Short read: Magic casement into olde worlde…
Shaughan read: “My favourite walk of all. Quiet gardens, a truly eclectic architectural rattle-bag and a glorious roll-call of British eccentrics: the Wits, the Windbags and Wayward Wigs. The cream of English intellect as it battles over Wives, Writs, Wills, Widows and Wrecks. Find out what happened when Tony met Cherie! Meet Rumpole! And as these are private grounds – a privilege to be able to show you round m’lud. And hear the verdict at the end in the High Court.” Thus spake Guide Shaughan.
And Guide Shaughan spake (speaks) here as well: Legal London Podcast 1. And here: Legal London Podcast 2.
Long read: The Inns of Court – habitat of the wigged and gowned English barrister – could pass for a collection of Oxford and Cambridge colleges right in the heart of London. They’re a warren of cloisters, courtyards, and passageways set amongst some of the best gardens in London.
So: ancient rites and customs, high drama, colourful characters, and matters of life and death amid delightful surroundings. It’s a rich confection, making this the prettiest and most historical of our central London walks. Welcome to London’s legal enclave.
INNS OF COURT TOUR – THE PRACTICALS
Legal & Illegal London – the Inns of Court takes place at 2 pm every Monday and at 11 am every Wednesday.
The meeting point is just outside the main exit of Holborn Tube.
The main exit is on Kingsway. Holborn Tube, which is on the corner of Kingsway and High Holborn, has two exits. The side exit goes out onto High Holborn. The main exit – the one you want – goes out onto Kingsway. The guide will be standing just outside the main exit, the Kingsway exit, holding up copies of the distinctive white London Walks leaflet. If you take the Tube to Holborn Tube Station go up the escalator, go through the ticket barrier and go straight ahead. You’ll come out onto Kingsway, right where you need to be to meet the guide.
On Mondays the walk is guided by Shaughan. On Wednesdays it’s guided by Karen or Molly.
The walk ends at or just over the way from the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, near Temple Tube.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE GUIDING
Don’t just take it from us…
INNS OF COURT VIRTUAL TOURS
We do two very different ones. Click here to read about Jackie’s. And click here to hear her guiding a bit of it.
And click here to read about Richard III’s. And click here to hear Richard guiding his.
LONDON WALKS VIDEO
Want a preview of the Inns of Court walk? Watch this little handheld video. It’ll give you a pretty good idea of the “like nowhere else” territory the walk explores – where it goes, the doors it opens, the secret little passageways and courtyards it threads its way through.
LONDON WALKS REVIEWS
“Best Tourism Experience in London” Gold Medal Winner, Visit London
“We selected the ‘Legal and Illegal’ walk to discover the four Inns of Court where Barristers have their chambers. Our guide was Angela, an actress. Her knowledge of the Inns of Court and their history was encyclopaedic. She made the tour utterly fascinating and she brought her theatrical training to bear. She needed no microphone as her delivery was clear, bright and concise and not without a good deal of humour. She was an absolute delight. The two hours tour flew past. I have in the past lived in London and worked not too far from where the walk was centred but never imagined such places existed and so close to the main thoroughfares that cross the City. I will certainly be trying more of these walks in the future, but for the sheer joy of Angela’s wonderful tour you really must do this one.” Silverdale15 Stockport, United Kingdom
“Did this walk with Angela on Friday. So interesting and got to see a most beautiful part of London you would otherwise miss. Angela was great and told us so much. We certainly got to know what she thought of the present government (not much!). But that’s good. Better than being dull. Will certainly do another walk sometime and would highly recommend this walk. Joan T. Wigg Bingley, United Kingdom 24 Feb. 2020
Dr Paul A Reilly –
On a warm, bright autumnal day in London the Inns of Courts walk was a huge pleasure, and Simon was both informative and amusing, not to mention patient with such a large group. The ancient buildings and associated gardens and lanes are all very beautiful and historic. I am sure we will come up to London to do more such walking tours. And at £10 for those over 65 the afternoon was a real bargain.
Gary Paprocki –
Excellent tour in every way. Our guide Simon was great!
Lorraine and Henry –
We did the Inns of Court walk this morning 22 October 2022 with Simon Law guiding. It was fascinating and Simon’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject together with his wit made for a most enjoyable walk, and from which we gained much knowledge. Highly recommended. Thank you Simon. Looking forward to more walks with you in the future.
Lorraine and Henry –
We did the Inns of Court walk this morning with Simon Law. It was fascinating and Simon’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject together with his wit made for a most enjoyable walk, and from which we gained much knowledge. Highly recommended. Thank you Simon. Looking forward to more walks with you in the future.
