Friday's London Walks
THE FRIDAY MORNING LONDON WALKS
THE FRIDAY AFTERNOON LONDON WALKS
THE FRIDAY EVENING LONDON WALKS
SPECIAL FRIDAY WALKS

 


 

A SOHO SAUNTER
Top of the morning to you
Add to "Basket"

10.15 am on Fridays Doesn't run in Dec. or Jan.
from Leicester SquareTube, exit 1
(meet Graham by Wyndham's Theatre)

The brush that painted London sober, sombre and genteel missed Soho. What a delightful hotch-potch the place is. A graceful old square and courtyards and passages that burrow unpredictably between the streets...and everything humming with life. Shutters going up and flower boxes being watered, freshly baked bread carried into restaurants, waiters in white aprons serving Turkish coffee at sidewalk cafes, Chinatown bestirring itself, the colour and clamour of Berwick Street market (if it weren't for the Cockney accents you'd think you were in a Morroccan souk). What a tonic! Want a peek? Here's a wee "photo-essay".

The Soho Saunter Walk takes place
every* Friday morning at 10.15 am

*but not in Dec. or Jan.

Meet Adam, Peter or Richard III just outside exit 1 of Leicester SquareTube
(they'll be standing right in front of Wyndham's Theatre).

Leicester SquareTube is on
thePiccadilly and Northern Lines

Guided by Adam, Peter or Richard III

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"He who laughs not in the morning, laughs not at noon."

WONDERS OF THE V & A
"It's not what you see, it's what you see in it"
Add to "Basket"

10.45 am on Friday Not Dec. 26
from South KensingtonTube


Meet Margaret or Molly just beyond the ticket barrier
[subway turnstile in American parlance] in the booking hall

Well yes and no. What you see – the route the guide takes and the selection she makes – is important in a museum that covers 11 acres, has 145 galleries, and runs to seven miles of exhibits and five million objects. But logistics and savvy are just the basics. The real thrill is what you see in the pieces we show you. These are objects that contain their history - that braid together culture and art. Which is why they're in "the world's greatest museum of art and design". To see them – to see into them – the Great Bed of Ware, the Raphael Cartoons ("one of the supreme sights of the world") the Ardabil carpet...well, it's like sunrise on Mount Moses. And if you want to make a day of it, how about lunch in the V & A's extremely civilised cafe followed by spot of shopping at nearby Harrods! And now for a recent update, here's a little photo essay and some accompanying "programme notes".

  But don't just take my word, have a listen – and a look – for yourself. Click here. And tut tut. Didn't click on the Great Bed of Ware link in the previous paragraph? You should have done. It was Margaret giving a master class in "the real thrill - what you see in the pieces we show you". And yes, it's the Great Bed of Ware she's disrobing and decoding. Go on, have a listen – you'll see why she's a top flight "in house" guide for the V & A – and thus why we were thrilled to bits that we were able to talk her into joining the London Walks team and guiding some of our V & A tours. And the point I made about her wonderful National Gallery tour is equally applicable here. There's nothing aerie fairy – nothing "pseud's corner" – about her art criticism. It's all wonderfully down-to-earth, gritty, solid, sharply observed, hard information. She points to something and talks about it it'll be something that's there, something that's real, something you can see – and what's equally to the point, it'll be something you wouldn't have seen if she hadn't brought it to your attention. And once you're "there", she'll bring it into focus for you. Each piece of information - hard information, remember – is like an artist's brush stroke. The totality is an act of creation – the guiding equivalent of time- lapse nature photography.

The Wonders of the V & A Walk takes place
every* Friday at 10.45 am

*Except Dec. 26

Meet Margaret or Molly just beyond the ticket barrier
of South KensingtonTube.

