Being a tourist in our own city is something we should all do more often.
And if you’re lucky enough to call London, this crazy, massive, fascinating city home, you know what I mean when I say there’s always something to explore.
And one of the very best ways to do so is a good walking tour.
Now, I know what you think: a walking tour? You mean you want me, a local, to voluntarily join a group of tourists and follow a guide around to see things I’ve already seen a billion time? And my answer is no, absolutely not.
The time of tacky, pressed-for-time, flag-waving guided tours are over (thank goodness!), and the range of tours available in London are going far beyond the Beginner’s main sights round-up.
From Harry Potter-themed tours, to historical pub walks, street art focused tours to gourmet ones, and even a Pokétour to catch them all (!!), my favourite trick to find London’s best tours is Planet Pass.
Offering dozens of private guided tours in London, it’s a handy little tool to find a tour perfectly customised to your interests and schedule + book everything online in just a few clicks for a set price (the more the merrier!).
Which is just what I did last week, when I went on my own private London Gin Odyssey with Planet Pass*.
As you’d know from that shocking revelation I made a while ago, I do love my gin!
But I would never have ima-gin‘d that the history of London and that of the juniper-flavoured spirit are linked quite the way they are…
Now, I don’t want to give away to much (because what’s the fun in that eh?), but every step of the history of gin left marks in London’s landscape that are still visible today.
You’ll never pass by Gordon’s Wine Bar quite the same way once you learn that nearby York Watergate is reminiscent of gin’s first appearance on the British market as a medicine to treat stomach complaints and other ailments…
Nor will you ever that some of London’s most impressive buildings, built under the reign of William of Orange, probably were fulled by more than a few drops of ‘Mother’s Ruin’…
Instead of looking for the best crowd-free angle to click yet another picture of the changing of the Guards at the Horse Guard Parade, you’ll be dreaming of G&T…
And most certainly will insist on dropping by Fortnum & Mason any opportunity you get, just so you can take a look at their beautiful (and ever-growing) collection of gin.
With bottles from every corner of the world, plus a tonic selection and truly knowledgeable service to match, it truly is any gin lover’s dream come true!
And if you time everything juuuust right, you might even be able to witness Mr Fortnum & Mr Mason’s hourly bow…
Passing by St Martin’s in the Fields will bring back memories of the dreadful Gin Craze and the story of the woman who kill her own child, so she could sell his clothes to buy gin will send chills down your spine.
There are countless anecdotes to be told, each one more ama-gin that the last!
Plus you’ll discover the very best spot for gin in the City.
Boasting London’s largest gin collection, Mr Fogg’s super retro Gin Parlour just unveiled a magnificent menu of over 300 gins from around the world.
From well-known international brands, small batch and local distillers, to rare vintage gins, as well as a selection of unique gin liqueurs and a handful of superb gin cocktails to choose from, it’s the best place to end a gin-themed tour with your tipple of choice!
Especially if said cocktail comes with a side of debating which London bar should make it to the top of my list for classic cocktails with a man than knows his liquors!
Having taken a few guided tours in the past, I can tell that the guide’s passion is truly what makes the tour, and my guide, James was definitely one of the best in town!
A London historian by day, you’d be hard pressed to find something (or someone!) he doesn’t know about the City!
With the amount of stuff he knows about London & gin, you really could call him a gin-ius & as a result, the whole tour was an absolute delight!
So next time you’re stuck on what to do on the weekend, I absolutely recommend you gather a group and check out Planet Pass’ London tour selection. The booking system itself is a Y-generation dream come true and all in all, it truly is a brilliant way to discover more of London’s secrets!
PIN FOR LATER:
*my Gin Odyssey Tour was complimentary but opinion, pictures and love of gin my own!