Ghosts of the Old City

(17 customer reviews)

St. Paul's underground station, London (exit 2)

Guided by Adam or Karen or Shaughan

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Saturday Weekly 7.30 pm 9.30 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online
26 December 2021 Special 7.30 pm 9.30 pm Winter Reserve Online

N.B. this walk will not take place on the following dates:

08-10-2022

SPOOKTACULAR 

(Here’s a quick sneak preview – some pictorials, a word from the guide and a classic payoff at the end.)

(And here’s a quickie intro video – a four-guider – about private walks,  how they work, etc. Should you fancy one.)

And here’s a thought – you don’t have to be in London on a Saturday evening to go on the Ghosts of the Old City walk in London, don’t have to be in London to go on Adam’s spooktacular. You can be in San Diego. Or Vienna. Or Toronto. Or Melbourne. Or Singapore. Or wherever. How cool is that.

Meet your guide. I, David, describe Adam as the only human being I know who talks like a very well written magazine article. The information is brilliant. As is the way it’s put across. As this wonderful little sidebar podcast Adam’s put together attests to.

“Top Ghost Walk in the UK” – Essential Travel 

“Fear came upon me. And trembling.” The Book of Job, 4:14

Fear came upon them. And trembling. And screaming. As this video attests to. The “incident” took place on this walk a couple years back.

“The civilised human spirit cannot get rid of a feeling of the uncanny.” Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann

Stygian gloom – Waking the dead – Walking amongst them

At night the ancient City is deserted. And eerie. Exploring its shadowy back streets and dimly lit alleys we might be in a medieval citadel, in overpowering stone. The very street names – Aldersgate, Cloth Fair, Charterhouse, Threadneedle – take us far back. We’re alone… Or are we? For this is the hour when the She-Wolf of France glides through the churchyard, the hour when the dark figure on Newgate wall rattles his chains, the hour when the Black Nun keeps her lonely vigil, and something inexpressibly evil lurks behind a tiny window. We’re on their trail… Or are they shadowing us? “How easy it is to awaken the unwanted attention of things that should sleep quietly in their tombs or hiding places…”  Guided by the Duke of Darkness or the Shadow Walker or the Woman in Black.

GHOSTS OF THE OLD CITY – THE PRACTICALS

Ghosts of the Old City takes place at 7.30 pm every Saturday.

Meet the Duke of Darkness or the Shadow Walker or the Woman in Black just outside exit 2 of St. Paul’s Tube. N.B. the walk ends back at  St. Paul’s Tube. The Duke of Darkness is Shaughan. The Shadow Walker is Adam. The Woman in Black is Karen – she’s merely “the world’s greatest guide”, according to the Travel & Leisure rankings. (Karen’s Travel & Leisure coronation was of course presaged by her winning the London Tourist Board’s Guide of the Year Award.) 

HERE’S WHY

Ghost walks are tricky to guide. Get it wrong and it’s embarrassingly bad. Cringe-making fake “scary” voice, that sort of thing. It all comes down to the guiding. Now the immediately striking thing about the London Walks’ Ghost Walks guides “line up” is that all the guides – Adam’s the exception who proves the rule – are actors. Important? Or a coincidence? Yeah, you guessed it – it’s the former. The reason, quite simply, is it takes a special set of skills to make a ghost walk work. What are those skills, those “ingredients”? Well, you can guess – the great voice, presence, perfect timing, conviction – let alone the sixth sense about exactly how far the envelope needs to be pushed. Actors have those abilities – most of the rest of us don’t. Or at least don’t have the whole package. Which is why if you get some amateur fronting a ghost walk it’s not just a disappointment – it’s worse, it’s an embarrassment. It’s just common sense, really. All you need to do is think back to your childhood – hearing ghost stories round the campfire. It was only the born storytellers – the ones who had the gift – let alone the great voice – who could bring it off. The upside is that when that sort of thing is done brilliantly – by pros, by people who know what they’re doing – well, it’s as good as it gets. That’s why we’ve got professional performers fronting our ghost walks. And the proof of the pudding – well, see the JR note below. Or listen to Shaughan, the Duke of Darkness, at the start of his Ghosts of the Old City video. Or Captain Spooky (Peter) at the start of his Ghosts of the West End video.

Want to preview the walk and the guiding? And watch this sidekick video. It’s the Shadow Walker (Adam), setting the stage for the Ghosts of the Old City Walk. A born story-teller “can make you believe.”  And an update, Adam’s bagged himself a professional guiding qualification. He’s now – as of 2019 – an award-winning, professionally qualified, “badged” guide. 

“WHAT WILL I SEE?”

These are “extras”, “incidentals” – our main fare is ghostly goings-on. But in addition, in passing, you’ll also get…

1. Three of the most splendid of Wren’s spires in attendance upon St. Paul’s dome

2. The sparking point of the City

3. The focus, the concentration of City life

4. A nine-foot-long dragon

5. A bare-breasted native American

6. A perfect example of a 1672 house (lived in by one of our greatest poets)

7. The City’s most delightful hidden network of streets, shops and restaurants

8. A tent-like structure that seems to grow out of the ground (the rainwater collected by its roof is used to flush toilets and irrigate the nearby planting)

9. 350-year-old cottages built for canons

10. A street that shows perfectly – it’s often used as a film location – the pre-Victorian scale of the City

11. The ebullient late Victorian building that replaced the grimmest structure in London (the one that featured carved manacles and chains and grim, windowless rustication)

And that’s just for starters…

LONDON WALKS REVIEWS

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

“It’s hard to remember how many times I’ve taken this walk [London Horror Story]. Every time I am taking a relative or friend around London with me, this is the walk I take. The scenery is straight out of a movie, and what can I say about Shaughan. He’s definitely better than any write-up either I or this brochure could come up with. The stories, the tidbits, the drama – this walk has it all. I guess I’ve done this walk about 6 or 7 times. It’ll be up to 8 the next time I’m in town . . .”   JR New Jersey, USA

“Top Ghost Walks in the UK  London, England: London Walks…their four ghost walks” Essential Travel

“prowling shadows, sense of dread, the dark negative of the sunny snapshots of tourist London” 

GLAD TO HEAR IT

Click here to meet your guide – here’s the Adam interview we did for the London Walks podcast

LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS

If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, Ghosts of the Old City it can always be booked as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Ghosts of the Old City 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 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.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LONDON WALKS

A private London Walk makes a fab 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.

