A few weeks ago, I was approached by the team behind the London Duck Tours to see if I wanted to take some friends on the tour and review it on my blog. I’d heard of these tours, seen the obnoxious yellow buses driving around the city but never been on one before. We almost went on the New York version (the NYC Ducks) when my brother and I were really small – and that’s what I associated this tour with. I thought it was just for kids. So, was I wrong?
I asked Johnny if he wanted to come with me and his response was ‘why the hell would I want to do that?’, so I took along with me two of my good friends, Charmaine & Katie. They were both really excited but, like me, were sceptical that this was just a kids activity. So, we did what any responsible adults would do on a Wednesday lunchtime. We had two large glasses of wine with lunch (at Yo!Sushi, which was incredible) and headed off to the Duck Tours.
If you don’t know what the London Duck Tour is – Johnny initially thought it was a tour of the ducks of London – then I shall explain. It is a tour of London that is both on land and on water. Halfway through the tour, the duck bus becomes a duck boat and you sail along on the Thames, all in the same vessel. Apparently, it’s an ex-WW2 boat thing, but I won’t lie to you, I didn’t pay much attention to that part of the tour very much.
Once we got on the duck boat, we had our bags checked and we were on the road. The tour guide was very inclusive, asking everyone where they came from and making jokes about peoples hometowns and nations. He got wind that we were a group of Politics students, so when we passed government buildings he would ‘test our knowledge’ (which usually ended up as a joke) and kept telling the boat that we were going to recreate the last scene of Skyfall or Spectre (have never seen either, so don’t really understand). The guide had a really good balance of adult humour – obviously not crude humour! – and humour that would appeal more to the children passengers. He was engaging and definitely fit into the stereotype of a goofy tour guide.
The tour itself went around most of central London, showing us places like Marble Arch, Horseguard’s Parade, the entrance of Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, M15 and M16 buildings etc. We then went into the water for half an hour, cruising up the river from where the M16 building is, to Westminster Bridge and back again. While the uniqueness of being on land and on the water was nice, we didn’t really see a lot from the Thames other than other boats and litter floating in the unappealing brown water.
Here’s a mini photo-diary of the some of the sites we saw!
|The moment we hit that beautiful, clear Thames water!
The tour lasted about 75 minutes in total and, overall, was enjoyable. Whether it would’ve been as fun on a day where there was no sunshine and no lunch time drinking is questionable, but we had a nice afternoon full of laughs and taking in the city that we call home.
*Disclaimer: the service which I reviewed in this post was gifted to me however all thoughts and opinions are my own.