London’s Spymasters

(31 customer reviews)

St James's Park Underground Station (Broadway/Petty France exit)

Guided by Dan Parry

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
28 January 2023 Tour du Jour 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Reserve Online
25 February 2023 Tour du Jour 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Reserve Online
25 March 2023 Tour du Jour 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Winter Reserve Online

Step into the shadows of Westminster and discover covert locations where spies, assassins and duplicitous double agents plied their trade. Visiting the smartest corners of London, we peer into a murky world marked by treason and treachery, betrayal and murder.

From the wartime HQ of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to the exceptionally discreet apartment of C, (‘M ‘in the Bond films), we walk in the footsteps of officers and agents who shaped history. Some of them managed Enigma – WWII’s greatest secret; others deviously created the biggest deception operation of the war. Some planned covert Cold War actions, a few gave away information on all of the above and one or two recently revealed GCHQ’s modern-day London secrets. Visiting shadowy locations that are rarely visited, we pass Ian Fleming’s wartime office, the glamorous house once used by SIS as a recruitment centre and the beautiful garden that witnessed an ugly assassination. Guided by Dan Parry

“For decades to come the spy world will continue to be the collective couch where the subconscious of each nation is confessed.” – John le Carre

Want to find out more about wonderful Westminster? Check out our other Westminster tours.

31 reviews for London’s Spymasters

  1. Janyce Welch

    Fantastic Walk on Saturday called Spymasters lead by the equally fantastic, Dan Parry. Very informative and enjoyable , must do it again as cannot remember all the facts 😂

  2. Roger Tapper

    Brilliant entertaining modern history lesson. A reminder of all the dastardly deeds that go on
    without our knowledge.

  3. Imelda

    Engrossed from start to finish and so thoroughly knowledgeable and enjoyable. Dan wove the stories together so that there was an almost seamless transition across stories and ages and names. The time flew by and it was a most enjoyable experience in the presence of someone who knows his subject well. Can’t wait to do it again sometime we enjoyed it so much.

  4. John Ashmele

    Dan Parry’s talk on London Spies started in glorious sunshine at St. James Park station and finished at Green Park station two hours later. He led us past buildings that at one time housed the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a GCHQ out-station, and various other secret establishments. He led us past the former home of Captain Sir Mansfield George Smith-Cumming, who served as the first chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and was the original ‘C’. Dan introduced us to the authors Ian Fleming and John le Carré, who were also spies in their own right having received ‘a tap on the shoulder and a quiet word’. As well as the activities of the double-agents Kim Philby, Donald McClean and Guy Burgess, we were shown the various haunts of these spies including the hotels, gentlemen’s clubs and safe-houses. Dan talked engagingly and with humour: a walk that I would certainly recommend.

  5. Will Y

    Dan Parry’s history walks are incredible – informative, entertaining and highly recommended! You’ll learn much from a London Walks jaunt with Dan – and how he retains his near encyclopaedic knowledge of facts and little known histories is beyond me – but that’s not to imply you’ll be receiving a dry history lecture. Dan’s playful and friendly delivery of fun, thrilling and shocking accounts of the city’s turbulent and at times downright quirky history are as lively and vibrant as the locations you’ll tread upon. At each stop through a trek around some of the most memorable London locations, stepping over bridges where aspiring spies met and in front of mansions where deals were done, Dan always brings these events to life. I couldn’t recommend this walk more.

  6. Phil

    I’ve done quite a few London Walks now and this is one of the best. Really interesting delve into London’s spy past. Highly recommended.

  7. Phillip

    There are walks and there are walks, today’s London Spymasters with Dan Parry is right up there with the nest. Knowledgable, entertaining and the information added at a pace for most to understand. London Walks have several spy walks and this was excellent. More pieces of information all fitting that puzzle of the secret services and the spies themselves. What happened to them and how the ‘old boy’s’ network played such a part in recruitment and ultimate betrayals. If you want to know more go and walk. I am following up with a Vesper Martini and Little White Mouse – if you do the walk you will find out more.

  8. Robert Livingstone-Ward

    So I knew a little about spies – fact and fiction – but what I really wanted when I came to London from Brisbane as an Aussie tourist was to hear from someone who really knew about the spyworld. Someone with credentials. You know – like an author, doco-maker and BBC jounro. I could have walked past numerous non-descript buildings, but Dan stopped at same and explained that, behind the facade, was some deep dark secret. It was grea. For an ameteur like me, Dan mentioned varoius touchstones, but then embellished them with real characters. Fascinating. That aside – professionally run. Email communication. Contactless/card payment. Easy to locate ( for an incompetent sleuth like me). Loved it – thanks Dan!

  9. Chris B

    Great walk! Dan’s energy, subject knowledge and first hand accounts of meeting some of the characters involved in these escapades really brought the walk to life. You can feel the history! Lovely part of London to explore as well.

  10. Iris

    An amazing tour through the London neighbourhoods which are filled with WWII and Cold War spy stories. Mr Parry is a very pleasant guide with lots of detailed information on the stories we all want to learn about!

  11. Catherine N.

    Would very much recommend this tour. Dan is an excellent storyteller and knows his stuff. He weaves through the decades and includes some lesser known facts. Two hours very well spent with a very engaging guide, with some jokes and witty asides.

