Guide of the Year!
London Walks guide Fiona has just been crowned Guide of the Year! That award has pretty much become the private fiefdom of London Walks guides: Judy, Karen, Kim, Paula and now Fiona. Bravissimo! More
World's leading authority on Jack the Ripper
Click the link to see the dates that Donald Rumbelow, "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper", will be guiding the Ripper walk in May, June & July More
Summer 2015 Programme
is at your fingertips More
Guide Katy's voice
It's vintage, tawny port made audible – a joy to listen to. More
Makes It Clear
Just put up a photo of the spot where we meet for the Jack the Ripper walk More
THE NEW RIVER WALK
Here's the blurb More
Tottenham Court Road Tube
Exit 3 has, er, exited. It doesn't exist any more. So for the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour and the Rock 'n' Roll walks the meeting point is exit 1. It's the main exit, the only exit.
REALLY GOOD NEWS!
Donald Rumbelow, "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper" is back and guiding. More
The Old Marylebone Walk
Here's a really detailed look at the walk. It's a review that's just appeared in the Marylebone Journal. More
Jingle Bells for Mr. Jingle
It's official. London Walks Dickens' London guide Richard III's just made a member of the City of London Pickwick Club. The "I dub thee Alfred Jingle"* ceremony took place on December 11. *Richard's Dickensian character alias
Three Cheers for Hilary
She's been awarded an OBE
The Mayfair Walk
It's eye candy AND mind candy. As this feast of a photo essay attests. More
HOT OFF THE PRESS
It's here – the latest installment of the London Walks podcast. More
It' colourful. And fun.
It's the film of the Past the Palace - Hidden Places & Hidden History walk. More
BANKSY & CO. JUST OUT...
Jon's little film of our Street Art Walk. More
The London Walks Podcast
Royal London's the theme for the new edition of The London Walks Podcast. Brought to you by Karen, author of Royal London; Andy, who played George VI; Shaughan, who can impersonate every royal under the sun; and Adam, the only person I know who talks like a really well written magazine article! More
We're there – Inside the Olympic Park!
Yes, the afterburner's been switched on for the Olympic London Walk. We're now able to take our groups into the Olympic Park and guide in there. It was worth the wait! More
Blimey! It's a mind-melt!
Just how beautiful – and unexpected – in and around Piccadilly can be. It's our latest video. The walk is A Village in Piccadilly. The guide is "juv lead" Katy. More
Harry Potter Walk
Here's a review of Sunday's Harry Potter Film Locations in the City walk... More
Saturday's Street Art Walk
Here's a photo-essay... More
Behold! A photo essay for the
Wednesday afternoon Chelsea walk More
Here are the dates... More
The Jack the Ripper Walk
Making a booking. You don't have to but you can. Here's how... More
Hire a Guide
If you're thinking about "going private" this is worth a read... More
All upside, no downside
Like a small lottery win... More
LONDON WALKS CALENDAR
It's intuitive. It's quick. Get in. Find what you want. Get out. More
The sobriquet for our day trips. A different destination every Saturday! Plus a few wild cards. See the little gem of a pdf due north of these words.
Thames Mudlarking Schedule
Beachcombing with the world's leading expert on this stretch of the Thames foreshore. Can't be bad! A click takes you to the Summer 2013 schedule. More
on the London Walks Blog. "...want to thank you for all the daily tidbits about London which i absolutely adore, I also thank you for this cool game which I'm starting to enjoy a lot! :-) Cheers!" Two clicks and a scroll down takes you there. More
Old Mayfair – the Photo Essay
It's our sexiest photo essay. Take a look and you'll, er, see why. it's just gone up. More
Fitzrovia – The Photo Essay
Here it is... More
Guided by the Stars!
London Walks has better guides – including the distinguished crime historian who is "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper"! Here are the dates Britain's foremost crime historian will be guiding the Ripper walk between now and the end of February. More
Don't Just Take It From Us
Just out. A fab review of Shaughan's Old Jewish Quarter Walk More
This little film is why you book a private ghost walk with London Walks. More
Proper Tea in London!
Want the real thing? Rather than a cup of hot water and a teabag. And most definitely rather than something that costs a king's ransom. Well, let London Walks beam you in. Get in touch and we'll tell you where. Local knowledge – you can't beat it!
Harry Potter Film Locations
We've made a delightful film of one of our Harry Potter Film Locations Walks... More
The San Francisco Chronicle
has just given London Walks a rave review – "the unfailingly fascinating London Walks", etc. etc. etc. Yet another one for the What They Say About LW trophy case. More
Her neighbourhood (photo essay and some accompanying historical remarks)... More
Don's Capitol Hill Address
Yes, the International Homicide Investigators Association wanted to hear from the world's leading expert on Jack the Ripper. And that's what we mean when we say "There's no comparison" between London Walks guides and the knock-offs. More
London Walks guides have four!
books in the pipeline. Aunties' Charley, Charles' autobiography, is published next month. To be followed by a London Stories companion volume – it takes as its subject our Day Trip, out-of-town destinations. And Rachel's book on Jewish London. And "The World's Greatest Guide" – Karen's – on Royal London.
The Knightsbridge Pub Walk
every Friday night. If you're tempted, go for it. It's a great walk. Here's a really detailed description – with photos. More
It's the Ultimate Accolade!
In the starting lineup of "The World's Greatest Guides". Yes, it's London Walks guide Karen. The august American travel publication Travel & Leisure has just crowned her in their "The World's Greatest Tour Guides" article. She's one of just 15 – and, yes, the only one from England. More
Tugs All Your Heart Strings!
It's about a little Londoner – a 3-year-old – and Moo Moo and the Northern Line and a couple of heroes... More
Legal & Illegal London
A private Legal London walk guided by a barrister – a member of one of the Inns of Court – is as good as it gets. More
If I have to have it More
Dreaming of the Cotswolds
Here's why... More
It's a Feast!
Foodies' London has now got is own website.
Compliments to the Chef!
10 out of 10
You want to read something that's both powerful – and magical – about our town and our times and past times (with a couple of stunning photos to accompany it) hit the link More
London Walks on BBC
"Helen Marks discovers a dramatic transformation to the waters of the River Thames" is how the BBC is trailing the Radio 4 programme on Thames Beachcombing. It's aired bright and early – 6.07-6.30 am – on New Year's Day. And then available on BBC Iplayer. And there'll be a rebroadcast.
London Ghost Walks
The new London Walks website – www.londonghostwalks.com – is up and running. It's Adam-written and designed, so it's witty and classy. More
The Man is back –
and guiding! Back from China, Donald Rumbelow, "internationally recogised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper", will be guiding the nightly – 7.30 pm from Tower Hill Tube – Jack the Ripper Walk on... More
Yes, London Walks operates year-round! More
Blog - Twitter
Free Walks... More
The 300+ "one-offs" and "occasionals" we're doing this summer are set out chronologically on the Special Walks page. More
Etc. Quite a lot of etc. More
Old Jewish Quarter
Check it out – the film of the walk. More
Here It Is!
The at-a-glance list of all of our out-of-town trips (to Stonehenge, Oxford, Winchester, Cambridge, Hampton Court, Bath, Rye, Constable Country, Lavenham, Avebury & Lacock, Glastonbury & Wells, Leeds Castle, St. Albans, The Cotswolds, etc.) this summer. All 128 of them! More
The London Walks Walkers Facebook Group
Nine compelling reasons why you should seriously think about signing up for it More
"Donald Rumbelow is internationally recognised as the
leading authority on Jack the Ripper". Don regularly guides our Ripper Walk. His schedule (April to mid-Sept.) is now up. More
is wonderful! Who writes it?" More
The Hampstead Film
is here More
The new film of our Bath trip More
on the way! More
Like Halley's Comet
It's just once or twice a century More
And Lookee There!
Ghost? caught on a photograph on our ghost walk? See the London Walks blog.
"If this was a golf
tournament every name on the Leader Board would be a London Walks guide" More
of our British Museum Tour premieres here! More
tongued with fire More
Who wants to see
the Queen? More
Our New Film is
a brilliant taster of the "Somewhere Else" London Walk... More
London Walks Films
Check 'em out. More
Walks & Kids
Here's a tip More
going on the Oxford & Cotswolds trip? Here's a review. More
Ghost Walk Film
It's here More
London Walks Walkers
This is for you, compliments of the sparkplug, the live wire... More
Our New Film
stars Greenwich and the Prince of Guides, Nick. Brilliant walk, brilliant guide. You can see it here. More
The Jack the Ripper Walk Film
and other matters (the book, the blog, etc.) More
And the Gold Medal
goes to... More
of our Cambridge trip! To see it click the link. More
Don't let them bait and switch you!
This'll take care of it... More
Here's what The Guardian says about it... More
Want to see the cover? Just scroll down.
Something you might want to know More
Jack the Ripper's Knife
Don's got it... More
London Walks has a new award-winning Blue Badge Guide! And the "back story" is a bit of all right as well. More
St. Pancras Walks
Guided by an architectural historian! More
from Lance's Poetry in Performance walk More
Are these the five best paragraphs ever written about London? More
Our book... More
Now Hear This!
Sound, glorious sound - we've got sound! More
Go on one of Adam's walks... More
What The Papers Say...
"the best insight into Jack the Ripper..."
The Star on The Star! More
Distinctions matter. More
in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square, has re-opened! More
And the Chinese Ambassador... More
"We'll give you access to places the public don't normally get to see." More
The Whale in the Bathtub
Yes, this one's worth following up! More
Get an Oyster Card... More
It only happens once a century!! More
London Walks ®
Yes, you guessed right. That little symbol means exactly what you think it means. London Walks ® - our name - is now a registered trademark! Our registered trademark!! More
A Big House in a Big Woods on a Big Lake in Northern Wisconsin
That's where your London Walks leaflet comes from in North American. But it gets even quirkier. I mean, how charming is this? More
Website Contributions Invited...
Yes, let's get some of your fingerprints all over this website! More
Visit London - Best London Tour Award
And the winner is... More
A website about London and London Walks is necessarily a "work in progress". So here's a quick pointer to the latest additions to the site More
Ghosts Guaranteed! More
Donald's new Ripper book
It's called Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard investigates... More
The two London Walks programmes - Winter & Summer
In case you're wondering... More
London Walks Leaflets
Here are some places where you can always pick up a London Walks leaflet... More
Q and A
Is London Safe?
Is London Expensive? More
Don't miss Adam's verray parfait piece about the weather on the Daily Constitutional (the London Walks Blog).
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Welcome to London Walks
There's no need to book* for London Walks –
just turn up.
A London Walk costs £10.
for Super Adults (65+), full-time students and London Walks Season Ticket
holders! Children under 15 accompanied by their parent(s) go free
A London Walk takes about two hours.**
London Walks always take place, rain or shine. They end at or near a Tube
*But large groups should book a private walk – it's even cheaper! Just give us a ring on 020 7624 3978 **London Walks Pub Walks take about 2 1/2 hours.
To go on a London Walk, meet your guide and fellow walkers on the pavement ("sidewalk" in North American parlance) just outside the designated LondonTube Stop (Underground Station) at the time stated. This video shows how it works.*
Your guide will be holding up copies of the distinctive white London Walks
leaflet. (If you click here you'll bring up a picture of the current London Walks leaflet.)
There is no need to book
for any of the London Walks
or the Day Trips from London.
Just turn up and go. There's no red tape with London Walks!
And speaking of our out-of-town tours (to Oxford, Bath
, The Cotswolds, Stonehenge
, etc.), this video gives you a wee peek at one of them. To go on a London Walks Day Trip meet the guide by the ticket office of the designated London
railway station. At the time stated.
Anything else? Well, might make the point that while there's no need to book, very large groups should book a private walk – it's even cheaper and you'll have your own guide! Just give us a call on 020 7624 3978.
A London Walk lasts about two hours. The Day Trips to Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford, etc. are all day affairs – but they get you back in central London in time to catch a show!
London Walks and London Walks Day Trips always take place, rain or shine.
Each London Walk ends at or near a LondonTube Stop (Underground station).
And that's all there is to it.
*It's the Old Westminster walk on Saturday morning. The guide is Karen (one of London Walks' many Guide of the Year Award winners!). It's a bit of all right, I'm sure you'll agree and it certainly shows how it's done, the logistics of meeting up with a guide and going on a London Walk, etc..
Some "word", eh?
Everybody's synapses tingling? Good. Now let's crack on.
As always, lots of you have been asking about the dates Donald Rumbelow will be guiding the Jack the Ripper walk. (And for anybody who doesn't know – the reason that's an FAQ is that Donald Rumbelow is "internationally recognised as the leading authority on the Ripper.")
Ask and thou shalt receive. The dates* Don will be doing his Jack the Ripper Walk for the first half of the Summer 2015 season are:
Sunday, May 3
Friday, July 31
*We'll be updating the "Don calendar" in late or early June (if not before). So check back then if you want to know when Don will be out CSIing the mean streets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields in high Summer 2014. And when Don's dates go up here they're as close as we can get to definite** but with the usual proviso about the "unforeseen" – i.e., the published schedule is subject to Don's not coming down with the flu – or being hit by a bus!
