Virtual  Kensington Sights & Sounds – Virtual Tour

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
20 September 2020 Special 4 pm 5.15 pm Summer Book Now
27 September 2020 Special 4 pm 5.15 pm Summer Book Now
4 October 2020 Special 4 pm 5.15 pm Summer Book Now

KENSINGTON SIGHTS & SECRETS 

Click here to go on the Kensington Virtual Tour

WHAT YOU GET

1. A walking tour of Kensington. A walking tour that makes the new familiar and the familiar new. You’ll see a lot and hear a lot. You’ll understand what you see.

2. The Voilà! – the Eureka! – moment. To know Kensington is to know London. Suddenly London makes sense. Or, if you prefer, the Koh-i-Noor diamond moment: “if you understand this one house in Kensington you understand London.” 

3. The gemstones you find when you drill down deeper. The answers to the big questions. What is it about Kensington? Why Kensington? How did it come to be the wealthiest district in the UK? What’s the skull beneath the face? What’s its DNA?

4. The keys. To London. I’m the doyen of London walking tour guides. 40+ years I’ve been doing this. Exploring, discovering, uncovering, wooing the most mysterious, the most buttoned-up, the most secretive of western cities. In the 40+ years I’ve been trying to figure London out I’ve identified 15 or 16 “keys” that unlock it, that help to understand it, make sense of it. I hand you six or seven of those keys on this walk. They’re take-aways – you’ll use them every time you’re out and about in London. They open doors.

5. The free £9.99 gift. The chapter. I wrote the chapter on Kensington in the London Walks book. When the tour’s over you’ll be sent a handsome, professionally produced PDF of that chapter in the London Walks book. It’s worth a tenner (£9.99) – that’s what you’d have to pay to get it, to get the book. You get it for free.

6. The people. They’re good to hang out with. You’ll meet a bunch of fun, bright, savvy, switched-on, accomplished, sophisticated people from all over the world. Your fellow “Kensington walkers.”

REVIEWS

“Best tour EVER!!!”  Laurie Crogan, California

“Brilliant walk guided by the very knowledgeable David Tucker. This is a ‘must do’ Virtual Walk’ Christopher John Day

“Loved, loved, loved the Kensington walk with David. Particularly loved the attention to detail and how knowledgeable David is. It’s evident David is a cut above and an accomplished guide with a ready with and bags of infectious enthusiasm. It was a feast for the senses!”  Simplyticketyboo  London, TripAdvisor

“a real treat! As with so many London Walks it takes you into nooks and crannies of this beautiful neighbourhood that I never would have found – or appreciated – on my own…there is no substitute for the wonderful, experienced guides of London Walks.” DBE1205 Philadelphia, PA, TripAdvisor

“Great “walk” to do long distance. Thank you @londonwalksofficial – such a nice alternative to being there!”  travel_food_fun_4_ever  Instagram

“I thoroughly enjoyed David’s excellent virtual tour of Kensington. He had plainly done a huge amount of research…he was an engaging and humorous speaker and 90 minutes went by in the blink of an eye”   Delia P., London, TripAdvisor

THE TOUR

Kensington is London’s Koh-i-Noor Diamond. Starting with location, location, location and events 1,200 years ago, facet by facet the “Mountain of Light” of London villages comes into focus. Step by step we unlock the secrets of Kensington’s success.

Why and how this ancient village became what it is: the wealthiest district in the country.

We name names – starting with the astonishingly fissile, shiver-up-the-spine, beyond perfect core elements of the very name Kensington.

We range across 1200 years of history. Royal history, social history, literary history, military history, economic history – each is a facet in the Koh-i-Noor Diamond that is Kensington.

Ditto its architecture and its gardens and its pubs and its shops and its churches and its palace and its street furniture. To say nothing of its “village character” – the skull beneath the face. The 8-point template of the English village is there. We identify those points, visit them.

