It doesn’t should be Halloween to benefit from the spooky aspect of London – so should you’re trying to uncover a number of the darker tales from town’s previous, a ghost bus tour of London is the proper method to do it.
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Operating year-round, the London Ghost Bus Tour is a metropolis sightseeing tour with a distinction, with a midnight black double-decker Routemaster bus taking you across the capital, listening to spine-chilling tales of homicide and loss of life – plus a really giant serving to of gothic comedy on the aspect.
For those who’re in search of an uncommon method to spend a night in London with youngsters, hoping to entertain bored teenagers or just fancy discovering a unique aspect to town, that is simply one in every of London’s quirkiest excursions – so right here’s every part it’s essential to know in my Ghost Bus Tour of London overview, with youngsters and with out.
What’s the Ghost Bus Tour of London?
A haunted bus with its personal darkish historical past whisks you across the centre and metropolis of London, sharing tales of ghosts, homicide, bloodshed and loss of life alongside the way in which.
For those who’re anticipating a dry historic tour, you couldn’t be farther from the reality – our flamboyant conductor introduced the grisly tales to life, received passengers leaping from the get-go, and combined loads of jokes among the many info.
The route itself passes the Homes of Parliament, Downing Avenue and Whitehall, in addition to venturing into the Metropolis of London previous the Outdated Bailey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Tower of London and throughout the river to Bankside.
Alongside the way in which, you’ll encounter well-known fiends equivalent to Sweeney Todd – and uncover the true story behind 186 Fleet Avenue, one in every of London’s most well-known ghost hoaxes, and the Crossbones Cemetery which proves that actual life may be far darker than fiction.
There’s judicial homicide, together with the ghosts that hang-out the positioning of previous Newgate Jail, and grisly tales of aristocratic executions on the Tower of London, plus a number of the nation’s most well-known hangings.
Alongside the way in which, in addition to passing a few of London’s most iconic landmarks, you’ll study medieval punishments, see the positioning the place a King was beheaded and the place a murderous Queen lies buried.
We heard tales of the Nice Hearth of London, and realized why Londoners believed it was a punishment for gluttony, in addition to the passing a web site that helped encourage Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.
Plus the spooky story behind the Necrobus itself… this necropolis bus was as soon as used as a funeral bus, it was the one one to outlive a devastating hearth, it has its personal ghostly historical past – and maybe a magical current (or might it simply be technical trickery?)
Some tales are genuinely haunting – a nurse whose bony hand nonetheless rests on her fellows’ shoulder to remind them to take care after by chance killing a affected person, a ghost in Theatreland noticed within the place the place a stabbed physique was later found, and tales of tube practice drivers who’ve seen spectral girls strolling throughout the tracks.
To not point out an opportunity to see the capital all lit up at evening, to a soundtrack of axes clashing and the conductor prowling unexpectedly by way of the aisles.
For those who’re shivering in your seat studying this, worry not that is way more comedy horror than nightmare-inducing – it’s really very humorous, theatrically over-the-top and there are as many laughs as chills courtesy of the actors concerned, the conductor particularly.
On a sensible observe, it’s all cleverly arrange with TV screens at the back and front of the deck so you possibly can see what’s taking place with out having to show spherical, utilizing a number of the CCTV cameras on board.
The bus itself is among the basic Nineteen Sixties routemasters, given a spooky makeover – the ornamental options embody lamps by a number of the home windows, crimson velvet curtains and black and orange streamers on the ceiling throughout our tour simply earlier than Halloween.
The place does the London Ghost Bus Tour go to?
The Ghost Bus Tour route follows a loop by way of London – though very down-to-earth street closures imply you may find yourself taking a number of diversions.
From Northumberland Avenue, you’ll head down Whitehall to Parliament Sq. and Westminster Abbey earlier than returning to Trafalgar Sq. and heading alongside the Strand by way of Theatreland.
The route continues alongside Fleet Avenue and thru the Metropolis of London, with places together with St Paul’s and St Bartholomew’s, Pye Nook and the Outdated Bailey, Greyfriars and the Monument, over London Bridge to Southwark and again to the northern Embankment to complete the route.
That’s simply an summary, however suffice to say, you cowl a stunning quantity of London – geographically and its historical past – throughout your 75-minute tour.
How scary is the Ghost Bus Tour of London?
The bulk is extra ghoulishly enjoyable than terrifying, however this can be a ghost tour in spite of everything, so there are positively a number of scary moments.
