I have been leading unusual public walking tours of London for more than 10 years.
I keep my groups small and sociable and try and tailor each one to the specific interests or requests of my guests. Hence, no two tours are exactly the same experience!
If you like a long tour that goes in-depth on one area and includes a few pub and venue stops, discover Every Street in Soho in a day with me. Other unusual walking tours include a Grinling Gibbons Day Out in London, Winston Churchill in London. Details of more of my favourite London walking tours are below.
There is even one of Hertford, a surprisingly Londony place at the northern end of the River Lea.
A Bag of Gold in Bloomsbury
An unusual tour of Bloomsbury including stops in four wonderful pubs, this tour will completely ignore the area's literary connections, there will be absolutely no mention of anyone "living in squares and loving in triangles". The British Museum doesn't feature nor do any other academic institutions. Instead we will visit lesser known places, there will be an opportunity to plan your own funeral, do some grocery shopping, experience a divorce, puzzle at a magic square and all importantly, share and spend a bag of gold.
Along the way we will enjoy a drink in four beautiful pubs, two are Grade II listed.
Oddities of Strand
As you walk along a former beach you will discover, London’s and possibly the world’s first wine bar, the scene of an elephant’s execution and the oldest family-run shop of its type on earth. You will also see a bizarre sculpture that most people have never noticed, a back-to-front church and the city’s largest clock face, no, not that one!
You will learn about the death of the bowler hat, the birth of blue plaques, see a Victorian “Apps Store” and a steeple that should never have been and we’ll finish our tour with a drink in the close company of Dracula, close to one of the greatest, yet least known, collections of art anywhere.
The London Pub
Civilised, conversational pub crawls, four interesting pubs and a drink in each one, all over the course of four hours. Hangovers are definitely not the objective!
There will be a little history along the way and some relevant original documents and old maps to look at but the real focus of these tours is to enjoy the pubs, and the conversations to be had in them, with small groups of like minded enthusiasts.
This tour has run in Mayfair, Paddington, Camden and Borough.
South Bank Walking Tour
On this new tour you'll learn about the transformation of the area, hear about some plans for its future, experience development as it should be done, see at least three places where you can enjoy free entertainment, be serenaded to a rooftop view, have a glimpse inside a national institution and whisk through a cool new destination. We'll finish off with a pint in a wonderful pub on a street that has barely altered in almost 200 years.
Ritz, glitz, glamour, the word Mayfair evokes a James Bond spirit – high-living, high-rolling, fast cars, faster women, quality cocktails, luxury hotels, discretion, secrecy and espionage. Mayfair is also known for its numerous American links forged both in leisure and in War.
But there is also much of Mayfair that is little known and often missed by visitors and Londoners alike. So in addition to seeing sites synonymous with the area, you will also see a minimum of three elephants, London’s oldest street art, a sheep-free zone, some clubs fit for a future King and Queen, many places where even Roman Abramovich could easily run out of money, many scientific firsts, some great new public art, the finest terraced house in Britain and the country’s first one way street.
Secrets of Dorset Square
Dorset Square and the surrounding streets are on the face of it a typical Georgian development. But packed into this tiny area are some great stories and some fascinating associations. So in addition to seeing some Great Georgian architecture, you will also some trees that were once visited by a very famous dog, an unlikely and historic sporting arena, the scene of an armed siege, WWII associations, a very tiny pub, and the birthplace of a classic car.
Marylebone has had some very interesting residents over the years and along the way we will be seeing some of their homes, both fictional and real, including the homes of the world’s most filmed character and a man now credited as a founding father of modern computer gaming. We will also pass a land-bound lighthouse and meet a working detective. We will finish at the site of a technological and social revolution, close to some of London’s most popular attractions.
Hertford's Pubs and History
Hertford is a stunningly beautiful and historic County town with lots of links to London, hundreds of listed buildings, four rivers, some fantastic pubs and it is just 50 minutes by train from Moorgate or Liverpool Street.
During our day out we'll wander through the town, see the end of the navigable Lee River, the remains of a Castle which was the country retreat of numerous monarchs and one time home to Parliament. We'll pass many examples of 15th and 16th century architecture and an amazing 19th Century brewery. We will also look at the miniature local version of a Georgian “Egyptian Hall”, as well as the splendid Adam Shire Hall and much much more. En route we will refresh ourselves in three of the loveliest pubs in the area.