This is a sponsored article on behalf of The Original Tour.
Gigantic glittering snowflakes suspended above the cobbles of theatreland. A host of angels hovering over Regent Street. Something magical happens to London at Christmas time, and The Original Tour knows the best way to see the city sparkle.
On 3 December, The Original Tour launches a variety of festive excursions that allow you escape the crowds, and see London transformed into a winter wonderland from the prime position of an open-top double-decker bus. What's more, our readers get an exclusive discount...
First up? The Christmas Lights Tour. Prepare to be dazzled as you glide past the festive decorations of Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square — snapping sledge-loads of festive photos along the way. All the while, your onboard guide regales passengers with tales of Christmas past and present. They'll even chuck you a Santa hat, so you stay nice and toasty as you soak up yuletide spirit.
Speaking of spirits, if you fancy some liquid refreshment alongside your sightseeing ride, you need to know about The Original Tour's BYOB Winter Bar Bus. Snuggle up in winter warmers and take along a flask of your favourite boozy winter beverage to enjoy as you sing along to your favourite Christmas tunes.
As well as seeing some of London's best illuminations, on this tour, you'll also pass the Houses of Parliament, spy the London Eye, and cross the frost-kissed River Thames. Don't just fill up your camera roll with landscape shots, though — adorned with bircher, winter roses and berries, The Winter Bar Bus makes for a fabulously festive selfie-backdrop.
Got little ones? Santa's lap might be off-limits this year, so why not treat your family to the Christmas Kids Tour instead? Expect carol-singing, yuletide storytelling and child-friendly commentary as you pass the likes of Nelson's Column, Westminster Abbey and St James's Park, all snug as bug in your Santa hats.
Whichever excursion you opt for, you can get 15% off your tickets if you book by 2 December. Just remember to enter the code LONDONIST15 at check out to claim your exclusive discount.
The Original Tour has also implemented new health and safety measures including compulsory face coverings and temperature checks to reduce the risk of contact with COVID19 — do make sure you refer to the new guidance before booking to make sure you, your family, and all your fellow passengers stay safe.
Christmas Lights Tour. Departs from Coventry Street at 4pm/6.30pm every day between3 December and 23 December. The tour lasts 45 minutes and tickets cost £25 for adults/£15 for children.
Winter Bar Bus. Departs from Charles II Street at 3.30pm/6.30pm on selected dates between 4 December and 23 December. The tour lasts 90 minutes and tickets cost £25 for adults.
Christmas Kids Tour. Departs from Charles II Street at 2pm on selected dates between 5 December and 23 December. The tour lasts 452 minutes and tickets cost £15 for adults/£8 for children.
All images © Marc Sethi.