Saturday's London Walks


The Saturday Day Trip from London is a "moveable feast" because we go to a different destination every Saturday.
For the particulars of the Day Trip from London for any given Saturday see the following table. And as long as we're at it, here's the due diligence and full disclosure material!

Aug. 23 Blenheim Palace & Oxford 9.30 am Paddington Railway Station
Aug. 30 The Cotswolds in Late Summer  (gets back at 7.30 pm) 9.45 am Paddington Railway Station
Sept. 6 Churchill, Chartwell & the Weald of Kent 8.45 am Charing Cross Railway Station
Sept. 13 Faversham & Canterbury
8.45 am St. Pancras Railway Station
Sept. 20 Stonehenge & Salisbury (On the Eve of the Equinox!) 8.45 am Waterloo Railway Station
Sept. 27 The Cotswolds in Autumn
9.45 am Paddington Railway Station
Oct. 4 Constable Country & Colchester 9.15 am Liverpool Street Railway Station
Oct. 11 Cambridge "Can such places be?" 9 am King's Cross Railway Station
Oct. 18 Bath  England at its best 9 am Paddington Railway Station
Oct. 25 The Cotswolds in Autumn 9.45 am Paddington Railway Station
Nov. 1 TBA    
BANKSIDE - The London of Shakespeare & Dickens
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10.30 am on Saturdays (from May 3 onward)
from MonumentTube Fish Street Hill exit

Cobbled, echoing Clink Street threads between brick cliffs of warehouses where bars of sunlight probe the shadows: the London of Dickens' troubled boyhood. The London that haunted him to his dying day. It's also the Bankside district, home to Shakespeare's Globe and the other Elizabethan playhouses (and the "stews" and bear-baiting dens and St. Saviour's, where he buried his brother Edmund). We explore it all – everything from the Globe and the Rose and Bear Gardens to the ancient, swaybacked coaching inn in whose courtyard Shakespeare's plays are still performed. And since it all comes down to the guiding, the names on the marquee for this one are Shaughan, a gifted actor (let alone London Walks' most entertaining guide). And Jan, an authority on (and star guide at) Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Anything else? Um. Yes. This. The past is high impact in this bit of old London. Take a look at this map. That's where we're heading. Some of what you can see on that map is still there. Translation: primeval London is still there – the past is always buried in the present. It's still there literally. It's still there structurally. And it's still there Literary-ily. Because this is where English poetry began 'in the Monthe of Maii'. Chaucer's pilgrims set out from here. Modern drama was born here. N.B. the walk ends at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, not far from London BridgeTube and Rail Station. Or indeed BlackfriarsTube or Mansion HouseTube.

Okay, time for some audio.Here's Shaughan – at the site of the original Globe Theatre – giving us a stunningly vivid glimpse of the Bankside 400 years ago.

The Bankside Walk takes place
Saturday at 10.30 am
*from May 3 onward

Meet Shaughan or Jan just outside
MonumentTube, the Fish Street Hill exit

MonumentTube is on
the Circle & District Lines 

N.B. This walk does not duplicate Wednesday's and Sunday's
Shakespeare's and Dickens's London - The Old City Walk.

Guided by Jan or Shaughan

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Cobblestones, Quaysides & Cloud-capped Towers
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10.30 am on the first Saturday of every month
from Canary Wharf Tube, main exit* (Click here for a photo)
(N.B. when Canary Wharf Tube is closed take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to Heron Quays (a DLR station). It's a very short walk from Heron Quays to the Canary Wharf Juibilee Line exit. Heron Quays is in fact closer to the Canary Wharf Jubilee Line station than the Canary Wharf DLR station is. And it's all clearly signposted.)
And so we come to the most extraordinary letter in London's alphabet. First, the bass note: the river. Down here the Thames is broad-shouldered, easy and big. There's a salt tang in the air. And gulls. And cat-o'-nine-tails winds. Haunted winds that whisper of tall ships and swollen sails and spices and silks and rum. And then make good on that promise when they Zephyr us round corners into a pungent past of centuries-old sugar warehouses and ships workshops and the Dockmaster's House. So, yes, like the river, time bends here. And flows. Flows backward. And then, round other corners, ricochets into the fireworks of a futuristic London. Because this is Wall Street on Water - a place where cutting-edge, 21st century power and energy are made visible and tangible.A place where this time-honoured city is re-inventing itself. Spectacularly. In short, if you like walks that have Surprise Me written all over them...well, you just turned up trumps. And a bonus...we'll end at the new, not-to-be-missed River Thames & Docklands Museum.
  The Docklands Walk takes place only
on the first Saturday of every month.

Meet Chris or Judy or Stephanie at 10.30 am
just outside the main Jubilee Line exit –
NOT the East exit – of Canary WharfTube.
Here's a photo of the main exit.

