St Paul's Cathedral

City of London Tours

Photo above:  St Paul's Cathedral

Guiding in the City

Photo above:  Guiding for Walk London, and talking about Hodge, Dr Johnson's cat, statue

Many visitors to London will visit St Paul's Cathedral, so they will spend some time in the City of London, but often their itineraries mean that they don't take the time to explore the rest of this area. The City of London is often referred to as the Square Mile, on account of its size, and its compactness makes it ideal for walking around. It's one of the oldest parts of London. with its history going back nearly 2,000 years to when the Romans arrived. In the course of its history there have been two major events the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz, the period of intensive bombing during World War II. Today the City of London is best known for its financial institutions. The City's delights are more subtle and require a bit more effort to discover, but for those who do will be rewarded with a medieval Guildhall, historic City Churches, charming, narrow alleyways and over 150 delightful small parks and open spaces. 

Guildhall

Photo above:  The Guildhall

The City of London Highlights walking tour provides a fascinating introduction to the area and showcases its impressive sights, including St Paul's Cathedral, the Guildhall (the City's town hall), Mansion House (where the Lord Mayor lives), the Bank of England and St Mary le Bow Church, with its Bow Bells, where legend says that true Cockney (Londoner) is those born within earshot of the sound of these bells (exteriors only).

Wardrobe Place

Photo above:  Hidden courtyard

The Curiosities of the City walking tour has specifically been designed to showcase the area's famous sights alongside some of its less well known and quirkier ones. The tour explores hidden alleyways and courtyards and many of the things you'll see are not included in regular guide books,  This tour can be offered as regular two hour or an an extended three hour walking tour, so we can accomodate even more quirky sights and which will give you more time to soak up the atmosphere.

Fleet Street

Photo above:  Fleet Street

The Fleet Street walking tour focuses on the areas rich history and its associations with newspapers and journalism. In its heyday, nearly every British national and local newspaper was located on or just off Fleet Street. Although most of the newspaper industry re-located by the 1980s the street has retained its links, most notably with St Bride’s Church, which is still known as the Printers’ Church, and some of the impressive former newspaper buildings. The tour also visits the area's charming hidden alleyways and courtyards, where we will hear about Dr Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary and his pet cat Hodge, and Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Often I adapt this tour to focus specifically on the area's history of publishing for journalist students. The area is also well known for its historic pubs, which are full of charm and character, and this tour can be offered as an extended pub walk to include two or three pubs on route or as a regular walking tour ending at a pub of your choice.

St Stephen's Walbrook

Photo above:  St Stephen Walbrook

Following the Great Fire fifty one of the City Churches, along with St Paul's Cathderal, were rebuilt, many of which were designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Of these St Stephen Walbrook, with its stunning architecture and impressive dome, is my personal favourite. The City has a small resident population so many of its churches are only open for limited opening hours. Tours can be adapted to visit inside one or more of the churches, subject to availability.

Photo below:  Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

Other City of London Tours

Haunted church

Sinister Smithfield Tours

Smithfield, has a gruesome history, with stories about horrific public executions, body snatchers and ghosts, it's the perfect area to explore if you are looking for a spooky walk.

Photo above:  Haunted church

Christchurch Greyfriars

The Lost Churches Tours

In medieval times there were over 100 churches in the City. Some were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, others through Victorian vandalism and some in World War II. Find out what happened to them, as each churches has their own fascinating and unique story to tell.

Photo above: Christchurch Greyfriars

St Paul's Cathdral from a roof terrace

Goodnight Mister Tom (London in the Blitz)Tours

Inspired by Michelle Magorian's much loved children's story. In the book Willie Beech, an evacuee, went to live with Mister Tom at the outbreak of World War II. The walk focuses on how life was for those left behind, in London, during the Blitz. Originally specially commissioned for a children's reading group this is a family friendly tour

Photo above:  St Paul's Cathdral from a roof terrace

Old Bailey

Prison and Punishments Tours

In olden times the City of London was home to several prisons including the largest and most notorious one, which is now where the Old Bailey stands. The tour visits the sites of several former prisons and hear about the different types of punishment that were used, including being hung, drawn and quartered. I often adapt te tour educational groups.

Photo above:  Old Bailey