Taxi drivers around the world get very unique perspectives of cities. A black cab tour of London is a great way for visitors to see the city with a twist. You can experience the major sites, but also get a taste of some sites off of the beaten path.

The Tower Bridge

An excellent first stop for a black cab tour of London – or any tour of London, for that matter – is the Tower Bridge. The famous bridge mimics the architectural style of the nearby Tower of London. It was constructed to look like the Tower of London, but it is actually much newer. The section of water between the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge is called the Pool of London. This is interesting because, according to some, the word “London” comes from an old Celtic word that meant “dark pools.” Thousands of years ago, the river would have been wider and the deeper sections would have appeared to be darker.

The London Bridge

After the Tower Bridge, your black cab will take you to the London Bridge. Sometimes foreign visitors think that the London Bridge and Tower Bridge are the same bridge, but this is completely incorrect – they are two separate and very distinct bridges. You probably heard the song growing up with the line, “London Bridge is falling down.” This song is accompanied by a children’s game and it actually dates back to the Middle Ages.

Shad Thames

Shad Thames is an extremely interesting area of London that sometimes goes overlooked. It has been gentrified in the recent years, but it still holds great historical significance and maintains a great deal of its historical feel. It was a very important area back when shipping was a major part of London’s economy in the early 19th century. Boats used to dock at the London Bridge and goods were loaded and unloaded at Shad Thames. There are elaborate networks of balconies joining the buildings here that date back to those times.

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Haymarket is an area of London that can be confusing and also very exciting. Haymarket is actually the name of the major thoroughfare through the area. It runs from Picadilly Circus to Pall Mall. There’s a lot to see and do along Haymarket and it’s a very busy area. There are two theaters, lots of dining, lots of shopping and many historic buildings as well. A visit to Haymarket can easily turn into an affair for the entire day.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of London’s biggest tourist draws. If you visit the palace and look closely as the front facade you’ll note that the stone is two different colors. This is because Buckingham Palace was originally Buckingham House and was where the Duke of Buckingham lived. The royal family purchased the house and expanded it to make it into the famous palace known by many today. The stone used to expand the building was different than the stone of the original building.