One of the first cars I even owned was a bright red MINI and I still have fond memories of my little car which took me everywhere with the throaty noise of the engine, whizzing through every gap and fitting well into the tiniest parking spot.
When I heard that you can tour London in a MINI, I did not hesitate to book a tour to view London from a very different perspective and to indulge in a spot of nostalgia.
My petrol blue Mini and enthusiastic driver picked me up at my hotel on a typically London rainy day and off we went on a very special London tour. And not any old Mini, oh no, the cars of the company small car big city are all custom designed by Paul Smith. The drivers are all enthusiastic and knowledgeable and it’s their aim to take you to the most beautiful spots of London where no tour bus can go and to tell you stories only insiders will know.
Along we rattled, past the Strand to see St Paul’s , the Gurkhen and all the other new buildings in the City of London which, viewed from close to the ground are even more impressive.
Then we crossed Tower Bridge, stopping first in a lay by to get one of the best views of the bridge and the Thames. Followed by one of London’s most beautiful markets, Borough market teeming with visitors, flowers and fresh products under the green iron supports of London bridge.
Nearby we parked to walk along St. Katherine Dock, then past the Clink prison to the replica of the Golden Hide, the schooner with which Sir Frances Drake sailed around the world to end up in a typical pub enjoying a dish of fish and chips.
The tour lasts 1 ½ hours and the stories you hear include why the architect who put up Cleopatra’s Needle committee suicide, why Petticoat Lane had another, very naughty name under the Victorians and many more juicy tidbits.
You can tell you are being guided by a true London enthusiast and Mini fan who loves his city and his car and enjoys the one on one company of his guests. No better way to get into the spirit of London and to forget rain and cold than being driven around in a Mini.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of small car big city.