Who Knew

tours

Hampstead: the village on the hill

You probably know Hampstead as a very attractive area of very posh houses and very famous people. But why is it so lovely to walk around? It’s a lot to do with a hill which prevented major roads and any railways being built: so uniquely in London it preserves a Georgian village streetscape. It also […]

Sentenced to Death!

In the City of London you are never more than 500m away from a spot where someone was executed. Some had their heads chopped off, many were hanged, some were burned and some were disembowelled. Oh, and a few were boiled. On this walk we explore the reasons why the authorities developed and deployed all […]

Slums and Squares and Rock n’Roll: Secrets of St Giles’

You will probably know lots of bits of the St Giles’ area: Tottenham Court Rd tube, Centrepoint, Shaftesbury Ave, Seven Dials…but you probably don’t know how the area came to be as it is. A fascinating story of ancient roadways meeting, a medieval leper colony, a failed posh residential district, a notorious Victorian slum and […]

Secret St James’s

St James’s (the area south of Piccadilly and West of Haymarket) is one of the most unspoiled and attractive parts of London. It also contains the senior royal residence (St James’s Palace) and the oldest Royal Park. This walk aims not just to have a very enjoyable wander around the handsome square and beautiful streets […]

The Beatles: Abbey Road plus

The Beatles are often referred to as a Liverpool band. Of course they started there, but as soon as they started recording they moved to London and from February 1963 did all of their recording, living and loving there. As Ringo says in Anthology “If you are in our business, you go to London- that’s […]

Tudors: not just Henry 8th

The “big” Tudor monarchs loom large in the popular imagination: especially Henry (all those wives!) and Elizabeth. Frequent and memorable depictions from Holbein to Mantel have ensure that. The story of London under the Tudors is less well-known but fascinating. Massive population influx, huge growth in manufacturing and retail, explosion of popular literacy and printing, […]

Hidden history: exploring the layers of London

Hundreds of years of fascinating history have occurred within the Square Mile: but you need to know where to look to find the traces and understand the story. The City was uninhabited after the Romans, devastated by the Great Fire and the Blitz and heavily rebuilt by the Victorians, so this can be challenging: this […]

Trading Place

For nearly 2000 years people have lived and worked in the City, constantly focusing on “doing deals” and making money. This walk aims to bring to life how Londoners have conducted their “dealing” over two millennia, focusing on the most pivotal Roman, Medieval, Early Modern and more recent examples of “doing deals”. Brexit and Covid […]

Secret Gardens,
Hidden Churches

Many of the most interesting sites in the City are somewhat tucked away and often quite small. While the City does not have big parks like those further west (its history means the space was mainly used for trading or churches!) it does have c.250 open and green spaces: many created by the destruction of […]

Roman London

You are probably familiar with some stories of Roman London: Boudicca as heroic figure of proud British resistance, some fragments of wall here and there, the Temple of Mithras being discovered somewhere.  But this walks aims to dig a little deeper and explore why the Romans came, why they founded London and how it developed […]

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