N.B., a 2-Zone Travel Card (or Oyster Card) is a good idea, because we take a couple of short journeys on the DLR. And in any case you'll be able to use it for your initial journey to Canary Wharf Tube for the start of the walk; and use it for your return journey at walk's end; and indeed use it for the rest of the day. Bottom line: you'll save yourself some dosh if you're a card-carrying London Walker!

Canary WharfTube is on
the Jubilee Line

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Saturdays at 10.45 am
from Holland Park Tube

This is reconnaissance on the razzle – the search-party that syncopates. Because Notting Hill on a Saturday morning – market morning! – is curious and colourful, offbeat and yeasty. Here you walk with a ticket of freedom – a pass to scintillating escarpments. Just consider what's squeezed out onto the palette this hillside: swells and scruffs; market stalls and scandal; Jimi Hendrix and Carnival; Cut Throat Alley and Victorian Gothic; Madonna and Hugh Grant (let alone Julia Roberts and that bookshop); cottages, potteries and piggeries; colour washed mews and cab shelters and a race course and the gout route to Bath and butchers in straw hats and an invisible boundary between the present and the past....Magic! Speaking of which – magic I mean – how's this for a wonderful penumbra, a burst of flavour of London connections.  And as for Après-walk...

The Notting Hill & Portobello Market Walk
takes place
every Saturday at 10.45 am

Meet Tom or Brian or Richard III just outside the exit of Holland ParkTube Stop.

Holland ParkTube Stop is on
theCentral Line   

Guided by Tom or Richard III or Brian

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The 10.45 am Saturday Tour du Jour!

The walk in this time slot changes weekly.

For details see the following list.

Aug. 30 Pie Crust to Upper Crust Foodies' London in The Strand & Covent Garden EmbankmentTube
Aug. 30 Old Dulwich Village "a green thought in a green shade" VictoriaTube exit to Victoria
Sept. 6 The Hidden West End Gin City, Seven Deadly Dials, Slum of Slums Tottenham Court RoadTube exit 3
Sept. 13 South Kensington Albertopolis, Alcazar & Alcoves in SW7 South KensingtonTube just beyond the ticket barrier
Sept. 20 Foodies' LondonThe West End Green ParkTube Green Park exit
Sept. 20 Ode to John Keats, Poet in London MoorgateTube eastside exit by Natwest Bank
Sept. 20 Inside London's Fashion Scene Savile Row to Stella McCartney Oxford CircusTube exit 6
Sept. 27 "Somewhere Else" London EmbankmentTube
Oct. 4 West Hampstead Village "Hampstead's Little Brother" West HampsteadTube
Oct. 11 A Village in Piccadilly "like a silver thread in heavy clay" Piccadilly CircusTube exit 4 (Eros exit)
Oct. 18 From Eros to Eternity Piccadilly's Rock Heritage Green ParkTube north exit
Oct. 25 The Greatest Multicultural City Invaders & Immigrants, Exiles & Escapees WhitechapelTube
BRUNEL'S LONDON Boat Trip, River Walk, Tunnel Descent...
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10.45 am on Saturdays
from EmbankmentTube

This isn't just Brunel. It's a voyage – and a walk – into the birthplace of modern London. So, yes, under three Brunel bridges and over two Brunels' tunnels to the best kept secret in London. And into the bargain, a sightseer's London checklist, from the Houses of Parliament to the Tower of London. Icons. And that secret. Several secrets, actually. A secret gateway for the Czar of Russia. Six dead men on a haunted ship. Broken bones by the silent Harpy. Broken slipways on the Isle of Dogs. Shattered columns, shattered dancers, magic at the Tunnel Club. Mind-melting magic. Outcroppings of the past that haven't been swallowed by the passage of time. That tell of the monster ship. And of the world's most important tunnel. That more than tell. That take us down into the darkness where men died and Brunel met with destiny. N.B. Oyster or 2-Zone Travel Card recommended for our short train journey. There's an extra charge for the boat ride but we get you a rate. And there's no queuing – our tickets are reserved.

