The traditional old-style red double-decker bus (with a conductor and an open platform at the back) was a much-loved part of London's furniture, so when they were phased out in 2005 lots of people were aghast. Luckily, the Mayor decided to keep a few of the old 1960s buses running on two "heritage routes".
So how about forgoing the tube for a day, and taking a trip on part of London's history?
The first route is No.9, and runs between Trafalgar Square and Kensington High Street:
Trafalgar Square --> Piccadilly Circus --> Piccadilly --> Hyde Park Corner --> Knightsbridge --> Royal Albert Hall --> Kensington High Street
The second route is No.15, and operates between Trafalgar Square and the Tower of London:
Trafalgar Square --> Strand --> Fleet Street --> Blackfriars --> Mansion House --> Cannon Street --> The Monument --> Tower of London
Craig has written a little review of the No.15, if you'd like to get an idea of what it's like. But he recommends catching the No.11 instead, which is a lot more interesting (it's not a heritage bus, though). He's also put together a marathon bus journey around London which strings together lots of different buses, so you can see plenty of sights.
Note: The heritage routes operate between 9.30 AM and 7 PM. Modern buses also operate on the same route, with extended hours/routes -- so make sure you board the right one. The heritage buses have an open platform and staircase at the back. Unfortunately because of their old design, they are not wheelchair accessible.
Events in Trafalgar Square
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If you enjoy sightseeing bus tours in London then you might like these other London events…
The Original Tour — Open-top sightseeing bus – Every dayThe Original Tour is one of London's most popular sightseeing buses, and it's also a great way to travel around the capital.
Big Bus Tour — London sightseeing bus – Every dayThis traditional open-top bus tour will take in all the best landmarks and attractions, with a free river cruise and guided walk.
Ghost Bus Tour, around London’s dark past – Every dayThe Ghost Bus Tour will take you on a journey through London's gruesome past, and into the dark heart of the capital.
See London by night — on a sightseeing bus – Every dayThe 'See London By Night' bus tour will show you London's most famous landmarks beautifully lit up in the night sky.
11 — London’s cheapest sightseeing bus – Every dayIf you don't fancy spending 25-30 pounds on a sightseeing bus, then there's a much cheaper alternative, the No.11 bus.
The Railway Children + real steam train! – 16th December 2014 to 8th January 2017The Railway Children's cast includes a real-life 60-tonne steam train that comes chugging into the King's Cross Theatre.
Hire a Boris Bike… and cycle around London – Every dayIf weaving your way in and out of the busy traffic on a hire bike sounds like fun, then how about hiring a "Boris Bike"?
Cable car across the River Thames – Every dayThis cable car offers fantastic views as it carries you across the Thames from The O2 to the ExCel Centre in 5 minutes.
Dinner cruise on the river, with Bateaux London – Every dayBateaux London offers you great cuisine and live entertainment onboard the boat, as it sails serenely down the Thames.
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