early, avoid travelling to different attractions that are scattered around the city.  

–>Check the opening and closing time for all the attractions you intend to see.  They have seperate summer and winter timings. 

–> This itinerary is drawn keeping in mind the distance between each of the attractions.  Seeing the attractions that are in and around same area saves travelling time, and you don’t need to use your oyster card. And the attraction (in this order) are within the walking distances. 

–> You can also download #LondonPass app in your mobile for easy access. 

Is London Pass really worth the money?

The value of standard entrance fees for Day 1 is £87.50 and Day 2 is £88.35 (Total of £175.75), while you paid for a 2 day pass only for £71. The London Pass is outright worth for money. And you get to beat the long waits and get on fast track entry on many attractions, which is a big advantage.  
Travelling with Kids  Recommended
Solo traveller Recommended
Interested in History/Heritage Recommended
First time in London Recommended
Offbeat travel  Recommended
Interested in Sports tours Recommended
Museum and Art lovers  Not Recommended
If you are interested in visiting many of London’s museum, I wouldn’t recommend this pass, since a lot of museums offer free entry. But for everybody else, the pass is a total saver (both time and money), and we recommend it for everyone who is interested in seeing/experiencing London more than just a hop on hop off bus tour. 

Have you used London Pass?  What are your thoughts? 

Disclaimer:
We were given complimentary 2 day London Pass. We were not compensated or asked to write a positive review. As always, all the opinions are our own.

8 Responses

  1. Very useful and informative post.

  2. Your post reminds me nursery rhyme "London bridge is falling down" 😉
    Must say all photos are beautiful..

    http://zigzacmania.blogspot.in/

  3. I have stayed in London for about a year and now that I am back, missing it. Your post made me remember everything 🙂 I totally agree with you with London pass, you can explore it better specially when you have a limited time.

    Cheers!
    Himanshu
    Being Traveler

  4. Very useful information. How long were you there in London?
    You could have visited my daughter who lives in Central London, I would hav egiven oyu her contact number. She is also great explorer, seeing the nooks and corners of London not known to many outsiders.
    True, for a frequent visiters, there is no limit of time, as they can choose accordingly, but for people coming only once or twice in their lifetimes seeing the usual touristy thing is the only way, and that too is not totally complete. In fact , I am not much of a Museum/ Church kind of a person, I have seen many churches and Museums all over Europe.
    Good ot know you are really enjoying your frequent trips to London.

    • Ah, that's good to know Rama…We go to London very often, and that's mostly restricted for the weekends. I love museums, churches, and castles, whereas Sri cannot spend time in these.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge