A selection of City walks

 

 

 

I specialise in themed walks, usually lasting up to around two hours.  I’m always happy to look at new commissions, as well as mix and match from existing walks, building in a drinks stop half-way, or anything else to suit a group’s needs.  Some of my recent walks have included:

City of London

Nooks and Corners – weaving through a network of little lanes, alleys and emerging into quiet spaces and hidden courtyards, we explore the hidden spaces of the City.  See where the first coffee shop was tucked away and explore some blissful little gardens and churchyards.

River of Life and Death – we explore the history of this wonderful city, told from the point of view of the river – which has seen the full range of events, from joyous celebrations to the last journeys of those sent to the Tower.  And we’ll see a real modern gem of an artwork, telling the 2000-year history of the City.  But I’m not telling you where it is, you’ll have to come!

Newspapers and Naughtiness – a discovery of Fleet Street and its neighbourhood.  Even before the Press moved in this was an intriguing “in between” area, with publishers, no-go areas and all manner of curious events.  We’ll see where Dr Johnson lived whilst compiling his dictionary, hear some of his intriguing definitions and if you fancy a little tipple at the end there are lots of choices – we can see Fleet Street’s most famous bird, or visit a Victorian gin palace!

The Great Fire – Tower to Temple – originally commissioned for a Japanese group, focusing on the Great Fire of London of 1666 and its impact on the City, starting by Tower Hill and tracing through Monument right over to Temple and the delightful gardens to be found there.  Garnished with some quotes from Pepys and Evelyn.

Wonders and Wickedness (Charles Dickens) – see where Bob Cratchit worked, where Ebenezer Scrooge was taken to see his fate by The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come (A Christmas Carol), where the young, love-stricken Pip bought Estella tea (Great Expectations) and see the George and Vulture Tavern and Hotel, where Mr Pickwick resided in comfort.  Incorporates short quotes and readings from Charles Dickens’ works and tells the story of how important London was to Dickens and his creative inspiration.  Dickens (through the eyes of a young David Copperfield) said London was, “fuller of wonders and wickedness than all the cities of the earth!”  Why not see if you agree?

City Ages – Looking at the history of the City through various ages – from the early formation of the City under the Romans, to Medieval trade, Tudor religious turmoil, Georgian grandeur, Victorian and industrial expansion, the trials of the Blitz right through to modern London and the impact of modern architects.

City Computers – The Accountants’ Tour (commission for an office leaving event for finance staff).  The title may sound implausible, but a small amount about accountancy’s evolution in Victorian London and lots about the history of the sights were the major accountancy firms are based, plus a few gems from the City through the ages and some lesser-known courts and passages.

 

Under Development – do ask as development can be accelerated!

London’s Old Guides – I’ve been researching the City as written about in some of the oldest writings – from John Stow’s Survey of London (1598), London and its Environs (1761) to more modern books as guides like Bradshaw’s and Baedeker’s developed.  It’s fascinating to hear how City buildings and life were written about in former times and the walk will be punctuated by quotes from some of these works.

When the Big Bubble Burst – travel back to early Georgian London to discover the events, businesses and lives touched by the famous South Sea Bubble, nearly 300 years ago – not the earliest, but certainly a very early example of a stock market crash – the rich and famous were certainly caught up in the frenzy!

 

Please feel free to get in touch: shortwalkslondon@gmail.com – I’m happy to explore researching and tailoring walks to meet your needs or interests.