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Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

Colorado USA
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Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

I've heard a lot of good things about the hop-on/hop-off bus tour but would like to know if it's possible to just design a route myself. FYI, DH and I are planning to purchase a 7-day travelcard loaded to Oyster. I've been looking at the bus maps on tfl.gov.uk and there are a couple of routes that might be good for an initial sightseeing, perhaps on our first day. How does this sound:

Walk from our flat in South Kensington to Royal Albert Hall

From Royal Albert Hall/Albert Memorial take the Routemaster bus 9 towards Aldwych (near Covent Garden?)

From Covent Garden take the RV1 bus towards Tower Gateway, then go to Tower Hill tube station, take the tube back to South Kensington.

From what I've seen on the map the routes seem quite scenic as the buses go through Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London Eye, Tower of London etc.

Does this plan sound reasonable? Should I be concerned about traffic jam? Can you give a suggestion to improve it?

London, UK
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1. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

This map might be of use to you showing the major bus routes for tourist sites:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/cen_bus.pdf

>>>Should I be concerned about traffic jam?<<<

No more so than the normal HOHO buses, however buses generally travel in bus lanes, that combined with the congestion charge means there are rarely hold ups.

London
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2. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

I would indeed encourage you to do this (take the bus). Invest a little time in studying the bus maps and its a great way of getting around complementing the Underground and hop on/off buses. You'll get a much better feel of the real London travelling with locals than crammed on the top deck of a bus with fellow visitors.

I think if you did this early on it would give you the confidence to use the bus, much, much more.

Regards the RV1 bus its a single deck bus most of the time and for much of the time it goes along mundane parts of the South Bank. You'd get better views from the double deck hop on bus here.

Buses are not for getting around in a hurry and can be stressful if you're on a tight itinerary up against the clock, but at other times I'd recommend them

Santiago, Chile
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3. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

Handfordr is absolutely right. Taking the bus is a great way to see London. You get much more of a feel for the layout of the city than you do in the tube and you get to sightsee as you travel.

www.londonforfree.net/bustour/bustour.shtml

Colorado USA
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4. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

Thanks, ajeleonard! Would you happen to know if there's a similar map for night buses? The map link you just provided me is definitely more tourist-friendly than the regular ones, but I'm not sure the routes also apply at night.

Colorado USA
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279 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

Thanks for letting me know about the RV1 bus, hanforddr. The tfl website only gives me journey information, not what the buses look like (unless there's a link somewhere I don't know about). I don't intend to pay for the HOHO bus because for me it seems a waste of money since I already pay for the Travelcard, and I'm not a big fan of guided tours.

Colorado USA
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6. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

dancingmolly, thanks for the link. Wow, that free bus tour is quite extensive isn't it? I'll make note of it and plug the route numbers into tfl's Journey Planner (just to make sure it's still current).

Santiago, Chile
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7. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

globalbutterfly, yes it is extensive. I've never done the whole thing but just bits of it. I did a bit of it last October. It is an excellent way to see some sights. Good idea to check that the routes are current.

Colorado USA
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8. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

dancingmolly, did you try the RV1 route by chance? If you did, what's your impression of it in general?

London, UK
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9. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

>>>Thanks, ajeleonard! Would you happen to know if there's a similar map for night buses? The map link you just provided me is definitely more tourist-friendly than the regular ones, but I'm not sure the routes also apply at night. <<<

There are individual night bus spider maps from key stops, although I'm not aware of a tourist night bus map. However you ought to be aware that the routes don't generally switch to night buses until very late. As such all normal routes should run until at least midnight, just on a less frequent schedule (every 10-12 mintues) so you might not need to take night buses.

Colorado USA
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10. Re: Cheap bus tour - DIY HOHO

OK, I see....I mistakenly assumed that the day routes end earlier in the evening because of the Routemaster bus schedule. Thanks again!