A brilliant tour with a brilliant guide. I’ve been on walks with Shaughan before and he’s great. Full of knowledge and humour and his acting skills are a bonus when he’s telling some great stories. Highly recommended. Any man that was in an episode of Rumpole Of The Bailey (like Shaughan) deserves 5 stars but Shaughan deserves 5 stars for the walk too.
I took the Inns of Court walk this morning with Molly and it was absolutely brilliant. She’s a gem. Both knowledgeable and entertaining. I did the walk because I’m reading Bleak House and thought it would be nice. It really was. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see quiet corners in the middle of busy noisy London, and learn a bit of history.
Lisa & Günter –
The Inns of Court walk last week with Simon was very interesting, spiked with fascinating historical facts and presented in a most entertaining way by our guide. We recommend this walk to anyone visiting London!
Julie Durling –
We did the Inns of Court walk today (20th june). We really enjoyed the walk, and the guide was very informative and entertaining. We learnt so much about the area and the legal profession.
The only complaint we have is the walk was too short. It states on the website walks last two hours. Ours was over in an hour and a half, and we felt the guide couldn’t wait to leave. We have done other London walks and felt this one was not value for money.
Margaret Creigh –
Really enjoyed the Inns of Court walk. Informative and well presented by Molly. Will look out for other interesting London walk. My son ,Matthew (a law student St Glasgow) really enjoyed the detailed knowledge. Thank you.
Very interesting walk with Simon who was funny & knowledgeable
Robert G. Ingram –
Simon Law’s Inns of Court tour for a group of American students was terrific. Will absolutely bringing students back for tours with Simon in the future.
Thea Hitzemann-Becker –
Wonderful and entertaining walk, which gave us a lot of new informations about this fascinating area. Highly recommendable! We are looking forward to join Molly in her other walks.
Kreisel-Büstgens Christiane –
We did the walk Inns of court last Wednesday with Molly. She speaks a brilliant English and we loved to hear her speech full of knowledge and spirit!
Kreisel-Büstgens Christiane –
We had the walk “Inns of court” with Molly last Wednesday. Her speech and knowledge were brilliant, even as a German I could understand easily her lovely English.
Excellent and interesting walk guided by Molly (who I think has a beautiful speaking voice which adds to the experience ). This was my first London walk but I will certainly be back for more.
Gill Hannington –
I did this walk with Molly on 6th April and really enjoyed it, particularly as it took me to parts of London I didn’t know existed. The history was fascinating and Molly was a great guide; very informative and interesting. I have already recommended this walk to several friends.
Sue Rogers –
Yesterday was the third London walk my two friends and I have done now and we have not been disappointed. The talk was fascinating, and our guide Molly’s knowledge of the topic and area superb. She kept us thoroughly entertained for the 2 hours. So many nooks and crannies in London we would never know existed if not for these tours. Would whole heartedly recommend any of the walks. Look forward to the next one.
Teresa M. –
My favorite was Legal London, led by Shaughan. I loved his juicy little titbits about barrister F. E. Smith!
Shaughan Seymour –
Had to happen sooner or later I suppose.
Which is by way of saying, I have been leading this tour for 30 years and this is the first complaint I have received.
Anyway, so very sorry you didn’t enjoy the Legal Walk I led on Monday. You took issue with the fact that it only took 90 minutes and I seemed to be anxious to get home. That wasn’t the case and all was well in the kitchen at Chez Seymour. That said, I do speak fairly rapidly (brevity is the soul of wit and all of that – so I was of course pleased to hear that “the delivery was clear”) and tend not to spend too much time in lengthy exposition on what is a complicated subject. I readily admit I go with the BBC maxim “Inform and entertain” and pepper the commentary with as many humorous anecdotes as possible. I’d be the first to admit I’m more of a “Mozart” than a “Wagner “ in style. Anyway, bears repeating, I’m so sorry you were disappointed with the tour. If you’d like a refund just get in touch – I’ll be happy to return your money to you.
Given that this is my favourite walk of all, I hope it’s all right if I give it five stars!
Very disappointing. Shaughan was our guide today and we were left feeling like he must have left something on in the kitchen – he was in such a rush to finish (half an hour short). Although his delivery was clear and he did show his prowess as an actor with some anecdotes, it felt like he really didn’t care. No engagement at all. If I hadn’t done 3 other London Walks which were delivered with passion and humour, I seriously would not be returning.
Sue and Howard Bloom –
What a wonderful tour of the Inns of Court we were lucky enough to have with the brilliant Simon. He was extremely knowledgeable and extremely amusing. The tour was a joy, and by the end of it we felt had learned so much about the subject and had also had a thoroughly entertaining afternoon. Many thanks to Simon.