For starters, count on bounce scares proper from the beginning – my husband was caught out as he was about to climb as much as the highest deck, and as a number of different passengers found, it pays to maintain your eyes on the conductor to keep away from a fright.
With out giving an excessive amount of away, you gained’t solely discover ghostly tales from London’s previous whilst you’re on board – the ghost bus has its personal secrets and techniques…
With flickering lights and some genuinely unnerving moments (albeit pretty short-lived with loads of jokes to diffuse the stress), it’s pleasurably scary for adults and youths, however when you have youthful youngsters who’re vulnerable to nightmares, it could be one to postpone for a number of years…
Get a reduction on tickets should you ebook through Tiqets utilizing my hyperlink and the code MUMMYTRAVELS6
Is the London Ghost Bus appropriate for teenagers?
The brief reply is that it will depend on the age of the youngsters and the way simply unnerved they’re – the web site says it’s not appropriate for teenagers aged 1-5 though it’s right down to parental discretion, so youthful youngsters can come on board at dad and mom’ danger.
There have been a number of households on our London Ghost Bus tour, with all the children aged 10+, and whereas there have been a number of nervous moments (together with for the adults!), there was nothing too terrifying.
I positively wouldn’t attempt it with toddlers and youthful youngsters as there are moments when it’s darkish and spooky, and delicate older youngsters (7-12) may not benefit from the finish, however teenagers and those that take pleasure in being a bit scared will find it irresistible.
The conductor was good at selecting adults for the viewers interplay sections and the bounce scares too.
The opposite level to keep in mind is that fairly other than the tales of murders and loss of life, there’s a good quantity of risque content material – largely double entendres and different jokes which might most likely go over the heads of youthful passengers. However should you don’t fancy explaining what a ‘girl of the evening’ is, it’s value figuring out upfront!
There are additionally no bogs on the bus; once more, little drawback for older ones when the entire expertise takes beneath 90 minutes although. There’s additionally no house for buggies/pushchairs.
For those who’re in search of different family-friendly bus excursions of London, take a look at my choose of the very best bus excursions with youngsters
Suggestions for the London Ghost Bus Tour
It’s nicely value getting there early – you’re advisable to show up round quarter-hour beforehand, however I’d counsel making it 20 or 25 minutes if you need a superb seat.
We arrived round 20 minutes early and there was already a queue; we ended up boarding virtually immediately, and by quarter-hour earlier than departure, the highest deck was virtually solely full.
It’s additionally value sitting on the left hand aspect of the bus. There’s a lot to see from either side, however from our place on the precise hand aspect, it felt like we had been being directed to look out of the alternative home windows quite a bit.
You gained’t miss out on both aspect although, however in case you are early and have a selection of seats, that will be my choose.
Some seats face backwards should you or your youngsters are vulnerable to journey illness. There aren’t any seatbelts, as with every commonplace bus in London, although we by no means felt unsafe.
There are additionally a number of departures per evening, so keep in mind that visitors shall be worse for the sooner ones – you may find yourself with extra time on the bus in consequence, however you’ll even be sitting round much more.
Whilst you’re suggested to permit 75 minutes, our 9pm tour was completed by round 10pm because the roads had been clear, however I’d count on a 6pm tour to be slower.
It’s additionally value contemplating what time sundown it: as our Ghost Bus Tour of London overview journey was in October, even the earliest departure was after darkish, however should you’re visiting in summer time, early autumn or late spring, it’s possible you’ll want a later tour to see town after darkish.
The Ghost Bus Tour of London: Must know
The London Ghost Bus tour departs each day from 8 Northumberland Avenue, exterior the Grand Lodge and reverse the Sherlock Holmes pub.
It’s minutes from Embankment and Charing Cross tubes, in addition to from the Strand and Trafalgar Sq..
The tour takes round 75 minute relying on visitors, with a number of departures per evening relying on the time of yr – throughout college holidays round Halloween, you possibly can count on as many as six departures per evening between 6pm and 9.15pm, whereas on different days there might solely be two, at 7.30pm and 9pm.
Tickets value from £25 for adults, £17 for teenagers aged 5-15, or you should purchase household tickets (two adults, two kids) for £63. You can too purchase tickets with free cancellation from Get Your Information and Tiqets
Disclosure: This submit accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee. I paid for this tour myself and all opinions are my very own
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