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Best Historical Tours In London (2024 Guide)

London is one of the best cities in the world to visit, and as it was established during the Roman Empire it’s also full of history. Kings, queens, politicians, writers, musicians and serial killers have all called London their home, and the streets and buildings of the UK’s capital city tell their stories.

Choosing a historical tour in London is a great way to learn about the history of this fascinating city, and the variety of tours means there is something for everyone.

Best Historical Tours in London

Palaces and Parliament Tour

When people think of famous London residents, chances are they will think of the British Royal Family. The British monarchy dates back to 1066, and many of those monarchs resided in London palaces.

Buckingham Palace

This 3-hour walking tour starts outside the famous Ritz Hotel and will take you past many London landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

This tour is especially great for families as kids can join for free.

Closest Tube Station: Green Park

✅ Book your Palaces and Parliaments Tour tickets here.

Tower of London

The Tower of London has played a central role in London’s history. It has been both a palace and a prison in the centuries since construction first began on the White Tower in the 11th century.

See the Crown Jewels and meet the ravens of the tower. Meet the Yeomen Wardens, nicknamed ‘Beefeaters’, who will take you on a tour and share some of the fascinating stories from the Tower’s history. Learn about Anne Boleyn’s time in the tower before her execution, and her daughter’s imprisonment before becoming Queen Elizabeth I.

The Tower of London is a paid museum and so you will need to book tickets to enter.

Closest Tube Station: Tower Hill

Tower of London in Autumn

Jack The Ripper Tour

This is the ideal tour for fans of true crime and horror. Jack the Ripper is one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, largely because he has never been identified.

Explore the area of Whitechapel in the East End of London, and hear the stories of the victims and the theories about the perpetrator. The guides are very knowledgeable about this particularly gruesome chapter of London’s history, sharing details of the murders that began in 1888 and took the lives of at least 5 women.

This popular historic London walking tour takes 2 hours and starts in the evening, visiting the real locations where these crimes occurred. Don’t be too alarmed though – these days London is a very safe city to visit!

Closest Tube Station: Aldgate East

✅ Book your Jack the Ripper tour here.

10 Centuries in 1 Day Tour

If you are trying to keep a tight budget for your London trip, then this may be the one for you. The City of London has produced a few free PDFs for self-guided tours of London.

The 10 Centuries in 1 Day Tour PDF provides a route that includes a Roman wall, the starting point of the Great Fire of London, and the Museum of London. You won’t get as much detailed information as you would on a paid tour, but it’s a great option for a historical tour of London if you are trying to save money.

Other self-guided tours created by the City of London include a Shakespeare walk, an architectural walk and a filming location walk.

Closest Tube Station: Tower Hill

Westminster and Churchill War Rooms Tour

This 4 hour historic tour of London includes a 3 hour walk around the borough of Westminster followed by entry to Churchill’s War Rooms beneath the modern Westminster streets.

The War Rooms showcase the history of Winston Churchill’s life and his legacy as Prime Minister during the Second World War. See the Cabinet rooms where key decisions were made and military strategy was determined.

This tour includes landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and of course the War Rooms. A great choice if you have an interest in politics and 20th century history.

Closest Tube Station: Green Park

✅ Book your Westminster and Churchill War Rooms Tour here

Soho Music and Pubs Tour

If you like history to be a little more on the modern side, this tour of four historic London pubs might be the one for you. Over the course of 2 1/2 hours, the guides share stories of icons of music history such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Ella Fitzgerald.

Pub culture has long been a part of life in Britain, so try out this tour to experience a bit of modern British life, have a few drinks, and hear some entertaining stories about London’s musical history.

Closest Tube Station: Leicester Square

✅ Book tickets for the Soho Music and Pub tour here

London Landmarks Bike Tour

If you are confident on a bike and want to see a bit more of the city, a bike tour will allow you to venture further than most London walking tours. This bike tour includes the areas around Kensington Palace and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as classic tour areas such as Westminster.

The tour price includes a bike, helmet, and entertaining stories from your guide.

Closest Tube Station: Queensway

✅ Book your London Landmark Bike Tour here

Historical Day Tours From London

Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath Day Tour

This 11 hour coach tour will take you through 5000 years of history and provide some fun facts about the UK.

Windsor Castle is one of the oldest inhabited castles in the world, and still acts as an official residence for the British monarch.

The city of Bath is famous for its Roman baths, and also its place in many regency-era novels. Any fan of Jane Austen will know all about Bath’s Pump Room and the Royal Crescent. This tour includes a visit to the Roman baths, with an audio tour to teach you about the area’s thermal waters and how they led to the development of an important town in Roman Britain.

Stonehenge on a sunny day

Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most famous landmarks. While there are many theories as to its purpose, the real reason why prehistoric humans constructed Stonehenge remains unknown.

If you have a limited amount of time in the UK but want to see some of historic Britain outside of London, then this may be the tour for you.

Closest Tube Station to meeting point: Victoria

✅ Book your Stonehenge and Bath Day Tour tickets here.

Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford Day Tour

Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare – perhaps the single most important writer in the English language. The town of Stratford-Upon-Avon is full of interesting buildings and a wonderful place to learn more about Shakespeare’s life and literature.

Oxford is a beautiful city and is home to the famous Oxford University – the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Your guide will take you on a walking tour around the city to landmarks such as the Bridge of Sighs, and Trinity College.

Oxford University buildings.

Closest Tube Station to meeting point: Victoria

✅ Book your tickets for the Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon tour here.

Tipping Tour Guides

In the UK tipping isn’t mandatory, but always appreciated. If you’ve had a positive experience on a tour, a cash tip of a few pounds per person will be welcome.

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