Last month I got to go on my very own PlanetPass Instatour of London. On the tour, I got to take in some of the key sights of London, learn some history and improve my Instagram skills. What more could a blogger want?! Seriously, even though I live in London this was a wonderful tour and I enjoyed being a tourist again in the city I love.
What is PlanetPass?
PlanetPass is a mobile app that you can use to book a range of tours such as the Instatour I went on. Other cool tours they offer include the ‘Beginner’s Guide to London’, ‘Foodies at Borough Market’, ‘Greenwich Tour’, ‘Harry Potter: City of Wizards’, ‘Historical Pubs Walk’ and the ‘Street Art Essentials’ but they have many more so take a look on their app. So far they only have tours in London but they plan to have other cities coming soon.
Using their app you can book your tour instantly and within an hour you can be on your way exploring London. The PlanetPass app means you can book your tour with ease. There is no faffing around with websites or making telephone calls etc. I mean it’s so super easy I booked it on my way to work on the Tube. The tours are individual so are tailored to your needs. They offer private tours (where you can invite up to five others at no extra cost) or you can join small group tours, cutting down the cost. Their idea of “Plan less. Discover more” means that for spontaneous or impulsive travellers this is perfect.
How to book a tour?
Booking a tour with PlanetPass really couldn’t be simpler:
- Download the PlanetPass app.
- Select the tour your want.
- Make your payment.
- You will receive your confirmation booking asap (you don’t need to worry about printing anything out).
- Show up, meet your guide and get exploring!
What is the Instatour?
The Instatour is two hours long and an impressive 13 kms (but honestly it didn’t feel that long!) walk around the sights of London. I met my tour guide, Hazel, outside St. Paul’s Tube Station at the time I’d selected. She asked me what I wanted out of my tour and she definitely delivered on this. We took in the sights of St. Paul’s Churchyard and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, a wander along the River Thames meant we got to see the Golden Hind, a fabulous Old English pub and some street art and the final stop was London’s most famous food market, Borough Market. Hazel not only told me some of the history of these places she also helped bring out my creative side. Although I’d been to many of these places before, I think I must be one of the least observant people as, as we walked, Hazel suggested ideas for capturing these landmarks, including things I hadn’t even noticed never mind thought about! All my pictures were taken using my mobile phone (Huawei P9) and Hazel provided a wealth of knowledge about photo editing and social media advice too.
The above photograph of St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favourite shots from the tour. As I was snapping away taking pictures of St. Paul’s Catherdal, Hazel suggested that I incorporate one of London’s famous red telephone boxes. She highlighted that the red of the telephone box and the redness of the leaves would look good in the foreground of the Cathedral. What do you think?
Again, Hazel helped me with the composition of this photograph of the Golden Hind, the old vs new and highlighting how to get the colour of the ship to ‘pop’.
My Top Tips for the Instatour
- Obviously we have no control of the weather (and in the UK it does tend to rain a lot) but maybe think about what time of day you want to do this tour to get the best lighting. Also, perhaps try and pick a day / time of day when the crowds are less busy. This way you can get the best pics!
- Make sure your phone / camera is fully charged and I would suggest that you bring a spare battery pack as you will be taking tonnes of pics and you don’t want to be running out of juice.
- You will be walking for at least two hours so make sure you wear comfy shoes and appropriate clothing.
- If you’re new to Instagram maybe have a play around with the app beforehand, you could also have a play around with some photo editing apps.
- If you’re not a Insta virgin, perhaps come with a focus for your pictures. You could focus on textures, shapes or colours. As Hazel pointed out to me, London is full of inspiration and some of it isn’t always the obvious stuff like the landmarks.
- I found my tour guide super knowledgeable (not only was she a city expert, a photography guru but a digital wizard!) so come loaded with questions as I’m sure your guide will be more than happy to help.
- I’d never used a selfie stick before this tour but it helps to get some great shots, so if you are able to invest in one before the tour it could be useful.
What’s your favourite London landmark? Do you like exploring your own city? If I’ve tempted you, check out PlanetPass and get exploring!