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"London Walks was the first – and is the best – of the walking tour firms" Fodor's Great Britain
Any London Walk can be booked as a private walk. We'll suit your convenience – tailor it to your requirements. You go private you can have whichever London Walk you want whenever you want it.
"Best Tourism Experience in England" Gold Medal Winner Visit England
Private London Walks – they're very good news. 1) You've got your own guide just for yourselves or your group. 2) You can have any walk you want. 3) You can have it at a time that suits you. 4) Private walks are sensationally good value. 5) We'll get you the right guide for you – the perfect guide-group fit. 6) You've got a real person – Mary or Fiona or Noel – to talk it over with, make sure it's A1 in every respect. 7) You can also of course book a London Walks guide – a world class guide – for half day or full day tours. 8) We're London Walks.
"London Walks puts you into the hands of an expert on the particular area and topic of a tour..." The New York Times
Many of our guides are brilliant with kids and have put together special walks for children: for birthday parties, school trips, etc. Their repertory ranges from "fun walks" (e.g., Pirate Treasure Hunts & City Safaris) to walks that are pegged to national curriculum subjects. It's an ideal way for children to absorb history or have a set book brought to life. And you can't fault "the educational pedigree" of a guided walk: Aristotle taught this way: peripatetic lectures they were.
"London is the only place in which the child grows completely up into the man." William Hazlitt, "On Londoners and Country People", The Plain Speaker, 1826
"by far the most impressive series of walks that I have ever encountered are those offered by London Walks" Travel and Enjoy
"Total bollocks but it keeps me in Playstations." 12-year-old James, David's and Mary's youngest sprog
Short Version Follow-up
Okay, a bit of common sense to get us started.
In seven words: it all comes down to the guiding. That's the iron law, whatever the makeup of the group. It can be a private walk for a couple of sophisticated adults – or a private walk for a "challenging" school group. Or anything in between. Whatever the group – it all comes down to the guiding.
Consider, by way of example, a "challenging" school group.
Think of that time-honoured adolescent combination of boredom, lethargy and free-floating belligerence. There, in a nutshell, is why it's important to get the right guide. You want a guide who can snap them out of that. Just like that. And keep them out of it. Some guides can do that. Some can't. It's a god-given talent that some guides have got and others don't have. You're booking a private walk for a school group you want a guide who's got that ability as part of their skill-set.
And that's why you come to us. It's in your interest to 1) get the right walk for your group and 2) get the right guide. The two sides of the same coin. It's in our interest to make sure that happens.
Whereas it's in the guide's interest to get the job/take the job – even if they're not right for it.
You book a private walk through us you eliminate the risk of getting a guide who's not right for your group. You eliminate that risk because your best interest is absolutely congruent with our best interest.
So there's lots of upside.* And no downside at all. Including cost. It doesn't cost more to go through us.
*In addition to the all-important guide-group "fit" there's the full panopoly of London Walks experience and back-up that you get. As well as being able to talk it over – explore the possibilities, draw on the unrivalled nous of "the walking tour specialists".
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"The original and best – there are several companies offering walking tours of London but London Walks (London's oldest) is easily the pick of the bunch" London, Cadogan Guide
Don't just take it from us. Instead maybe chew on this. It's from a teacher. It's unsolicited. It's par for the course for the London Walks guides who specialise in walks for school groups.
"I have just returned from a school visit to London with a group of sixth form students. As part of the itinerary we took part in a Jack The Ripper Tour with Susanne on Tuesday 09th July (7pm).
"We all felt that we must pass on just how fantastic she was. The kids were enthralled with her stories about Jack and life in London at the time, she was very knowledgeable and answered all pupils questions very clearly. She also had a brilliant sense of humour and really connected with our pupils. It was an absolute pleasure for us to watch her in action and the students were still talking about it the next day. I have already recommended the tour to other departments at the school and we will definitely be adding the tour to the itinerary in 2014. Once again thank you for an amazing guide and please pass on our thanks to Susanne."
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"The best walks are conducted by London Walks" Toronto Globe & Mail
And on that note, for sure, let's hear it for private walks! Your own guide just for you and your group. (And, as per the "SHORT VERSION", we move heaven and earth to get a great "fit" between guide and group. We'll get you the right guide for your group!) And it's a walk or tour that's tailored just for you. And as for what it costs to "go private" – well, a private London Walk must be the best bargain in London!
