Holborn Tube | Map
Short description: Legal & Illegal London
Long description: Magic casement into olde worlde... The Inns of Court – habitat of the wigged and gowned English barrister – could pass for a collection of Oxford and Cambridge colleges right in the heart of London. They're a warren of cloisters, courtyards, and passageways set amongst some of the best gardens in London. So: ancient rites and customs, high drama, colourful characters, and matters of life and death amid delightful surroundings. It's a rich confection, making this the prettiest and most historical of our central London walks. Welcome to London's legal enclave.
The Inns of Court Walk takes place on Mondays and Fridays at 2 pm and on Wednesdays at 11 am. The meeting point is just outside the main exit* of Holborn Tube. On Mondays the walk is guided by Shaughan. On Wednesdays it's guided by Molly. On Fridays it's guided by Angela. *The main exit is on Kingsway. Holborn Tube, which is on the corner of Kingsway and High Holborn, has two exits. The side exit goes out onto High Holborn. The main exit – the one you want – goes out onto Kingsway. The guide will be standing just outside the main exit, the Kingsway exit, holding up copies of the distinctive white London Walks leaflet. If you take the Tube to Holborn Tube Station go up the escalator, go through the ticket barrier and go straight ahead. You'll come out onto Kingsway, right where you need to be to meet the guide. N.B. the walk ends at or just over the way from the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, near Temple Tube.
Want a preview of the Inns of Court walk? Watch this little handheld video. It'll give you a pretty good idea of the "like nowhere else" territory the walk explores – where it goes, the doors it opens, the secret little passageways and courtyards it threads its way through.
"Best Tourism Experience in London" Gold Medal Winner, Visit London
"We selected the 'Legal and Illegal' walk to discover the four Inns of Court where Barristers have their chambers. Our guide was Angela, an actress. Her knowledge of the Inns of Court and their history was encyclopaedic. She made the tour utterly fascinating and she brought her theatrical training to bear. She needed no microphone as her delivery was clear, bright and concise and not without a good deal of humour. She was an absolute delight. The two hours tour flew past. I have in the past lived in London and worked not too far from where the walk was centred but never imagined such places existed and so close to the main thoroughfares that cross the City. I will certainly be trying more of these walks in the future, but for the sheer joy of Angela's wonderful tour you really must do this one." Silverdale15 Stockport, United Kingdom
"John Mortimer, author [creator of the immortal Horace Rumpole], QC, defender of the Sex Pistols, and habitual drinker of a glass of champagne before breakfast, offered a useful definition of the law for those outside it. It is, he said, 'in another world; but it thinks it's the whole world'...Mortimer maintained that his protagonist stood for the 'great legal principles', namely 'free speech, the idea that people are innocent until someone proves them guilty to the satisfaction of twelve ordinary members of a jury, and the proposition that the police should not invent more of the evidence than is absolutely necessary.'" Susie Dent (And rest assured, we'll see Mortimer's chambers on this walk.)
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Inns of Court walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Inns of Court 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Don't just take it from us or The New York Times
"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 iconic 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.