Sightseeing with the most iconic double-decker bus in London!
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Update: this iconic bus service has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport for London has announced that the service will not return to the streets of London after the pandemic.A sightseeing tour with a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus from The Original Tour is a great way to take a tour along many of the famous sights. But did you know that there is an even more iconic sightseeing bus? The Heritage Route 15, an original red Routemaster double-decker, runs between Tower Hill and Trafalgar Square. The red Routemaster buses were photographed by almost everyone in addition to the red telephone booths. Unfortunately, after 50 years of loyal service, they were replaced in 2005 by the new type of Routemaster and almost disappeared from the London street scene.
When does this Routemaster run?
The buses run exclusively on weekends between the last Saturday in March and the last weekend in September. The service was considerably reduced in 2019, previously they were driving 7 days a week. From about 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. you can board this beloved double decker from Tower Hill or Trafalgar Square. The Heritage Routemaster runs 15 double-deckers every 20 minutes in between the “normal” route.
What does this bus cost?
This bus is just as expensive or cheap as any bus in London and costs £ 1.50 (around € 1.80) and you can only pay with your Oyster card. Contactlessand cash is not accepted. Cash is not accepted in any bus.
Can you also interrupt your journey just like a hop on hop off bus?
Yes that is allowed. Like on all other TfL buses, the so-called Hopper Fare applies to this bus. For £ 1.50 you get unlimited travel, as long as you continue your journey within an hour of having checked in for the first time on the bus. If this is just not possible in terms of time, take a “normal” line 15 bus, check in and get out at the next stop. You then have another hour to get on the Heritage Routemaster 15.
What is the route?
The route follows part of bus route 15 and passes some of the most important sights. On Tower Hill, the staring point of this route, you are standing obviously next to the Tower of London. From here the route goes via Great Tower Street towards Monument Station, where you will find the Monument to the Great Fire of London to visit. If you have been able to get tickets, you can also enjoy the magnificent view from the Sky garden on 20 Fenchurch Street. The tickets are free, but they are required and extremely popular! The route continues via Mansion House to St. Paul’s Cathedral with its characteristic dome. The journey continues via Ludhill Gate to Fleet Street where the British per were traditionally located. Get off at Chancery Lane if you want to visit the famous Temple Church. This church became world famous in Dan Brown’s book and film, the Da Vinci Code. Via The Strand you drive along the St. Clement Danes’ Church and St. Mary Le Strand Church to the end point of the journey, Trafalgar Square.
For an impression of the Heritage Route 15, watch the video below that Geoff Marshall made for Londonist. Please note: this video was made during the time that these Routemasters operated 7 days a week! Have you been with this Heritage Routemaster 15 or do you have other nice experiences with this unique double decker? Let us know by using our contact form!