Getting around London can be a hassle for many, especially if you traverse the city by car. This is why many turn to public transport, including busses, cabs, ride share, Boris Bikes, and the London Underground to move about. However, these are not the only ways to get around, and there are means of transportation available that you may never have considered. We’re going to outline five such unusual ways to get from here to there when you visit London. If you think there’s anything that we’ve left out, you can share that with us in the comments.
Our first entry is likely also the fastest. London has several companies that offer speedboat tours down the River Thames, meaning you can get some thrills while seeing iconic buildings that line the river. Thames Tigers and the Thames RIB Experience are two of the most well-known and can easily be booked in advance through their websites. For James Bond fans, both also offer a “James Bond Experience” package that takes you to important locations from the movies, such as MI-6 headquarters and the O2 Arena.
Rickshaws have become a popular mode of transport in many countries across the world and Britain’s capital is no different. A Rickshaw invites travelers to sit in comfort while your driver pedals his way through the city streets. Some rickshaw companies have set fees while others operate on a pay-what-you-can model. Whichever your pedi-cab driver adheres to, there are dozens upon dozens of them all over the city acting as transport or tour guides. Many pedi-cab drivers decorate their rickshaws with stickers, comfortable seating, neon lights, and sound systems, so no two are alike.
It’s a bus! It’s a boat! It’s both! London Duck Tours is a journey over land and water through the city. There are several packages to choose from based on what you want to see, from iconic London landmarks to challenging games you play as you ride along. They even offer a similar James Bond experience to their speedboat counterparts as well as a Christmas tour around the holidays. London Duck Tours is temporarily closed, but from the website it looks like they expect to be up and running again in 2022, so keep an eye out to schedule your amphibious road/river trip.
IFS Cloud Cable Car (aka the Dangleway)
Formerly the Emirates Air Line, this “airline” is actually a cable car system that transports passengers over the River Thames from the Greenwich Peninsula to the London Docks. Managed by Transport for London, the IFS Cloud Cable Car offers one-way and round-trip “flights” that take passengers 90 meters above the river, offering one of the best views of London that you’ll find anywhere in the city. After 7 PM, you can take an extended night flight that offers gorgeous views of the lit-up city at night. Even if you’re just going to use it for a single trip across the river, it’s definitely an experience you’ll remember.
The last of our water transports on this list, most often you’ll see canal boats along the London Canal in Camden. Normally these are actually people’s homes or businesses, but there are some that actually provide a way up and down the canal waters. A handful of companies provide for hire canal boat transportation, including the London Waterbus Company and Jason’s Canal Boat trip. Other boats are available for private hire, but you’ll need to do a little more research to find them. Canal boats are an excellent way to experience the splendor of the London Canal and understand its important history to the city.