Having lived in London for over five years, explored it with family and friends I’ve realised that I have ventured to most of the tried and true touristy spots. Recently some of my friends asked for suggestions of an area to go to, between us we have covered London a number of times over! Then I remembered my two favourite London walking tour companies, Londonwalks and Footprints of London. This was the perfect solution and we chose to walk nearby Spitafields with a guide who answered one for my friends questions about a small, local building in a churchyard he passes every day on the way to his work, we saw into a building that only opens its blinds showing off Roman ruins for 10minutes each Sunday and learnt about a secret Freemasons vault that can only be accessed by those in the know. So it you are looking to enjoy the coming summer weather outside and have a guided tour full of historic facts, stories of adventures and interesting tidbits, here are the two London walking tour companies I recommend.
London Walks. Started sometime before the 1970’s, running the same timetable every week, these tours are £10 per person (£8 concession) and have the most varied guides including professors, art historians, former cult models, actors, street art connoisseurs and swordsman. My favourite walk with them has been the Jack the Ripper tour with Donald Rumbelow, one of the top crime historians in Britain. I walked away very clear on who did these murders based on the current evidence! Other walks I would recommend are Secret London and Old Hampstead Village. Running rain or shine, there are no bookings required and each tour starts at an easy to find location near a local underground tube stop. Find your guide and you are off and away!
Footprints of London. Established in 2011 and operating with a booking system these group also have a great number of guides and a varied timetable to the previous group. Priced at £12 (£9 for concession) they are just as affordable and by booking this takes away any nerves first time walkers might have having a contact number and guarantee you won’t be left behind. My favourite walks have been, Whitechapel – The Charles Booth Poverty Maps, James Bond and The Spies of Mayfair and lastly Soho and all that Jazz!
Having experienced great tours in my home town I now ensure I get guided tours when I am travelling to other cities. Not only do these guides bring stories to life they often have deals with local buildings for access you wouldn’t normally be allows plus they always know of the best local restaurants to eat at!
Have a great weekend…