London Double-Deckers With A Difference

By Londonist Staff Last edited 72 months ago
London Double-Deckers With A Difference

London's buses aren't merely a means of getting from A to B — some are attractions in their own right. Take a trip with us on London's coolest double-deckers.

If only the N24 looked like this.

Get spooked out

Stopping at Trafalgar Scare, Notting Hell and Earls Corpse, The Ghost Bus Tours is a 1960s Routemaster slathered in black paint, and gone frighteningly rogue. Comic actors lead you through a gruesome history of London — from the flamboyant fantasy of the demon barber of Fleet Street, to the all-too-real Cross Bones Graveyard. A must if you love ghost tours, but are too lazy to use your plates.

Take afternoon tea

If hot dogs don't quite pander to your dainty tastes, the BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour is bound to make you swoon with delight. This retro Routemaster takes in all the classic sights (London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace), with the added elegance of cucumber sandwiches and fairy cakes. Beats a chicken doner on the N24 every time.

Go on your honeymoon

A big white Rolls might turn a few heads, but that's nothing compared to the plaudits you'll get for hiring a bus for your wedding. Not only will you look like the coolest Mr and Mrs in London, but the Big Red Bus Bar (as its name implies) also turns into a watering hole for your wedding guests. It'll even whisk you away to your honeymoon (you were having your honeymoon in Walthamstow, yes?).

By Andrew Smith in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Buy a house

This double-decker's been a minor backstreet landmark in Camden for years. It's part of an estate agent, as you can probably guess from the sign. Pictured above are seven fools who think it's an actual bus stop. Fools.

Slurp an oyster

Another omnibusual food option is the Bloody Oyster, currently spending the summer at the South Bank Centre, round the backside of the Royal Festival Hall. Like Wünderlust, this vehicle does a mean line in bloody marys, alongside other cocktails and oysters. We didn't really catch her at her summery best in this shot, but the place gets popular in warmer weather.

Watch a puppet show

The Bus King Theatre (get it?) is a roving puppet show, which has gravitated to Spitalfields in recent months. The mobile marionettes perform on the upper deck to a packed if diminutive audience.

Do a quiz hire out old beauties for the full range of private events including weddings and tours. One option is to book the bus for a Capital Quiz. Your quizmaster will fact you hard with questions about London, while you pass through its very streets.

Enjoy some pizza

More food to finish! The Crust Conductor is an 80s London Leyland Titan, with an added pizza oven, DJ booth and cocktail bar, based in Peckham Rye. These particularly tasty meals on wheels come from the same team that runs the Gowlett Arms pub: well-known for its quality pizzas. You can often find The Crust Conductor parked outside the pub when it's not on tour. It's also used as a popular field-trip for kids from the local nursery outside restaurant hours.

Last Updated 03 February 2017