And there's just so much to choose from. If you're thinking about "going private" it's Welcome to Aladdin's Cave!
By way of an example: for history, archaeology, zoology, piquancy and an astonishingly different perspective all rolled into one come mudlarking with us on the Thames foreshore. A private Beachcombing tour guided by a professional archaeologist. It's dead in the centre of London but it's terra incognita even to Londoners – and great fun for all ages. And you'll be able to take a piece of London history home with you – a shard of Roman pottery, a mediaeval roof tile, an Elizabethan clay pipe... Souvenirs don't come any more special!
The London Walks guides" repertory of over 50 walks (including all the Day Trips from London) can be tailored to fit your needs. We also organise Treasure Hunts, Fright Nights, and illustrated lectures. Foreign language-speaking guides are available. For further details, please contact Fiona, Noel or Mary.
And you want to know why it always makes sense to "go with London Walks" if you're thinking of booking a private walk? Here's why: 1) price and 2) service.
1) We beat all comers on price. How do we do that? It's simply a matter of London Walks being run off our kitchen table. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration – there is a London Walks "office". But it's in our home. So that means we're not paying those killing London rental rates for office space. Let alone commercial rates (property tax, if you're thinking in American parlance).
2) And as for service, well: 1) is absolutely to the point here as well. Because we work from home London Walks is an 18/7 operation. You ring a "normal" business at 6.30 am – or 10 pm – or over the course of the weekend you're going to get an answering machine. You ring London Walks – 020 7624 3978 – you're get a real person, a live person. And for that matter, not just live – lively! Same goes for email. You send an email on Friday evening to a big company you won't get a real response until sometime next week. You might get one of those machine generated things, but who needs that crap. You send one here you could well be hearing back from "the English rose" (Mary) or me (David) or Katy (our "juv lead") within the hour. And we'll certainly be back to you with a proper reply – not some machine-generated placebo – before the weekend is out.
Now any of that important? Damn straight it is. Great communications are one of the names of the game here. You're going to be late for a private walk and you can't reach the guide because he or she is on the tube. And you're about to go on the tube itself where you won't be able to ring. What do you do? Do you stay above ground, so you can keep trying to get through phonerly? Which means you're going to be still later getting to him? Or do you head into the tube, hoping that he (or she) will hang on, even though you're likely to be 25 minutes late. It's a problem, isn't it? Except it isn't a problem if you've booked with London Walks. Isn't a problem because you ring here. And we'll get the message "patched through". One way or another. It gets an extra helping hand into the mix. It's the essential link. As crucial to the operation as the "controller" with the phone/radio connections is to the ambulance service.
Also, there's depth, there's "back-up" with London Walks that you don't get elsewhere. You have to make a very late change of plan. For example, something's come up and you need to do the walk a couple of hours later than its previous scheduled starting time. You go to someone who doesn't have the sort of depth and "back up" that London Walks has – well, maybe that guide has other commitments, can't do it for you two hours later. Bad news. You'll be billed of course – and you won't get your walk. Double whammy. Different story here. Because of our depth and "back up" we can almost always pull a rabbit out of the hat. So flexibility and resourcefulnes is also a very important part of the mix. You get that with London Walks, you don't get it elsewhere.
Anything else? Sure. We'll talk it through with you – either phonerly or by email. Find out a lot more about your group – where you're coming from, literally and figuratively – what you have in mind, what you want the walk to deliver. And that's all by way of getting the best possible "fit" between guide and group. Let alone tailoring the thing – route-wise or commentary-wise – to any given group's requirements and wishes. You're not going to get that elesewhere. The singletons will just say, "yes, sure, I'll do that for you." Well, yes, they will do it. And if they're a professionally qualified guide they'll do it competently. And if it's "up their street", so to speak, they might well do it more than competently. But competently, more-than-competently, schmompently – what London Walks aims at – and is able to consistently serve up – is brilliantly. There's a difference. A big difference.
"London's best city tours" The Telegraph
And the final point is perhaps the most important of all. We're London Walks. This is what we do. Have done for half a century. Walking tours in London is what we specialise in. Nobody – NOBODY – does it anywhere near as well. There are good reasons for that. Good reasons why there's no comparison!
"London Walks was acknowledged as the premier walking tour company in the entire world" American Tour Guides Convention
"Nobody does it better than London Walks" Celebrate London
"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
N.B., the guides’ cancellation charges are as follows: