When visiting London for the first time, or even as a repeat-visitor, you can get pretty overwhelmed. Between the West End Deals, the plethora of incredible restaurants and bars on your doorstep, and the seemingly endless variety of theatre performances and expansive parks, it can be hard to know what to do. This is especially true if you have limited time in the city – and limited hours in the day! This is when you should be considering going on a tour, so you can get all the important information without the pressure of structuring your timetable yourself. Guided tours enable you to find all the secret spots and hidden gems of a city that only a local can know, as well as learn the Piccadilly Circus facts and historical significance of what you are seeing that only seasoned tour guides could know.
We are reaching Winter-time and it is getting darker much earlier. Though after such an excellent Summer this may seem sad, the consolation is that there are a number of tours that are much better when the lights go out – and there’s plenty of darkness to go around at this time of year! Wrap up warmly and join any of these four fun night-time tours.
- The Jack The Ripper Tour
Those with a taste for thrills, chills and shrills should make their way to Whitechapel and book themselves onto a Jack The Ripper Tour. It is not just an activity for Halloween – though of course, it is one of the best for that, too! – but just something of high interest and that’s an overall fun activity. Jack The Ripper is one of London’s most infamous villains and was a serial murderer in the 1880s in London’s east end. This historical bad-guy is a criminal who warranted many investigations, but none of the mysteries have ever really been resolved. But the sheer volume of information historians do have has been enough that a wicked tour is available of Jack’s London.
It happens every day at 7.30pm and the tour meets outside Exit 3 of Aldgate East Station, which is just 13 minutes on the tube from Embankment, which is a ten-minute walk from Piccadilly Hotel London.
Address: 88 Whitechapel High St, Shadwell, London E1 7RA
London Party Pub Crawl
If you are staying in Piccadilly, then there is no reason not to get involved with the London Party Pub Crawl because it is on your doorstep. It is as you would expect, a night-time affair and a great way to get a taste of the London night-life and still getting a taste of a number of different places. The tour covers the areas of the West End, Shoreditch and Camden, which are absolutely teeming with pubs to choose from, so consequently impossible to know about without a guide. The tickets include entry to all the bars you visit, five free shots over the course of the night and drink deals wherever you go. It is perfect for a group or party, but also great if you are by yourself because it is an excellent way to meet new people without having to traipse through the city on your own.
Address: 1 Piccadilly Circus, London W1V 9LA
Eating London Food Tours
There are so many restaurants and markets in London that the prospect of picking a restaurant can be quite daunting. The choices start when picking what type of food you fancy – and there is everything from Afghan eateries and pizzerias to American BBQs and gastropubs. Then you have to choose the area, though being on the West End in Piccadilly makes that somewhat of a no-brainer. Once all that is decided, you need to pick which one to visit in that area… and there is never just one! This tour makes all those choices for you without limiting the scope. You get a bit of everything. It takes you through a diverse selection of neighbourhoods, pointing out all the local favourites and the stories behind them and their conception. Whether you are tasting the Jewish influence of the east end or the historical significance of Soho’s Chinatown, there is something new for everyone and it is an overall learning experience for the record books. The best tour to do at night, though, is the Twilight Soho Food Tour, because it combines the buzzing vibe of Soho at night with all your favourite flavours.
Address: 237 Old Montague St, London E1 5AG
London At Night Bike Tour
This three-hour night tour by bike is one of the best ways to explore the city, as well as one of the most unique. You pass all the famous landmarks that are on everyone’s London-bucket-list, like Tower Bridge along the River Thames and Big Ben. The best part about doing a tour like this at night is the lights, which turn it into two experiences in one. Yes, Soho is always bustling and vibrant, but by night it is lit up like a Christmas tree. The same goes for the London Eye, which is a beaming, sparkling circle of light against the backdrop of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Your ticket includes bike hire, helmet and a tour guide who will elevate what is already a dazzling experience. Cycling in London is always a fun experience in itself, but at night it is much more special.
Address: 74 Kennington Road, Kennington, London, SE11 6NL
Trying to do one of these night tours in the Summer is a wholly different experience, though obviously still rewarding – mainly because you have to wait until around 10 pm before it is even dark! But the upcoming Winter means all these night-tours are in their prime and it would be a shame for you to miss them when in the city making the most of West End hotels special offers, Christmas markets and light-displays.