Walks that I offer:
These are ten of the most popular walking tours that I can lead in London, each taking up to 2 hours.
1. St PAUL'S CATHEDRAL - (it's cold and raining and I only have two hours to spare!)
In 1981 Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married at St Paul's Cathedral and it is here that the nation has celebrated and commemorated many special occasions. Go back to A.D.604 and the first Cathedral on the site, and learn what a 'Cathdra' is, why Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt the Cathedral we see today, and how it has changed since 1710 - with 2010 being the 300th anniversary of its completion. See some of its wonderful treasures - paintings, carvings and sculptures, and hear of two royal weddings and three State funerals that have taken place here, including that of Sir Winston Churchill. St Paul's has a unique place in the heart of the nation - find out why for yourself. [Subject to the Cathedral being open - and not available on Sundays. There is a small entrance fee, although discounts may be available. Meet at St Paul's Underground station].
From the pagan festival to the Christian Christmas, from carols to Christmas cards, from turkeys to Bob Cratchit. This walk takes us from St Paul's Cathedral past the remains of the Roman wall and amphitheatre, Wren Churches, the Bank of England and the financial heart of the City to Leadenhall Market, the former site of the Roman Basilica and Forum. It's a fun walk especially suitable for families and can include a simple quiz and prizes.
Explore the Alleys along Fleet Street and learn how printing came to, and left the area. See the 'wedding cake' Church, Dr Johnson's cat 'Hodge', and hear about famous and infamous characters who lived here - including its most famous parrot. From St Paul's past a historic Livery Hall, Wren Churches, former prisons and a hidden river to the 19th and 20th century centre of printing and the newspapers. We end by the Law Courts or, if you wish, the Temple and its Templar Church. Starting from St Paul's Underground station.
Explore the darker side of the City of London as we pass medieval monasteries, the site of the infamous Newgate prison [now the Old Bailey-England's Central Criminal Court], the path of the Roman wall, and the site of the pub used by 'body-snatchers', to the 'smoothfield' used for jousting, a horse and a cattle market as well as burnings. See the Church whose parish is England's oldest hospital, having been on the same site from A.D.1123, to St Bartholomew-the-Great, often used for film locations, as you will find out. Starting point St Paul's Underground station and ending at Barbican station.
From the River Thames and the arrival of the Romans to the Jews and Lombards. From Coffee shops to the modern financial institutions of today's City. Find out why London became, and remains, a global financial centre learning about Lloyd's Register, the Baltic Exchange, the London Metal Exchange, Lloyds of London, the Banks and the Stock Exchange. We will pass the Tower of London and Tower Hill as well as the back alleys and major City streets, Livery Companies, Wren Churches and historic links to the Romans, the 11th Century Normans, the East India Company of 1600, as we go. From Tower Hilll Underground station to Bank station.
As we pass Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, look at 10 Downing Street [the home of the British Prime Minister] and Government offices, we will learn about how Government came to Westminster and how it operates today with its 'constitutional monarch' at its head. We will see Royal Parks and palaces as well as find out where Churchill directed Britain's war effort at its 'darkest hour', from an underground bunker [the Cabinet War Rooms]. Find out about royal pageants from the State opening of Parliament to the Changing of the Guard. We will see Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace, starting the walk at Westminster Undergound station and ending the walk at Green Park Underground station, opposite the Ritz on Piccadilly.
If the City of London is where you make the money, the 'West End' is where you spend it. If you love shopping, this walk is for you as it will take you from the exclusive Bond Street clothes shops to the Apple Store in Regent Street and Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, ending with St James's and the exclusive shops for the gentlemen of the adjacent London clubs. We will pass some famous Churches and a Royal Palace as well as learn about two of London's major land owners i.e. the Grosvenor Estate and the Crown Estate, and find out how the 'West End' developed and is continuing to change. From Bond Street Undergrond station to Green Park Underground.
Most Londoners do not know the area of Paddington and its significance in the history of the development of canals, the horse drawn tram, and the first underground train. We will also learn about the Great Western Railway and the role of Brunel with his many firsts in engineering feats - railways, boats, bridges and tunnels.Right beside the station is one of London's most significant urban regeneration projects linking the station to the exclusive 'Little Venice' residential area, where you find the homes of celebrities past and present. See where penicillin was discovered and the royal princes were born.The walk is full of surprises. Starting and ending at Paddington Station.
One of the most popular requests is a walk designed specially for you. Whether your interest is in Spitalfields & Brick Lane or the grand houses of Belgravia, the lost rivers of the Fleet & Tyburn or the Wren City Churches, it should be possible to design a special walk for you. Let me know what you want to see and I can make some suggestions.
As I am a Londoner with a detailed local knowledge, I will really enjoy working with you to make your time in London special.
Walking tours for groups of up to 10 people are £50 for 2 hours, and £5 per head for groups of over 10 people.
Visitors to London can be collected from hotels.
Driving sheep over London Bridge