When we were invited to to go on a London Duck Tour I jumped at the chance. Ive previously been on tours of London but the duck tours are something a bit different and quirky. With my mum visiting it provided the perfect opportunity for a girls day out in London.
If you have’t heard of the London Duck Tours its a tour around London that also goes into the Thames. The ducks are old army vehicles used in World War II that have been adapted to be used as a tourist attraction. The ducks can hold up to 30 people and have covers at the side for days when the weather isn’t great.
We boarded our duck on Belvedere Road, it was rather quiet with only 4 other people. I think this was down to it being a week day and the weather not being great. Before heading off the tour guide who was sat up with the driver went through a quick safety briefing.Unlike other tours were a commentary of facts and dates are reeled off in different languages the duck tour commentary is engaging and amusing for the most part.
The tour started off well with us hearing anecdotes about different famous people and some of the less known sights being pointed out as well as Houses of Parliament, Nelson’s Column and the famous Ritz Hotel. Anybody who visits London often knows how unpredictable and busy the traffic can be and unfortunately we got stuck on the approach to Parliament Square. The weather wast the best and we were soon all cold sat in the traffic. The tour guide helped us to put the sides down to stop the wind blowing through which made it a bit warmer and left us wondering why we hadn’t done it sooner.
Whilst stuck in the traffic jam the guide continued to tell us different facts about London and engage us in conversation but everyone was starting to get a bit fed up. We eventually made our way through the the traffic though and were all excited for the splash down.
Before we entered the Thames the driver swapped with another man who took control of the duck on the water while we were shown how to use the life jackets. It was strange how the duck went from being on the road to moving through the water. I was surprised at how close to the water we were, if i had put my hand over the side then i would of been able to touch it. Being on the Thames gave a great view of big ben and the houses of parliament, its just a shame that the duck isn’t able to travel further up the river.
All in all it was a good trip but i would make sure that you leave plenty of time available. The tours are said to take around 75 minutes but we ended up being onboard for just over 3 hours. I must say i was pretty relieved when it was time to get off. This wasn’t down to the tour itself but the London Traffic, which cannot be helped.
When it comes to mini explorers, Olivia aged 2 didn’t care about the commentary. She did enjoy all the different things that she could see to begin with. Towards the end she was restless after being on board for so long but if we hadn’t of got stuck in the traffic i think she would of been fine.
I would say its definitely a one off experience. If your hoping to see a lot of the city in a short space of time it may not be the trip for you. But if your looking for a bit of fun and depend your knowledge of the city having a couple of hours of sightseeing both on land and the water then the Duck Tours would be for you.