**Doesn't hurt to check back here a week or so before the date you circled. When you produce a schedule like this – sometimes it's months in advance – it can happen that something will come up at a later date that forces Don to tweak his schedule ever so slightly. Case in point: back in 2009 there was a Monday in April when Don was down to do the walk but that bit of scheduling was "overtaken by events". I.E., something came up that forced him to pull that date from his guiding calendar. The good news is that he always gives us as much "distant early warning" as he can, which enables us to get those (happily extremely rare) changes up here asap.
Anything else? Yes, there's this heads-up about the Ripper walk...
When you turn up for the 7.30 pm Ripper Walk from Tower HillTube Stop please make absolutely certain that it is the bona fide London Walks guide you get linked up with. Or to put it another way, whatever you do, do not part with your money until you're absolutely certain it's going into the right hands! Not to put too fine a point on it, there have been some "problems" there from time to time. Which is by way of saying: anybody can "set out their stall" at Tower Hill tube stop. A security guard, for example. Or an individual who's been on the fringes of the Ripper "scene" going back some time now. Indeed, he has an "entry" in the standard reference work on the subject, the Ripper A to Z. This is what the A to Z says about him: "[he] has produced three cyclostyled pieces on the Ripper, all seriously marred by habitual extreme inaccuracy and inconsistency, and atrocious spelling and grammer". (In stark contrast – it goes without saying – to the A to Z's entry on our – London Walks' – Ripper guide, Donald Rumbelow. According to the A to Z "Donald Rumbelow is internationally recognised as the leading authority on the Ripper".) For the record, the individual in question – he of "the habitual extreme inaccuracy and inconsistency" – also claims to be a descendant of the Ripper. And for good measure of Count Dracula and Robin Hood. Well, you can draw your own conclusions. But the point is that if you do turn up for the Ripper Walk – please be very careful about whom you're handing your money to. Don't part with your cash until you're certain you're giving it to the bona fide London Walks guide. Because if it goes into the wrong hands it's a fairly sure bet that it won't be returned to you. The bona fide London Walks guide will be holding up copies of our distinctive white London Walks leaflet. He or she will be wearing their white London Walks badge – or else their Blue Badge, the token of the professional guides" association. And – crucially, crucially, crucially – the bona fide London Walks guides will never – NEVER – start the Ripper Walk before 7.30 pm.
And as long as we're on the subject, a word about the bait and switch antics that are par for the course on the internet these days. Here's the necessary corrective:
And that's soft-pedalling it. The full quote – it's from The Jack the Ripper A - Z, the standard reference work on the subject – is "Donald Rumbelow is internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper." Enough said?
No? Okay, there's still more on the subject right down at the end of this page...
Here's a much earlier "post"...
I hope you have a thoughtful cup of tea to hand.
You're going to need it...because you've got some reading ahead of you.
A new feature you're going to like is the From the Repertory page. It gives you a taster – a blurb – for many of the From the Rep and Special Walks. As those of you who are reasonably au fait with our programme well know, up until now we've only ever provided a title – and the starting time and starting point – for the From the Rep walks. Reason being that there's only so much space on a piece of paper and the London Walks leaflet already runs to 22,000 words and there are over 300 walks in the full London Walks repertory...so if we were to "blurb" every single London Walks From the Rep walk...well, you'd be able to gift wrap the Houses of Parliament with a single copy of the LW leaflet!
But cyber-space is a rather bigger canvas. It bends space. It's stretchable. Elastic.
So we're on the case. John has done a heroic – a sterling (and if you've been on my [David's] Along the Thames Pub Walk you'll know how thrillingly rooted in London history that word is) – job of chasing down the guides, shaking blurb dust out of them, shaping and baking it, and writing up some very tasty "descriptive" blurbs for the From the Rep offerings.
And I in turn have been tweaking "em and getting "em up onto this website. And we've made a good start. I think there are about 40 of them up there now. Initially I was taking them in chronological order. Banging them up as the walks hoved into view. But we've since switched over to presenting them in alphabetical order. Anyway we've got the bunting flying, so to speak, for quite a few of the From the Rep walks.
And as you'll see John's tacked on to each of them a couple of handy little bells and whistles. To wit: a "Latecomers Catch-up Stop" and the Tube Stop at which the walk ends. Can't be bad.
Here's a still earlier "post" on the Donald Rumbelow - Jack the Ripper Walk subject...