The Brunel's London walk takes place
every Saturday morning at 10.45 am

Meet Robert just outside the exit of

EmbankmentTube is on
the Circle, District, Bakerloo & Northern Lines

Guided by Robert

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10.45 am on Saturdays
from West HamTube
N.B. there are no loos where we start, but tons where we end
Put out the flags. Send up the Rockets. Emblazon it across the skies: This walk now goes into the Olympic Village! We're no longer on the outside looking in. We're on the inside – guiding Olympic London up close and personal! It was a consummation devoutly to be wished for – and boy was it worth the wait!
Ahhhhh! It's come at last. And we're there. The Olympic Park is open. And we're going in. Taking our groups in. Exploring it. Seeing it up close. Guiding it. It's the next best thing to a helicopter arrival with 007 and Her Majesty in the jump seat. Because the wonder of it is still there. There in the spiky white steel stadium. There in the glide and soar of the shiny aluminium Aquatic Centre. In "the Copper Box". In the AccelorMittal Orbit. In the whys and wherefores and back stories. In the neighbourhood's pastscape and futurescape. In that astonishing panorama – like being out on a tether looking back at the London Milky Way. There where the Olympic Torch entered the home stretch – where we walk!* Guided by Julianne or Joanne or Andy. N.B. an Oyster or Travel Card for Zone 3 is a good idea as we take a short DLR journey to the Olympic Village. It swooshes us into the Hi-tech station built specially for the Games, the station the athletes, officials and VIPs arrived at, the station built to take the ultra high speed and appropriately named Javelin trains. Sports metaphor time: this approach – these vantage points – it's like making your way down to a ringside seat. Pretty good, that. But even better is stepping into the ring – and that's what we do now. I.E. we take you into and guide you through the Olympic Park.
*Why West HamTube? Local knowledge, that's why. London Walks knowledge. It kicked in from the get-go: "no question about it, West Hamis definitely the best place to start the Olympics London walk." Not least because it saves us having to make a long dreary walk along a busy, nothing-to-see-but-plenty-of-fumes-to-breathe road. Yes, local knowledge. You can't beat it. As that American tourist said on the walk (you can hear him – and Julianne – here): "if you weren't on a London Walk you wouldn't know..."

The Olympic Park walk takes place:
every Saturday at 10.45 am
Meet Julianne or Joanne or Andy just outside West HamTube.
West HamTube is on the District, Jubilee and Hammersmith & City Lines
 Guided by Julianne or Joanne or Andy
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OLD WESTMINSTER - 1,000 Years of History
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11 am on Saturdays
from WestminsterTube, exit 4

This is the cornerstone, the great seminal London Walk. Miss it and you've missed London. For Old Westminster is London at its grandest: the place where kings and queens are crowned, where they lived, and often were buried. It's the forge of the national destiny, the place where the heart of the Empire beat, the Mecca of politicians throughout the ages. The past here is cast in stone and we take it all in: ancient Westminster Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the Jewel Tower, and Westminster Abbey. And to see it with a great guide is to have that past suddenly rise to the seeing a photographic print come up in a darkroom. It doesn't get any better than this.

And embarras de richesse, we'll also explore the private face of Westminster - the London equivalent of Georgetown! Unlike the tourist hordes, we'll get to see the hidden and ever so picturesque Georgian back streets where all the political salons are! We end at the Cabinet War Rooms, the fortified bunker that housed Winston Churchill's centre of operations during the war. You'll get a brilliant discount on the price of admission if you want to visit the War Rooms.

And fancy a listen? Here's Karen doing her high wire act across the mid-17th century. And some more? Click here. It's the opening of the Secret Westminster chapter in our book, London Walks London Stories. A chapter that was inspired by – and draws on – this walk. N.B., the little film is a primer about London Walks in general. But it's a primer that focuses on this walk – and featues Karen – winner of the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year Award!

The Old Westminster Walk takes place:

every Saturday morning at 11 am
every Sunday afternoon at 2.30 pm
every Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm
every Thursday afternoon at 2 pm

The meeting point is just outside exit 4 of WestminsterTube

Guided on Saturdays by Karen 
Guided on Sundays by Simon
Guided on Tuesdays by Judy 
Guided on Thursdays by Shaughan or David
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11 am on Saturdays
from Green ParkTube
 (meet outside the north exit, on the corner) 

The 1890s. Gaslit streets. The rattle of hansom cabs. The silvery laughter of stagedoor Johnnies and chorus girls. The London of Whistler, Beardsley, Shaw, Lillie Langtry, and Gilbert & Sullivan. Above all, though, the London of Oscar Wilde. Oscar - of all writers, the best company. Oscar - at the height of his fame as dramatist and wit, amusing and outraging Victorian society by turns. Oscar - refulgent, majestic, ready to fall. And fall he did. His life came crashing down...mired in scandal and broken in three of the most celebrated trials of all time. We follow in Oscar's footsteps...tracing his triumph and tragedy in the very places where the drama unfolded, bringing to an end the Naughty Nineties. One of those "very places" Alan's talking about right here, in this bit of audio.

And while we're at it, why not hear from a walker? (Indeed, I learned a few things about the walk myself from reading her "review")

The London of Oscar Wilde Walk takes place
every Saturday morning at 11 am
Meet Alan just outside Green ParkTube
(outside the north exit, on the corner).

Green ParkTube is on
theVictoria, Jubilee & Piccadilly Lines
Guided by Alan (who will be attired as Mr.Wilde himself, green carnation and all!) 
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Catacombs, Canals & Cafes
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11 am on Saturdays
from Camden TownTube

Camden Town is the London smorgesbord par excellence. A place where the past melts imperceptibly into the post-modern. A place of canals, cafes, cobblestones, Catacombs, craftsmen's studios, street cred, NW1 literati, Industrial Age iron and brick, leafy terraces and crescents, antiques, artists, actors, and art deco.

And that's not to mention Camden Lock, London's busiest and brightest market – and its fourth largest tourist attraction – which "at its best combines the bonhomie, excitement and buzz of Rio's Carnival"! The Lock is the centrepiece of the walk, but Judith, a local artist, also explores the sights behind the sights, unrolling the shifting scene like one of those Victorian panoramas: everything from street style and Neobeatniks to Dickens, Dingwalls, and the Vanishing Viscount by the canal; and from George Bernard Shaw and Toss the Pieman to Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan and the Electric Ballroom. Afterward, if you like, you can take a traditional narrowboat to the Zoo or Little Venice. And now, who's for some more images? Click here for a ragout of a Camden Town photo essay. And click here for a little illustrated essay on Amy Winehouse's Camden, some of which Judith touches on in her walk.

The Old Camden Town Walk takes place
every Saturday morning at 11 am

Meet Judith just outside the exit of
Camden TownTube.

Camden TownTube is on
theNorthern Line 

Guided by Judith

"I thought of London spread out in the sun
Its post districts packed like squares of wheat."

Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings, 1964

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11.20 am on Saturdays
from MaryleboneTube

"There are places I'll remember all my life", sang the Beatles in one of their most evocative songs. Many of those places are in the "London Town" of this get back with Richard, "the Pied Piper of Beatlemania" (The Miami Herald), to the film locations for A Hard Day's Night and Help, the registry office where two of the Fabs were married, and the apartment immortalised by Ringo, John and Yoko. We'll also see the house where Paul lived with his glamorous girlfriend, actress Jane Asher. Those were the days...for it was in that house that John and Paul wrote I want to hold your hand. And to cap it all we'll go up to St. John's Wood to see the legendary Abbey Road studios and crosswalk. As the Toronto Globe and Mail said of the walk, "A splendid time is guaranteed for all." Here's a "grab" from the walk. And here's another 'un.

The Beatles In My Life Walk takes place
every Saturday at 11.20 am
and every Tuesday at 11.20 am.

Meet Richard P. – "the Pied Piper of Beatlemania"
just outside the exit of MaryleboneTube.

MaryleboneTube is on
theBakerloo Line  

Guided by Richard P.

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The Roof Garden - The English Woodland
"the largest and most astonishing roof garden in Europe"

OLD KENSINGTON – London's Royal Village
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2 pm on Saturdays
from High Street KensingtonTube 

Meet by the 3 Phone shop – next to the pavement (sidewalk), just inside the arcade

This one's special. It's rarely the first – or even the second or third – walk people go on, but when they do get round to taking it, they often say it's the one they liked the most. And no wonder, because Royal Kensington is London at its best – picturesque, stimulating, and full of character. Its parts are as delightful as London can provide: everything from warmly handsome old Kensington Palace, home to the Cambridges (and the late Diana, Princess of Wales) to Kensington Gardens (all meadows, shaded walks, bowers, and flower gardens, it might be the grounds of a stately home in some rural shire) to cobbled little soigne lanes and mews, girt with pretty cottages and charming old shops; and from millionaires' row and regal avenues to beautifully kept squares and a clutch of the world's greatest museums; let alone a garden in the sky (the largest and most breathtaking* roof garden in Europe); the secluded town house of the greatest Londoner of the 20th-century, an American president's flat, the most astonishing small literary house in the world, acres of gentility, a secret trap-door into a hidden world, and more history and colourful characters than you can shake a stick at.  *You want breathtaking – here's a nonpareil pen portrait of the Roof Garden. Goes without saying that we visit the Roof Garden whenever it's possible to do so. That said, they do have private functions up there from time to time and we of course don't have access to it on those occasions.

And afterward you can visit the State Apartments or take tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace! Now who's for a visual or six? Or if you'd like another word or two, click here. Or here.

And finally, how about some audio?   First, a "bite" from the walk itself: here's "the voice"Angela – doing her stuff. Enjoy. And for a second course, well, as you've surely guessed, there's  a chapter on Kensington in our book, London Walks London Stories. It's one of the five chapters that have fallen to me, David, to write. And I've done the deed. Needless to say, it draws on – and is inspired by – the walk. And transforms it. It complements it, in other words. It's a companion piece to the walk. Anyway, here's a taster – both of the book and Kensington. In short, here's how the chapter opens.

The Old Kensington Walk takes place
every Saturday at 2 pm
and every Thursday at 2 pm

Meet David or Angela or Adam at High Street KensingtonTube. (The rendezvous point is by the 3 Phone shop – next to the pavement (sidewalk), just inside the arcade.)

