Right, so let me guess– you’re not looking for the same old boring London walking tour. You want something different and unique. GOOD! This article covers some of the most unique tours in London that you could book onto while you’re visiting. Go for a yummy food tour that also shows you London street art, learn about Black history around the city that is rarely talked about on traditional tours, or even make your way around Central London on a tour in an antique mini cooper.
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Image Courtesy of Eating Europe
1. East End London Food Tour
This is the number one tour I recommend to Love and London-ers, for a few reasons. It’s a unique combo of walking tour in a very interesting, eclectic area — Shoreditch and Spitalfields in east London — plus yummy food tour. It doesn’t just cover British dishes, but other foods that are important to the history of the area. Plus, you’ll see some street art too.
Eating Europe runs this tour, as well as some others in London and other cities around the continent. They’re a small biz with fantastically-knowledgeable local tour guides. Also have a look at their Soho Twilight Tour for another unique option.
Image Courtesy of Virgin Experiences
2. Bermondsey Beer Tasting Tour with a Cheeseboard
Deep in Bermondsey, an area that many locals aren’t aware of (unless you’ve watched my Areas to Visit That You’ve Never Heard Of video), there’s the Bermondsey Beer Mile. It’s a bunch of distilleries housed in the Network Rail arches, close enough to make it possible to do a distillery hop on certain days of the week.
If you’ve got a beer-lover with you in London, experience this unique tour in London with this microbrewery. Plus you get to pair your beer samples with a delectable cheese board from the local cheesemonger Neal’s Yard Dairy, featuring three kinds of cheese and crackers.
Image Courtesy of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
3. Chocolate Ecstasy Tour
If you like sweets, specifically chocolate and/or ice cream, hop on one of Chocolate Ecstasy’s tours. The founder, Jennifer Earle, is a top expert in the fine chocolate industry, so she knows the best independent shops and vendors to take you to. Tours are limited to eight people and you get to eat lots of treats, duh.
Image Courtesy of Black History Walks
4. Black History Walks
So much of London and English history is whitewashed, and that runs into traditional walking tours around the city. I highly recommend all London tourists to take at least one Black History Walk as it’s incredibly insightful and eye opening. I recently did one around Notting Hill and learned so much about the Black history in the area, which is NEVER talked about in typical guide books or Notting Hill tours, which tend to focus just on pretty houses and spots from the movie.
Image Courtesy of Wimbledon
5. Wimbledon Museum & Grounds Tour
Even if your London trip doesn’t fall over the two weeks that Wimbledon happens, you can still tour the grounds and pretend like you’re there, watching the major matches on Centre Court. Plus, during this tour, you get to see tons of behind-the-scenes areas that you wouldn’t during the tournament, like the media room and the Player’s Entrance. I definitely recommend also booking tickets to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which is a very cool and interactive museum, even for non-tennis-lovers (me!)
Image Courtesy of Virgin Experiences
6. Sipsmith Gin Distillery Tour
Londoners feel pretty prideful about Sipsmith Gin, and you can tour the Chiswick distillery to see how it’s all made. Book through Virgin Experience Days and you’ll also get a gin tasting (this is very important.)
Afterwards, I recommend exploring Chiswick, it’s a beautiful village-like town that has lots of great secondhand shops, pubs and restaurants.
Image Courtesy of Growing Underground
7. Growing Underground Urban Farm Tour
Sat in an old WWII bunker 33 meters under the streets of Clapham is the world’s first underground farm. Here, farmers are growing micro-greens that supply restaurants and shops around London, providing produce that takes much less water, waste and resources to produce. Sustainability for the win…
The urban farm occasionally does tours you can get tickets for, so if you’re an eco-nerd like me, this is a super unique tour to do while in London.
8. Barbican Architecture Tour
The Barbican Estate, with around 2,000 homes, started being built in 1965 and was completed in 1976. The idea was to regenerate the area after it was mostly destroyed during WWII, and it was designed in the Brutalist architecture style. It’s a unique estate full of interesting Brutalist design choices, with lots of seating areas and water features to enjoy, as well as some spots to get food and drinks.
This tour takes you across the Barbican Centre and surrounding Brutalist estate for about 90 minutes. You’ll learn about the vision and ambition behind the design, and gain insight into the past, present and future of the site.
Image Courtesy of Women of London
9. Women of London Tour
If you’ve ever felt like there’s just TOO MANY MEN being featured in tours, well, here’s a tour for you. Women of London do tours that teach you about the women that have had a huge impact on London in the last few centuries. They have a few tours like “Women of Westminster” and “Working Women of the East End”, both of which are really highly rated. I love indie companies that offer tours that are unique and help teach tourists about the side of London that most don’t know about, especially when it comes to minorities that made a huge difference in London.
Image Courtesy of Bowie Tours
10. David Bowie Music Tour
David Bowie is one of the city’s most famous and beloved Londoners, and if you’re a fan, you can take one of two David Bowie Music Tours, either in Soho or Brixton, two areas that were integral to his life. During the tour, you’ll be serenaded by acoustic versions of his songs.
Image Courtesy of Viator
11. London Private Tour in a Classic Car
Go on one of the most unique tours in London– by mini cooper. You’ll have your own private guide driving you by some major sights in London and some lesser-known areas, telling you bits and bobs about each place you see. It lasts around two hours and you’ll also have plenty of photo stops, and hotel pick-up and drop-off.
12. LGBTQ+ history tour in SoHo
Image Courtesy of London with a local
London’s Soho dates back to the 1600s, the area has been the epicentre of the queer community. It played a big part in much of London’s LGBTQ+ history, from being frequented by Oscar Wilde as highlighted in his 1895 trials, to Soho becoming the go-to area for underground queer bars and clubs in the 1930s. To this day, Soho has retained this reputation, giving the community a place to feel relatively safe, have fun and meet like-minded people.
You can learn more about all of this with the Queer & LGBTQ+ History Tour, a free walking tour run by London With a Local to “explore the vast and complex history of LGBTQ+ life in London, with stories of iconic people and places who have shaped the city and community through the centuries”.
Which of these unique tours in London have you now booked for your trip? Let me know in comments, and if you share a photo of your tour on Instagram, tag @LoveandLondon so our community and I can see.
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