Simon’s enthusiasm for the topic alongside his charismatic character provided a tour which enthused one to consider visits to other venues. Cambridge and Brighton are certainly ones on my agenda. Blue Badge Tours should be advertised more widely because their guides are extremely knowledgeable, wonderfully entertaining and seek guidance from their participants as to the continued process of the tour.
Maybe details of this service could be made available through the Mayor of London and advertisement on buses. Well done Simon and all other blue badge guides.
Linda James –
Simon’s tour today was both informative and enjoyable. Lots of interesting information given in an entertaining and humorous way. Thinking of doing the Cambridge tour soon. Thanks for a very pleasant afternoon.
Brilliant tour today with Simon. Very knowledgeable and engaging throughout. Good sense of humour. Thank you .
A thoroughly entertaining couple of hours led by the fascinating, charismatic and entertaining Simon. He took us into the heart of the legal system in London and gave us detailed information on the history of The Inns of Court. Highly recommend!
Lynsey Creamer –
Had the pleasure of Simon guiding us through the Inns of Court walk today. What a fascinating tour! Simon is entertaining, knowledgable and considerate, took time to know his group where possible and related facts where relevant to each of us. We had been recommended this walk by another guide Adam and it did not disappoint. We love London Walks and have always enjoyed every walk. We are booking another again for tomorrow!
Inns of Court walk with Simon, thoroughly enjoyable to shelter from the hustle and bustle of High Holborn and discover the charming Inns and the history and functioning of parts of the British legal system. Simon had great knowledge, made the walk really enjoyable and also brought a great sense of humour. He was able to supplement the subject with funny and interesting personal anecdotes.
Alan Brown –
Excellent and extremely informative walk on the Inns of Court. The guide, Simon Law, was superb and provided many interesting facts not only about the Inns but included their history, the legal practices & people both past and present. Simon delivered the right balance of information with a light hearted approach too. Unfortunately we couldn’t complete this walk as our son’s partner was being graduated at the adjacent Law Society where we were able to provide her with some interesting “hot off the press” facts from Simon!
Please consider this walk – you will not be disappointed.
Many thanks again, Alan
Menna Hill –
Great tour today with Simon.
Nick Sermon –
Great tour on 10th January with Simon – extremely knowledgeable and very personable. I especially liked the literary contexts with Charles Dickens. Very entertaining and I learned a lot! I can’t wait to try out other tours when I am back in London.
jacqueline hollidge –
Inns of Court 29/12. One of the best walks I have done. We were so lucky to have such a fun and informative guide Simon.
Thanks for such a great tour, I would thoroughly recommend it.
Marie Olive –
Very informative and entertaining tour with Simon today. Highly recommended!
Geoffrey Peter Marshall –
I did the walk on Wednesday the 15th of December. Molly was the tour guide. It was a walk I had wanted to do for many years, and I had researched the history prior to doing the tour. Molly was an excellent guide, she made the tour informative but not complicated. I thoroughly recommend this tour especially if you want to see a hidden part of London, that is right in the heart of the old city.
Neil Byrne –
We took the Inns of Court tour with the appropriately named Simon Law. Of all the tours we have taken Simon is without doubt the most intelligent, funniest and friendly tour guide we have ever had the pleasure to come across. No question was too trivial for him and we enjoyed the odd belly laugh at his jokes. Strongly recommend getting yourself on one of Simon’s tours.
Robert Fitton –
St Paul’s Cathedral. With guide Isabel
Robert Fitton –
Inns of court walk with Simon. Really interesting.
Just to say Shaughan was magnificent today, when I joined his trip. There were only two of us, but nonetheless he gave a top-class performance. Very much enjoyed it: he is a real star turn. I learned a lot and was entertained at the same time.
Hilary Potter –
Brilliant, well-informed tour with Simon. Well worth another go!
Alec Anderson –
Simon is a great tour guide and we thoroughly enjoyed our walk with him. Highly recommended,
Jenny Ketteringham –
This was a very interesting an enjoyable walk. The guide, Simon was excellent. An extremely knowledgable and entertaining guide who set a lively pace and involved all the walkers. I would certainly join other walks with him.
Angela Stone –
An extremely interesting tour. Our guide, Simon, was well-informed, personable, friendly and a talented raconteur. A highly enjoyable few hours and would definitely recommend it.
Amelia Fairney –
We just did the Inns of Court walk with Simon who was an incredibly knowledgeable, funny and engaging guide. It was a fascinating insight into the legal history of London which left our minds buzzing with quirky facts and nuggets of information. Highly recommend!