It’s an inspiring story: two blokes start chatting in the hallway while waiting for a job interview. They’re both recent graduates, jobless, and there are several hundred applicants for the job vacancy. They soon realise that not only are their chances of landing the job slim, but that they would probably hate the job. They leave the building and spend the rest of the afternoon in a nearby pub. The first thing they discover is their mutual interest in Classic Mini Coopers – they both own one. In the months that follow, they discover more mutual interests, such as a passion for geography, history, facts and figures, and their love of the city they live in: London! It didn’t take long before the idea of offering fun 1960’s Mini Cooper London tours as smallcarBigCity was conceived.

The founders of SmallCarBigCity.


Classic Mini Cooper London tours

On my blog trip to St. Albans and London, smallcarBIGCITY was kind to offer us a Mini Cooper tour. It was a typical day in London: wet and grey, but the sight of the two Mini Coopers waiting for us at the curb lifted our spirits. We squeezed ourselves into the Minis and off we went…

Fun facts and quirky anecdotes

Our guide Robert (one of the two blokes in the story above) set the tone by switching on the music player. Before long, we were swaying and singing along to a medley of Beatles songs. The fun factor inside the Mini more than made up for the dreary weather outside! As we zoomed around London’s busy streets, past some of the most famous sights, Rob kept us entertained with a battery of fun facts, quirky anecdotes and stories.

london tour mini cooper
Passing St. Paul’s Cathedral

Along the way, we passed the Ye Olde Chesire Cheese Pub on Fleet Street. It is said to be the first building to re-open after the great fire of London in 1666. Within the pub there are tunnels that run deep into the ground, which according to legend, led all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral, to save the grace of the priests who fancied a tipple!

london sightseeing with mini cooper
The Tower of London

We also passed the Tower of London. Did you know that the tower of is almost one thousand years old, and was built to protect London from attacks from the River? Over the centuries, it has been used for many functions, from a fortress, a prison, and a safe place to keep one’s jewels!


The Italian Job tour

smallcarBIGCITY offers a variety of themed tours, including the exciting Italian Job tour. During this tour, visitors don blue boiler suits and tweed caps, and scenes from the movie are re-enacted at some of London’s most famous spots! We found the props for this tour in the Mini and we soon had our caps on and were tossing around bars of gold! The look on the faces of people as we sped past was priceless! 😉

smallcarbigcity london tour
Simon and Abi with their bar of gold!

Needless to say, we had a fun-filled morning with smallcarBIGCITY. The story behind the company is certainly inspiring, and it sure is a unique way to explore London.

9 Responses

  • […] 11. Go on a themed tour. There are a multitude of themed tours to choose from such as literary, architecture and historic tours. For something more unusual, there are Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper or Beatles walking tours. One of my personal favourites is the “Italian Job” tour in classic Mini Coopers. Visitors are zoomed around the city in blue boiler suits and tweed caps, and help to re-enact scenes from the movie. – Keith from Velvet Escape […]

  • Thanks for your comment Charu. If you revisit London and book this tour, don’t forget to mention “velvet Escape” for your discount. 🙂


  • What a cool story! I lived in london for years and LOVED Minis…this might be just the ticket when I revisit. Super fab!

  • I recently read about this on another travel blog that didn’t share the great story behind the company – thank you for this! Next time I travel to London, I definitely plan to take a mini cooper tour!

  • Definitely MUST try if I come to visit London (hopefully next year!). Keith thank you for this information. Fabulous blog post!

  • Hi Nico,
    It was loads of fun. The soundtrack, sights, commentary and the props… Absolutely brilliant! 🙂


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Appeared In