London in a Day Tour with Westminster Abbey and Tower of London

Maximize your time in London and see the best sites in the city on this skip-the-line walking tour

Travel Flexibly 5 / 5 See All 35 Reviews · 7.00h 15 max · London, England

Want to see London’s most iconic attractions in just one day? This jam-packed London day tour makes the most of your time in this historic city, taking you from Westminster to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and beyond! With an expert local guide, your in-depth city tour lets you skip the line to see London’s best sites without the long wait, and you’ll even take a ride along the River Thames by boat for a unique perspective on the city. It’s the ultimate day tour in London!

Tour Details
  • London in a Day
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Famous tombs and effigies
  • Changing of the Guard
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Downing Street
  • River Thames boat ride
  • Tower of London
  • The crown jewels
  • Tower Bridge

You'll meet your local guide in front of the Abraham Lincoln statue in Parliament Street, just behind Parliament Square and a short stroll from Westminster Station. There, you and your fellow travelers will learn the day's itinerary and what cool things to expect on this full day tour of London's most well-known attractions.

Today, you'll see some of London's most historic sites with a guide who knows this great city inside and out and has plenty of stories to keep you entertained throughout the day. You'll begin at Westminster Abbey with skip-the-line access before seeing the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace (on certain days) and checking out Downing Street. Next up is a River Thames boat ride to see London from a whole new perspective, then you'll head to the infamous Tower of London to discover its bloody history and see the stunning crown jewels. After your tour ends, you're free to head across the famous Tower Bridge on your own before enjoying this incredible city by night!

London in a Day Tour Description

Your 7.5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line entry and tour of Westminster Abbey

  • Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace

  • Free time for lunch near Trafalgar Square (not included)

  • Boat ride down the River Thames by clipper

  • Guided tour of Tower of London

  • Access to the Crown Jewels, White Tower, and more

  • Passionate, local guide

  • Maximum group size of 15

This London in a day tour is a combination of two popular tours, saving you money and letting you see more of the city in one day. After the morning part of your tour, you'll have free time for lunch in Trafalgar Square before meeting up with your group for the afternoon, to keep exploring the city with the same (or a new) guide. Booking a combo tour saves you money since you see more attractions at a lower price!

Westminster Abbey

Make sure you have your walking shoes on because you'll be getting your steps in on this tour! At your first stop, your expert guide will take you inside Britain's most famous church. Westminster Abbey has over 1,000 years of history as a religious center, although the incredible building you'll see today is only around 750 years old, having been consecrated in 1269.

Huge events in British history have played out here, including almost 40 royal coronations and the funeral of Princess Diana—watched by some 2.5 billion people worldwide. Today, it remains in use for royal weddings and the funerals of the royal family and other notable people from British society.

Though the Abbey has famous modern history, it is also the burial place for many of England's most acclaimed political and cultural leaders. Set in impressive life-like effigies, your guide will lead you through the most important tombs that include Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, and Geoffrey Chaucer. You'll explore every beautifully crafted corner of this vast abbey, learning all about its rich history as you go.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

A stroll through beautiful St. James Park brings you to the Buckingham Palace, just in time for the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony. As one of London's must-see events, crowds can get pretty big and it's not always easy to get a good view.

Since 1660, the reigning queen (or king) has been protected by the Queen's Guard. The elaborate Changing of the Guard is the ceremony where on-duty guards are relieved by the next shift. Though they are dressed in ornate uniforms, these elite soldiers are well armed and are not distracted by anyone's humorous efforts to distract them. Your guide will take you to several vantage points so you can see a full picture of this historic event.

Please note that the Changing of the Guard occurs every day during June and July, but only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays for the remainder of the year. If there is heavy rainfall, the Changing of the Guard will not happen.

After the ceremony, you may even have the opportunity to visit nearby Downing Street—the street that plays home to Britain's Prime Minister and other key figures while they're in power. This is dependent on whether events are planned or access is restricted, however.

London Boat Tour

After some free time for lunch around Trafalgar Square (not included), you'll set off on a ride along the Thames by the local clipper service. These boats are comfortable and air-conditioned, so you can relax as your guide points out the famous sites you'll pass along the way.

You'll see some of London's beautiful old bridges, including London Bridge and Tower Bridge, as well as the stunning architecture of London's City Hall and the Shard—the tallest building in western Europe. Your destination, of course, is the Tower of London, and there's no better way to travel there!

Tower of London

Established by William the Conqueror in 1066 after his conquest of England, this castle was built to symbolize the historic shift in power. By the turn of the 12th century, the tower had become a prison, a role it would keep all the way until after World War II. As the most fortified structure in London, the Tower has played a huge role in British history.

