The Heart of the City

(24 customer reviews)

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

Guided by Ann or Chris or Judy or Richard III

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Saturday Weekly 2 pm 4 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

Nitty gritty first, mood music second…  Iconic City buildings – the Gherkin, the Cheesegrater, Lloyds. London a world centre for business, finance, insurance, shipping – now, and across the centuries. Where to insure your voice, your hands, your next Space Mission. The secrets of the nation’s gold – and perhaps yours too? Churches where Londoners have worshipped for centuries. A1 walk. (Yes, we’ll explain what that means. Lots of takeaway nuggets on this walk, one of which is getting you au fait with City of London lingo.)

Meet your guide. Click here for Ann’s podcast. (Think of the walk as the Command Module; Ann’s podcast is the Lunar Module.)

Ok, mood music time: London. 2,000 years old. Higgledy-piggledy. History haunted. Secretive in the extreme. A labyrinth where the past lurks in the present. Aggressively modern when you look up. A tear in space-time when you peer round this corner or go down that alley. A city that preserves features – like so many geological strata – of its earlier selves. A city that’s not easy to figure out – you don’t reap London in one traverse. Why bother? you ask. Here’s why: 1) London’s of world-historical importance and 2) depths, intricacies and secrets are always interesting. Bottom line: this is a great walk. It’s the London labyrinth and London highlights and the shaping past. You’ll see both the hoary old City and today’s London. Best of all, you’ll see into them. N.B. the walk ends in Guildhall Yard, a very short walk from St. Paul’s Tube Stop.


The Heart of the City walk takes place every Saturday at 2 pm. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Tower Hill Tube (meet by the “Tower Hill Tram” coffee stall).


Here’s a baker’s dozen, a sampling. Important thing to remember is it’s just a sneak peek. There’s lots more than this.

1. a dense network of small streets and alleys weaving between the main thoroughfares

2. Victorian palazzi, a streetscape “as peaceful as an Italian town at siesta time”

3. an unfurling panorama that demonstrates perfectly why, in the words of one historian of city planning, “the compactness of a 2000-year-old urban core is fortuitously well suited to the operation of a globalised financial service centre.”

4. one of the few City churches to survive the Great Fire

5. a hilltop in whose “stony soil lie some of the oldest bits of London”

6. the oldest arch in the City of London

7. the building that changed public perception of tall buildings in London

8. the first of the City’s railway termini (and its “air-rights” development)

9. London’s boldest piece of architectural art (properly integrated into the project rather than a pointless add-on)

10. “a welcome restatement of the City tradition of lanes and alleys

11. a cesspit “impregnated with putrid animal and excrementitious matter”

12. there’s seeing these buildings and “seeing” them. You “see” them when you understand the relationship they achieve with their neighbours. That’s another takeaway this walk serves up

13. this place: “even today one can sense the impact this structure must have had when new, towering over the mean timber houses of the city”

And that’s just for starters, a taster…

It’s the Sky Garden. Perfect “fit” with this walk. Apres walk. Free to go up. But you have to book.


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


Don’t just take it from us.


24 reviews for The Heart of the City

  1. Michael Herbert

    I thoroughly enjoyed Ann’s Heart of the City London Walk. She is friendly, very professional and knowledgeable about the City of London. Its really interesting part of London and the place where the Roman’s.first settled. Well done and thanks for such a fascinating afternoon.

  2. Michael Herbert

    I thoroughly enjoyed Ann’s Heart of the City London Walk. She is friendly, very professional and knowledgeable about the City of London. Its really interesting part of London and the place where the Roman’s.first settled. Well done and thanks for such an interesting afternoon.

  3. Sue M

    From the 17thC coffee houses to the Cheesgrater we learned so much about how and why this tiny area has played such an outsized role in not just the UK’s but the world’s economy, and how its denizens have worked, played, eaten and worshipped over the centuries (126 churches in the square mile?!). A fascinating dip into history and architecture via Ann’s entertaining and content rich presentation.

  4. Jim Weatherbee

    Both walks we took, first the Jack the Ripper with guide Andrew was exceptional in its story telling and in the history of London. As first time visitors to London, this was a must walk. The second under guide Ann was both informative and interesting.

  5. Susan

    A fascinating and insightful couple of hours spent walking with Ann around the City of London on Saturday, for me and my two friends. Ann has a wealth of knowledge about the area and kept us highly entertained with both informative facts and related tales! We covered what seemed to be a large area, finding side streets, secret gardens and buildings new and old, about which Ann revealed stories and secrets from their past and more recent history. Excellent value for money. We intend to try out a few more walks now too!

  6. Justin

    A very pleasant and interesting few hours walking the lanes and streets of the City of London on a Saturday afternoon. Ann who is a brilliant guide, who brings the past to the present with great stories and has great architectural knowledge of modern buildings. I absolutely recommend this walk and be prepared for unexpected delights, such as seeing a wedding party leaving an ancient City church. Thanks Ann

  7. Una

    Great walk around the quiet streets of City of London on a Saturday. Learnt a lot about the iconic buildings and their architects. Loved the mix of old and new.

  8. Moji

    Simply can’t fault it and strongly recommended to everyone even those who might think know the city.
    Loads to learn and discover particularly guided by Ann who’s very knowledgeable, kind and patient and always ready to go extra miles…
    All in all nothing less than 5 star!
    Thank you Ann

  9. Mrs Carter

    A brilliant couple of hours spent in Anne’s company. Not too long or wordy and our 13 year old son loved it. Plenty of facts and history rolled together. Money well spent.

  10. Patrick Going

    Anne gave us fantastic tour of the City and despite having worked in the City for the last 35 years it was great to learn more about the Square Mile’s hidden streets and historical secrets. We all had a great time and look forward to other tours of London

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