I recently popped into London for a special birthday surprise arranged by my sister and part of the surprise involved a spooky ride on the The London Ghost Bus Tour! The other half of the surprise involved a visit to the delicious champagne and hot dog bar Bubbledogs, which I reviewed in this post here. My sister knows me better than I know myself so by choosing to book us a trip on The London Ghost Bus Tour she knew I'd love it - and I did!
|Image from www.londoniscool.com|
I'd first heard about it in the summer when helping relaunch a website based around things to do in London and fell in love with the idea immediately. Much like The London Dungeons and other spooky attractions based within London, it's very much based around teaching you the gory/spooky side of London's history in a fun quirky way with live actors and spooky stories to set the atmosphere. The bus takes you all around London, passing and sometimes stopping at various sites that may have a ghostly history or perhaps someone was murdered there, etc. I've heard of loads of bus tours in London and loads of scary attractions, but never one that mixed the two. Needless to say when we waited at the stop and the bus pulled up, I was beyond excited.
The bus is completely decked out to suit the scary atmosphere - for starters, it's a typical London double decker bus, but it's painted completely black. Inside it's made to look like a real classic old time funeral hurst (in fact they told us it actually used to be one in the old days, but I'm not sure if that was true or not haha) with red seats and even little lamps on the interior walls all to give it that unsettling effect. It was really interesting to see how much effort they put into every little detail with even the tour conductor taking on a slight oddball character in costume and makeup and all.
|Image from www.sometravelnotes.com|
The tour itself was not only interesting but really scary too. I learned loads of new things about London's past, which is saying a lot because I'm actually quite interested in the disturbing side of London's history and have already read up about it lots so to still learn new things on the tour was great. It is a typical scary attraction so on one hand you learn about all the history of the city, and on the other hand you also get scared a lot with the tour guide making you jump and other things to keep you on the edge of your seat. But it's all done in a very humorous way, so it's nothing too scary. I mean, there were loads of young kids on the tour, but I was very thankful that the conductor made them sit upstairs so they wouldn't annoy us haha! It was all really awesome - the whole idea was so quirky and different and there's so much I'd like to say but can't without ruining it! There are a lot of twists on the tour as well and I loved that it was a bit more individual in that there was also a side story about the bus which meant you felt more involved in the tour and not just sat there hearing about things that happened hundreds of years ago.
Finally the actors were great too and really lived up to keeping in character even down to the language they used (i.e addressing people as Sir or Madame as you would in 'those days', having a slight 'off' feature to them). We went just before Christmas and I'm not sure exactly what was going on but there were hundreds of drunken Santa's around London - as in yes, loads of adults dressed as Santa getting drunk. One of them rang alongside the bus and jumped on much to our amusement, but rather then breaking character or acting rude, the tour conductor just kind of played along with it and made a joke out of it. If that were me, I'd feel so under pressure and would feel compelled to break character to tell the 'Santa' to get off, but I was really impressed with the way it was handled. Plus it was hilarious.
The London Ghost Bus Tour was something I'd wanted to go on for ages but even so it still exceeded my expectations and was so much more fun/scary/funny than I thought it would be. I left the bus with my cheeks hurting from laughter, and me and my sister both got a few jumps/scares over the course of the tour as well. Plus, over all, I did learn loads of interesting facts about gory and spooky things to happen in London's past, as well as seeing all the sights where they took place.
If you're into London's history, anything to do with ghosts or the paranormal or even just like things that are a bit different (especially if you like The London Dungeons and attractions like that) then I would definitely recommend this to you!
The bus is also available for private hire which has already got me thinking about next years birthday plans!
The London Ghost Bus Tour runs every evening at 6:00, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 (though check the website as some of these times are seasonal!) and the tour is roughly one hour and fifteen minutes long. The tour leaves from Northumberland Avenue, just by Trafalgar Square. A standard adult ticket is £20.