High Street KensingtonTube is on
the Circle & District Lines

Guided on Saturdays by David or Angela
Guided on Thursdays by David or Adam
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2 pm on Saturdays
from Tower HillTube
London. 2,000 years old. Higgledy piggledy. History haunted. Secretive in the extreme. A labyrinth where the past lurks in the present. Aggressively modern when you look up. A tear in space-time when you peer round this corner or go down that alley. A city that preserves features – like so many geological strata – of its earlier selves. A city that’s not easy to figure out – you don’t reap London in one traverse. Why bother? you ask. Here’s why: 1) London’s of world historical importance and 2) depths, intricacies and secrets are always interesting. Bottom line: this is a great walk. It’s the London labyrinth and London highlights and the shaping past. You’ll see both the hoary old City and today’s London. Best of all, you’ll see into them.

The Old City walk
takes place every Saturday afternoon at 2 pm.

The meeting point is: just outside the exit of Tower HillTube.

Tower HillTube is on the Circle & District Lines.
Guided by Chris or Judy or Ann
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Many a beau without a shilling,
Many a widow not unwilling;
Many a bargain, if you strike it:
This is London! How d'ye like it?
John Bancks,  "A Description Of London"


OLD MARYLEBONE Psst! Read on...
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2 pm on Saturdays
from Bond StreetTube
(meet by the Forever 21 shop in Satratford Place opposite the station)

"London specialises in hiding the best of itself." Old Marylebone's a case in point. Here you'll lose your way and find your heart...get gratifyingly lost and get London back the way it was. The way it was at the time of the American Revolution! The way it was just after the Napoleonic Wars – for this is Regency London at its best! The way it was for Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett – we'll see the old church where they were married! What else? Well, this one's fascinating because it's so unexpected – a quirky old village in the heart of the West End; delightful because it's our greenest walk; revealing because it takes us into one of the private worlds London excels in; stimulating because it's like a series of flashbacks to every bit of old London you've ever seen; brilliant because of the private mansion we'll go into for a quick look at a couple of world famous paintings; satisfying because everything locks into place like the lines of a sonnet; and, finally, brilliant because of the sheer voltage of the finale: here is the loveliest set-piece in London, the final expression of a classical age, "a definition of western civilization in a single view". Okay, and here's a partial answer to the "What will I see on the Marylebone Walk?" question. Yes, that's right, we've made a start on a little photo-essay. It's here.

The Old Marylebone Walk takes place
every Saturday afternoon at 2 pm

Meet Tom or Helena or Margaret
outside Bond StreetTube (meet on the north side of Oxford Street, in Stratford Place, by the Forever 21 shop).

Bond StreetTube is on
theCentral & Jubilee Lines

N.B. This is one of our "weather proof" walks. How so? Well, if the weather's completely foul, we spend a lot more time in the gallery!

Guided by Tom, Helena, or Margaret,

"I think it [London] on the whole the best point of view in the world."
Henry James, Letter to Charles Eliot Norton, 13 November 1880

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2 pm on Saturdays
from WestminsterTube, exit 4
Ah, film locations! Where the empheral image on the screen turns into reality! Underfoot and right before our very eyes. And what's right before our very eyes on this one is the Westminster locations that rivetted you in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and even the brand new 'un: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's a walk – a quest even – for fans of all ages. And there's a bonus. Well, lots of bonuses. Because the weave also includes lots of great sights – and sites – and the sights behind the sites – for those who are just along for the ride, along to keep a fan company. And of course it's guided by, who else? London Walks' resident Harry Potter expert (let alone mega fan), Kontiki Richard. And yet another bonus – an actor, he knows about set-ups and shoots, etc. so there are very tasty bits of "location inside info"! But let's hear it from the man himself. Here's Richard talking about the walk. And if you want to see Richard in action – see a little bit of a Harry Potter Film Locations walk – click here. Said click will shimmer you away to the tasty little film trailer we've made of one of our HP walks.
N.B. There's a 3 galleon* charge for kids as this one's for all ages! Super Kids – i.e., adults – get their usual "best bargain in London" deal: £9 (£7 for concs.).
The Harry Potter on Location in Londontown walk takes place
every Saturday afternoon at 2 pm
Meet Richard just outside exit 4 of WestminsterTube.
WestminsterTube is on the
Jubilee, Circle & District Lines
Guided by Richard
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2 pm on Saturdays
from Warwick AvenueTube

If you fancy something completely different, this is the walk for you. Little Venice is the prettiest and most romantic spot in town. A unique combination of white stucco, greenery, and water, it boasts the finest early Victorian domestic architecture in London; a Who's Who of famous residents (Robert Browning, Edward Fox, Joan Collins, Annie Lennox, and Sigmund Freud to name but a few); and a jewel of a "village" street. And that's not to mention its canals. One of them – Regent's Canal – is known as the "loveliest inland waterway in England". Part of the walk is along the canal towpath - which to this day is studded with fragments of evidence that bring the Age of Canals to life. And afterwards you can have tea – or a bite to eat – at a stylish canal-side cafe. And why not lend an ear? Which is by way of saying, here's a bit of audio from this walk. It's Shaughan in all his full-throated – let alone multi-charactered – glory!  And you'd like some more?  How about this? This one encapsulates a lot about Shaughan and his walks – just how much fun they are, how talented he is, why people like him so much and the kind of experience he turns a London Walk into. Enjoy.

