Stargazers' express: Savour London's fine musical heritage, gawping at Lloyd Webber landmarks from a bus. Benjamin Mee packed his day-glo rucksack

Golden Tours' 'Deluxe' Sightseeing Excursions offer a Celebrity Tour to 'reveal the truth about London's Royals, politicians and celebrities' as you drive past their homes. The problem with their tour of London's celebrities' homes is that there aren't any.

However, because of the highly specific interests of most of the passengers, this did not present too much of a problem. The German word, Umwelt, meaning 'perceptual world', describes the priority given to various senses reaching animals' brains. The Umwelt of a dog is dominated by its sense of smell; a dolpin's Umwelt is dominated by echolocation. An American tourist's Umwelt is dominated by Andrew Lloyd Webber: no piece of information has any significance unless it relates to the Great Maestro.

Hence, as our bus turned around at the Aldwych, the guide made up for the lack of celebrities by chatting about which of the theatres had ever hosted a Webber production.

It turned out that our guide, Jane, an elegant, Rada-trained magician's wife, was the real star. She had a genuine talent for the transatlantic slant.

'On our right is Bush House, home of the BBC World Service, which broadcast the cricket scores to our hostages in Beirut.' This surreal introduction proved to be a dummy, setting them up for: 'And on our left is the Adelphi, where some of you may have seen Phantom.' The coach tilted in the rush to photograph the theatre.

We drove past Buckingham Palace, where Jane described how she'd once been to a Royal garden party. 'I shouldn't really say this,' she cooed conspiratorially, 'everyone was more excited by the special guests than by the Queen - Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.' There was a collective gasp of admiration. She obviously had a map of North American erogenous zones.

Entering Belgravia, Mrs Thatcher's house is pointed out. The Duke of Westminster gave her the lease for pounds 10,000 (presumably the smallest number he could think of), a reduction of about pounds 7,990,000.

Then the big one. We drive into a square where the houses are obscured by trees. We slow down and park. One of the houses is the actual house of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In the clamour of clicking and flashing, we barely hear that he paid the full pounds 8m in the boom, and his lease is now worth only half that. 'Never mind, I expect he likes living there,' Jane reassures us.

We see Michael Caine's flat in the distance and learn that Roger Moore lives close to the address Ian Fleming gave James Bond. We also visit Freddy Mercury's shrine.

Going round Sloane Square, we get a marvellous introduction to 'the Sloanes. These are people from country families who come to London to work in art galleries, and group around the Square. They often get their clothes in Peter Jones.'

This falls on deaf ears. 'And this is the Royal Court Theatre, where some of our greatest playwrights had their early works performed.' Again, no response, until she mentions one 'who went on to direct Andrew Lloyd Webber's . . .', and I couldn't hear the rest above the clicking of shutters.

Golden Tours' Celebrity Tour, every Wed, Victoria Tourist Information Centre (071-409 0969) pounds 12.50

(Photograph omitted)

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

Voices
The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food