Formally introduced as ‘Service J’ for the Festival of Britain in 1951, The Original Tour was the first sightseeing tour of its kind anywhere in the world. And, with our 65th anniversary fast approaching, we thought now would be the perfect time to sit back and take stock of just how far we’ve come since.

65 Years of Firsts

In 65 years of existence, we have strived for constant improvement. For this reason, over more than six decades, The Original Tour have added a long list of industry firsts to their name.

We were the first sightseeing operator to introduce live guides to accompany our flagship tours. Building on this, we were subsequently the first company to provide commentaries in languages other than English, and now offer commentaries in a total of 11 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic & Brazilian Portuguese) as well as a unique kids' channel.

Other features that we are proud to have originated include being the first London sightseeing tour to offer 24-hour tickets with hop-on, hop-off access and a free Thames River cruise with every tour ticket purchased.

65 years of Award-Winning Service

Over the years, we have won multiple awards. For example, The Original Tour are the only London tour company to be awarded with VisitEngland’s Quality Assurance approval. Plus, the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) chose us as their first ever Platinum Sponsor.

In part, these awards are a reflection of our continuing commitment to making our tour buses as accessible as possible for everyone. To do this, we have invested heavily to ensure we have the most buses and bus stops of any London sightseeing tour provider, while financing wheelchair access for every single one of our buses.

65 Years of Educating and Entertaining Children

The Original Tour is the only sightseeing tour operator in London that offers a recorded commentary especially designed for children. Available on our yellow, blue and orange tour routes, this means our adult passengers can relax knowing their little ones are being entertained by magical stories about the capital.

All younger passengers are also enrolled in our Kids’ Club and are entitled to a free ‘passport’ that includes an activity pack of fun games and quizzes. For more information about our Kids' Club activity pack and children’s commentary, click here.

65 Years of Helping You See London for Less

Our first tour was described as a ‘non-stop circular tour of London from Buckingham Palace Road in Victoria’. Fast-forward to today and we now offer a total of six tour routes across London, with hop-on, hop-off access to over 80 conveniently placed bus stops – more than any of our rivals. 

We now also offer attraction deals that allow you to combine the purchase of The Original Tour tickets with discounted entry into a wide choice of London’s best and most famous attractions.

These include Madame TussaudsLondon DungeonSEA LIFE London and many more. Plus, new for this year, we introduced a London Tour and Attractions Pass that offers a massive 34% saving on sightseeing and visiting not one, but three top attractions.

65 Years of Extraordinary Employees

We firmly believe that any company is only as good as its employees. For this reason, we’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all the extraordinary employees that have played a massive part in our success over the years. Combining, their incredible knowledge of London has helped shape each one of our bus tours – and additional services – to become the best they could possibly be.

And to Celebrate…

As part of our 65th birthday celebrations, we are running a special offer on every 24-hour ticket that we sell. Throughout June, all redeemed 24-hour tickets will have their validity extended until the end of service for the following day.  

So, why not come and be part of our birthday celebrations? Book your Original Tour sightseeing bus tickets now!

PictureOmar Wazir. C.C.License