Cue Shaughan, who guides the walk: "Walking this one is always a revelation – behind the elegant facade is the other story; the maids, butlers, cooks & grooms – the downstairs-backstairs people who made it work. I talk about the rise, decline and resurgence of wealth in the area – these days there are quite enough "Celebs" to turn Maida Vale into "Media Vale". I drop more mames on this one than you can fit in your basket.  And running through this stucco wedding cake – the artery that supplied goods from the Heart of England to its Brain – The Grand Union Canal. Look at London from both sides for an afternoon, and finish with chocolate cake and a boat ride."

The Little Venice Walk takes place
every Saturday at 2 pm;
every Sunday at 2 pm;
and every Wednesday at 11 am

Meet Shaughan just outside the exit
of Warwick AvenueTube.

Warwick AvenueTube is on
theBakerloo Line

Guided on Saturdays and Sundays by Shaughan
Guided on Wednesdays by Peter or Richard III

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2 pm on Saturdays
from HolbornTube

The British Museum is the big one – the most important museum on the planet. It's an incomparably rich treasure-chest, brimming with things of world historical importance. The Rosetta Stone, the Egyptian antiquities and mummies, the Parthenon Sculptures, the Black Obelisk, the Enlightenment Gallery, 4,500-year-old "Ginger" (the "pre-dynastic" red head!), the Sutton Hoo treasure, the Portland Vase, Roman gold, Celtic gold, ivories and enamels, tiles and pottery, an astonishing display of instruments for measuring is civilisation, manifest. Here the past turns on its pivots to face the 21st century. The snag is that you can't see for looking.  Both because of the embarrassment of riches and the sheer size of the place (the building covers 13.5 acres – set off in the wrong direction and you have to walk three times too far). Indeed, how you see it is almost as important as what you see. "The best commentary on the revolution of Greek art and the quality of its achievement is...simply to come direct to the Elgin room from the Egyptian and Assyrian ones, as if into an explosion of life, even, as in the frieze, of gaiety." Which is by way of saying, to see these things with a great guide – well, you'll never be quite the same again. In short, the secret is to use your time at the British Museum well.

Photo by Jon Block

One of the unsung joys of the British Museum tour is the short walk to the Museum. It takes you through London's most intricately pretty, doll's-house-tiny street. And the British Museum itself – as a building, its exteriors – is stunning. And that gets briefly guided as well. It's a wonderful bit of added value. A bonus.

Okay, time to take the gloves off with this one. GO ON THIS WALK. Coleridge once said that watching Kean act was like reading Shakespeare by lightning. This walk has that kind of ampage.I'll go further: it's the only London Walk that's got that kind of ampage. These artefacts – and a great guide – it's the Everest – the summit – of this activity, this profession, this pursuit. It all comes together here – History, Art, Western Civilisation (and its counterparts). Who we are – and why we are what we are. It's more than heady – it's thrilling.  Here's an example. It's Brian, shedding incandescent light on the Parthenon. (If you thought those were just some old Greek statues – of no moment, really, nothing to do with our modern age – well, these 90 seconds will have you mopping your brow.) And this is just his introduction!
For a chaser, try this. Enjoy. N.B. this walk is a moveable feast – a diadem of delights, an amazing technicolour dream-coast. In short, every stop is cause for wonder. So come on back when you get a chance, there'll be more to sample here from time to time.

And on that note methinks it's time to garnish the words, words, words with a little photo essay. Open sesame by clicking here.

