Piccadilly Circus Tube, by the Eros statue (near the Criterion Theatre) | Map
Short version: "like a silver thread in heavy clay"
Long version: The great West End walk. Beautiful places, beautiful things flow past like blossoms on slow water. Some village. Realm's more like it. The realm of riches, rank and those who rule. In its irresistible goody bag: elegant arcades, secret doorways and peekaboo views; Gentlemen's clubs; Burlington House and the Albany; London's best shopping street; tea and royal chocolates (we sample them, gratis); Nelson's perfumier (more gratis sampling); the world's smallest – and toniest – privately funded police force; mad, bad and dangerous to know Byron; Brummel to Brando; Jermyn to Marilyn; exclusive, eccentric, best-dressed, old money London; magnet for artists, writers, royals, scientists, dreamers and dandies; Darwin to James Bond; the Prince Regent to Prince Harry; venerable to voopular; the greatest act of literary vandalism ever. It's Georgian. It's Regency. It's Victorian. It's Edwardian. It's Parisian. It's parfait. It's part Wonderland, part Arabian Nights. It's stories that tilt the light and print the stones. Plaited together by gifted guides Karen and Katy. And not that this one needs a deal closer but nudge nudge – bears repeating – this walk's not just visual and aural. It's a full-on sensory experience. With Katy and Karen as your entrées you'll taste the Queen's favourite culinary treat and whiff scents specially created for VIPs. Hmmmmm. Some dream. A dream that leaves you feeling completely, even exuberantly, in the pink! N.B. the walk ends at Green Park, a few seconds' walk from Green Park Tube Station.
A Village in Piccadilly takes place at 2.30 pm every* Monday. The meeting point is Piccadilly Circus Tube. Meet just outside exit 4 – the Eros exit, near the Criterion Theatre. N.B. the walk ends at Green Park, a few seconds' walk from Green Park Tube Station. *Except Dec. 25
Preview the tour. Watch the video.
"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
"Without a doubt the best walking tour company currently operating in London" Stardust
"London's best city tours" The Telegraph
"I would just like to pass onto the lovely people at London Walks, that the walk we did this afternoon (A Village in Piccadilly) with Adam, was the best walk we have done In five years of taking London Walks. His knowledge, wit and friendliness was wonderful. We enjoyed it immensely. Thank you Adam. Kind regards, Laurie J. (Australia)
If you can't make the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Village in Piccadilly walk do think about booking it as a private tour. If you go private you can have A Village in Piccadilly – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. And – always with private tours and walks – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) "fit" is well nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Noel on 020 7624 3978 or email us at email@example.com and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. Perfect for a class, club or office outing. But also makes a very fine Welcome to London gift or Christmas or anniversary or birthday gift. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.
It all comes down to the guiding. If you're not assessing you're guessing – buying a pig in a poke.
"Nah, don't need it, got it all here," you say. Er, roaming charges? Er, dead battery? Er, reading your phone in the bathtub and you drop it? [Smelling salts interval: sick as a parrot. ashen-faced.] Er, read the famous white leaflet in the bathtub and you drop it what do you do? Er, you dry it out. Anyway, maybe worth making a mental note that you can always pick up the famous white London Walks leaflet at the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgfar Square. They're on the Information Table there, right by the box office. And indeed they also display them on the shop counter, right by the cash register. And it's win-win because the Cafe in the Crypt is one of the town's delights. Should be on everybody's London itinerary.