Being one of the major capital cities in the world, London has a plethora of public transport to make tours of the city and commutes to work quick and easy. As well as the famous underground, double deckers buses and the black cabs, it has a great selection of alternative forms of transport to make your trip even more memorable such as horse and carriage, bicycles and rickshaws. This list of transport allows you to see London from the air, from the Thames and to even burn some calories while seeing what the capital city has to offer.
London Cycle Hire Scheme
If you wanted to explore the city while enjoying the sunshine, then the London Cycle Hire Scheme is the mode of transport for you. Scattered all over the city, the “Boris Bikes” as they are affectionately known as, allow visitors and residents to travel to and from their destinations effectively while enjoying some of the more scenic parts of London such as Kensington Gardens and Holland Park. There are over 10,000 bikes available with 700 bike docking stations around the city and, with cost of hire beginning for 24 hours, it is by far one of the cheapest forms of transport and one that will keep you fighting fit on your way to the Jugged Hare London for a pint and a hearty lunch.
Emirates Air Line
A tribute to the Olympic games held in London in 2012, the Emirates Air Line is a cable car transport that is close to the London City Suites Barbican and connects the Royal Docks and the O2 in Greenwich. There are terminals that you can board and depart at either end and, by using this form of transport, you are guaranteed to get an alternative view of London because the main tourist sights, including the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, can’t be seen from the cable cars. This journey will give you an insight into the other side of London, the City of London including 30 St Mary Axe, or The Gherkin as it is more commonly known as, Canary Wharf, London City Airport and on a bright, sunny day, you may also catch a glimpse of the Olympic Park.
Each car comes equipped with a map to help you spot the points of interest in the landscape such as the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum and, if you have excellent vision, you may even be able to make out St Paul’s Cathedral. This form of transport is cheaper than its counterpart the London Eye, and, just like the tube, overground and buses, Oyster cards give passengers cheaper fares too.
The journey can last up to 10 minutes, 5 minutes during rush hour, which allows visitors to really enjoy the views along the 1.1km route. The cable car holds up to 10 people and has to be boarded while the car is moving, just like the London Eye pods. As this is a form of transport, there is space for wheelchair users and two bicycles on board each car. The trip is smooth, calm and quiet with everyone enjoying the views, it really is a wonderfully alternative way to see a different side of London.
London Duck Tours
This isn’t a tour designed to take you around London finding ducks, this tour is aboard a vehicle that is half boat and half truck. The DUKW were invented during World War II and played a crucial part in the allies invasions such as the D-Day landings. They were used to safe transport supplies for the troops, taking them from the ships to dry land, saving time, men and money.
Some of the ducks were restored and are now used to give tours of London and ending in the Thames, showcasing the incredible duality of these vehicles. There are several tours to choose from that allow you to see different parts of the city, and there are also custom tours such as a pirate treasure tour that is available for those who wish to privately hire a duck for a party or for team building.
This is a tour that captures the essence of London and includes the main sights that has made London world famous. The tour begins with the Millennium spectacle the London Eye where the tour then takes you alongside the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. You can wave to the Prime Minister at number 10 Downing Street before heading past Horse Guards Parade towards Trafalgar Square. Turning onto St James’s, you will be able to catch a glimpse of one of the most famous hotels in the world, The Ritz, before spotting the Queen in Buckingham Palace. From there, the duck takes you past Tate Britain and around MI5 and MI6 before heading into the Thames for a boat ride; simply perfect.