LONDON WALKS – STREETS AHEAD!

Don’t just take it from us.

OTHER TOURS YOU MAY LIKE

17 reviews for Ghosts of the Old City

  1. Alice

    We did the tour with Simon today and loved it! He is an amazing guide and very knowledgeable – we had a lot of fun 🙂 definitely recommend the tour!

  2. Craig

    Really enjoyed tonight’s tour with Simon – informative about city of London with spooky stories

  3. Jenna Herdman

    We thoroughly enjoyed our tour last week, “Ghosts Of the Old City with Adam.” Adam was an amazing guide and expert storyteller who uses humour and drama to bring historical events and figures to life (or death). He also did a good job offering potential plausible explanations for many of the supernatural phenomena, which I thought was a unique touch. The tour really enriched our understanding of the City and we had a blast. I think London Walks is one of the best touring groups in the world and I recommend them to everyone!

  4. Kristina Nordsten

    An awesome evening as Simon walked us through the alleyways of Blackfriars. Even on one of the most spectacular summer evenings the gruesome stories was brought to life masterly by our guide. As a Londoner and someone who has done these walks for 25 years, I think London Walks are one of the best ways to do London. Yesterday we did this walk as a family – the tweenaged children loved it and our international guest got immersed into London’s past.

  5. Joe Hurley

    Ghost of the Old City:
    Very enjoyable and interesting evening… our guide was Simon Law did an outstanding job. Perfect pace of the walk, lots of intriguing tidbits, kept the interest of the entire group. I would recommend this walking tour any summer evening for a great time.

  6. Alim

    Just finished a tour with Simon. It was great! We really enjoyed it. Simon was truly amazing, so engaging and he is a wonderful story teller. Greetings from Turkey, Switzerland and New Zeland 🙂 Highly recommend!

  7. James B

    23 April – St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s Birthday (and day of death!). It was a pleasure to while away the twilight hours with tales of old (including tales of the Bard himself!) in the company of our guide Simon. I’d highly recommend this walk which takes you to parts many Londoners (I am one) would never otherwise have appreciated. Simon was both knowledgeable and entertaining and patient in answering my (many) questions. I’d highly recommend this walk to nothing tourists and Londoners alike – whether you believe in spooks or not!

  8. Lynette

    Simon provided a great walk with fascinating stories of the ghosts of London. I am never disappointed after a London walks tour. If you’re on the fence about going, I highly recommend!

  9. Dan

    Great walk with Simon last night!

  10. Julie

    Had a really intesting ghost walk with Simon tonight. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We learnt loads, not just about ghosts, but about London and its past inhabitants. Would highly recommend this walk

  11. jennifer

    Simon was quite funny and entertaining. Interesting snippets of history, culture (low and high) and some pretty hair-raising tales about ghosts and medieval torture. I didn’t know it was Shakespeare’s B’day until he said so.

  12. Emma

    Really enjoyed our Ghostly Walk with Karen. Our party consisted of one adult and three children 9,11 and 12. Karen was absolutely brilliant. Captivating, knowledgeable and highly entertaining. History and Ghoulish London came alive. We will never look at a raised church garden in the the same way again ! Highly recommend. I am a Londoner and enjoyed every minute.

  13. Craig D

    Took part in the Ghosts of the City Tour over the weekend. We had a fantastic time. The guide, Simon, was humorous and incredibly knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

  14. Matt F

    Just finished the ghost tour with Simon. It was great. Really informative and learnt loads about the City / London and it’s history, tied together with ghost stories. Simon was great; engaging, knowledgable and funny. Definitely recommend. We were a group of 13, ages 13 to 50+.

  15. Julie and Theodora

    My 9 year old daughter Theodora and I joined the Duke of Darkness Shaughan to hear an eerie and bloody history of the haunts and spirits on our walk in spring 2009. Theo was especially rapt with Shaughan’s stories and happily skipped alongside him. It was an equally scary thrill and fantastic storytelling experience! Indeed, my enthusiasm and high regard for the Ghost Walk and for London Walks generally is captured in your Ghost Walk video filmed on that evening where my daughter and I are interviewed by Shaughan at the end of the film. We both look forward to returning for a Ghost Walk soon!

  16. Caroline

    As a couple we have always enjoyed London Walks on our visits to London. Exceptional VFM and always excellent guides. We went on this walk on Halloween. Fiona ( I believe ) was our guide. Thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hour walk around areas we did not know. The guide was informative, witty and an excellent teller of tales in this area whilst keeping the narrative child friendly too. Would thoroughly recommend

  17. Julian Gladwell

    GHOSTS OF THE OLD CITY

    I went on the GHOSTS OF THE OLD CITY on the actual Halloween evening no less.

    The guide was the excellent Karen, her of the friendly manner and the nice clear voice!

    This was a very enjoyable if rather spooky walk, I learnt many new ghost stories that were new to me, and I am a life-long Londoner.

    London walks never fails to exceed espectations!

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