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If you’re fascinated by London’s diverse and captivating history, you’re in for a treat. London offers a plethora of tours tailored to satisfy all historical cravings. From immersive architectural walking tours and enlightening river cruises showcasing the African history of the city to mouthwatering food tours in traditional London pubs, there’s something for everyone. Here’s our guide to top London tours for history lovers.

(WA= Wheelchair Accessible)

Explore the best of brutalist architecture and its history during one of the London tours for history lovers

Image Courtesy of Get Your Guide

Explore London’s brutalist buildings

First, on our list of London tours for history lovers, you will discover some of London’s most iconic Brutalist landmarks. Explore this striking and dramatic architectural style prevalent throughout the 60’s and 70’s on this Brutalist Architecture and History Walking Tour, led by a knowledgeable guide, who will take you through the central neighbourhoods of London, providing insights into the history of post-war architecture. Chat about Modernist monumental architecture with like-minded people, discussing all about the cultural, social, and environmental impact it has had on the city. Along the way, you’ll visit legendary Brutalist buildings, like the Institute of Education and the National Theatre, delving deeper into the ongoing debate surrounding their future use.

London: Brutalist Architecture & History Walking Tour | Russell Square 

Winston Churchill's statue in Westminster.

Image Courtesy of Walks

See Churchill’s legendary headquarters

This Churchill War Rooms tour dives deep into the legacy of Winston Churchill’s leadership during World War II, shaping the world as we know it today. Explore Churchill’s legendary underground headquarters, where he made some of the most critical decisions ever alongside his team, which ultimately led to winning the war. Head beneath the streets of London to reimagine how life would’ve been in these historic spaces all those years ago. On city level, your guide will lead you to Churchill’s frequent hangouts and other vital locations that bear witness to the enduring impact of WWII on the city of London, telling historical facts and stories along the way.

Life of Churchill and World War II: London Walking Tour with War Rooms | Westminster 

Individuals enjoying one of the Black History Tours during one of the London tours for history lovers

Image Courtesy of Black History Walks

Learn about the Black history of London

Black History Walks deserve a top spot on our list of London tours for history lovers, offering a range of tours where you can get to know all about the rich Black history of London. All tours are led by expert guides (usually Tony, the founder), covering topics spanning more than 3500 years and 15 different areas, including Regents Canal, St. Paul’s, Mayfair, Soho and more. Perhaps you want to learn about the Black performers and productions that have graced the stages of London’s West End theatres, or you’d rather explore the Black presence in the renowned Wallace Collection; Black History Tours likely has you covered. Plus, it’s not just walking tours they offer; they also host a range of bus and river tours.

Black History Walks | Central London

Freinds enjoying their beer during the Pub History tour in London.

Explore the history of London’s pubs

London’s pubs have consistently played a key role in the history and heritage of the city ever since its earliest days, so it’s only fitting we include a pub tour on this list of London tours for history lovers. With around 3,540 pubs scattered throughout the city, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are even worth visiting. That’s where this Food Tour of London’s Historic Pubs comes in handy, where you’ll get to join a local guide on a leisurely walk through the historic City of London, hopping from charming pubs serving traditional pub fare and locations that once held the Crown Jewels, as well as establishments once frequented by literary legends. Enjoy traditional pub fare and drinks at each stop as you hear intriguing stories and insights about London unfolding with every step.

Tastes, Tales & Traditional Ales: Food Tour of London’s Historic Pubs | Holborn

Girls learning more about the Jewish culture during one of the London tours for history lovers

Image Courtesy of Get Your Guide

Get to know the Jewish history of East London

East London has a long and interesting Jewish heritage, and the best way to explore it is alongside an expert guide on a private Jewish History Tour. See the sites where the Jewish community thrived, starting with the Tower of London, which once served as a refuge and a place of imprisonment for Jews during the Anglo-Jewry expulsion. Follow your guide as you visit synagogues, soup kitchens, Yiddish theatres, and kosher shops that served London’s Jewish immigrants, particularly in the 19th-20th century, exploring areas where many Jews lived and worked throughout history. You can either opt for the two-hour tour, where you’ll hear stories and visit important Jewish sites, or the four-hour tour, where you’ll get to delve deeper into the tragedy of the Holocaust, including a visit to the Imperial War Museum and its Holocaust Galleries.

Jewish History Tour | Tower Hill | WA

Statues of women who brought upon changes in Britain are a hard miss during one of the London tours for history lovers

Image Courtesy of Women of London

Retrace the footsteps of the women of Bloomsbury

On this Women of Bloomsbury walking tour, you’ll discover the magic of Bloomsbury, a neighbourhood that has long attracted London’s cultural enthusiasts, intellectuals, artists, and writers. The tour will delve into the lives and legacies of remarkable women who have left their mark on history within this area, including following in the footsteps of celebrated writer Virginia Woolf, brave World War Two spy Noor Inayat Khan, influential abolitionist Mary Prince, pioneering dentist Lilian Lindsay, and numerous other inspiring figures. Discover their stories, accomplishments, and challenges as you traverse the streets where they once walked with your guide from Women of London, a women’s history walking tour company who we love working with.

Women of Bloomsbury | Covent Garden | WA

Barrels overlooking the aesthetic Covent Garden market.

Image Courtesy of Rebel Tours

Take a trip back in time on a Covent Garden walking tour

Uncover the captivating tales of London’s most eccentric and colourful personalities on this Misfits of Covent Garden walking tour, where you’ll take a trip back in time, learning all about the colourful characters that used to haunt the area. From its humble origins as Westminster Abbey’s vegetable garden, Covent Garden transformed into a bustling market, a thriving theatre district, the epicentre of vice and poverty, and even a slum that left a lasting impression on the renowned Charles Dickens. The tour is operated by female-founded Rebel Tours, a friendly bunch of professional tour guides, historians, and rebels who aim to tell stories in a refreshing and immersive way where you are an active part of the group rather than a passive tourist.

Misfits of Covent Garden | Covent Garden | WA

Fans learning more about rock and roll during one of the London tours for history lovers

Image Courtesy of Get Your Guide

Get to know London’s rock ‘n’ roll history

Last on our list of London tours for history lovers is this London Rock Music Tour, which will take you on a nostalgic journey through London’s iconic rock scene, through the vibrant neighbourhoods of Soho, Camden Town, Muswell Hill, Archway, and Islington, all playing an integral role in the city’s rich rock ‘n’ roll history. Explore the legendary gig venues and former recording studios that hosted The Beatles, and visit the residences of Ringo Starr and Jimmy Page. Retrace the footsteps of rock legends Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Queen, and other influential musicians as you uncover their old hangouts and key locations that played a pivotal role in their lives. See where Amy Winehouse spent most of her time in Camden, cross the renowned Abbey Road crossing to recreate the iconic Beatles album cover, and dive head first into the swinging ’60s scene in Chelsea, all with your enthusiastic guide on hand to tell you all about the old school rock ‘n’ roll days.

London: Rock ‘n’ Roll History Tour | Piccadilly Circus

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Top London Tours for History Lovers
Jessica Dellow

Jessica Dellow is an East Londoner who loves to travel the world and eat her way around the city. When she's not eating, cooking or hanging out in the local pub, you’ll probably find her walking one of her BorrowMyDoggy dogs in Victoria Park with a coffee in hand.