London Short Tour
- 1. Attend a popular show in the West End
- 2. Visit and explore Eton & Windsor with a local guide for the day.
- 3. Visit a major exhibition at a leading gallery or museum with a local guide
- 4. Learn about contemporary London with a local guide around Shoreditch
|25 April 2023 |
Ends 30 April 2023 • 6 days
|06 September 2023 |
Ends 11 September 2023 • 6 days
|24 April 2024 |
Ends 29 April 2024 • days
|05 September 2024 |
Ends 10 September 2024 • days
Tour of London: 5-day small group tour
Explore the greater city of London on a small group tour with Odyssey Traveller for 4 full days.
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom and one of the major metropolitan centres in the European continent. Its history stretches back to the Romans, who founded the ancient settlement of Londinium in 43 AD. The Romans' London Wall was a defensive wall built around the city and which defined its boundaries until the late Middle Ages. Though the wall was dismantled around the 1700s, sections of it are still visible, snaking through private and public establishments in the city of London. Left largely abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire, the city later grew and became increasingly prosperous until London itself became the seat of a vast empire that reached its peak during Queen Victoria's reign. The growth of industry ushered in the Industrial Revolution, which led to Britain accounting for nearly a quarter of global industrial production in the 19th century, with British workers becoming the richest men and women in Europe. But the mass migration of people from the countryside to the city also resulted in overcrowded housing, pollution, and unsanitary, disease-ridden living conditions. By the mid-18th century, London was a city of 750,000 people, filled with factories that burned coal and blanketed its buildings with soot. Working and living conditions improved with new government regulations, and the city, surviving widespread damage brought by two world wars, remains an important cultural and commercial centre in the world.
This small group tour is offered to travellers who are seeking a five-day extension in the city as part of an Odyssey Traveller escorted small group tour. Travellers may also consider joining the 21-day Queen Victoria's Great Britain tour, which begins in London and explores other cities in Great Britain.
The tour stays in a centrally located hotel in London. Each day we set out to explore various parts of the city, typically using public transport, including the London tube on occasion, taxis and the rail network to reach the destinations selected, taking in 2-3 key features or attractions of the city. We will be aided by knowledgeable, local guides who share the ancient, classical, and recent history of the city with the group as we explore. We typically use public and private transport or walk around the city for visits.
Highlights of this London small group tour:
- Walk the London Wall and view a portion of the wall underground at Spitalfields Market.
- View the Temple of Mithras. The remains of the temple was discovered in 1950s in Walbrook and was reconstructed for public viewing. The religion and rituals centred on the god Mithras remains a mystery, though we know the Mithraic religion was practised in Rome, especially among members of the Roman military. The Museum of London houses relics from the original temple.
- Walking along the Thames will give us a view of the many places we can explore: Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
- Enjoy one show at the theatre in the west end.
- Attend typically with a guide up to 3 exhibitions in London
- In 2019, Buckingham Palace is open to visitors from July 20 until September 29. Visit the Queen's official London residence and explore its lavish State Rooms.
- Take the train to Eton/Windsor for the day with a local guide touring this local area.
Articles about London published by Odyssey Traveller
The following list of articles published by Odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of London when visiting;
- The London Underground
- Victorian Women's Fashion
- Queen Victoria's Britain, Part 1 and Part 2
- Understanding British Churches
- Studying Gargoyles and grotesques
- Georgian Architecture
- London's Victorian Architecture
External articles to assist you on your short break in London
Tour in Britain with Odyssey Traveller
This short tour of London is only one of many small group tours offered by Odyssey Traveller in Great Britain. These active tours are designed for the mature traveller to enjoy in a small group holiday and learning environment.
Small Group Tours with Odyssey Traveller
This tour to London is based in the heart of the city and gives travellers easy access to popular tourist attractions and public transport. Similar to other Odyssey Traveller tours, this tour is designed for the senior traveller and is fully escorted, with the group accompanied by an Odyssey Program Leader and local guides, adding expert knowledge about the history and culture of the area. The small group setting also ensures flexibility and focused attention to programme participants.
For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.
Day 1: London
Accommodation: London Lodge or similar
Welcome Dinner hosted by tour leader.