Ditto its extraordinary cast of characters, past and present. You’ll meet locals because, having guided Kensington for 40 years, David’s got to know them, they’re his friends.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

“When people ask, ‘what do we see on the Kensington Walk?’ I say, “there are some 150 “point-outs” on the tour – particulars that you’ll actually see (but wouldn’t see – most of them – without me along taking you to the right spot and directing your gaze).

And those are just the “point-outs.” In addition, there’s what you’ll see in your mind’s eye.

Just to give you an idea of a few of the visuals:

The most remarkable small literary house on the planet

The four great biblical rivers

A Victorian mortuary

A bear being skinned (by all means avert your eyes if you want to because it makes uncomfortable viewing)

Brigitte Bardot

The cat whose droppings are used to make the most expensive coffee in the world

Playboy Hugh Hefner’s shoes

Bomb damage

1930s workmen on a steel girder high in the sky (think of that famous b/w photograph of those Empire State Building workmen seated on a girder 80 stories up and hanging out over Manhattan)

The prettiest girl in London

Ascot hats

The “Cage” (the second most important interrogation centre of Nazi war criminals after Nuremberg)

Well, you get the idea… 

The Virtual Tour has about 100 “visuals”, images – several of which are time-honoured old photographs and long-ago maps that we cannot access on the “live” Kensington walk.

Nothing else to add except that the Secret Kensington tour is guided by David.‘The Seigneur of this favoured realm’* 

THE GUIDE

David is the doyen of London walking tour guides.

This is his Kensington.

*London Walks

FURTHER PARTICULARS

What you need to know

Where? 1. On your screen (wherever you are: London, New York, Sidney, California, Brighton, Berlin, Seville, Chiangmai, etc.). In short,  in the comfort of your own home (we guarantee you – you will not be rained on). 2. In the village of David’s heart’s content: kick-ass, kingly, kooky Kensington

Who? David – ‘the Seigneur of this favoured realm’* – is the doyen of London walking tour guides. This is his Kensington. *London Walks.

Who else? VIPs and characters and personages (royal and otherwise) aplenty. Denizens, patrons, residents and “left their markers on” the “Royal Village”. And you. And your fellow walkers.

What? A guided Virtual Tour of The Sights & Secrets of Royal Kensington. You will be shown it. Shown round. Shown places. Shown things. You will hear the story. You will “meet” a lot of the principals. You will be taken there. You will return having undergone a very special experience. Anything else? Yes, the Tour is interactive. You will be able to interact with David and your fellow walkers – ask questions, make comments, etc.

Why? By popular demand. And because it’s a Top Ten. (Explanation: there are 500 different London Walks. This is one of the Top Ten of the 500.)

How long does it last? About an hour.

How: The wonders of the Internet. In a word, Zoom.

Do I have to book? Yes.

Why do I have to book? Because we restrict the number of participants to 20. It is not a herd experience. We want to get the comfort level of the group right. Get some group chemistry, get people meeting and interacting with their fellow group members (if they want t0), get some group intimacy. For that, a maximum of 20 is ideal.

How do I book? Click on the Eventbrite link here

Or near the top of this page.

How much does it cost? This one is offered on a “Donation Basis” – whatever suits your pocketbook

Is it possible to book a private Virtual Kensington Tour? Yes, of course. Just get in touch with us here at London Walks. Email: london@walks.com    Tel. 020 7624 3978

What if I have further questions? Eezy peezy contact David or Mary at London Walks. It’s 18/7 and it’s a real person, a living, breathing human being, not some automated, metallic “voice” presenting you with a series of options, “press this button, press that button” ad nauseum.

Email: london@walks.com    Tel. 020 7624 3978

Anything else? Yes, click here to watch the trailer for the on-the-ground Kensington walk. And click here for a little podcast David did about Kensington of old, really old.

Encore: Yes, Kensington is Kensington Palace and Millionaires’ Row and Kensington Gardens and the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Square. But it’s also soigne little lanes and cobblestoned mews, and sensational roof gardens and tiny galleries and wonderful little shops and antiques showrooms and London’s most exquisite cul de sac and fine old pubs and cottages and centuries of architectural flavours and no end of curiosities. It’s London’s smallest borough. And its wealthiest.