Your local guide is a true Tower of London expert, and they'll tell you all about the bloody history of the castle. It has come under attack many times over the centuries, and it was used to imprison (and often execute) princes, queens, and enemies of the state such as Guy Fawkes. The execution room was particularly busy during the infamous reign of Henry VIII, who sent sent two of his six wives and a number of other notable people to their deaths here.

Things are a lot less gruesome these days, thankfully, but you'll still meet the traditional (and impossible to distract!) Beefeater guards here, along with the resident ravens, and many important artifacts from British history.

Crown Jewels

The most important (and valuable) items you'll see at the Tower of London are the impressive crown jewels, which have been protected here for centuries. Stored and secured in the Jewel House, the crown jewels are the elaborate symbols and coronation regalia of the English Monarchy. These 140 royal objects are bedazzled with over 23,000 stones.

Although many of the original items were destroyed during the English Civil War by Oliver Cromwell, when the monarchy was temporarily abolished, the collection was rebuilt after the crown was restored in 1660 and there are a few pieces which remain from the 12th century. Access to the Jewel House is in high demand, but your guide will plan the tour to keep your waiting time to a minimum.

Your tour ends near the famous White Tower, which you're free to explore on your own. And of course, your guide will be happy to share some local tips for where to eat and what to do with your evening in London.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line entry and tour of Westminster Abbey
Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace
Free time for lunch near Trafalgar Square (not included)
Boat ride down the River Thames by clipper
Skip-the-line entry and tour of Tower of London
Access to the Crown Jewels, White Tower and more
Passionate local guide
Maximum group size of 15
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35 total reviews

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5.0/5 (based on 35 reviews)
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1 stars
Great tour and guide!
25 September 2022
C
Reviewed by
Connie Oberndorf

We loved this tour and our guide, Karen, was amazing. Completely knowledgeable and explained the history in an interesting and fun way. Highly recommend.

London in a Day
15 September 2022
A
Reviewed by
Ann Turner

If you only have a short time in London this is a must tour. Adam was our excellent guide for our small group of 13 in August, 2022. We didn't have to wait in lines and Adam knows all about England's history. THANK YOU!

14 September 2022
J
Reviewed by
Jon Tinsley

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Find your guide located on the street right behind Parliament Square. When facing the Abbey with Big Ben on your left, walk to the right along Parliament Square and cross one street. Your guide will be waiting in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, holding a sign that says "The Tour Guy."

What to bring?

Please wear comfortable shoes since you'll be on your feet for the majority of this tour. There is a lot of walking, so we also recommend a water bottle and perhaps some snacks too.

Can I take pictures in Westminster Abbey?

Yes! You are now allowed to take non-commercial photography inside Westminster Abbey. Videos and flash photography are not allowed, nor is any kind of photography allowed during a service.

Does this tour include pick up at your hotel?

There is no hotel pick up for this tour. You'll meet your guide at the meeting point listed on your confirmation voucher (Parliament Square).

Can I bring a backpack?

Small backpacks and bags are allowed, but they will be searched at Westminster and the Tower of London.

What to bring?

Please wear comfortable shoes since you'll be on your feet for the majority of this tour. There is a lot of walking, so we also recommend a water bottle and perhaps some snacks too.

Where to meet?

Find your guide located on the street right behind Parliament Square. When facing the Abbey with Big Ben on your left, walk to the right along Parliament Square and cross one street. Your guide will be waiting in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, holding a sign that says "The Tour Guy."

Is lunch included?

No, lunch is not included, but you'll have time to grab lunch at one of several restaurants near Trafalgar Square. Your guide will point out several places to eat.

Where does this tour end?

This tour ends inside the Tower of London where you are free to explore more areas. You can then exit and walk across Tower Bridge on your own, grab a taxi, or head to the nearest Underground station called Tower Hill.

How much of this tour is guided?

The entire day is spent with your guide except for your free time at lunch. There are certain areas within the Tower of London where no guides are allowed, but you'll have plenty of time with them otherwise.

How gentle or rocky is the boat ride?

It's a really gentle ride since the River Thames is wide and slow. The boat is also quite large so it's not prone to rocking much at all.

Does this tour guarantee seeing the Changing of the Guard?

No. The Changing of the Guard ceremony happens every day during June/July, but only Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays throughout the year. If there is heavy rainfall, the ceremony does not happen. Your guide will watch the time to help you get to the ceremony from Westminster Abbey in time.

Total: as low as $121.14

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