South KensingtonTube is on
the Circle, District & Piccadilly Lines

Guided by Margaret or Molly

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

THE SECRETS OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Add to "Basket"
10.45 am on Fridays Not Oct. 17, Dec. 26 or Apr. 3
from WestminsterTube,  exit 4
 
Ah, Westminster Abbey! Royal weddings of course. But also a great religious centre,  the place where kings and queens were crowned and often buried, the seed-bed of democratic government, the driving force of English music – the Abbey is England in microscosm. It's also a building of splendour, intricacy and consummate virtuosity. (Henry III spent one-tenth of the entire wealth of the kingdom on it.) Its particulars are astonishing: the greatest work of mediaeval art in Britain; the finest Renaissance tomb north of the Alps; priceless 13th-century wall paintings; waxworks far superior to Madame Tussaud"s; monumental sculpture and memorial tablets that are a tableau of national biography. Not that you need one – but you want another reason for going on this tour? We save you ££s on the price of admission to the Abbey!  And as long as we're at it, here's another very good reason – indeed, extremely graphic reason – for going on the London Walks Abbey tour.
 
Now how about some audio. Two "bites" from two top flight, award-winning Blue Badge guides. First, a Wow! from Brian. It's just 90 seconds but it illustrates perfectly why it's so important to do the Abbey with a guide. The detail he lasers in on here you just would never spot off your own bat. Ditto Mary guiding in the Henry VII chapel. (That bit where she describes the fan vaulting as looking like swirling dancers is just SO Mary.) And for another take, here's a "grab" from the Secret Westminster chapter of our book, London Walks London Stories.

N.B., there's an admission charge* to the Abbey but we get you a big big discount. And a huge plus – we sail right in, whereas "the public" often have to queue for an hour or more.
 
*Because of the Abbey's strict lilmitation on the size of tour groups we have to charge £3 each for children.
 
Why go on this Abbey tour? As opposed to somebody else's? Or indeed as opposed to just going in there and moseying around on your own. They're good questions so let's grab them by the forelock. Short answer is it's a question of knowing where to look. And how to look, what to look for. And because we get you straight in, via a cloister entrance, whereas the "public" often has to queue for half an hour or more. (How much is your time worth?) And the guides get you a huge discount – ££s off the normal adult price – on the admission charge. Long answer has to do with the calibre of the guiding – and just what isn't encapsulated in that word calibre? Everything from selection of particulars to presentation to attire to voice to sense of humour to knowledge that's both deep and broad to complete command of the material (utter assurance) that is Kettle drum buildup. Trumpet fanfare. Oh yes! This is the way to do it. Because Brian and Tom know the best place for viewing the Changing of the Guard...and time it perfectly. And because of the magic carpet of their commentary. It opens those casements.You're not just looking at famous buildings – you're looking into them. Indeed, they've both been in the palace – and not as tourists. One of them – you'll have to guess – is more or less on a first name basis with Prince Phillip! And because the "route" includes two royal parks and a secret royal passageway into London's most perfect Georgian street. And as for the tour inside the Abbey...well, again it's a question of knowing where to look. And how to look, what to look for. And because they'll get you straight in, via a cloister entrance, whereas the "public" often has to queue for an hour or more. (How much is your time worth?) And they get you a huge discount – ££s off the normal adult price – on the admission charge. Because? Well, how do you gainsay being treated royally? And for all the reasons why all the planets are in alignment on this one, see the dedicated Westminster Abbey page. It's here.
 

 
Now how about some audio? Here's Mary guiding in the Henry VII chapel. (That bit where she describes the fan vaulting as looking like swirling dancers is just SO Mary.) And for another take, here's a "grab" about the Abbey from the Secret Westminster chapter of our book, London Walks London Stories.
 
every* Friday at 10.45 am
 
*Except Oct. 17, Dec. 26 and Apr. 3
 
Meet Tom or Brian or Mary just outside
WestminsterTube, exit 4

WestminsterTube is on
the Circle, District & Jubilee Lines.

Guided by Tom or Mary or Brian

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

THE OLD JEWISH QUARTER
"a shtetl called Whitechapel"
Add to "Basket"

10.45 am on Fridays not Dec. 26
from Tower HillTube
  (meet by the "Tower Hill Tram" coffee stand)
 
This walk traces the history of London's Jewish community in the East End. It's a story that embraces the poverty of the pogrom refugees and the glittering success of the Rothschilds; the eloquence of the 19th-century Prime Minister Disraeli and the spiel of the Petticoat Lane stallholder; the poetry of Isaac Rosenberg and the poetry-in-motion of Abe Saperstein's Harlem Globetrotters. Set amid the alleys and back streets of colourful Spitalfields and Whitechapel, it's a tale of synagogues and sweatshops, Sephardim and soup kitchens. (And on that note, it's time for a joke.) And while we're at it, here's Jon's fine little video trailer of the walk. A click here and you're there. And here's The Jewish Chronicle's recent review of the walk.

The Old Jewish Quarter Walk takes place
every Friday at 10.45 am
every** Sunday at 10.15 am
and
every*** Wednesday at 10.45 am

*Except Dec. 26  **Except Apr. 26   ***Except Dec. 24

Meet Harry or Steve or Judy or Shaughan 
by the "Tower Hill Tram" coffee stand just outside the exit of Tower HillTube

Tower HillTube is on
the Circle &
District  Lines

N.B. Whenever possible we visit the wonderful Old Synagogue, for which there's a small entrance fee.

Guided on Fridays by Harry or Steve
Guided on Sundays by Judy or Shaughan
Guided on Wednesdays by Steve or Shaughan

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

THE SECRETS OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY
"a three-dimensional walk-through history of England
Add to "Basket"
10.45 am on Fridays Not Oct. 17, Dec. 26 or Apr. 3
from WestminsterTube, exit 4 
 


Ah, Westminster Abbey! Royal weddings of course. But also a great religious centre,  the place where kings and queens were crowned and often buried, the seed-bed of democratic government, the driving force of English music – the Abbey is England in microscosm. It's also a building of splendour, intricacy and consummate virtuosity. (Henry III spent one-tenth of the entire wealth of the kingdom on it.) Its particulars are astonishing: the greatest work of mediaeval art in Britain; the finest Renaissance tomb north of the Alps; priceless 13th-century wall paintings; waxworks far superior to Madame Tussaud"s; monumental sculpture and memorial tablets that are a tableau of national biography. Not that you need one – but you want another reason for going on this tour? We save you ££s on the price of admission to the Abbey! 
And as long as we're at it, here's another very good reason – indeed, extremely graphic reason – for going on the London Walks Abbey tour.
 
Now how about some audio. Two "bites" from two top flight, award-winning Blue Badge guides. First, a Wow! from Brian. It's just 90 seconds but it illustrates perfectly why it's so important to do the Abbey with a guide. The detail he lasers in on here you just would never spot off your own bat. Ditto Mary guiding in the Henry VII chapel. (That bit where she describes the fan vaulting as looking like swirling dancers is just SO Mary.) And for another take, here's a "grab" from the Secret Westminster chapter of our book, London Walks London Stories.

N.B., there's an admission charge* to the Abbey but we get you a big big discount. And a huge plus – we sail right in, whereas "the public" often have to queue for an hour or more.
 
*Because of the Abbey's strict lilmitation on the size of tour groups we have to charge £3 each for children.
 
The Secrets of Westminster Abbey tour takes place
every* Friday morning at 10.45 am
 
*Except Oct. 17, Dec. 26 and Apr. 3
 
Meet Tom or Brian just outside exit 4 of WestminsterTube
 
WestminsterTube is on
the Circle, District & Jubilee Lines

Guided by Brian or Tom

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

 
UNEXPECTED LONDON
Secret Places & Hidden Interiors
Add to "Basket"
11 am on Fridays Not Dec. 26 or Jan. 2
from TempleTube

"If you want to know London better, if you want to learn some things about the world's most cosmopolitan city that most people who spend their lives there never learn I can think of no better investment than London Walks" (The New York Times). Could have been describing this walk. A walk that makes the new familiar and the familiar new. A walk that teems with unexpected delights, odd places and passing strange things and people. With – in short – a quorum of quintessential quirkiness. Grade A quintessential quirkiness. Quintessential London quirkiness. A taster? Try hidden palaces, The King's Speech Royal Chapel, the hotel where George Orwell worked, the chair with a flying guinea pig and – the jewel in the crown – a gothic chapel hidden away from public view and not visited on any other London Walk. Well, you get the idea. What's not to like. And all those sheltering (hidden) interiors – makes for a great winter walk.

The Unexpected London Walk takes place
every* Friday morning at 11 am

*Except Dec. 26 and Jan. 2

Meet Hilary or Kim just outside the exit of
TempleTube.

EmbankmentTube is on
the Circle & District Lines

Guided by Kim or Hilary

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"We do not regard Englishmen as foreigners.
We look on them only as rather mad Norwegians."

       Halvard Lange, Norwegian historian and politician,
               quoted in the Observer 9 March 1957


HIDDEN LONDON
Add to "Basket"
11 am on Fridays
from MonumentTube
(meet Shaughan just outside the Fish Street Hill exit )

This walk is the distillation of a brilliant guide's many years' experience probing the hidden places and forgotten nooks of the world's most elusive city. Exploring parts of London that few people know exist – up creeping lanes, round out-of-the-way corners, past secret islands of green – Shaughan's at his inimitable best. As the New York Times put it, the walk is "a highly entertaining...blend of historical commentary and bizarre anecdote laced wild mildly scurrilous gossip about past and present celebrities and defunct royals." In such places and with such a guide, the past becomes our present.

The Hidden London Walk takes place
every  Friday morning at 11 am


Meet Shaughan just outside the main exit – the Fish Street Hill exit – of MonumentTube.

MonumentTube is on
the Circle & District Lines

Guided by Shaughan
 
Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

THE INNS OF COURT
London's Legal Enclave
Add to "Basket"

2 pm on Friday not Dec. 26
from HolbornTube

The Inns of Court – habitat of the wigged and gowned English barrister – could pass for a collection of Oxford and Cambridge colleges right in the heart of London. They are a warren of cloisters, courtyards, and passageways set amongst some of the best gardens in London. So: ancient rites and customs, high drama, colourful characters, and matters of life and death amid delightful surroundings. It's a rich confection, making this the prettiest and most historical of our central London walks. And for a taster, here's Angela "opening the wardrobe" and  showing her walkers the choicest bits of English legal attire! And finally, here's a little photo essay. Goes some way toward answering the question, "what do we see on this walk?"

The Inns of Court – London's Legal Enclave walk takes place

every* Friday afternoon at 2 pm
every Monday afternoon at 2 pm
and every** Wednesday morning at 11 am
 
*Not Dec. 26  **Not Dec. 24

Guided on Fridays by Angela
Guided on Mondays by Shaughan
Guided on Wednesdays by Molly

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

ROCK 'N' ROLL LONDON – Keep on Walking, Keep on Rocking
Add to "Basket"
2 pm on Fridays  Not Dec. 26
from Tottenham Court RoadTube
 
Meet Adam, Rex or Richard  just outside exit 3, by the Dominion Theatre
 
All roads once led to Rome.... Now they lead to London. In terms of rock 'n' roll this is an inarguable fact. Big bucks may well be made in Hollywood – but rock 'n' roll reputations are made here in The Big Smoke. The cast list of this NEW London Walk reads like a who's who of the music: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Blur and Oasis. Amongst others. Each act has a London tale to tell, often a tale so decadent that Caligula himself would blush!* London Calling. Lend an ear. (*With thanks to Morrissey)  Here's a little photo essay. A bit of what you see, the flavour of the neighbourhood, that kind of thing. Guided by Adam or Richard
 
 
The Rock 'n' Roll London walk takes place
every* Friday afternoon at 2 pm
 
*Except Dec. 26
 
Meet Adam, Rex or Richard just outside exit 3 – the Dominion Theatre exit –
of Tottenham Court RoadTube.
 
Tottenham Court RoadTube is on
Central & Northern Lines
 
Guided by Adam or Rex or Richard
 
Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

THE OLD PALACE QUARTER
They don't make 'em like this anymore
Add to "Basket"
 
2 pm on Fridays   from Nov. 7 onward this walk will start at 2.30 pm
from Green ParkTube, Green Park exit (meet in the park, by the fountain)
 
"I'd put this one in the top four or five of the 53 different walks that I'm personally able to guide. It's got everything I want in a walk." (David). Okay, that's the "opinion" – here's what it's based on. 1) It's olde, vintage London. There are turnoffs – secret passageways - that take you into the 16th-century. And the 18th-century is par for the course. And it's so well preserved it's a miracle the whole neighbourhood hasn't been sold off to a museum! 2) So, as you'd expect, visually it's very appealing. 3) It's storied. It's storied because it's full of character, full of characters, and marinated in history. 4) It's nooked and crannied. Why is that important? "Well maybe it's just me, but I like to see things other people don't get to see" (David again). 5) It's got wonderful guides. Their names are Hilary, Alison, Kim and Angela. (Here's Angela weaving her spell – in short, here's some audio. Notice her timing, her modulation, her poise – in short, that wonderful voice and what she does with it. And here's a short piece she's written about the walk. Trust me, it's worth a click – if you're partial to Hidden Courtyards, Secret Passageways & Antique Arcades!
 
 
The Old Palace Quarter walk takes place
every Friday at 2 pm  (from Nov. 7 onward this walk will start at 2.30 pm)

and every Wednesday at 2.30 pm
 
Meet Hilary, Alison or Kim just outside the Green Park exit*
of Green ParkTube.
 
*N.B. we meet in the park itself, by the fountain.

Green ParkTube is on
theJubilee, Piccadilly & Victoria Lines

Guided on Fridays by Alison, Hilary or Kim

Guided on Wednesdays by Angela
 
Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"What do you say to a ramble through London?"
Sherlock Holmes


IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Add to "Basket"

2 pm on Friday Not Dec. 26
from EmbankmentTube

"The game is afoot!" It's time to go sleuthing with Corinna or Richard IV and their Baker Street Irregulars! You'll explore an area whose "everchanging kaleidoscope of life" intrigued Holmes and Watson. You'll follow their adventures in Charing Cross, the Strand's gas-lit alleys, and Covent Garden with its Opera House and colourful market stalls, ending, where else? at the superb re-creation of Sherlock Holmes's study. Housed in the building immortalised in The Hound of the Baskervilles and featuring many artefacts donated by the Conan Doyle family, it's a place "where a dream becomes reality". And best of all, it's free to visit! Now to whet your appetite,  here's a bite of sound! And you want to see exactly why London Walks guides are head and shoulders above the competition take a look at this pop-up.

The In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes Walk takes place
every* Friday afternoon at 2 pm

*Except Dec. 26

Meet Richard IV or Corinna just outside EmbankmentTube

Guided by Richard IV or Corinna

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"It is a hobby of mine", said Holmes,
"to have an exact knowledge of London

 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1890


THE NATIONAL GALLERY TOUR
"The best art tour ever"
Add to "Basket"

2.15 pm on Fridays Not Dec. 26
from EmbankmentTube

"sex and violence in Trafalgar Square"

"You've been nailed again, eye-popped. Life has just been adjusted," as the wonderful Simon Schama puts it. And in that same vein (SS again): "Great art has dreadful manners. The hushed reverence of the gallery can fool you into believing masterpieces are polite things, visions that soothe, charm and beguile, but actually they are thugs. Merciless and wily, the greatest paintings grab you in a headlock, rough up your composure and then proceed in short order to rearrange your sense of reality." And on that note (warning?) you are cordially invited to a levee withe the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Van Dyck, Goya, Bosch, Constable, Turner, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh.
  

Which is by way of saying, "In the National Gallery, as perhaps nowhere else, you can walk through seven centuries of European painting, on the mountain-tops. And, as always on the mountains, it's useful to have a guide, a companion who can spot things that you might miss and trigger thoughts that might not occur to you on your own." Let alone the fact that the National - "the single best picture gallery in the world" – covers 10 acres, has 75 galleries, and houses 2,300 of the world's greatest paintings! Here's a taster. It's Margaret "engaging with" Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Adoration of the Magi. And here's a grab from her exploration of the Arnolfini Wedding.* Here's a measure of how special this tour is: the Arnolfini Wedding painting and I go back a long way. I've spent a lot of time looking at it, know it fairly well. But having Margaret take me through it was like seeing it in High Definition for the first time. I'd missed the red pattens. Hadn't clocked that the bed was on the first floor and what that imports, hadn't spotted the second window, etc. It's wonderful stuff. And as long as I'm at it, well, here's some plain speaking about this one – why it's a better deal than the alternatives (the audio wand, the "free" in-house tour, etc.).
 
And while you're at it, you'll certainly find this pop-up eye-ifying – as well as edifying.
 
*See the image above.
 
The National Gallery Tour
takes place every* Friday at 2.15 pm
 
*Except Dec. 26

Meet just outside the exit of EmbankmentTube.

EmbankmentTube is on
theCircle, Bakerloo, District & Northern Lines

Guided by Margaret, Molly or Tom

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

CHARLES DICKENS' LONDON
Add to "Basket"

2.15 pm on Fridays Not Dec. 26
from TempleTube
 

This walk is a real eye-opener. It's a sojourn into a lost city – an Atlantis. Because this London – Dickens's London – has kept the 20th century* at bay. It's a London of nooks and crannies and alleyways and gas lamps and 18th- and 19th-century houses – and no cars! It's the London where Dickens lived and worked. It's the London of the 400-year-old Old Curiosity Shop and David Copperfield and Pip and Pickwick. It's "Inimitable" – like Dickens himself. *Let alone the 21st century!

The Charles Dickens's London walk takes place
every* Friday afternoon at 2.15 pm

*Except Dec. 26

Meet Richard III  or Richard IV just outside the exit of TempleTube.

TempleTube is on
the Circle & District Lines  

Guided by Richard III or Richard IV

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"This is a London particular….A fog, miss."
                                   Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852

"In Dickens architecture is
the material expression of the human spirit."

JACK EL DESTRIPADOR
 
Únicamente en Español 
 
Todas las semanas, el viernes a las 18.45
 
a Tower Hill Metro (Circle Line y District Line)
 
Adultos £10/Estudiantes y Jubilados £9
 
La ruta dura 1 hora y 45 minutos.
 
Su guía les encontrará en la entrada del metro
 

THE ALONG THE THAMES PUB WALK
Add to "Basket"

7 pm on Fridays Not Dec. 19 or Dec. 26
from BlackfriarsTube

"the most exciting walk in London...it can do more
to interpret the city than anything else, a real skeleton key"

If you only have time for one walking tour, this is the one to go on – it's the classic London pub walk. It takes in London's last remaining galleried coaching inn, its best riverside walkway...

its oldest market, the most sensational art gallery in the world (it's open on Friday night so when* there's something spectacular in there we hang a right and walk right through "the Turbine Hall" and hey presto the Tate Modern's flagship exhibition becomes part of our route, part of our itinerary!), the church where Harvard University's founder was baptised, and an 18th-century pub that brews its own beer – plus lashings of Shakespeare, a jot of Dickens, lots of pub lore, and London's best skyline panorama. It gets better. Because there's also the recently discovered remains of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (and its sister playhouse The Rose)...and the thrilling, thatch-roofed reproduction that's risen, Phoenix-like, only a stone's throw away. Let alone the astonishing replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hinde, the ship that the great Elizabethan mariner sailed around the world over 400 years ago. Anchored there in the murky Thames, its timbers creaking eerily in the misty London night and The Globe just yards away...it's a ghost ship lost in time. Go on this walk. (Food is available.)  And if you want to get the measure of just how special that last pub is, click me! Then there's this. Every time I read it it sends a shiver up my spine. And for your ears, there's this. It's Katy reading from the chapter that opens our book, London Walks London Stories, a chapter on the Thames, a chapter that is influenced by – and draws on – this walking tour. *And for that matter we also go in there – take advantage of that spectacular, 500 foot long "interior" – when the weather's inclement!

It's the most stunning register shift in London: from the riverscape
straight in to Dickens' nightmare vision of London. The photo is by
by Jon Block, who's taking some of the best London photos going.
You can see his work here.

The Along the Thames Pub Walk takes place
every* Friday at 7 pm
 
*Except Dec. 19 and Dec. 26

Meet Katy or David just outside
BlackfriarsTube 

BlackfriarsTube is on the Circle & District Lines

Guided on Fridays by Katy or David 
 
 
Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

"Go where we may, rest where we will,
Eternal London haunts us still."
 
                            

Thomas Moore, Rhymes on the Road, c. 1820

Outposts of the Past Along the Thames
                                                                           Photo by Michael Gray


THE OLD KNIGHTSBRIDGE VILLAGE PUB WALK
Add to "Basket"

7 pm on Fridays Not Dec. 19 or Dec. 26
from South KensingtonTube

This is a great walk. You've been to Knightsbridge. But you haven't been to this Knightsbridge. And that's not to say that we don't see Harrods or that 200 million pound flat. We do see them. But we see them in ways that you won't have seen them. As for the Old Lanes – you won't have seen them. Period. And boy are they ever worth getting to know. The "other Knightsbridge" as we call them. Another way of putting that: this is the only walk in the London Walks canon that gets two annotated photo-essays here on www.walks.com. That's an unfailing measure of mulligatawney – the amazing flavours – the stunning eye candy and OMG interest that Richard and Nick (and Knightsbridge) serve up on this walk. First photo essay is here

Okay, that was the overture. Here's the main attraction. Welcome to the other Knightsbridge. The old lanes, as they're known, are a London original. They're one of the capital's hidden delights, one of its special places.

And yes they are hard to find. Our higgledy-piggledy route takes us up a cobbled pathway, past a hidden churchyard, along a little mews, through a gate in a wall and down some steps and then...hey presto, we're through the looking glass and into the old lanes. Into a collector's corner of mews, alleys, and cosiness. Into unchanging London. Here we could be a million miles from Harrods and the hustle and bustle of Brompton Road. The contrast is as dramatic and unexpected as anything in London...if you didn't know better you'd think you were in the back streets of a Cornish fishing village. And that's just for openers. Stir in pots of history, add a dash of intrigue and gossip, and garnish with pubs that are real trouvailles and you've got a spiffing walk. (Food is available.) Oh and about the photo – Harrods obviously isn't the other Knightsbridge, but the point is that they've just changed, by hand, all 11,000 plus lightbulbs.As you can see, they're green now (and really fetching they are) rather than amber. Worth a look-see. And if you'd like a preview of this walk, click here. It's a little photo essay of The Old Lanes. It's "hey, Big Spender – so this is where you live. It's a bit of all right, isn't it? More than a bit"

The Old Knightsbridge Pub Walk takes place
every* Friday evening at 7 pm

*Except Dec. 19 and Dec. 26

Meet Nick or Fiona or Richard III 
just outside the exit of South KensingtonTube.

South KensingtonTube
is on the Circle, District & Piccadilly Lines

Guided by Nick or Fiona or Richard III

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

JACQUES L'EVENTREUR – Exclusivement En Français!

Toutes Les Semaines

Le Vendredi à 19h

au Métro Tower Hill
(Circle Line et District Line)  

Adultes £10/Etudiants et Retraités £9. La promenade dure environ 2 heures.
 
Votre guide vous attend à la sortie du métro. Bonne promenade!  Cliquez ici pour visionner notre film, en français, au sujet de la promenade de Jacques l'Eventreur.
 

HAUNTED LONDON
Add to "Basket"

7.30 pm on Fridays
from MonumentTube
Meet just outside the Fish Street Hill exit

It's blue dusk. Feeding time. Time to pierce the veil which hides the future after death. The time when rooftop cats look down – their eyes green as ringstones – and see things that maybe we shouldn't see. Down here in the creepiest part of London...in alleyways so narrow you can't open an umbrella in them. And so old they're cobwebbed with time. And cobwebbed with something else too. Cobwebbed with events that occurred long ago – events that under certain conditions can again "become dynamic". So when you see the unholy Trinity – and you will see it – and when silver dragons leer at you – and they will – and if you hear footsteps up a deserted alleyway – or voices of persuasion that whisper in the darkness – or catch a glimpse of a hooded, staring transparent figure – congratulations – you've just fed a haunting. It'll be back. And one day...so will you. Now who's for a really cozy pub?

The image below was sent in by a walker. "I snapped an old doorway in one of the alleyways we went through. It was dark but not that dark. There was nothing in that doorway when I took the photo. But if you look really closely – get the screen at the right tilt – I swear you can see a hooded figure in black standing there. The folds in the garment are pretty easy to see. Frankly, it creeps me out because whatever it is it definitely wasn't there when I took the shot." And for the record, that's not the only time that a walker's camera has caught something on a London Walks ghost walk that was not discernible to the photographer when he or she took the picture.  

The Haunted London Walk takes place
every Friday at 7.30 pm
and every Sunday at 7.30 pm.


Meet your guide just outside MonumentTube
(meet outside the Fish Street Hill exit, which is the main exit)

MonumentTube is on the Circle & District Lines

Guided on Fridays by Steve or Corinna
Guided on Sundays by Nick or Shaughan (he's the gentleman with the deadly pallor and swirling black cape! As the San Francisco Chronicle put it, "he's deliciously spooky!")

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation

JACK THE RIPPER HAUNTS
Add to "Basket"

7.30 pm nightly (except Dec. 24 & Dec. 25)
from Tower HillTube  (meet by the "Tower Hill Tram" coffee stand)

Please tread carefully and keep away from the shadows -
you are about to enter the abyss...

He came silently out of the midnight shadows of August 31, 1888. Watching. Stalking. Butchering raddled, drink-sodden East End prostitutes. Leaving a trail of blood that led...nowhere. Yes, something wicked this way walked, for this is the Ripper's slashing grounds. We evoke that autumn of gaslight and fog, of menacing shadows and stealthy footsteps as we inspect the murder sites, sift through the evidence – in all its gory detail - and get to grips, so to speak, with the main suspects. Afterward we can steady our nerves in "The Ten Bells", the pub where the victims - perhaps under the steely gaze of the Ripper himself – tried to forget the waking nightmare. And if you'd like a bang-up-to-date independent assessment of our Ripper walk – "an eerie experience" – here are some choice words from the Toronto Star.   Now, anyone for some audio? Want to hear the man who is "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper" in action? I thought so. Click here. And here. And for some stills of the walk and the neighbourhood, click here (Don's the chap wearing the red scarf and holding the clutch of London Walks leaflets).

And this is pretty neat: Adam's made a handy little video to help out anybody who's arrived late for the walk. It's called The Jack the Ripper Catch Up Film. If you arrive late and the walk's moved off, well, just get your cell phone out, bring up this page and click here and hey presto you'll be able to catch us up.

The Jack the Ripper Haunts Walk takes place
every* single night at 7.30 pm.

Meet the guides by the "Tower Hill Tram" coffee stand just outside Tower Hill Tube.

Tower HillTube is on the
Circle & District Lines

N.B., on Saturdays there's also a Ripper "matinee".
It goes every Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.

*except December 24th & December 25th

Guided by Donald or Shaughan on Fridays
Guided by Fiona or Peter G. on Saturday afternoons
Guided by Steve on Saturday evenings
Guided by Donald on Sundays
Guided by Molly on Mondays
Guided by Molly on Tuesdays
Guided by Steve on Wednesdays
Guided by Shaughan & Adam on Thursdays
 
N.B., Let's call a spade a spade. Going on Donald Rumbelow's walk is as close as you're going to get to nailing the Ripper. Donald is the author of the best-selling The Complete Jack the Ripper, the definitive book on the subject. He's been the chief consultant for every major television and film treatment of the Ripper for the last 20 years. In the words of The Jack to Ripper A to Z (the bible of Ripperology studies): "Donald Rumbelow is internationally recognised as the leading authority on the subject". The former Curator of the City of London Police Crime Museum and a two-time Chairman of the Crime Writers" Association, Donald is Britain's most distinguished crime historian. And I hasten add, he's not some dry-as-dust academic. He spent 25 years on the City of London Police Force – which in effect means you'll be taken over some of the most famous crime scenes in the world by a law enforcement professional...who just happens to be the world's leading expert on those particular crime scenes! Oh and I almost forgot - he's also a top-flight professionally qualified Blue Badge Guide!

But a word of warning: never part with your money or set off with anyone until you're absolutely certain you're with Donald or - if it's another night - one of his London Walks colleagues. Donald (and co.) will be holding up copies of the really distinctive white London Walks leaflet. And remember, Donald and his colleagues will never ever start the Jack the Ripper walk before 7.30 pm. In short, don't let anyone pull a fast one on you.  In the words of the Toronto Star: "rip-off tours...capitalize on his[Rumbelow's] popularity and try to confuse people who show up knowing that this is the place for Ripper Tours, but haven't got the details straight."

Walkers recommendations
Write your recommendation
Mary Ann Nichols
Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 1 September 1888
Mary Jane Kelly
"The final murder is Jack the Ripper's "apotheosis in horror". He turns that little room in Miller's Court into an abbatoir. And then he walks out into the night...and into history."  
                                             in the words of a London Walks guide


ADDITIONAL TOURS ON SELECTED FRIDAYS
 
DATE WALK TIME STATION
Dec. 26 Old Westminster 1,000 Years of History 11 am WestminsterTube exit 4
Dec. 26 Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol & Seasonal Traditions 2 pm Tower HillTube