Day 2: London
Accommodation: London Lodge or similar
Day tour and exploring London
West end theatre show.
Day 3: London
Accommodation: London Lodge or similar
Day tour to Eton & Windsor
Day 4: London
Accommodation: London Lodge or similar
Day exploring London embankment and a major gallery show.
Day 5: London
Program concludes after breakfast.
Includes / Excludes
What’s included in our Tour
- 5 nights of hotel accommodation.
- 5 breakfasts and 2 dinners.
- All entry fees and services of local expert/guide where relevant.
- Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
- Gratuities and necessary tips.
- Detailed preparatory information.
What’s not included in our Tour
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Return international airfare and departure taxes.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
- Meals not specified in the itinerary.
Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, moderate walking on uneven surfaces between 3 - 5 kilometers per day. Suitable for most fitness levels
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
Reading List Download PDF
PrettyCityLondon: Discovering London's Beautiful Places
A stunning photography, lifestyle and travel guide to London. This beautiful collection of images will take you past London's famous landmarks, and into the pretty hidden gems beyond. From secluded mews to undiscovered cafes, flower markets and tree-lined streets, prettycitylondon champions the quiet, gentle moments that allow you to escape in a huge capital city like London. If you know where to look, you will find that traditional shop fronts, vintage transport, artisan bakeries, florists and bookstores are but a hop skip and a jump from the centre, and some right bang in the middle. Curated by founder and editor of Instagram's prettycitylondon, this stunning guide also includes tips on how to photograph and plan your own prettycitylondon experience, whether on foot or from afar.
Author Siobhan Ferguson is a photographer, a social media consultant, and the curator and founder of the hugely popular Instagram accounts, prettycitylondon, theprettycities, and siobhaise.
By Siobhan FergusonAmazon
London: A Travel Guide Through Time
Let time traveller Dr Matthew Green be your guide to six extraordinary periods in London's history - the ages of Shakespeare, medieval city life, plague, coffee houses, the reign of Victoria and the Blitz.
We'll turn back the clock to the time of Shakespeare and visit a savage bull and bear baiting arena on the Bankside. In medieval London, we'll circle the walls as the city lies barricaded under curfew, while spinning further forward in time we'll inhale the 'holy herb' in an early tobacco house, before peering into an open plague pit. In the 18th century, we'll navigate the streets in style with a ride on a sedan chair, and when we land in Victorian London, we'll take a tour of freak-show booths and meet the Elephant Man.
You'll meet pornographers and traitors, actors and apothecaries, the mad, bad and dangerous to know, all desperate to show you the thrilling and vibrant history of the world's liveliest city.
By Matthew GreenAmazon
London Made Us: A Memoir of a Shape-Shifting City
A personal journey - part anecdotal, part impressionistic - through London's constantly shifting cityscape by BBC Radio London's Robert Elms. 'London is a giant kaleidoscope, which is forever turning. Take your eye off it for more than a moment and you're lost.'
Robert Elms has seen his beloved city change beyond all imagining. London in his lifetime has morphed from a piratical, bomb-scarred playground, to a swish cosmopolitan metropolis. Motorways driven through lost communities, accents changing, skyscrapers appearing. Yet still it remains to him the greatest place on earth.
Elms takes us back through time and place to myriad Londons. He is our guide through a place that has seen scientific experiments conducted in subterranean lairs and a small community declare itself an independent nation; a place his great-great-grandfather made the Elms' home over a century ago and a city that has borne witness to world-changing events.
