Disastrous London

(18 customer reviews)

Barbican Underground station, London

Guided by Andy or Citlalli

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Saturday Weekly 2 pm 4 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

Short read: Fire, Plague, Bombing, Rebellion, Executions

Shorter read: Down, Dirty, Disastrous London

Short listen: Here’s Guide Citlalli talking about the walk.


Don’t just take it from us…

Long read: Bloody, Flaming, Poxy London. Plague, Fire & Revolution. The Black Death. Churchyards brimming with bodies. The harvest of Death.

The zombie apocalypse – but for real. What changes?

Everything. We start at an ancient Carthusian priory built next to a plague pit so the brothers could pray for the tormented souls of the dead.

We visit an execution spot. But not just any execution spot – THE execution spot – Protestants (yep, the big reboot) and Mel Gibson (ahem).

We visit the site of revolt – in effect tour a battlefield – a poll tax – not Maggie – this is 1381, a Lord Mayor, a king, a revolutionary.

Spoiler alert. It ends badly.

Fast forward to 1666 and the Great Fire (we’ll see several pre-fire structures), the Duke of York and 100 men, poised, a last stand – Cock Lane (yep, it’s exactly what it says on the tin) and then a peek at London’s great phoenix, St. Paul’s, raised from the ashes in all its glory. You’ll need to quench your thirst so how about a pint at Shakespeare’s gaff?  And yes, he finally bought a place, in Ireland Yard, the Blackfriars gatehouse. His cellar is still there. It’s our pub cellar, our pints come up from Shakespeare’s cellar.

CODA: so it’s pubs, stunning vistas, historical alleyways, centuries-old architecture and, yes, ahem, filthy street names. What more from a walk? Violence, mayhem, fire, sedition, sex and booze. The London Walk that just keeps on giving. Guided by Andy or Citlali
The walk will include a brief pub stop en route.


The meeting point is just outside the exit of Barbican  Tube.


“the best London has to offer” Culture Trip

“London’s best city tours” The Telegraph

“London Walks has many copycats, but it’s the best” Frommer’s London by Night

“Simon, a true professional, extremely well read and dramatic, but understated leads a fascinating tour. THIS WALK HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: HUMOR, GORE, CINEMA, WAR, ARTS, COLORS, PLATES, Gates DETECTIVES AND EVEN THE CUMBERBATCH! This is truly a must see!!” T. Hobbes


If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Disastrous London walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Disastrous London 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 Peter or Niamh or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] 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, indeed, unique gift – be it a birthday or anniversary 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

Fire, Plague, Bombing, Rebellion, Torture & Executions..

18 reviews for Disastrous London

  1. Angela

    One of the most enjoyable London Walk tours I’ve been on. Lots of new discoveries in and around Smithfileds and Farringdon. Andy is really knowledgable, open to questions and highlighted many interesting word origins and architectural features during the walk. Up as well as beneath the ground! You will not be disappointed.

  2. Fauldsy

    Our guide, Simon, knew the history well and expressed it with devotion and care. He was not just repeating a script.

  3. Alison sheane

    Really enjoyable tour. Simon was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable and made the tour even more interesting through his passion. I work in this area and had no idea about so much of it. Would highly recommend.

  4. Camilla Hyland

    This was a fantastic tour through the City. Simon was a brilliant guide; very knowledgeable and funny. Would recommend to tourists and Londoners alike!

  5. Laura L.

    My seventh walk with London Walks, and I’ve never had a bad one yet, they have all been superb. Thiis one just might be one of the best, however. Simon W. was hilarious, knowledgeable and thoroughly engaging. 10 out of 10, would definitely recommend.

  6. David Barnes

    A very enjoyable tour of some of the most interesting parts of London. Andy was brilliant.

  7. Julie Reid

    Lovely guide (Simon W), really interesting. some lovely quiet places and fascinating albeit rather gruesome, history. Simon kindly looked after our dog, Winnie, whilst we went into St Bartholamew Church. Lovely couple of hours 😀

  8. Paul Rooombiter Knights

    I did this walk on a freezing Saturday afternoon in late November (covid times.)
    Only a few of us braved the bitter cold wind and drizzling rain but it was fabulous.
    Citlali entertained us with tales of gore, harm and woe and we were glad to end up at London’s last gin palace where I managed to leave my gloves behind after a couple of junipers.
    It was worth it!
    Whenever I visit London I manage to squeeze in a couple of London Walks, time well spent:)
    Beware of imitations.

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