On this blog I aim to publish unique features on London that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet: photos, maps and plans that have never published online before, I sometimes review restaurants and books that haven’t been reviewed elsewhere, I also try and identify new sculptures, exhibitions, events and attractions that I can’t find other references to and so forth. Any interesting London subject that catches my eye and is “new” is likely to get a blog post.
In a similar spirit, on my walking tours I try to show people things they would be unlikely to find for themselves, stuff that doesn’t feature in the guidebooks, the weird and wonderful curiosities of this great city.
I have just launched some unique new walks in London.
I am also launching a newsletter for anyone who is interested in hearing about unusual new walks in the future.
Bizarre Bowes Park
This little area of North London is a total mystery to most Londoners and is certainly completely off the traditional tourist trail. Yet this bit of suburban London is packed with interest. In August and September a small and intrepid group of us will be exploring an area that few visitors ever have.
On our mornings in Bowes Park we will see Ovi the dinosaur, an odd collection of eagles, view London’s most interesting underpants, see part of The New River and a ramshackle “pop-up” church that has recently been saved, look at some interesting late Victorian and Edwardian architecture, stop off for a drink in one the area’s most interesting bars, explore Bowes Park’s musical links and view the most disturbing window display in the entire city. There will also be an opportunity to shop for delicious Turkish and Greek food in some wonderful and very inexpensive local shops.
Most Londoners live in suburbs like Bowes Park, if you are a visitor and want to see “real London” this tour is for you. If you live in East, South or West London and want to spend a morning getting to know a “new area” then I don’t think Bowes Park will disappoint.
Christmas Day in London
For the second year I am are offering truly unique guided tours on Christmas Day in London.
The tours are designed for locals and visitors who want to explore Westminster on the one day of the year when London is effectively closed and quiet.
I wrote a blog post about Christmas Day in London and that might give you a flavour of what to expect. You can also check reviews and other people’s experiences of last year’s Christmas Day walks.
This year I am offering three tours:
Empty London at Christmas Starting at 6am & 10.30am
Our tour starts before dawn. Together we will walk through the eerily deserted streets, past some of London’s most iconic sites. We will almost certainly be the only people in Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Regent Street will be empty and traffic free.
If you have never seen London empty, this is really the only opportunity to do so all year. A really magical tour for locals and visitors. I’ll provide a complimentary nip of something to keep out the cold, a cracker or two and some seasonal snacks. On the 6am tour we finish in a cafe where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast. On the 10.30am tour we will finish in a pub where we you can enjoy an inexpensive Christmas Dinner or just a warming drink.
The Seven Noses of Soho Christmas Day Special
This special Christmas Day version of my most popular tour takes in all Seven Noses, a very grand eighth nose, a ghost nose and a false nose. There will also be a complimentary nip of something to keep out the cold, a cracker or two and some seasonal snacks.
Soho, like the rest of central London is very busy 364 days a year. We will be walking through and celebrating Soho and its history on the one day when it is quiet. The group size will be kept deliberately small to encourage a convivial and chatty atmosphere.
Along the way you will learn about the creation of the noses and the myths surrounding them. You will also see numerous other “hidden gems” including an unusual Victorian fund-raising device and some “secret” art, to top it all there is even a bonus ear!
For full details of all the Christmas Day Walks see my Eventbrite booking page, I am only taking a deposit at this stage, Christmas still feels such a very long way away!
In the run-up to Christmas 2012 I am also running a series of private walks as an alternative to the traditional Christmas Party, please drop me a line if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Regular Walks
Over August and September I will only be running one public walk a week, either The Seven Noses of Soho or Oddities of Strand. The other summer days are reserved for private bookings and events. There is one last chance to come on my evening Secrets of Dorset Square tour this year on July 17th. And there’s a final 2012 opportunity to join Hidden Mayfair on July 24th.
I am also launching a new newsletter. I’ll probably only send it out every couple of months. I’ll feature any new walks there and include links to any interesting news I’ve come across. If you would like to sign up I believe the process is very straightforward, just provide your name and email. I will never share your details with anyone else at all. Any feedback on the sign up process or the newsletter itself would be very welcome, this is new territory for me!
Right enough of me, my walks and my newsletter and back to work on a proper blog post sharing 64 very rare, stunningly beautiful, images of characters in London’s street markets in the 1930s. With a bit of luck it’ll be published later today!