The Original Tour

The Original London Sightseeing Tour Limited, which trades simply as The Original Tour, is the city’s largest operator of open-top bus sightseeing tours.

Operating up to 85 vehicles daily in the peak season from 2 depots, 364 days per year, The Original Tour employs up to 385 staff in the summer months. The Original Tour’s red open-top buses carried over 1 million tourists from around the world in 2014 and offer a choice of on-board commentaries with live guides or digitally-recorded commentaries in 9 languages, plus a unique children’s commentary.

We are proud to have over 60 years’ experience introducing visitors to London, having initially been introduced by London Transport for the Festival of Britain in 1951 as “Service J”. As the first open-top hop on hop off tour anywhere in the world, we rebranded as “The Original Tour”. We have continued to evolve and lead the industry, being the first open-top sightseeing bus to offer the services of a guide on board, the first to provide guests with a digitally-recorded commentary recorded in several languages, the first with a “hop-on hop-off” concept, the first to sell 24 hour tickets, the first to have a specialist children’s commentary and the first to include a free hop-on hop-off river cruise.

Find us online at or via LinkedIn at

No. of lines: 6 Staff: 385
Passengers per year: over 1m Miles per year: 1m
Vehicles: 98