Mansion House is the official home of the Lord Mayor of London. (Not to be confused with the Mayor of Greater London -- that's the person we vote into City Hall every five years. The Lord Mayor just oversees the Square Mile, inside the old city walls, whereas the Mayor of London looks after the rest.)
The tour will take you inside the interior courtyard, the Egyptian Hall and the boardroom, where you'll learn some of its history and hear stories about the people who once resided here. You will learn all about the previous Lord Mayors who stretch back centuries, discover some of the historical events that happened here, and get close to important objects like the Lord Mayor's Sword and Mace, Fire Cup and Pearl Sword. The House also has a very fine collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings by the likes of Frans Hals, Nicoleas Maes and Jacob Ruisdael.
Craig has been on this tour himself and thinks that it's a decent enough way to wile away an afternoon -- but it's probably not a good choice for a tourist. But if you have a big interest in London history then it's well-worth doing. Read his review of the Mansion House tour on his blog before you go. Feel free to ask him some questions as well.
If you enjoy this tour then Craig definitely recommends a guided tour of the Guildhall. You might like to go and watch the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in action at the monthly meeting of the Common Council as well.
Craig’s review – “I went on a tour of Mansion House today. That's the place where the Lord Mayor of London lives. You have to queue up round the side until a nice lady comes and lets you in at 2 PM. Our tour group consisted of about 25 old people and me. And some of them were even older than old, older than the building itself. Maybe that was why the security was so lax. The security… continued”
Somerset House Historical Highlights – Every Thu and Sat – This tour has tales about Tudor intrigues and the extravagant entertainments laid on during Georgian times
Guided walk around Charles Dickens’ London – Every Fri – This guided walk will take you around some of the most memorable streets and locations that Charles Dickens used in his novels.
11 — London’s cheapest sightseeing bus – Every day – If you don't fancy spending 25-30 pounds on an open-top sightseeing bus, then there's a much cheaper alternative — the No 11 bus.
City Highlights: The Top 10 sights – Every Mon, Wed and Sun – A two-hour guided walk around the Square Mile, showing you some of the most famous historical sites and buildings in the City of London.
Guided tour of Wren’s best churches – Every Tue and Thu – This guided walk will look at the outside of St Pauls Cathedral and at a selection of Christopher Wren's finest City churches
Guided walk around Roman Londinium – Every Wed and Sat – Walk through the streets of Roman Londinium and see what remains of the old city walls, military fort and amphitheatre
Guided walk along London’s river – Every Sat – This guided walk will take you along a small stretch of the Thames to learn some history and see some of the river's most famous landmarks
Look for more guided tours in January
If you enjoy Mansion House then you might like to visit Banqueting House, The City (you can walk there in less than 1 min), Guildhall (you can walk it in 4 mins), Royal Courts of Justice (walk it in 22 mins) and Royal Exchange (you can walk it in less than 2 mins)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans