London Walks Books

September 2012 update: it’s plural now! Our Book should be Our Books. And that’s by way of introducing Out of London Walks: Great escapes by Britain’s best walking tour company.

One of my favourite London images. And it’s an apt way of welcoming you to the book. Apt because in the Introduction I use the image of a lamp lighter: “London Walks guides are, after a fashion, latter-day gas-lamp lighters. Picture it: the lamplighter’s figure moving along a London street in the gloaming and one by one the street lamps coming out like stars. And you think there’s no romance in London? So that’s what we do – light things up for people. Both out on the streets of London when we’re guiding, and here, in these pages.”

That’s from the Introduction. But the image is also right because he’s lighting the gas lamps on the Embankment, along the Thames. And the Thames and London – river and its city – their thousands of years of shared history – is, how could it be otherwise? – the silver stream that merrily merrily we row along in the book’s great opening chapter.

Read it and you’ll know your London onions…