London is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, offering visitors from all over the world a wealth of diverse and exciting experiences. No two trips to London are the same, as guests of the Montcalm hotel packages in London can attest to. The many museums, historic districts and entertainment options mean that every visitor will be able to learn about the city in the way that suits them.
Whether you’re a foodie sampling the mouthwatering selection of Finsbury Square restaurants or an art connoisseur drinking in the colours of London’s many galleries, there’s a way to dive deeper tailored to you. This blog will explore some of the self-guided tours and trails that will help you to make the most of your trip to London. From the family friendly to the dark underworld of the city’s history, these self-guided tours will unchain you from the need of a guide and walk you through the city using audio and digital technology, all with the aim of expanding your horizons and exceeding your expectations of this exciting English city.
The Line - A Public Art Walk
The Line runs broadly along the Greenwich Meridian line, a navigational “point 0” that has long been used on maps and time zones across the world. With the Greenwich Meridian’s importance in mapmaking, the Line art walk represents a revolution in London art walks. The line offers visitors a self-guided tour that runs from Greenwich Docklands and O2 Arena all the way through Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, passing sculptures and installations that evolve and change through the years. Using an app and guide designed by Bloomberg Connects, the Line is a great way to introduce oneself to the creativity of London through the often overlooked docklands and canals of the city’s east.
Southbank Sightseeing Walk
This one needs no app, you can see for yourself why the Southbank is such a tourist hub. Starting from the London Eye next to Waterloo Station, tourtakers can walk just under two miles along the Southbank, passing the BFI Cinema, the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre and the Royal Festival Hall, all of which have viewing platforms and balconies where you can enjoy views of the Thames and the Houses Of Parliament across the river.
Keep on walking and you’ll pass the stunning Tate Modern building as well as the Millennium Bridge, London Bridge, Globe Theatre, The Golden Hinde Elizabethan galleon replica and your endpoint - Borough Market. Along the way, visitors will apss plenty of bars and eateries as well as the pleasant sounds of some of London’s best buskers.
Charles Dickens Tour
Charles Dickens is one of the most read British authors in the world, and has inspired many theatre, film, TV and radio adaptations too. From Oliver Twist to David Copperfield, Charles Dickens’s works are often set to a backdrop of Victorian London, a major stomping ground for the man himself during his life. This is why it's so easy to find the remaining sites and hangouts that Dickens frequented during his time here. Using the GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities app, Dickens fans can explore monuments and buildings associated with the famous author. There’s also the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, easy to reach for guests of the Montcalm luxury hotels in London, where Dickens wrote many of his most famous London based novels.
The Children’s Tour of London allows kids to learn about the city on their own terms, using maps that you can pick up from the City Information Centre at St Paul’s Cathedral. With Draco The Dragon as your guide, your kids can learn about the Museum of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Leadenhall Market and many other exciting places across the city. Created in partnership with Open City, the Children’s Tour is an accessible and adventurous way for your kids to orient themselves in London in their own way.
Street Art Self Guided Tours
Across the city, street art and murals have become synonymous with the city’s creative and political scene. Across the boroughs of Camden, Hackney and in the Waterloo tunnels area, visitors can explore some of the best street art, graffiti and murals in the country, all created by some of the best artists in the world. The street art tour can be downloaded as an app as well, so you can drink in the sights at your own pace.
10 Centuries in 1 Day
The Montcalm Royal London House is surrounded by history. The city itself dates back almost a thousand years, and it's unsurprising then, that there are many landmarks that still exist from its long history.
20 centuries might be too much to fit in a day out, but 10 is doable thanks to the cycling or walking tour of the City of London Ceremonial Borough that maps out many of the English capital’s oldest landmarks. Starting from the Roman Wall that once surrounded London, visitors can explore the Tower of London, St Magnus the Martyr Church, built in the 12th century.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
Using the GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities app, fans of the Harry Potter franchises can enjoy a list of attractions and landmarks that were made even more famous than they already were by the Harry Potter films and books. See a wall-submerged luggage trolley at Kings Cross station, the thrilling site of a death eater chase scene from the Deathly Hallows at Piccadilly Circus and many other magical delights courtesy of JK Rowling's world renowned franchise.
Hyde Park And Kensington Gardens Sculpture Trail
Hyde Park is teeming with sculptures and landmarks, including the Diana Memorial Fountain, Speakers Corner and the Peter Pan Statue in memory of JM Barrie, the author of the novel. The two royal parks are set in the heart of London and as you wander around the green idylls, keep an eye out for some of the wonderful sculptures and monuments here. Each and every one of them has a fascinating story behind them.
Once you’re done, take a walk around the Serpentine Gallery for some free exhibitions of contemporary art. If you still have time, the Serpentine Lake that divides the two royal parks offers rowing boat and pedalo sessions as well.