The British Museum Tour takes place
every Saturday afternoon at 2 pm
every Monday afternoon at 2.15 pm
every Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm

The meeting point is just outside the main exit of HolbornTube

Guided on Saturdays by Karen
Guided on Mondays by Tom or Chris or Hilary
Guided on Wednesday by Molly

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"The spy is as old as history..."
"Espionage is the world's second oldest profession
and just as honorable as the first."
Michael J. Barrett, assistant general counsel of the CIA,
Journal of Defence and Diplomacy, February 1984

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2.30 pm on Saturdays
from Piccadilly CircusTube
(meet by the Clydesdale Bank, outside the subway 3 exit) 

"Espionage was the hot end of the cold war"

Spies' London is peopled with Ian Fleming's James Bond and John Le Carre's George Smiley. But it's also the London of the genuine article. The London where for over 40 years Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt and the mysterious fifth man infiltrated the British and American security services and spied for the Soviet Union. This walk takes us into that hole and corner, cloak and dagger London - into the secret places of that murky nether-world. Here we venture into the covert London of MI5, MI6, and the American O.S.S., progenitor of the CIA. Here we close in on the American Soviet agent who finally confessed and unveiled the "Cambridge Ring". Here we pinpoint the "dead letter box" and unmask the fifth man. Here, in Spies' London, fact really is stranger than fiction.

And on that note, here's some audio for you. D-Day first. Then a bearing on a nerve centre. Then some Cold War.

The Spies' & Spycatchers' London Walk
takes place every Saturday afternoon at 2.30 pm

Look for Spymaster Alan.

He'll be topped to the north with a black hat...and a green carnation.
He'll be just outside the subway 3 exit of Piccadilly CircusTube
by the Clydesdale Bank.

Piccadilly CircusTube is on
theBakerloo & Piccadilly Lines

Guided by Alan

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The 2.30 pm Saturday Tour du Jour!

2.30 pm on Saturdays 

The walk in this time slot changes weekly.   
For details see the following list.

Aug. 23 The Great Melting Pot Immigrants' London Liverpool StreetTube Bishopsgate exit  
Aug. 30 Roman London The London History Course Tower HillTube  
Sept. 6 Anglo Saxon, Norman & Early Mediaeval London The London History Course Tower HillTube  
Sept. 13 The High Middle Ages The London History Course Mansion HouseTube exit 1  
Sept. 20 Tudor London The London History Course Chancery LaneTube exit 3  
Sept. 27 The "Century of Change: 1603-1714" The London History Course WestminsterTube exit 4  
Oct. 4 Georgian London The London History Course Chancery LaneTube exit 3  
Oct. 11 William Morris & Friends Arts & Crafts in Hammersmith Stamford BrookTube  
Oct. 11 Regency London The London History Course Great Portland StreetTube  
Oct. 18 Victorian London The London History Course HolbornTube  
Oct. 25 20th Century London The London History Course BarbicanTube  
Nov. 1 The London of Karl Marx Walkers of the World Unite! Piccadilly CircusTube exit 1  
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3 pm on Saturdays except Dec. 24/25
from Tower Hill
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. Anything else? Just this. You're just a click away from a very special little video trailer of our Jack the Ripper Walk.

The Jack the Ripper's London Walk takes place
every* Saturday afternoon at 3 pm

*except Dec. 24 & Dec. 25

Meet Fiona or Peter just outside the exit
of Tower HillTube.

N.B., this is our Ripper "matinee". It takes place every Saturday afternoon (except Dec. 24 or Dec. 25). Every single night except Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 – we do the Jack the Ripper Haunts Walk at 7:30 pm from just outside the exit of Tower HillTube.

Tower HillTube is on
theCircle & District Lines

Guided by Fiona or Peter

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7 pm on Saturdays
from HampsteadTube

It's a secret. Hampstead is the best place to be in London on a Saturday night. It's the roof of London. We'll look down and see the lights of the greatest city on earth spread out before us. On a clear night we'll even nip into the Old Observatory for a look through the telescope at the starry heavens above. What else? Well, it's London at its most picturesque – a perfectly preserved Georgian village. There's a superb cast of characters – ranging from the highwayman Dick Turpin to the painter Constable to the poet Keats; from Freud and D.H. Lawrence to Liam Gallaher and Boy George; from Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison to Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Irons. There's London's most villagey atmosphere, great restaurants, magnificent Hampstead Heath, and well-hidden, cozy old pubs you'll fall in love with. In short, this is a great walk...they just don't come any better.

The Old Hampstead Village Pub Walk takes place
every Saturday
night at 7 pm

Meet Richard or Peter G. just outside the exit of HampsteadTube.

HampsteadTube is on the
Northern Line,  the Edgware branch

N.B., The Old Hampstead Village Walk – which is not a pub walk – takes place every Sunday morning at 10 am (guided by David) and every Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm (guided by Richard III or Peter). Same meeting point: just outside the exit of HampsteadTube. 

Guided by Richard III or Peter G 

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The Flask

7.15 pm on Saturdays  

The walk in this 7.15 pm Saturday evening time slot changes weekly.
For particulars for any given Saturday night see the following list.

Aug. 30 The London by Gaslight Pub Walk EmbankmentTube
Sept. 6 The Between the King's Sheets Pub Walk Frisky, Risky, Risque Royals EmbankmentTube
Sept. 13 Secret St. James's The Old Palace Quarter Pubby Perambulation Green ParkTube Green Park exit
Sept. 20 Bohemian Fitzrovia A Pub Walk in London's Old Latin Quarter Goodge StreetTube
Sept. 27 The London of 007 Ian Fleming, James Bond & the "shaken not stirred" Pub Walk Marble ArchTube exit 2
Oct. 4 Backstairs Belgravia Byways, Hidden Haunts & Classic Pubs Hyde Park CornerTube, exit 3
Oct. 11 The Literary London Pub Walk The Write Stuff in Old Bloomsbury HolbornTube
Oct. 18 "The best address in London" The Old Mayfair Pub Walk Green ParkTube north exit, on the corner
Oct. 25 The London by Gaslight Pub Walk EmbankmentTube
Shadows of the Unveiled Invisible
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7.30 pm on Saturdays
from St. Paul'sTube exit 2

"how easy it is to awaken the unwanted attention of things that should sleep quietly in their tombs or hiding places"

At night the ancient City is deserted – and eerie. Exploring its shadowy back streets and dimly lit alleys we might be in a medieval citadel, in overpowering stone. The very street names – Aldersgate, Cloth Fair, Charterhouse, Threadneedle – take us far back. We're alone...or are we? For this is the hour when the She Wolf of France glides through the churchyard, the hour when the dark figure on Newgate wall rattles his chains, the hour when the Black Nun keeps her lonely vigil, and something inexpressibly evil lurks behind a tiny window. We're on their trail – or are they shadowing us?

We've made a short film of this walk. Watch the Duke of Darkness in action and you'll see what we're on about when we cite that old English saying: "London Walks guides do it best". It's here.

And here's a "grab" – a bit of audio from the walk. It's Shaughan. His timing – let alone his range (he does three different voices in this brief extract) and his responsiveness to his audience – is a thing of wonder.

  In Shaughan's words: "The first walk I ever did, and the oldest.  2,000 years of life and death in one place. The City. Soaked in Souls – the Spirit of London. Tales of faith and Devilry – Murder and possession. Not just Folk tales, documented visitations from the Undiscovered Country.

Everything is older than it looks.
I too, am possessed from time to time – the Spirits come to me to tell their own tale......."

The Ghosts of the Old City Walk takes place
every Saturday at 7.30 pm
and every Tuesday at 7.30 pm

The meeting point is just outside exit 2 of St. Paul'sTube

Guided on Saturdays by Shaughan  or Adam
With his deathly pallor and swirling black cape Shaughan is "deliciously spooky!"  As the San Francisco Chronicle put it.

Guided on Tuesdays by Adam (yes, that Adam – the Shadow Walker. He of the spectral face like a lantern hanging down a dark alley).

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7.30 pm every night except Dec. 24 & Dec. 25 
from Tower HillTube

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 you can steady your 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 for a pictorial or two, click here. And that's not to mention a very special little video trailer of the London Walks Jack the Ripper walk. To see it, click here.

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 Tour takes place
every single night* at 7.30 pm.

*Except December 24th and December 25th

Meet the guides just outside Tower HillTube.

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

*Except when Saturday falls on December 24th or December 25th.

Tower HillTube is on the
Circle & District Lines

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 and Adam on Thursdays
Guided by Donald or Shaughan on Fridays
Guided by Fiona or Peter on Saturday afternoons 

N.B., Let's call a spade a spade. Going on Donald Rumbelow's Jack the Ripper Tour 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. Oh and I almost forgot – he's also a 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 distinctive white London Walks leaflet. And remember, Donald and his colleagues never ever start the Jack the Ripper Tour before 7.30 pm. In short, don't let anyone pull a fast one on you.

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Annie Chapman

--found murdered Saturday, 8 September 1888
Another most horrible murder has been perpetrated in Whitechapel. At an early hour on Saturday morning, the body of a woman was found lying in the corner of a yard in Hanbury-street, a low thoroughfare, not far from Buck's-row, the scene of a similar tragedy ten days ago. 
from the Daily Telegraph, Monday, 10 September 1888

Aug. 30 Pie Crust to Upper Crust The Strand & Covent Garden Foodies' Foray 10.45 am EmbankmentTube
Aug. 30 Thames Beachcombing 10.45 am Mansion HouseTube exit 1
Sept. 20 Foodies' London – The West End 10.45 am Green ParkTube Green Park exit
Sept. 27 Thames Beachcombing 10 am Mansion HouseTube exit 1
Oct. 11 Epicurean, Gourmets', Foodies' London 10 am MonumentTube Fish Street Hill exit
Oct. 11 Thames Beachcombing 10 am Mansion HouseTube exit 1
Oct. 25 Thames Beachcombing 9 am Mansion HouseTube exit 1
Nov. 1 Pie Crust to Upper Crust The Strand & Covent Garden Foodies' Foray 10.45 am EmbankmentTube