London Walks connecting.
This… is London.
Story time. History time.
Flash that neon sign again. London Walks. Streets Ahead.
And so we come purring into 2024.
And I can’t think of a better way of getting the 2024 London Walks podcast show on the road than handing over to Ann for the latest of her feline felicities. In her words, another of her occasional wanders through the cat world.
So just sit back and enjoy. You’re going to hear about some of the latest research. You’re going to hear about Nepo-Cats. You’re going to be apprised how you can tell a cat’s happy by its facial expressions. And indeed its facial expressions that are a warning shot across the bows – because Felix is not a happy bunny.
Another of Ann’s ‘occasional wanders through the cat world’. Cat research. How you can tell a cat’s happy by its facial expressions. And indeed, you’re about to learn how many distinct facial expressions a cat has. You’ll be flabbergasted. And it’s a factoid you’ll certainly share with your family and friends, even if they’re a dog person.
This little soupcon is of course a trailer for Ann’s next Cat Tails Walk. It’s the only Cat Walk in London. And as far as we know, the only Cat Walk in the world. And hey, maybe in the universe. It takes place on January 7th at 10.30 am. The meeting point is just outside exit 4 of Westminster Underground Station. Full particulars on www.walks.com. Here’s Ann with her Cat podcast. No, make that here’s Ann with her Catcast.
[Ann’s first 2024 podcast on Cats follows]
You’ve been listening to This… is London, the London Walks podcast. Emanating from www.walks.com –
home of London Walks,
walking tour company.
London’s local, time-honoured, fiercely independent, family-owned, just-the-right-size
walking tour company.
And as long as we’re at it,
London’s multi-award-winning walking tour company. Indeed, London’s only award-winning walking tour company.
And here’s the secret: London Walks is essentially run as a guides’ cooperative.
That’s the key to everything.
It’s the reason we’re able to attract and keep the best guides in London. You can get schlubbers to do this for £20 a walk. But you cannot get world-class guides – let alone accomplished professionals.
It’s not rocket science:
you get what you pay for.
And just as surely,
you also get what you don’t pay for.
Back in 1968 when we got started
we quickly came to a fork in the road. We had to answer a searching question:
Do we want to make the most money? Or do we want to be the best walking tour company in the world?
You want to make the most money you go the schlubbers route. You want to be the best walking tour company in the world
you do whatever you have to do
to attract and keep
the best guides in London –
you want them guiding for you,
not for somebody else.
the way we’re structured –
a guides’ cooperative –
is the key to the whole thing.
It’s the reason for all those awards, it’s the reason people who know go with London Walks, it’s the reason we’ve got a big following,
a lively, loyal, discerning following – quality attracts quality.
It’s the reason we’re able – uniquely – to front our walks with accomplished, in many cases
By way of example, Stewart Purvis, the former Editor
(and subsequently CEO) of Independent Television News.
And Lisa Honan, who had a distinguished career as a diplomat (Lisa was the Governor of St Helena, the island where Napoleon breathed his last and, some say, had his penis amputated –
Napoleon didn’t feel a thing – if thing’s the mot juste – he was dead.)
Stewart and Lisa –
both of them CBEs –
are just a couple of our headline acts.
Or take our Ripper Walk. It’s the creation of the world’s leading expert on Jack the Ripper, Donald Rumbelow, the author of the definitive book on the subject. Britain’s most distinguished crime historian, Donald is, in the words of The Jack the Ripper A to Z,“internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper.” Donald’s emeritus now but he’s still the guiding light on our Ripper Walk. He curates the walk. He trains up and mentors our Ripper Walk guides. Fields any and all questions they throw at him.
The London Walks All-Star team of guides includes a former London Mayor. It includes the former Chief Music Critic for the Evening Standard. It includes the Chair of the Association of Professional Tour Guides. And the former chair of the Guild of Guides.
It includes barristers, doctors, geologists, museum curators, archaeologists, historians,
criminal defence lawyers,
Royal Shakespeare Company actors,
a bevy of MVPs, Oscar winners (people who’ve won the big one, the Guide of the Year Award)…
well, you get the idea.
As that travel writer famously put it, “if this were a golf tournament,
every name on the Leader Board would be a London Walks guide.”
And as we put it: London Walks Guides make the new familiar
and the familiar new.
And on that agreeable note…
come then, let us go forward together on some great London Walks.
And that’s by way of saying, Good walking and Good Londoning
one and all. See ya next time.