How the City Got Rich

(16 customer reviews)

Tower Hill underground station, London (meet by the Tower Hill Tram coffee stand)

Guided by David P. or Mary B.

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Tuesday Weekly 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

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

23-07-2024 30-07-2024 06-08-2024 24-09-2024 22-10-2024 29-10-2024

Short read: A new walk. Exactly what it says on the tin. Served up by nonpareil, well-connected guides Mary B. and David P. One of them a former London Mayor.  Both – it almost goes without saying, this – professionally qualified (City of London and Blue Badge, respectively).

Good listen: Here’s a great podcast guide David did about How the City Got Rich – the walk and the history.

Longer read: “Since Dick Whittington first came to the City of London 600 years ago, people have thought of the streets of London as ‘paved with gold’. Exploring ancient City of London alleyways – finding and opening up to view the historic hotspots – we piece it together, make the connections, decipher it, discover how (and why) thanks to merchant shipping, monarchy, Methodism, Mercers (Whittington’s ‘Livery Company’ that still thrives today) and much more, including, yes, coffee houses, London came to be so much richer than Luton, Lisbon or Lima.”


How the City Got Rich takes place at 2.30 pm every Tuesday. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Tower Hill Tube. Meet David P. and co. by the Tower Hill Tram coffee stall. 


Don’t just take our word for it…


“by far the most impressive series of walks that I have ever encountered are those offered by London Walks”  Travel and Enjoy

“the unfailingly fascinating London Walks… If you can’t find one [of their tours] that captures your fancy, maybe you really are tired of life.”  San Francisco Chronicle


If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public How the City Got Rich walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the How the City Got Rich 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 Niamh or Peter 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 seriously special, thoughtful and unusual gift – be it a birthday or anniversary 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.


Don’t just take it from us

16 reviews for How the City Got Rich

  1. Jennifer P

    Despite the pouring rain for the first half of the tour, David kept us engaged and informed. And he appropriately timed a lovely coffee stop with rooftop views and a chance to dry out. We learned a lot – historical, political, and economic…a nice mix – about a part of the city we weren’t familiar with. A great start to our London visit. Thanks!

  2. Irpinder Bhatia

    This one’s a two-parter. First, Irpinder’s review. And then, beneath the dotted line, Guide Mary B.’s fine response.

    London walk: Deeply Disappointed. Feel cheated. I was sold a walk titled: How The City Got Rich. The Walk I took today had nothing to do with this theme/topic. The Walk guide said as much – ‘will tell you of the history, I don’t know much about economics’. The Walk was the history of a few buildings, Slavery & Compensation [ !! Why] and bits on Brexit. I do not know about others but I, 72, came to know of the history of London’s Riches. I got nothing. It is not about money. It is about Time. I know enough about Slavery Compensation Scandals including one of your recent Prime Ministers.

    Curiouser and curiouser, Irpinder. Particularly so given that you approached me at one point on the walk and said, “I’m learning so much about the City.”

    Anyway, sleeves rolled up, let’s get stuck in.

    Having met you, Irpinder, on yesterday’s walk I am very disappointed, indeed shocked at your response to yesterday’s walk.

    I do indeed say clearly as opening remarks that my approach to the topic of the walk is more historically based than financial as this is my background. But I never, ever use the phrase, ‘I don’t know much about economics’ – so please don’t put words in my mouth.

    During the walk we certainly do look at and discuss several notable buildings in the Eastern Cluster as examples of how the City continually rebuilds and works to maintain its world status as a leading financial centre. These ‘looks’ at modern iconic architecture give texture to the walk, they are visible and tangible and always invite a oohhh and ahhh effect.

    I note, Irpinder, that you took exception to our stop at the Gilt of Cain statue where the discussion centred on slavery. As we approached the site I was asked by a group member the question about the effect of Brexit on the City. I chose to answer this question to the whole group as this is good practice. You wandered off during this section of the stop coming back to the group as we moved off. I did also include at this point and at the very end of the walk mention of the East India Company which I’m unable to cover in depth on this walk but mentioned the London Walks walk on this topic. Would this have interested you more?

    I get the sense that you wanted an in depth discussion on the City and its economics etc. Given the nature of these tours in a crowded, noisy city landscape this is just not viable. Many of the people who join this and other London Walks want a story, a context and to see parts of London they may never have seen before, and if they’re from abroad may never see again. Our group yesterday, like every week, presented a broad brush stroke of interests, experiences and wish list for the walk. I might also add age groups as I’m always mindful that the youngsters who join this walk may find the topic hard going.

    I am sorry you felt this walk disappointing and am shocked at your vitriolic comments as when we met at the start of the walk we had a pleasant conversation about shopping in the City. And, as I mentioned above, you approached me as we arrived at the Gilt of Cain statue and said, ‘I’m learning so much about the City’. This makes your later written comments even more baffling.

    I do hope you feel able to join other London Walks, they provide such a rich variety of experiences in London and beyond.

    All the very best to you, Irpinder.

    Mary b

  3. Bob Nell

    My first walk with London Walks. Selected ‘how the city got rich’. What to say. Guide Mary. Wow. Super interesting, Geat knowledge and attention to detail. The bar has been set very high. I look forward to many more London Walks.

  4. Richard Harrington

    Did this walk today with Rick as our guide. I worked in the city for 50 years teaching people about the financial centre but Rick uncovered much more than I thought I knew. Really great afternoon spent wandering the streets of the greatest city in the world

  5. Jill A.

    We went on this tour on April 9 and loved it. We were interested in exploring a part of the city that we had not seen much of and we wanted to learn more about London’s history. David P. provided us with all of that and more. David happily guided us around and through many different buildings and areas and shared his vast knowledge of London’s economic and political history. There is something for everyone on this tour. I highly recommend it and especially David P.

  6. Carolyn Riddell-Carre

    This was brilliant. Roman remains – under a hairdresser. A river – on a rooftop. David P showed us nooks and crannies of fascination. I’m 70+. My great-nieces are 13 & 11. We all loved it. I’ve done a number of these walks over the years. This was particularly interesting. Don’t miss it!

  7. Bettie

    How London got rich: a wonderful walk guided by David P. My husband and I are experienced ‘London Walkers’ and this was one of the best. Despite the pouring rain!!! David tells a lot of interesting stories. And facts. We are from the Netherlands and as David said: London and Holland both ‘got rich’ for similar reasons. We got to places where we wouldn’t have gone without our guide. We will be back in a few months with friends who have never been to London before and then we will do the walk again. That says it all, doesn’t it?

  8. Christoph Karner

    As a London walks regular (with a long COVID break) I had the great pleasure to meet David for the first time.
    He really is a great, very knowledgeable guide
    and entertaining,too.
    I learnt things, which I still didn’t know after having attended many walks.
    Yes, London is inexhaustable, and David is a guide with his own style.
    Highly recommended.
    You will not be disappointed.

  9. Marcus

    The walk “How the City got rich” run by Mary was excellent, lots of great stories and insights, I learnt a lot of new things!

  10. Nina

    Outstanding tour-we’re SO glad we signed up for this. David did a fantastic job of keeping us informed and entertained, and showing us/ sharing with us information that we would never have known without him. I can’t say enough good things about this tour.

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