PUBLIC WALKING TOURS

Explore neighbourhoods you think you know...from a new perspective 

I run regular public walking tours for £15 per person. Below are descriptions and dates of available tours - just click on the booking link to book now.

 
 
 
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Chelsea Literary Landmarks
 

Next dates: Tuesday, 13 July at 11am
                     Saturday, 7 August at 2pm

During a three-mile walk in Chelsea, we’ll track the neighbourhood’s many phases of development from its medieval origins on to stints as a wealthy suburb; dangerous outpost; manufacturing and design centre; Bohemian artists’ colony; swinging ‘60s headquarters and right up to today’s status as one of the wealthiest boroughs in all of England.

 

We’ll hear quotes from and about famous writers who have lived here – all the way from the 1500s to the present. Come and see where Jane Austen enjoyed a musical soiree and was “quite surrounded by acquaintance, especially gentlemen.” Listen to the heart-breaking story of Oscar Wilde’s arrest and see where he penned some of his best-known works. Stand in awe by the glorious mansions of Cheyne Walk to hear a poem that George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) wrote from her sitting room. Further along this glamorous road, learn why Ian Fleming suffered ridicule over his manuscript for Casino Royale. (Who had the last laugh there?)

We’ll walk the same streets where Thomas Carlyle strolled with John Stuart Mill. The eerie quiet of post-World War II Chelsea comes to life with the diary of Laurie Lee. Americans will be interested to know that Chelsea was popular with some of America’s best exports, such as Henry James and Mark Twain. (We’ll divert from literature a bit to hear about American artists, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent – both neighbours of Oscar Wilde).

Southwark Stories

Next date: Saturday, 17 July at 2pm
                   Saturday, 14 August, 2pm
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Once home to brothels, theatres and bear-baiting arenas, Southwark has an exhilarating past. Step back in time to when the south side of the River Thames was where people stepped out for a bit of bawdy fun.

The riverside is still where people go to have fun although nowadays it's all a bit more mainstream. We'll explore the back streets of this richly-layered neighbourhood to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare, Dickens and impoverished Victorians. With references to these authors, we'll look at how Southwark developed and visit some inspiring sites.

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Mayflower Pilgrims in London 

Contact me to arrange a date

As a descendant of four passengers on the Mayflower, I am especially excited to celebrate the origins of the Mayflower in Rotherhithe.

 

Join me for a walking tour along the River Thames that explains the background of the ship’s passengers, presenting them as incredibly brave pioneers and possibly shattering myths that many Americans have been taught in school. We’ll get some Instagram-worthy views of the City of London and also explore this area's history of shipping and the docks.

Royal London: Walking through Monarchy 

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Next dates: Thursday, 8 July at 11am
                    Wednesday, 28 July, 11am

How has Britain's monarchy survived through religious dissension, royal land grabs, civil war and the scrutiny of an outspoken media? Britain's monarchy is one of the fascinating aspects of this country and its pomp and circumstance continue to entice thousands of visitors. 

Does the monarchy still have a place in modern society?  

As we walk through central London, passing palaces and enjoying the splendid royal parks, we'll stop at sites connected to royalty and talk about the history of monarchy, as well as its future. We can include changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (if it's on) or Horse Guards.

I'll bring to life kings and queens who have shaped Britain's history, including the doomed Charles I, controversial Henry VIII and our very real stoic Queen Elizabeth.

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Bewitching Bloomsbury 

Next dates: Tuesday, 20 July at 11am
                      Tuesday, 17 August, 2pm

How did Bloomsbury grow from being “wood for 100 pigs” to the academic and cultural quarter that it is today? As we meander through the side streets of this architecturally diverse neighbourhood, we will meet the characters who make this area’s history so entertaining. From wealthy aristocrats to the bohemian Bloomsbury Group; and Dickens, Hogarth and a few monarchs in between. Garden squares, one of London’s finest features, are abundant here and we’ll look at how they developed. Tales of abandoned children and missed publishing opportunities – there is something for everyone!  

Victoria and Albert: The Glories (?) of Albertropolis COMING SOON! 

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A lot has been written about Queen Victoria but as we just celebrated the 200th anniversary of her birth in 2019, maybe it's time to take a closer look.  Much has been written about Victoria's contribution to Britain but how much of that was really Albert's doing?

No one can say for sure what goes on in a private marriage but there's no question that these two royal figures had a fascinating dynamic. Was their marriage the romantic fairy tale that is so often portrayed, a marriage of misery that's sometimes suggested or somewhere in between?

In addition to walking the streets of South Kensington to explore the development of this cultural and intellectual quarter, we'll pop into the British galleries at the Victoria and Albert museum for a tour that probes the intricacies of this famous duo.

 


 

It's all about you: Design your own tour 

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Don't see what you're looking for?

 

Not to worry - just let me know where you want to go and what you'd like to learn, and I'll craft the ideal tour for you. 

I've planned some offbeat walks, including a look at medieval craftsmen in Chelsea, the development of the south side of the River Thames and following in the path of Charles Dickens' characters near Smithfield Market. 

I love to sink my teeth into a new theme so feel free to challenge me!

It's all about you: Design your own tour 

Don't see what you're looking for?

 

Not to worry - just let me know where you want to go and what you'd like to learn, and I'll craft the ideal tour for you. 

I've planned some offbeat walks, including a look at medieval craftsmen in Chelsea, the development of the south side of the River Thames and following in the path of Charles Dickens' characters near Smithfield Market. 

I love to sink my teeth into a new theme so feel free to challenge me!

borough mkt giant tomato (2017_09_11 19_