London Highlights Walks

A selection of walks covering some of London's most popular and requested areas. Visit the "must see" sights and hear the stories and the gossip behind them.

Upstairs and downstairs in Belgravia

Once a swampy wasteland plagued by villains and vagabonds, the Five Fields was transformed in the mid 19th century into the "City of Palaces" that we see today. Home to some of the most expensive properties in the world, come with me and visit hidden pubs with notorious histories, see the house where plans were hatched to build the Titanic, and learn about upstairs and downstairs life in the grand and aristocratic houses of Regency London.

A walk in the Garden

Covent Garden has evolved over the years from the market garden of Westminster Abbey, to a fruit and vegetable market, to a vibrant hub of activity in the heart of London. Come with me and see where London's first organised police force was established, hear how an orange seller named Nell Gwynn became Charles II's favourite mistress, and be astonished at how Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies provided detailed information for those seeking a very particular form of entertainment.

A meander around Mayfair

Named after the annual May Fair that took place in the 1600s and 1700s, anyone who plays the UK version of Monopoly will know that Mayfair is the most expensive property on the board. Explore this playground of the rich and famous and hear how the marriage of a 12 year old heiress into an old aristocratic family led to the creation of one of this country's grandest and wealthiest dukedoms. Royals, nobles, businessmen and celebrities have all contributed to the juicy stories to be heard here.

Down by the Riverside

The River Thames is the life blood of London. For 2000 years the river has played a major part in London's history and its development. Come with me and learn about the magnificent private palaces that once lined the riverbank, see a perfectly preserved water gate from one of these palaces dating from the reign of Charles I, hear how "The Great Stink" of 1858 nearly forced Parliament to move to Oxford, and admire a 3500 year old Egyptian obelisk brought to London to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon.

A stroll around Soho

It derives its name from a hunting cry used by one of the first residents of Soho, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and illegitimate son of Charles II. At one time one of the most fashionable areas in town, when London's richest moved further westward the area found favour with artists, writers and bohemians. Come and hear their stories, soak up the eclectic atmosphere, and immerse yourself in the colourful character of Soho that defines this unique part of London today.

Marvellous Marylebone

Once a prosperous village outside of London, Marylebone has been home to Admiral Lord Nelson, Charles Dickens and Michael Caine to name but a few. The world's first underground railway passed through here, Londons's first omnibus service started here, and for 600 years spectators flocked here to witness the public hangings that took place weekly at the Tyburn Tree gallows. From Sherlock Holmes to the "Butcher of Culloden", hear the stories behind this area's most notable characters.

Footsteps in Fitzrovia

Named after the Fitzroy Tavern, the notable pub favoured by the artistic and literary crowd in the 1930s, Fitzrovia is both elegant and bohemian in equal measure. Hear about the Berners Street Hoax, one of the greatest practical jokes in history, visit the pub regularly used by one of Britain's most prolific hangmen and see the old workhouse that was the inspiration for the workhouse in the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist. Just like the young Oliver you will end up wanting more.

Walking Westminster

Coming soon

St James's

Coming soon

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© Ian Grover