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Visiting Roman London

Take a look beyond the bright lights and the streets paved with gold and London's history is all around us. Many groups of history lovers and students from schools and colleges, hire a coach down to London and explore the beginnings of this wonderful City with a tour of Roman London.

You might not think of London as a place to discover Roman ruins, but with coach and minibus hire as the easiest way to get around the various sites and walk the old Roman walls, you will easily discover the fantastic array of Roman history.

Walking the ancient walls is easier as a coach party, as you can leave bags and belongings safely on the coach as you explore.

So how much do you know about Roman London?

London was Londinium to the Romans

If it was not for invasion then London might not have been founded. In 50 BC the mighty Roman Empire arrived on the shores of Britain as the army of Julias Caesar landed on the south coast. However his stay was not as long as he hoped and after his assassination, the interest in conquering Britain was revived by Emperor Claudius who arrived with a large army in 43 AD and recognising the strategic importance of a crossing over the river Thames, founded the Roman City of Londinium.

The first construction project for the Roman engineers was to build a bridge which was located near the site of today's London Bridge and the city grew to approximately 3000 acres.

Maybe arrange for your coach driver to drop you off at this point first so you begin your tour at the spot where the first foundations of Roman London were laid.

In 60 AD, however, the Romans were caught off guard by a widespread rebellion of the local clans, led by the warrior Queen Boudicca

Boudicca raised a huge army, staged an uprising and burned Londinium to the ground, killing an estimated 70,000 Romans. If you want to pay homage to one of history’s great figures, there’s an imposing statue of Boudicca at the northern end of Westminster Bridge.

Boudicca was subsequently vanquished and with the natives subdued the Romans embarked on a massive reconstruction project which included a large fort covering 12 acres. Then in 190 AD, they added the impressive city walls which were constructed with hard bricks quarried nearby Maidstone in Kent. London had 7 gates to control everyone entering and exiting the city and continued to grow significantly as the hub for lucrative trade and commercial capital with over 45,000 residents.

In the 4th century, the Roman Empire began to crumble and In 410 AD, Emperor Honoruius ordered the Roman garrisons to return home. By the 5th century, the city of Londinium was largely abandoned and with the shifting sands of time, London's Roman ruins were buried under layers of soil and new buildings when the Anglo-Saxons appeared in the 6th century.

It is the discovery of this wonderful and interesting history that makes London such a popular coach and minibus hire destination for all historians of any level.

Where to see Roman London

Ancient Roman Walls. Did you know you can walk along the path of the walls and there are visible remnants to enjoy?

Originally constructed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries the walls continued to be expanded until the end of Roman London. The Museum of London has information and maps for a self-guided walking route of the remaining sections of the wall. It’s a 1.75-mile walk with 21 sites that begins at the Tower of London and ends at the Museum of London.

When you make your booking for coach hire to London, you can arrange to be dropped off at the start and collected at the end of the walk.

The 110-foot-long section of the Roman London wall at Tower Hill is impressive and archaeologists suggest that the original wall would have been over 20 feet tall. At this site, you can also admire a statue of Emperor Trajan.

St. Bride's Church has been a site of worship since the 7th century with the current building designed by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1953 as the church was renovated workers made the astonishing discovery of Roman remains, Roman artefacts and the remnants of a mosaic, along with a roman pavement and a roman ditch.

The Roman Temple of Mithras. In the heart of London sits one of Britain’s most important Roman archaeological sites as one of only 100 Mithraic temples found in Ancient Rome. It's free to visit with guided tours every 20 minutes.

The Christian-style pagan temple was discovered in 1954 and you can see the reconstructed temple and a remarkable collection of artefacts uncovered during excavation. By this time if you are ready for lunch, jump back on board your hire coach and get dropped off at a restaurant of your choice in the City or the nearby West End.

Roman Bath House. Another wonderful Roman site that we can add to your coach tour itinerary is the interesting Roman Bath House at Billingsgate. It was a major part of Roman life in ancient Londinium and now sits underneath an office complex on Lower Thames Street.

Discovered in 1848, the ruins of this impressive Roman bathhouse have a courtyard and underfloor heating. Within these well-preserved remains, you can still see a hot bath with hypocausts, which were used for heating the room.

The Roman amphitheatre was discovered in 1985 as construction began on a new art gallery associated with the Medieval Guildhall building and they surprisingly unearthed the 2,000-year-old ruins of the only Roman amphitheatre in ancient Londinium.

Similar in construction to many Roman amphitheatres found across Europe the amphitheatre was used for entertaining the crowds with gory gladiatorial fights, animal fights, and executions. Archaeologists found evidence of these activities with skeletons of humans, a bear, and a bull.

The amphitheatre had an elliptical shape and scholars have calculated the capacity of the structure as around 7,000 spectators.

Construction of the Art Gallery proceeded with great care for the ruins and they were incorporated into the redesign of the building to ensure they were not lost or damaged and remained on permanent exhibition.

A large number of schools and colleges arrange coach hire to London to study the amphitheatre, as it was a huge part of Roman life in Britain.

Last Words on The Romans

Hidden amidst the streets of London, you’ll find the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire that formed the foundation of today's City of London.

London is a city where its history is literally beneath your feet and one of the most fascinating periods of its history can be explored by coach or minibus hire by viewing evidence of the spread of The Roman Empire all the way to Great Britain.

From the ruins of the Temple of Mithras to the wall the Romans erected to protect it, the remains of Roman London sit between the city’s skyscrapers and contemporary buildings.

Book your coach hire today for a fascinating London visit to discover The Romans.

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