Runs as follows:
And in this same vein – as adumbrated (I've always wanted to use that word!) above – we get just a ton of email wondering when Donald Rumbelow will be guiding the Ripper. And well people might ask...because going on Don's Ripper Walk is as close as you're going to get to nailing the Ripper.
How good is Donald? Well, let me repeat what The Jack the Ripper A to Z - the "bible" of Ripperology – says about Donald.
The A to Z puts it categorically: "Donald Rumbelow is internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper".
And here are the reasons Donald Rumbelow IS "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper".
He's the author of the definitive book on the subject, the best-selling The Complete Jack the Ripper.*
He's the former Curator of the City of London Police Crime Museum.
He's a two-time Chariman of the Crime Writers" Association.
He's been the chief consultant for every major television programme and film on the Ripper over the past 20 years. Indeed he's appeared on several of those programmes, including one that recently aired in the United States. And he will be appearing in another one that's in the pipeline.
Donald was the consultant for the recent Johnny Depp film on the Ripper, called "From Hell...". Indeed, Johnny came to London in order to go on a private Ripper walk with Don.
And I hasten to add, Don's not some dry-as-dust academic...he's an ex-City of London Policeman who pursued a dual career as a crime historian. Which in effect means you're 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 crimes. Can't be bad.
When Donald's Ripper Walk dates do get set out here they are definite but with the usual proviso about the "unforeseen" – i.e., the schedule is subject to Don's not coming down with the flu – or being hit by a bus!
Donald's Ripper Walk goes at 7.30 pm from just outside the exit of Tower HillTube Stop.
But please do take a look at the further particulars regarding the Ripper Walk – do a search for "Ripper" on our little search engine.
Take a look at those further particulars because we spell out there how to make absolutely sure it is Donald you've linked up with – as opposed to what a major American newspaper recently described as "a Ripper ripoff".
Or as The New York Times puts it, "be careful about the Ripper tour, however, since there are imitations...look for [the] one guided by Donald, who is Donald Rumbelow, the author of The Complete Jack the Ripper and a former curator of the notoriously grisly City of London Police Black Museum (a crime museum open by appointment only), credentials that are scary in themselves."
Or in the same vein, here's how Frommer's puts it in London by Night: "London Walks" Ripper Walk has many copycats, but it's the best".
Or here's how the recently published - and wonderful - little guide book: City Secrets – London...the ultimate insider's guide puts it: "Despite initial protestations from visiting friends, they invariably return to my flat in a Victorian frenzy saying, "that [Donald Rumbelow's Jack the Ripper Walk] was the best thing we've done in London"."
*Donald will have some of his books with him in case any of you want one. And needless to say he'll be glad to sign it for you. Makes an unbeatable present for anybody who's got a friend who's interested in the subject.
As it happens, a year ago or so I went on Don's Ripper walk. A day or so later someone asked me about his walk and because it was so fresh in my mind I banged out a rather detailed reply and e-mailed it to him. Anyway, I've put a copy of that letter in the Latest News section (see the Links column) of our web page. Take a look at it if you'd like my personal impressions of Don's Ripper walk.
And just for jolly, try this for size: London Walks is an anagram of Don knows all
Now on another note...
Famously, London Walks works "in an oral tradition". And I think the reasons for that are fairly clear. For one thing, It's just the nature of what we do...it goes with the territory, so to speak. But also – and I'm not going to pull my punches here – our material is our material. It's for us and our walkers – it's not for knock-offs and never-going-to-be's.
That said, we have just produced a CD-rom that does get down in words and pictures some London and London Walks "concentrate", so to speak. I.E., it complements – rather than duplicates – what we do. In effect, it "bottles" some London Walks essence. It's a piece of us and our town and what we do that you can take home if you want. An aide de memoire.
I, David, planned and wrote the thing. It runs to something like 20,000 words...words which accompany 500 or so photographs. And there are lots of nifty state-of-the-art bells and whistles: e.g., 360 degree panoramas (from the top of the Monument, from a couple of London bridges, that sort of thing), good sound effects, etc. etc.
If I say so myself, it's a fetching little piece of work.
And, intriguingly, it's packaged – and I think this IS brand new – I've certainly never seen anything like it before – as a Multimedia Postcard. In other words the CD-Rom is part and parcel of a postcard.
Anyway, to cut to the chase. Some of the guides are now carrying them. I certainly always have a few with me on the walks that I guide. So if you'd like one...well, just say the word. They cost six pounds, six loads of hay, and midsummer's rose. Though to be a purist about it, the six loads of hay and the midsummer's rose are optional!