1. The inarguability of the above. It's as tall as it's wide as it's deep. End of story. Your witness.
2. For the record, we followed the London Gold up, in 2009, with the Best Tourism Experience in England Gold Award. And there's a Silver in the London Walks Trophy Case as well. It's not just that London Walks is multi-award winning – London Walks is the only award-winning walking tour company in London.
4. The best guides in London. "If this were a golf tournament every name on the Leader Board would be a London Walks guide."
5. It all comes down to the guiding.
6. Access. We've got access to places the johnny-come-latelys can't get into.
7. London Walks is the preferred London walking tour company for high end, high quality American and other overseas travel companies.
8. We're the preferred walking tour company for Londoners and other British nationals.
9. We're not a chain. We're not a multi-national. We're small. We're family-owned. We're "locally sourced."
10. We're the oldest walking tour company in the world.
11. We're the only London walking tour company with an identity, a brand – "everybody's heard of London Walks."
12. We're the walking tour specialists.
13. £££ You want an example? A family of four can go on a London Walk for as little as £16. A bus tour is going to cost that same family nearly £70. Game, set, match – n'c'est pas?
14. Flexibility and convenience. There's no booking. You just turn up at the designated starting point at the time stated. If the weather's filthy you can change your mind and you're not out a penny. Which ain't the case – needless to say – with the operators who are desperate to get you to book and pre-pay.
Fancy phrase – "designated starting point". In plain English, London Walks start just outside the exit of tube stations. And yes, that ubiquitous symbol spells London tube stop! N.B., our Explorer Days – to Bath, Oxford, etc. – meet by the ticket office of the train station we're departing from.
15. 18/7 Those are hours and days of the week that we're answering the phone here. A real person. Not a machine. Answering any questions you've got. Talking it over with you. Making recommendations if you'd like, etc. And you know something, sometimes it's more like 19 or 20/7.
16. We don't tell porkies. We don't do bait-and-switch, too-good-to-be-true advertising.
17. There's nothing shrill about London Walks. No hard sell. No fear-mongering. No "if you don't book [and pre-pay] you might not get to go" work-ups. No adverts – either on this website or on Google "searches".
18. London Walks is utterly reliable. We don't cancel walks because they're aren't enough people on it.
19. This is one is so simple – and so important: an extremely high quality guided walking tour is by far the best way to see London.
20. London Walks' reputation. The word reputation comes from the Latin word putare, to think. The prefix – re – means repeatedly, over and over, time and again. A reputation is something that's been earned, it's been thought through, thought about repeatedly, over time. Different cup of tea from "opinion." Opinion can be bought, sold, gamed. It's child's play to game Trip Advisor. That convention of American Tour Guides acknowledging London Walks as "the premier tour walking tour company in the entire world" – thus spake reputation, London Walks' reputation.
21. Try us and you'll see. After all, the risk is, what? – the cost of a Starbucks cheese sandwich and an espresso.
22. Your fellow walkers. They're lively, interesting, intelligent, adventurous, congenial, charming people. People who are fun to rub elbows with for a couple of hours. You'll like them.
23. And as for our Day Trips to Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury, Oxford & the Cotswolds, Cambridge, Avebury & Lacock, Richmond & Hampton Court, etc. – what goes for London also goes for them. Nonpareil guides, ££ (London Walks Day Trips cost less), absolute convenience and flexibility, a much better way of seeing those places, better company, lots of added value, etc. etc.
24. Tons of added value. ££ – yes, that stuff: again. There's less of it going out of your pocket precisely because London Walks has cut lots of deals with other "attractions". Whether it's the Tower of London, or Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's or the Cabinet War Rooms or Stonehenge or Oxford Colleges, etc. – we get you in cheaper. And get you there cheaper! In short, we've also got great deals with boat and train companies (for Day Trips or London Walks that involve a boat ride).
25. Mens sana in corpore sano. Healthy mind in a healthy body. Walking's healthier – it's good for you. But here's the clincher. With London Walks you get more corpore sano and more mens sana. You get more corpore sano because you'll go on more walks. And why is that? Because of the calibre of the guiding. And that same stuff – the calibre of the guiding - is of course the key to more mens sana. It all comes down to the guiding. A case in point: the sheer intellectual audacity of a brilliant guide making history feel real enough to touch by “reading” his group and fitting his commentary to them. E.G., a slightly more sanguinary group being told – before a suit of armour – “the combined weight of two fully armoured, jousting knights and their mounts was over half a ton. Their closing speed over 40 mph. The impact – concentrated at the tip of the lance – greater than one of Mike Tyson’s sledge hammer blows”. A week later – with a rather more erudite group – it was the naming of the parts of the armour and how those French words bear witness to and indeed crystallise the single most important event in this country’s history. Bottom line: because of the way we’re structured London Walks famously is able to attract – and keep – the best guides in London!
Okay, ran this up in five minutes on the 4th of July. Be adding to it in due course. All of these points can be – and will be – developed. The Guides, for example. It's long been a given about London Walks that it fields the best guides in London.They're accomplished, urbane, well educated, sophisticated people. What you want in a guide. Many of them are renowned in their fields. Donald Rumbelow, who regularly guides our Jack the Ripper walk, of course springs to mind. Donald is, as The Jack the Ripper A to Z put it, "internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper". Or take our Blue Badge guides. The badge in itself is the hallmark of this profession. But it's not just that they're badged – most of them are award-winning Blue Badge guides! Several of them holders of the big one: The Guide of the Year Award. Indeed, Karen has just won (2011) the biggest accolade of all: The World's Greatest Guide! I'm not exaggerating in the least. The august old American travel magazine Travel & Leisure has just done a big spread on The World's Greatest Travel Guides. Fifteen of them in total. From right around the world. And, yes, Karen was the guide they featured for England!