St. John's Wood Tube | Map
Guided by Corinna
Short description: Mistresses and mansions. Courtesans and cricket. Villas and Villains. It's a heady mix. So, yes, welcome to tony St. John's Wood – the Beverly Hills of London. N.B. the walk takes about two hours and ends at St. John's Wood Tube.
Long description: Mistresses, Mystics, Mansions, Artists, Courtesans, and Cricket
Call it The Secret ABC of Scandalous St. John's Wood.
Artists, Anglicans, Apocalypse...
Battles, Bishops, Blackmail...
Courtesans, Cricket, Cliques...
...and a great deal more.
ABC right through to the XYZ of what went on behind the elegant facades and drawn curtains of this neat, tidy but ever so slightly risque corner of London. It wasn't only on Lords Cricket Ground that they bowled a maiden over. "St. John's Wood was the one place beyond all others where gentlemen of discretion provided for their mistresses in a proper manner, establishing them in quiet villas surrounded by sheltered gardens and high walls" (The Street and the Detective by A. L. Shearn).
C is also for Corinna, your guide and leading lady who tells the tales along the way with pictures and even the odd song or two.
In the Summer 2019 London Walks programme the St. John's Wood walk takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, August 18. Meeting point is just outside St. John's Wood Tube.
In the Winter 2019-2020 London Walks programme the St. John's Wood walk takes place at 2.30 pm on Sunday, November 17. Same meeting point.
"The best walks are conducted by London Walks" Toronto Globe & Mail
"The best walking tours in London" The London Guide
"Mercantile and professional men who could not afford a house in Belgravia might prefer to live...in St. John's Wood, where the large Eyre estate, west of Regent's Park, was covered with fine houses from the 1820s onward. Even at the end of the century St. John's Wood remained, for many, the ideal middle-class suburb, leafy, secluded, socially segregated, easily reached from central London, yet well removed from the centre's environmental and moral decay. Its distinctive contribution to the development of suburbia was the semi-detached house, which combined, for middle-class families, the status and privacy of a 'villa', with the cheapness of a terrace."
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public St. John's Wood Village walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the St. John's Wood Village 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.
A private London walk makes a very special, thoughtful, unusual gift. Be it a birthday or anniversary or get-to-know-your-new neighbourhood or graduation or Christmas present or whatever. 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 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.