A DIFFERENT LENS

Written by root. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on January 07, 2019 with No Comments

The creative and unique ways to see London.

Words EMMA RAMSAY

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Float in a hot tub and cruise around the River Thames.

 

Searching for an alternative to a walking tour of the UK capital? Here’s how you can turn London sightseeing into an immersive experience, whether it’s via watersports, from the sky … or even in a hot tub! Yes, you read that correctly – you can now step into a freshwater hot tub that sails down London’s River Thames, passing by some of the capital’s most iconic sights. The 90-minute HotTug (hottuguk.com) experience sets sail from two different locations: Angel, north London, takes you through the cute and calm waterways of Regent’s Canal while in the Docklands area lets you pass by the scenic Canary Wharf/West India Quay. For a comfortable “ride”, consider the VIP Experience to receive a sailor’s hat, robe and towel rental and an essential ice bucket to keep drinks cool.

Out of a tub, Back of Beyond Adventures (backofbeyonduk.com) urges you to try stand up paddleboarding (SUP) around London’s canals and its beautiful backwaters for a micro-adventure. The company organises trips to view sunrises, enjoy sunsets and all the while ensuring not only a good outing, but a great workout as well. In the SUP Taster session in Richmond, expert instructors guide you on paddling techniques, water safety, rules of the river and basic maneuvering so you can enjoy the sojourn with confidence. For a different view of the city, try kayaking by night. London’s landmarks are emblazoned with light come nightfall, delivering an atmospheric glow as you view them from double kayaks on the River Thames. On board the Night Bus trip with London Kayak Company (londonkayakcompany.com), you will paddle past the Houses of Parliament, Albert Bridge, Old Naval College and Tower Bridge, a journey that takes you from pretty Battersea and ends in the historic maritime neighbourhood of Greenwich. Waterproof clothing, paddles, buoyancy aids – and instructors – are included.

Back on terra firma, why not catch a ride on the iconic London black cab? But not just any cab. Black cab taxi driver – and professional singer – Aiden Kent has been driving customers around London for 20 years when he decided to combine his love for singing with his love for performing. The ‘Singing Cabbie’ (singingcabbie.com) fitted out his cab with a red carpet, Italian red leather seats and complimentary drinks for guests, and a specially-adapted PA system lets guests experience an extraordinary performance as he zips you past London’s sights. If you prefer to hear your own tunes, then lace up, put on the headphones and join City Jogging Tours (cityjoggingtours.co.uk) that offers both specially designed tours or customised versions to run around the city. An experienced guide leads you to London’s best attractions and the tours cater for all running abilities, from newcomers to endurance runners. A great way to keep fit and fit in essential sightseeing.

To experience the London skyline, hop into a basket at any of Virgin Balloon Flights’ (virginballoonflights.co.uk) launch sites situated around the outskirts of the capital. On a beautiful clear day with the right wind, the closest hot air balloon to London in St Albans offers fantastic views of Canary Wharf and the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. Or why not launch from Brentwood in Essex, conveniently located just off the M25? This is the ideal place to hop in a basket for breathtaking views over London’s neighbouring counties.

Of course, we can’t leave London without mentioning one of its quirky sightseeing tours: The Ghost Bus Tours (theghostbustours.com). On this 75-minute tour – often described as more funny than spooky, you will encounter all of London’s famous landmarks, including Downing Street, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, The Shard and Westminster Abbey. But that’s not all. The UK’s only comedy-horror theatre sightseeing experience on wheels will entertain you with stories of royal executions and devious spirits as you ride the signature midnight black Routemaster complete with antique lamps. Brilliant actors, great humour and warm hospitality make this one a ride to remember.

 

Royal Brunei Airlines flies London daily. Discover things to do in London in www.muhibah.com.bn

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