By Robert ElmsAmazon
Hidden History of the Tower of London: England's Most Notorious Prisoners
Famed as the ultimate penalty for traitors, heretics and royalty alike, being sent to the Tower is known to have been experienced by no less than 8,000 unfortunate souls. Many of those who were imprisoned in the Tower never returned to civilisation and those who did, often did so without their head! It is hardly surprising that the Tower has earned itself a reputation among the most infamous buildings on the planet. There have, of course, been other towers. Practically every castle ever built has consisted of at least one; indeed, even by the late 14th century, the Tower proudly boasted no less than 21. Yet even as early as the 1100s, the effect that the first Tower had on the psyche of the local population was considerable. The sight of the dark four-pointed citadel - at the time the largest building in London - as it appeared against the backdrop of the expanding city gave rise to many legends, ranging from the exact circumstances of its creation to what went on within its strong walls. In ten centuries what once consisted of a solitary keep has developed into a complex castle around which the history of England has continuously evolved. So revered has it become that legend has it that should the Tower fall, so would the kingdom. Beginning with the early tales surrounding its creation, this book investigates the private life of an English icon. Concentrating on the Tower's developing role throughout the centuries, not in terms of its physical expansion into a site of unique architectural majesty or many purposes but through the eyes of those who experienced its darker side, it pieces together the, often seldom-told, human story and how the fates of many of those who stayed within its walls contributed to its lasting effect on England's - and later the UK's - destiny. From ruthless traitors to unjustly killed Jesuits, vanished treasures to disappeared princes and jaded wives to star-crossed lovers, this book provides a raw and at times unsettling insight into its unsolved mysteries and the lot of its unfortunate victims, thus explaining how this once typical castle came to be the place we will always remember as THE TOWER. AUTHOR: John Paul Davis is the international bestselling author of ten thriller novels and three historical biographies 40 b/w illustrations
By JOHN PAUL DAVISAmazon
Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London
In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.There's Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House - she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank's parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun's room.These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
By Jennifer WorthAmazon
London's Underground: The Story of the Tube
A comprehensive guide to the London Underground, combining a historical overview, illustrations and newly commissioned photography. It is impossible to imagine London without the Tube: the beating heart of the city, the Underground shuttles over a billion passengers each year below its busy streets and across its leafy suburbs. The distinctive roundel, colour-coded maps and Johnston typeface have become design classics, recognised and imitated worldwide. Opening in 1863, the first sections were operated by steam engines, yet throughout its long history the Tube has been at the forefront of contemporary design, pioneering building techniques, electrical trains and escalators, and business planning. Architects such as Leslie W. Green and Charles Holden developed a distinctively English version of Modernism, and the latest stations for the Jubilee line extension, Overground and Elizabeth line carry this aesthetic forward into the twenty-first century.In this major work published in association with Transport for London, Tube expert Oliver Green traces the history of the Underground, following its troubles and triumphs, its wartime and peacetime work, and the essential part it has played in shaping London's economy, geography, tourism and identity. Specially commissioned photography by Benjamin Graham (UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017) brings the story to life in vivid portraits of London Underground's stations, tunnels and trains.
By Oliver GreenAmazon
National Geographic Walking Guide: London 3rd Edition
The best way to see and appreciate the sights of London is to walk, absorbing all the energy and vibrancy of the city. This guide offers 15 itineraries, accompanying the reader step by step on a journey of discovery in the company of expert travel writers, all true Londoners, who explain the most important monuments of the city. The "Whirlwind Visit" section includes schedules for visiting the entire city in one day or in a weekend, for solo travel and family outings. The walks go from The City to Westminster and from Kensington to Knightsbridge, touching on all the sites shown on the maps. Each "Walking Tour" is complete with maps and walking times; the underground stations where the tours start are clearly marked. There are detailed descriptions of museums and other destinations, including Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the National Gallery, with tips on what to see and how to plan a visit. This insider guide will introduce the reader to the most intimate aspects of the city- Royal London, Shakespeare's London, and London pubs- there will be no doubt why this city is considered one of the best in the world.
By Sara Calian, Brian RobinsonAmazon
Articles about London
Georgian Style of Architecture: Definitive Guide for Seniors
Great Britain - a profile and travel tips for seniors
Great Britain. Travel tips for seniors. With over 36.115 million visitors in 2015 alone, Great Britain is the world’s 8th biggest tourist destination, offering a range of experiences to entice travellers […]
Industrial Revolution. Britain's contribution to the world
London's Victorian Architecture: The Definitive Guide for Travellers
Markets of Victorian London
Queen Victoria's Britain: The Definitive Guide for Travellers
Queen Victoria's Britain part 2: The Definitive Guide for Travellers
Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 2 of 2) This two-part article on Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group tour especially designed for…