Hyde Park Corner Tube, exit 3 | Map
Guided by David
Short version: Backstairs Belgravia – Byways, Hidden Haunts & Classic Pubs
Medium version: You think Belgravia's just big squares and huge mansions, a world of white stucco and grandeur? Think again. There are some real finds if you know where to look: namely the best medley of lost lanes and hidden passageways in all of London. Watch the video if you're in any doubt about that claim.
Long version: There's no other neighbourhood in London like this. It looks different. Sounds different. Feels different. All pearly stucco and cut glass accents and blue blood, the place simply breathes money. The people who live here are people who could live anywhere. Which is why they live here. Here in this movie-set corner of London. Here in Upstairs-Downstairs land, so profoundly English, but also, somehow, exotic. And what a cavalcade of residents: Baroness Margaret Thatcher, David Niven, Vivien Leigh, Lord Lucan, Mozart, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Omar Shariff, and other rare plumages. After tonight you'll be able to do some world class name dropping! And because we're going to see it through the peep-hole – threading our way through its cobbled little lanes and mews - past secret escapes and vistas of sudden surprise - we'll make some wonderful discoveries. For good measure we'll call in at a couple of pubs that are small masterpieces – the haunts of those who know! And let's end with something serious – and fascinating: this neighbourhood is a crash course in the English class system. The best one you'll ever encounter. The gradations are marked out here like chess pieces on a chess board. And arrayed every bit as clearly. If you know how to "read" the buildings, that is. The buildings and their relation to one another. You'll acquire that skill tonight. Guided by David. N.B. the walk ends very near Sloane Square Tube Stop.
In the Summer 2017 London Walks programme the Belgravia Pub Walk takes place at 7.15 pm on Saturday, April 7 and at 7.15 pm on Saturday, June 30. The meeting point is just outside exit 3 of Hyde Park Corner Tube.
N.B. we also run – three or four times a year – a daytime Belgravia Walk. The daytime Belgravia Walk is guided by Stephanie. In the Spring-Summer 2018 London Walks programme the daytime Belgravia Walk will take place at 2.30 pm on Sunday, March 25; at 10.45 am on Sunday, May 6; and at 10.45 am on Sunday, July 15. The meeting point is just outside exit 3 of Hyde Park Corner Tube.
There's a single location in Belgravia [we of course go there] that brings one of the seminal events – the 1938 Appeasement Crisis in Munich – into sharp focus. Standing there you suddenly get it, see with crystalline clarity what the biographer of one of the principals meant when he said Goring's "innate depravity seemed to escape him...nothing in his 'upbringing had equipped him with the instinct to fathom the true wickedness of these men.'"
"the unfailingly fascinating London Walks... If you can't find one [of their tours] that captures your fancy, maybe you really are tired of life." San Francisco Chronicle
"Even jaded Londoners find these London Walks a source of astonishing gems of information about the city in which they live." Daily Mail, Top London Treats
"The best walking tours in London" The London Guide
Watch the video (it's hand-held, its "production values" are zilch – but it'll give you a really good idea of the hidden lanes and pathways this walk threads its way through).
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Belgravia pub walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Belgravia Pub Walk – 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 London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) "fit" is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at email@example.com and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they're good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing. Or indeed a fab present – be it a birthday or anniversary or get-to-know-your-new neighbourhood gift or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.
"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 Trafalgar 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.