Make the most of the last days of summer by being a tourist in your own town and taking a Big Bus tour. With 52 stops around London, and one hop-on-hop-off ticket lasting 24 hours, it’s a convenient and relaxing way to enjoy the end of the summer sunshine and learn more about your favourite city. Unlike normal London buses, these open-top beauties won’t obstruct your view of all the best historic sights the city has to offer, and if you stay til the end of the route you won’t end up in Penge, which can only be a good thing. The tour allows you to take a whistle stop tour of all London’s greatest landmarks but it’s not just the obvious attractions that can be seen from the bus. Here are our top five unexpected sights to catch on an open top bus tour…
1. Pretty mosaics above the Apple Store, Regent Street
You might miss them from street level if your eyes are glued to your iPhone – these decorative mosaics were made by Venetian glass makers Salviati in 1898 to decorate the front of their London premises, which is now home to the Regent Street branch of everyone’s favourite hysteria-inducing tech company.
2. Blocked out windows on Grosvenor Crescent
In the 18th and 19th centuries, glass was an expensive luxury and so a window tax was introduced to measure how wealthy a property owner was. This caused many to block out the windows to avoid the tax, as can be seen on these posh townhouses.
3. Round stained glass windows at St Magnus the Martyr’s church, Monument
These pretty round stained glass windows with cherubs on top caught our eye, and that of the passenger next to us, it would seem.
4. Blue trees next to St Pauls
These unusual looking trees are a ‘social installation’ by Austrian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, highlighting the importance of trees and other greenery to breathe life into urban spaces.
5. Figureheads on the City of London Magistrate’s Court
This nice lady was exactly at bus-level, meaning we could say hello to her without craning our necks.
See these sights and plenty more by booking a bus tour at bigbustours.com. Routes include the multi-lingual blue route, or the shorter red route with live commentary. Big Bus also organise their own walking tours, including the Harry Potter Location Walk, The Beatles Walk and Ghosts by Gaslight.