  12. Mick Oldham

    So much information from start to finish, and Dan delivers with a wonderfully dry wit!
    Covers all the famous names from the Cold War, as well as many more that I wasn’t even vaguely aware of.
    Lots of buildings whose usage you would never guess.
    Highly recommended

  13. Deborah Hillman

    Really recommend this – such an interesting walk; Dan has an incredible depth of knowledge and passion for his subject! Fantastic day out.

  14. Julie Maybrick

    Great tour – Dan was very knowledgeable and interesting. We had a big group but Dan could be heard and ensured none of the group missed anything. Fascinating subject and made us think about historic and current day espionage. Highly recommended.

  15. GP

    A fascinating walk full of well-researched insights about London’s role in history of espionage told by a very knowledgeable guide that provides a new perspective on Westminster’s key places

  16. Robin

    This is an excellent walk for anyone interested in the murky world of espionage, whether you know loads or just have a passing interest. Dan brings history to life by showing us where WW2 or Cold War spy plans were hatched and even uncovered. Two hours really well spent with a very well informed guide.

  17. Monica

    Dan’s knowledge is amazing and he is an awesome storyteller. Though I worked in the area that was covered in the walk, I learnt so much new stuff about the places I walked past daily. Dan is passionate about the subject matter, researches thoroughly and makes the walk so interesting that it leaves you wanting more. Very enjoyable indeed. Thank you, Dan.
    I highly recommend this walk.

  18. Chris

    Two hours breezed by in a minute. A great walk full of fascinating historical detail and profiles of the personalities involved. As a writer and film maker on the topic, Dan was exceptionally knowledgeable. He was also welcoming, likeable, considerate of his tour group and of others. Someone he also managed to have great weather. Highly recommended.

  19. David Gollancz

    A fascinating and revealing insight into the secret world, leavened with Dan Parry’s humour and charm.

  20. Chris Riley

    What a spellbinding tour of Britain’s clandestine world of espionage, from a guide who has lived and breathed these stories. Dan’s first-hand accounts of his own brushes with some of the spies, whose footsteps we were walking in, adds an extra frisson to this thrilling walk. It felt at times like we were all part of these spy plots too.

  21. Jessica Sallabank

    Great walk jammed full of historical facts, colourful stories and evocative locations. Even as a Londoner this walk introduced me to places I had never seen or noticed before and is brilliantly brings London’s spy history to life. Dan is clearly passionate about his subject and has cleverly put together a tour that transports you back in time to the height of the Cold War and other key periods in British history. Walking through St James’s park will never be the same again! Recommended!

  22. Jackie

    Fascinating walk. Highly recommended for anyone. The guide Dan is so interesting and knowledgeable. It was a shame when the tour ended as l could have listened for 2 more hours.

  23. Simon Bishop

    Really interesting walk, full of facts. Dan(the guide) really knew his stuff! Will definitely be recommending.

  24. Jacq

    We booked this last minute and were so pleased we had. Having been on many London walks Dan’s was certainly up there with the best. His depth of knowledge was excellent and his delivery was great. Lots of information but not over dramatic. Despite this being one of the first he’s done we couldn’t fault him. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in espionage.

  25. Sean M

    Fascinating stories of London’s active spy community and how they have emerged in popular culture. Dan is enormously well informed and highly entertaining. Put this walk at the top of your list.

  26. Tom

    Dan was excellent. Really knowledgable on the subject and took us to some places that I have never seen. Being walked through an area of London I thought I was familiar with was absolutely brilliant, to look at details and know the history and epic events that took place behind these grand and beautiful buildings was really eye-opening. Spanned across time and Dan really brought it to life. Excellent tour and would highly recommend it to anyone.

  27. John A

    My son and I went on the 29th Spy Walk with Dan and had an excellent time. The two hours sped by and Dan led the group superbly with his real life experience as well as his storytelling skills. All the content was fascinating and showed us a different world that we would never have realised was going on around us. Really recommended and suitable for my 15 year old. I’m definitely following up with a visit to sample a proper James Bond martini in one of the hotels that Dan showed us.

  28. Julie England

    Some people just have a knack to tell a story, when that person is so knowledgeable and passionate about his subject it makes for a very interesting walk. Great route around St. James’s in Westminster, you see all the sights, but hear about buildings you would have just walked right past, you never know what goes on behind the scenes, Dan reveals some hidden secrets of the past few decades, shocking, funny and fascinating, suits all ages, 2 hours very well spent, thanks Dan

  29. Stephen King

    Great tour! Dan really knows his spies and is a super friendly guide. Strongly recommended.

  30. C C

    A fun walk with lots of spicy details on spies and their adventures.
    Dan is extremely knowledgeable and tells his stories with great humor.
    Bravo

  31. Maria M.

    Wow, this walk is amazing, completely outstanding and an absolute must do for anyone who is interested in London’s undercover spy network. You will hear stories told by the brilliant Dan that you have never heard before. Better than any fictitious spy novel you might have read. Places that you have never seen before or even knew existed despite the fact they are in one of London’s most elegant and busiest areas. Buildings where spies operated from that were only revealed a few years ago, hiding in plain sight! Stories of competence, amazing intelligence operations and incompetence and sheer luck at times. Places of murder and where potential recruits got their “tap on the shoulder”. All here in Dan’s walk, wonderfully told with humour and immense depth of knowledge. Highly recommended!

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