The Original London Sightseeing Tour / Speakers’ Corner

September 8, 2007 at 4:00 am | Posted in London, Out and About, Speakers' corner, The Original London Sightseeing Tour, Travel, UK | 1 Comment

Taking a trip on a big red-ish bus around London is incredibly touristy but it does provide an opportunity to take in the city in a glance and this is most useful for the short term visitor. Those with more time can take advantage of the hop-on hop off nature of the ride and even take a cruise on the river.

The Original London Sightseeing Tour offers both a live English guide and another route which offers multi language headsets. As the bus route is predominantly in the inner city it would be advisable to go on a weekend when there are fewer cars and in the financial distict limited people.

Original Bus Tour (11) Original Bus Tour (4)

During the tour there were two different guides and there were a few discrepancies between in their statements. While there is no way to verify their monologue and realistically any tourist is put in the position of having to believe them but I found myself questioning them several times.

I apologise dear reader that I cannot recall the specific occurrences which would illuminate this point.

Contrary to my earlier statement, when I had first heard the tour I was irritated when they claimed Trafalgar Square (specifically the statue of Charles’ I) whereas we all know it is at Charing Cross near Charing Cross Station. Or do we? After doing some post tour research it seems that apparently I’ve been wrong these past few months and the spire by the station is only a replica with Charles’ statue being the correct site.

So kudos to the tour for teaching me something.

I’d started the tour at Hyde Park and ended it at the same place. Now I took the time to walk through Speakers’ Corner. Religious conversations and diatribes were the order of the day. Nonetheless the speakers were quite passionate and were almost uniformly surrounded by large groups of both casual observers and those keen for a good argument. Without a shadow of a doubt Sydney’s speakers’  corner is a poor shadow. For example Sydney has on average 2 speakers and perhaps just as many observers. London by contrast had almost 20 speakers and aforementioned crowds.

Speaker's Corner (6)

I doubt the speakers will ever be shifted from their position but there is something to be said for a discourse – however limited it may be.

Speaker's Corner

Speakers’ corner is an active and lively place and it takes very little time to wander through and pick out the speakers and the craziness before moving onto other parts of London like Oxford Street. The corner is not a must but can be easily incorporated into other adventures.

Photos for the bus tour and speakers’ corner are on Flickr.

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  1. […] of you may recall that a few years ago I went on the Original Bus Tour, so of course my memory may be a bit cloudy but if I had to choose one bus tour of London I’d […]

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