Founded half a century ago by an Australian, London Walks claims to be the oldest urban walking tour company in the world. They also have one of the best reputations in London, topping polls of the capital's best guided walks on an annual basis. There's a seasonal rotation of popular regular walks - such as Christmas Walks, Summer Walks, Jack the Ripper Tours and Ghost Walks - and some more specific offerings, such as Old Mayfair ("the champagne and caviar of London Walks"), Darkest Victorian London, Hidden London, Olympics London, The Inns of Court, Shakespeare's and Dickens' London and Little Venice. Really, the spectrum of options is quite incredible - with walks dedicated to niche things such as The Beatles, Brunel's Thames Tunnel, the Blitz and Hidden Pubs. All the guides are extremely learned and passionate - they really know their stuff. They clearly get a kick in sharing their knowledge - and have stamped their authority over all of their jaunts. Each two-hour walk costs £9 (£7 for seniors or children) and there is no obligation to book - just turn up at the designated tube stop at the designated time and pay in cash. Visit www.walks.com for more information and full scheduling.
London Walking Tours
Hugely varied programme at the oldest urban walking tour company in the world
PO Box 1708, London, NW6 4LW
Tube: Kilburn Park Station
Passionate guide talks and walks you through Shakespeare and the Ripper's London
Run by entrepreneur Declan McHugh, City Secrets Walks is a fun, fascinating and affordable way to explore London on foot. Bursting with bounce and enthusiasm, Declan is both tour guide and proprietor, and a hugely dynamic character. A prolific researcher, former actor and author of 'Bloody London', he has painstakingly developed some award-winning walks - including the popular Blood and Tears Walk which deals with Jack the Ripper and other London serial killers, as well as witchcraft and executions. The Shakespeare City Walk offers fresh insights into the Bard's genius and has been praised by The Independent newspaper. Passionate about London, Declan's tours are a great introduction to our effervescent city and every tour is an entertaining, immersive performance. Reputed to recite the odd Shakespeare soliloquy, his colourful and abundant knowledge is simply spellbinding. From gruelling horror walks to captivating insights into the Shakespearean era, we guarantee you'll have a great time.
Peeling back the layers of London's history and modern-day appeal
Known for their comprehensive coach tours, Golden Tours have branched out and are now as reliable a company as any to walk you round London. Promising an insightful and professional experience, their expert Blue Badge guides offer fantastic walking tours for a mere snip. Follow your guide as you snake through the streets of the East End; as darkness descends, venture to Whitechapel to stalk the murder sites where Jack the Ripper slaughtered his victims. Alternatively - follow in the footsteps of Kate and William as you discover all you wanted to know about the royal couple's romance on the Royal Wedding Walking Tour. With a refined flair for bringing London to life, Golden Tours ingeniously peel back the many layers of London's history and modern-day appeal - including a look at the venues that wowed the world in the London 2012 Olympics.
Follow in the footsteps of James Bond, Harry Potter and Hugh Grant
Choose from a wide range of London tours taking in some iconic locations and scenes from films set in the city. Guided by local actors and actresses, you'll see the locations and fascinating landmarks close up, while taking on board historical insights and behind-the-scenes information on some of your favourite flicks. Brit Movie Tours include Notting Hill and The Da Vinci Code, as well as the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises. These tours are ideal for curious onlookers who wish to immerse themselves both in the city and classic movie culture at the same time. If film locations don't take your fancy, there's always the Beatles Tour, which take in sites such as Abbey Road and Carnaby Street, or the Sherlock Holmes Walk, which delves into the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, famously based in Baker Street.
Retracing the bloody steps of the infamous Whitechapel murders of 1888
The gruesome stories of Jack The Ripper remain part of the greatest mystery in the history of UK crime. The unsolved questions and mysterious stories of this elusive criminal are the stuff of London legend and the Jack The Ripper Tour is perhaps the most shocking and exciting Ripper experience in the city. A team of expert guides and 'Ripperologists' will take visitors on a chilling tour around the streets of London, visiting the scenes of his notorious murders and examining evidence and clues. All guides are members of the Cloak and Dagger Club, a theatrical performance team that helps lend a sense of authenticity and drama to the tour. And with the help of RIPPER-VISION, top of the range, hand-held projectors which emblazon 5ft images upon the dark streets and alleyways of Whitechapel, this is definitely not an experience for the faint of heart. Tours takes place daily at 7.30pm and begin at Aldgate East Tube Station, lasting just shy of two hours.
13th December 2013
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