St. Paul's Tube, exit 2 | Map
Guided by Andrew
Short version: Beginning at St Paul’s Cathedral this walk takes in film and television locations including Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Elizabeth the Golden Age, Shakespeare in Love and Harry Potter. It also features children's classic books such as Wind in the Willows, Pocahontas, Dick Whittington, Winnie the Pooh and even David Walliams’s Gangsta Granny. Not to mention Shakespeare (a bit) and lashings of Dickens, including favourites such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and The Pickwick Papers. Plus Horrible Histories galore. It's London’s greatest film, TV and book trail.
Long Version: This is the summer walk for kids AND big kids. Stuffed full of film, TV locations and kid’s adventure stories. It starts with Doctor Who and the Cybermen as they emerge from St Paul’s Cathedral... and then, well, howzabout a visit to the steps by the Millennium Bridge where Missy reveals her true identity. Next up Sherlock, ‘Don’t move, stay exactly where you are’, says the super sleuth to Watson before he plunges to his death from the roof of St Bart’s Hospital. Or does he? We get to inspect the scene. We also visit the meat market where Oliver was dragged like a ‘lamb to the slaughter’ in Oliver Twist; the market Dickens revisits at the height of his powers, sending Pip there to explore it in Great Expectations. Then we drop by the most popular film location in London. Up from its well come Four Weddings and a Funeral, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Shakespeare in Love, Sherlock Holmes, Avengers: Age of Ultron and many more. Why there? It’s the most atmospheric church in London, that's why. ‘Oculus Reparo’, get your specs fixed for Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, but only ‘if you know where to go’, as Hagrid might say. We go in search of the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. [i] Then to Cheapside and the explorer John Smith. Saved by Pocahontas and romanticized by Disney, his statue stands by the church of St Mary le Bow, where the bells turned Dick Whittington back from Highgate. But hang on, there's more and it’s horrible – Horrible Histories. Heads on spikes, executions (all manner of them, all the gory details) – ‘Why weren’t history books like this when I was a child?’ was the critical reception. Last act: we cross the river to Borough Market for even more Harry Potter and, as long as we're at it, a jaw-dropping glimpse of the Shard of Glass – remember Matt Smith driving his anti-gravity motorcycle up the glass in Doctor Who and The Bells of St John. ? Have I forgotten anything? Er, Shakespeare? Who? Hang on this is a Shakespeare-free zone. Guaranteed. And another thing we don’t talk about? School. As David Walliams says in Gangsta Granny, ‘The one subject kids absolutely hate talking about. You don’t even want to talk about school when you are at school’.
This walk is a cracker for the summer holidays – with pictures and film. Absolutely nothing boring is allowed on this walk. I won’t even mention ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins at St Paul’s… yawn.
Furthers; (Warning Witches and Wizards all welcome but if you are planning to apparate please try not to vomit on arrival – and no large pets.) We get a look at the Tower of London as we cross London Bridge where ‘Gangsta Granny’ steals the crown jewels.
The London Film, TV & Book Trail for Kids & Grown-up Kids takes place at 10.45 am on Saturday, December 22; at 10.45 am on Sunday, January 6; and at 10.45 am on Sunday, April 7. The meeting point is just outside exit 2 of St. Paul'sTube. The walk is guided by Andy (a Superdad in the flesh). N.B. there's a £3 charge for kids as this one's for all ages.
"London's best city tours" The Telegraph
"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
"London Walks was the first – and is the best – of the walking tour firms" Fodor's Great Britain
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public London Film, TV & Book Trail for Kids & Grown-up Kids walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the London Film, TV and Book Trail walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. 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.