Megabus is a well-known coach operator in the United Kingdom bringing low cost intercity coach services to the masses. On top of cheap intercity bus tickets which I have tried out on my previous trip to Sheffield, Megabus now has a sightseeing arm in London known as Megasightseeing, operating on the same low cost model with fares starting from only £1 (~S$1.73) + £1 booking fee – so that’s how much I paid when purchasing my London bus tour 5 months in advance, making it possibly the cheapest paid sit-in-coach tour in the world.
Megasightseeing departs from 3 stops in London, namely the Tower of London, The London Eye, and Park Lane (Hyde Park Corner). For ease of access, I decided to book my tour departure from Hyde Park Corner.
The Megasightseeing name as seen on Stop X in Park Lane opposite the Hilton Hotel.
Information on the Megasightseeing tour is also posted on the bus stop information pole.
A Megasightseeing staff is also standing by at the stop to check you in, just like a regular Megabus check-in before boarding. Show your confirmation email to the staff to check-in. Luckily, I showed up early for my tour as there was a temporary change in departure point with great thanks to the Extinction Rebellion protests closing quite a few roads around London during my trip.
The new temporary departure point is at Stop F, Hyde Park Corner.
Crossing the road via Wellington Arch to get to Stop F, Hyde Park Corner.
As I was still early for the tour, I decided to go to Buckingham Palace first since I’m a tourist and it’s like the place to go to in London or else you can’t really say that you went to London, even though I’ve been there before.
Heading to Buckingham Palace.
Hello Buckingham Palace again. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to meet the Queen again.
The front gates of Buckingham Palace.
Heading back to Hyde Park Corner (Stop F) to catch my Megasightseeing tour.
The bus stop of Hyde Park Corner (Stop F).
No sign of the Megasightseeing name here since this is just a temporary stop.
Buses to Victoria may sometimes stop here, so don’t board the wrong Megabus.
And here comes Sid with the Megasightseeing open top tour bus.
My departure from Hyde Park Corner is also known as the Park Lane Tour.
The open top bus sets down passengers coming in from an earlier tour first.
The EDS features the skyline of London.
The branding of Megasightseeing on the side of the bus.
My friendly Megasightseeing driver welcoming me onboard.
The Megasightseeing staff at Stop X just now is now also at the temporary stop, bringing passengers over from the original stop and to check-in any other passengers who may be buying their tickets right until the time of their departure.
The driver also explained that there are some road diversions around London due to the Extinction Rebellion protests and that the tour will not follow the stated route on the free map. Thanks protesters.
The interior of the lower deck of the Megasightseeing Enviro 400 bus. You really shouldn’t spend your time here if you are able to climb up the stairs to the upper deck as Megasightseeing limits the sale of tickets and everyone is guaranteed an upper deck seat.
The interior of the upper deck of the Megasightseeing Enviro 400 bus. The roof of this bus is just partially removed.
The sheltered front portion of this open top bus.
The front seats might be nice on a cold day, but may not make for good pictures since you have to shoot your pictures through the glass window.
As it was a really hot day and I was with a camera, it was a no-brainer to choose the open section of the upper deck.
The view of the bus from one of my many seats as the bus surprisingly ran almost empty.
Departing from Hyde Park Corner (Stop F) with an immediate left turn towards Grosvenor Place as the roads leading to and around Marble Arch were closed.
Commentaries throughout the tour was made by Sid, the Megabus driver mascot along with another female voice which I had forgotten what her name was.
Passing by Buckingham Palace, the home of the Royal Family.
I was just here about half an hour ago.
Quite a few speakers are placed around the bus for a rather clear tour commentary.
Heading across the Lambeth Bridge, the first of many diversions along the tour route.
The traffic jam trying to cross the Lambeth Bridge as other bridges are closed or equally jammed due to the road closures all around.
Pinecones are placed on the obelisks before the bridge, but locals refer to them as pineapples instead.
Slowly crossing over the Lambeth Bridge.
Stuck in a Megajam.
The view of the River Thames with The London Eye, Palace of Westminster and Westminster Bridge.
The unintentional bus parade on Westminster Bridge thanks to the Extinction Rebellion protests.
The Palace of Westminster and Big Ben (under renovation).
Turning into Lambeth Palace Road. Surprisingly, the recorded commentaries are on standby already for this diverted route.
Passing by St Thomas’ Hospital.
Passing by the great jam on Westminster Bridge.
Passing by County Hall for London Dungeon and London Aquarium.
Passing by The London Eye.
Passing by Jubilee Gardens with an open top Routemaster parked in front of it.
The other regular pick-up location for the Megasightseeing tour at London Eye, Belvedere Road, prior to the railway bridge.
Passing by Southbank and the Royal Festival Hall.
Passing by Bernie Spain Garden on the diverted route.
Turning into non-touristy small roads around.
Heading for Blackfriars Bridge through more jams. I’m not sure if these road closures and jams are of any help for the emissions protests.
Crossing over Blackfriars Bridge with Blackfriars Station spanning the River Thames.
Looking west on the River Thames.
Entering the City of London.
Heading onto Queen Victoria Street.
Passing by the Royal Exchange.
The 16th century Royal Exchange against the modern skyline of London.
Passing by one of Bank Underground station’s exits.
Crossing over London Bridge.
The view of Tower Bridge from London Bridge.
The modern buildings by London Bridge.
HMS Belfast in front of Tower Bridge.
Passing by the Southwark Gateway Needle, a contemporary monument with little information on it but locals say that it commemorates the grizzly piercing of beheaded criminals’ heads on the spikes on the original London Bridge in the 1600s.
Passing by the refurbished London Bridge Railway Station.
Passing by Potters Fields Park with the modern City Hall in the background. I wonder if the fields got its name from the shape of City Hall.
Turning to Tower Bridge.
Passing through Tower Bridge – the iconic landmark of London.
It’s expensive to get an open-top bus ride over Tower Bridge before the Megasightseeing era, but now you can do it for a few loose change.
Definitely a different and unique experience being on Tower Bridge on an open-top bus.
Crossing the middle portion of the bridge which opens up when a ship requires to pass through.
Arriving at the Tower of London end of the bridge.
Looking back at the Tower Bridge road.
Passing by the Tower of London.
Skirting around the Tower of London.
The modern Tower of London ticket office.
Passing by All Hallows by the Tower.
Passing under London Bridge.
Passing under Cannon Bridge.
Passing through the Upper Thames Street tunnel.
Passing by Blackfriars Railway Station spanning the River Thames.
Passing by the City of London School.
Passing by Sion Hall.
Passing by HMS Wellington, a World War II merchant navy sloop.
The skyline with The London Eye as the bus turns into Temple Place.
Passing by the disused Aldwych Tube station (originally named Strand) of the Piccadilly Line.
Passing by the closed Waterloo Bridge.
Heading along the Strand.
Passing by Charing Cross Railway Station.
Passing by Trafalgar Square.
Passing by the Admiralty Arch.
Passing by the wrong tourism office for this trip.
The National Gallery as seen from a distance.
Passing by the Edward VII Memorial Statue.
Passing by the Guards Crimean War Memorial.
Turning up to Piccadilly Circus.
Passing by Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.
Heading down on Haymarket passing by Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Passing by The Ritz London.
Passing by the vast Green Park.
Locals soaking in the sun.
On weekends, an art market sprouts up on the Green Park railings on the Piccadilly side.
Passing by Hard Rock Cafe. Sid says that Megasightseeing passengers can redeem a free Mango Berry Cooler with an Adult Main Meal purchased on the day of the Megasightseeing tour.
Approaching the end of the tour.
Passing by the Wellington Arch.
Arrived back at Hyde Park Corner (Stop F).
Disembarking from the Megasightseeing bus.
A goodbye from the driver, and I’m off the bus. He asked me how was the tour, and I told him that this is possibly the best bus tour I’ve ever spent my money on.
As it was already evening and there are no more departures, the bus headed back to the depot from here.
Overall, it was a fantastic tour with Megasightseeing for an unbelievably cheap price of only £2 (£1 fare + £1 booking fee), taking in the sights of London on a sit-in-coach tour. I actually prefer such buses than Hop-On Hop-Offs as I find that HOHOs are just overly glorified public buses, but dedicated non-stop tours like this actually allows me to better understand the city in a flash and I’ll go explore the various sights later at my own pace with regular public transport.
Great job Sid and Megabus for bringing low-cost tours to London on top of low-cost intercity travel within the UK. If I go back to London again I might even ride the Megasightseeing bus again, since it’s so cheap, to see what new buildings and landmarks are sprouting up the next time.