Why a guided London tour should be part of your next group trip

Date post added: 24th August 2023

When you search for ‘fun group activities in London’, you’re confronted with choices from axe throwing to go karting, paintball to crazy golf, the infamous bottomless brunch and everything in between. Then, of course, there are escape rooms and immersive experiences.

But did you know that there’s an incredibly immersive experience that doesn’t require virtual reality goggles? It’s called a guided walking tour of London! Walking may seem old school when you can step into virtual worlds at the flick of a switch. But here’s the thing, the combination of fresh air, exercise, seeing aspects of London that you’ve never noticed before and the fascinating insights of an incredibly knowledgeable guide is totally immersive. You’ll experience London in a different way, you’ll feel the history and it will really get you talking as a group.

“Walking is the perfect way of moving if you want to see into the life of things” Elizabeth von Arnim.

10 reasons why groups enjoy a guided London walking tour

1. Understand London

Of all the great cities in the world, London is the most secretive, the most mysterious. You have to walk it – you have to get up close, get ‘inside’ London if you want to understand it and make sense of it.

You can easily tick off the major sights – London Eye, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace. But that doesn’t help you to actually know and understand the city. It won’t get London under your skin and leave you enchanted by its magic.

An example. You can gaze up at and admire The Shard, but on a London Walk you’ll learn about the Victorian slums that used to be there and the secret garden that lurks across the street.

2. Discover hidden gems

If you’re looking down at a map or a guidebook, you’re missing out on those little nuggets of interest that you can easily walk past blindly. Look up and you’ll notice historic details – an E for execution point, an architectural design, a centuries-old sign. An experienced guide will highlight these amazing features for you and, importantly, will explain their significance.

Would you know where to find the most magnificent wisteria in bloom in the city? It happens on a certain street at a specific time of year. Our guide will reroute the tour to make sure you experience these special, seasonal moments. A London Walk is like a treasure hunt as we guide you from gem to gem, pointing out the jewels in London’s crown.

3. Gobsmacking guides

Let our expert, passionate guides lead you through the streets of London and you’ll experience an area in an infinitely richer way. Like a tracker on safari, they know the signs to look for, the points to follow, so that you can see and really understand what’s in front of you. Their innate knowledge of the place, its history and its significance will bring it all to life for you.

We have award-winning guides, experts in their field, the highest calibre of qualified tour guides. They couple genuine expertise with passion, interest and dedication – an unbeatable combination. They really know their stuff and are happy to share that with you. Be that the significance of the fifth plinth in Trafalgar Square, the best time to see Tower Bridge in action, where not to get ripped off in Leicester Square or the most fun things to see around Covent Garden. Our people are our most valuable asset.

4. Fascinating stories

On a guided tour, you’re not merely sightseeing. You’re sight-feeling, knowing and understanding. What you’re looking at is brought to life because of the stories the guide tells. You’ll be introduced to the people of that area and their tales – new and old. You won’t just see a building, you’ll hear stories of its inhabitants and history.

Going to the Natural History Museum with an actual paleontologist is a learning experience like no other. Hearing stories from geologists, barristers, archaeologists, journalists and brilliant historians is compelling. Learning local legends from the people who live and breathe London is enchanting. You get all of that with our London Walks guides.

5. Group discounts

We have some buying power. Stick with us and we can get rates cheaper than you would on your own. And from time to time, we can jump the queue too (you’ll feel like a VIP).

For example, take our Thames Sightseeing, Brunel’s River Cruise Tour and we’ll get you a really handsome reduction on the price of the boat ride along the River Thames. Plus, it’s a brilliant tour. Sit back and enjoy the best views in central London glide past your window.

6. Efficient routes

You could spend a whole day wandering around Greenwich and you wouldn’t cover everything our guided tour does in 2 hours. Our guides know where to go and when. They’ll make sure you see the ball drop at the right time. You’ll be in the right place to capture the best panoramic view across the Thames. It’s what we do – we know the area and we’ve honed a route that shows you, the best, the most beautiful, the most interesting parts of a London neighbourhood in a couple of hours.

How valuable is your time in London? How much time do you want to waste meandering aimlessly? Going on a great walking tour makes the best possible use of your time if you want to get to know a London neighbourhood.

7. Better together

You don’t have to be in a group to do one of our walks. It’s a great way to meet other people. You’ll soon start talking as you walk along and discuss the sights you’re seeing and facts that you’re learning.

You may well find that you’re with like-minded people too. Take a Harry Potter tour and you’ll all marvel at the location of the Leaky Cauldron, the Ministry of Magic and, of course, King’s Cross station. If you’re fascinated by Dickens, we can take your group to the pubs in which he drank near London Bridge and Southbank and the places where he lived and work, like Holborn and Gray’s Inn.

8. Walking is good exercise

“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates.

You can easily rack up the steps walking around London. On a London Walk, those steps really count as we’ll talk you through what you’re seeing and where you are. Importantly, we go off the beaten path where the air is fresher, where the air quality is better, and where you’re away from the throng.

You can get from A to B efficiently on the London Underground or by bus, but a walking tour will open your eyes to what’s around you. On foot, you’ll get the sensual experience – the smells of street food at Brick Lane, Brixton or Borough markets; the beautiful hidden gardens in Richmond, Kensington or Regent’s Park; or the striking visual street art in Hackney and the Southbank.

9. Team building

Looking for a work social activity? You could go for a cocktail masterclass, competitive mini golf or ping pong, climb the O2, or shoot the breeze on one of Richmond’s finest golf courses. But perhaps your team or group would love to start their fun activity time together exploring a particular patch of London. Maybe you travel to your workplace in Canary Wharf, Camden or Notting Hill each day but you know little about it. Whether you’re in the West End or East London, there’s a wealth of stories to learn about those areas that will change the way you see them. Learning these stories together will get your team talking. Plus, our guide can point you in the direction of the best places to go after the tour to carry on your conversations and bounce around thoughts and ideas.

10. Bespoke tour

What are you and your friends/ family/ colleagues into? We can create a private tour, just for you. Be it quirky, niche or mainstream, we can tailor a tour to tick your boxes. Follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, Winston Churchill or Charles Dickens. Discover the city’s best street food, afternoon tea spots, British royal haunts. Or maybe you’re curious about the hidden gems in Soho, Shoreditch, Stratford or wherever. A private London Walks tour is a memorable way to spend your day.

If we’ve whet your appetite for a guided walking tour of London, take your pick of the amazing walks that we have on offer daily.

David Tucker

David Tucker

David – the Seigneur of this favoured realm – broods over words, breeds enthusiasms and is “unmanageable.”* He’s a balterer, literary historian, university lecturer, journalist, logophile and lifelong thanatophobe. For good measure, he’s the doyen of London guides.

Read all articles by David Tucker