The Big Bus Tour

July 6, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Recently my parents, sister and her boyfriend visited London and we decided to go on the Big Bus Tour. Perhaps an error in judgement.

Obviously the benefit of these types of tours is the ability to get an overview of a foreign city with the option to jump on or off within a day of purchasing a ticket. However, for those of us who stay on board for the entire 2+hrs (the shorter version) it began to drag. While on the upper deck I could clearly hear the guide but after we had to change buses and I was on the lower deck it became a partially incoherent dialogue.

Speaking of incoherent once we changed buses we also got a new guide and he’d clearly had a rough night what with the slight slur, red eyes and somewhat dishevelled appearance.

Based on my own knowledge of the capital I thought the information was largely accurate and I did pick up on a few things as well. However, there were a few instances when the bus was stuck in traffic and I tried to break the lull by providing anecdotes of the area – something a qualified guide could surely have done.

My other criticisms of the tour were the over use of movie filming locations. Specifically Harry Potter. If I wanted a Harry Potter tour I’d go on one. Secondly, the guide would often be so busy cross promoting some other tour or another that by the time they mentioned something of actual interest we’d already whizzed past it.

Some 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 go with the Original over the Big Bus anytime.

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