Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

22 October 2009

Catch the Number Eleven - TFL's Tourist Bus

For new arrivals in town a bus tour can be a great way to acclimatise, but you can pay a lot of money to catch a tourist bus around London. Sure, you get an open top and a running commentary, but it can cost as much as twenty five times as much as getting on an ordinary bus and sitting on the top deck. Plus you have to put up with someone shouting fact in your ear.

If you're on a budget and willing to give it a go, the Number Eleven begins at Liverpool Street and takes in the Bank of England, St Pauls Cathedral, Fleet street, The Strand, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Number 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. From there, it passes near to Buckingham Palace and you can get off and forget about all those nasty bus smells with a nice walk in the park.

So why not give it a bash? At least you'll be able to tell all those Big Bus Tour people thrusting leaflets in your face to p*ss off. For more information on central London bus routes, visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/central_bus_map.pdf, or for something a bit more twee, see this old post about heritage routes 9 and 15.

^Picture of bus interior from Flickr courtesy of chelmsfordblue^


  1. Good post. I was going to suggest the 9 and 15 as they use the Routemasters but you've got that covered.

    The RV1 is also a good option. Starts at Tower Gateway station, cross the Tower Bridge and goes along the South Bank, passing the Tate Modern and London Eye, then cross the river again and winds up at Covent Garden.

  2. I was also going to suggest trying the 9 to get the routemaster experience - Routemasters are so beautifully English!

  3. Well done- I worry that tourists are often overcharged + don't get value for money- don't use the tourist bus.

    I think the all in travel card is a must,and the journey on the DLR from Bank to Greenwich is the best of the lot.

  4. My recommendation for a tourist journey would be the Thames Clipper service. The London Bridge to Canary Wharf stretch is so much better than the tube especially if you can sit outside. Much cheaper than tourist boats plus a third off if you have a Travelcard.