Thursday, 30 October 2008

London on Screen No.1 Halloween Special

28 Days Later

For Halloween, our first London on Screen feature is a shocker of the old school. (Nominate your favourite London movies for inclusion: email us as

Ever complained that London is too crowded? See this movie and you’ll never want to have the city’s streets to yourself again. In Danny Boyle’s relentless horror from 2002, a virus has been unleashed on the capital turning its residents into flesh eating zombies who stalk the deserted streets looking for prey. An overturned bus on a silent Westminster Bridge; a rat-swarmed Blackwall Tunnel; Docklands laid waste: chilling images of a deserted London that will stay in the imagination as long as there are ravens at The Tower. London as you’ve never seen her before: and as you’ll never want to see her again.

(28 Days Later is available on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Cert. 18)



Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Blog Extra… (or "Please, Sir: I Want Some More")

If all this Halloween malarkey isn’t your bag, then how about a nosebag instead? Ann Jones’s Epicurean, Gourmets’ & Foodies’ London gets a great write up in this week’s Time Out. Why not join her next time around on the 15th November. Find out how/why/where HERE. A tip: read all about it today as tomorrow it’s back to the dirty business of Halloween and a modern classic London movie featuring (gulp) flesh eating zombies. You have been warned…


Halloween Holmes

“Rubbish, Watson, rubbish!
What have we to do with walking corpses who can only be held in their grave by stakes driven through their hearts?
It’s pure lunacy.”

Sherlock Holmes dabbles with the undead in The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, first published in The Strand magazine, January 1924 and available in the collection The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.

Follow In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes with Corinna or Richard IV every Thursday, 2.30 p.m Embankment tube. (NB: From 7th November 2008, In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes moves to FRIDAY afternoons at 2.30 p.m. See the Winter Leaflet for full details.)


Monday, 27 October 2008

London Lists No.1: 5 x 13

In this Halloween week our London List turns to matters supernatural and superstitious with five London baker’s dozens:

1. The Number 13 bus runs from Aldwych to Golders Green Bus station – alight there to visit Bram Stoker at Golders Green crematorium.
2. Shunning superstition, Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has worn the number 13 on his back throughout his professional football career.
3. At the Savoy Grill, no table is ever set for 13 diners. Parties of 13 are treated to the company of Kaspar, the Savoy’s three-foot high alabaster cat – he is given a full place setting to stave off bad luck.
4. Of the 27 stations on the Jubilee Line, 13 are below ground (inc. London Bridge for the London Dungeon).
5. Mary Kelly, fifth victim of Jack the Ripper, took a room at Miller’s Court, Spitalfields. Room number 13, of course.

Halloween 2008 starts here HERE


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sounds of the City No.1

London is the Place For Me

The Lord Kitchener featured on this CD is not the famous recruiting soldier (of “Your Country Needs You!” fame) but the Trinidadian calypso singer who arrived in London on the S.S Windrush back in 1948. The Windrush Generation brought with it the music of the Caribbean, and these tunes reads like postcards sent to the folks back home telling of the wonders of the capital of the old Empire. Kitch delivers the title track with infectious joy, observing that “the English people are very much sociable!” while his fellow calypsonian Lord Beginner gives us a paean to racial harmony in Mix Up Matrimony. A vivid snapshot of the early 50s London. (London is the Place for Me is released on Honest Jon’s Records)

Visit the site of 1951’s Festival of Britain, where many Britons first discovered calypso music on the Somewhere Else London walk with Steve or Stephanie on Tuesdays at 2.00 p.m, or with Stephanie or Adam on Saturdays at 10.30 a.m.


Friday, 24 October 2008

London Up Close No.1

Detail of London's only Alaskan totem pole, Horniman Museum, London Road SE23.
Pic submitted by Adam
For more London pics click HERE


Thursday, 23 October 2008

On this Day in London… 1707

On this day in London history 1707… The first Parliament of Great Britain sat at the old Palace of Westminster following the Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.

See the current Palace of Westminster this (and every) Saturday with Karen at 11.00 a.m, with Shaughan or David on Thursdays at 2.00 p.m, or by gaslight in the company of Angela, Mondays 7.00 p.m. Meet at Westminster tube Exit 4. (For a YouTube preview click here )


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Londonumbers: 124

124: The number of years that elapsed between the death of William Shakespeare in the year 1616 and the erection of his first London monument, at Westminster Abbey in 1740.
(See The Abbey up close with Chris, Gillian, Hillary or Tom, Mondays 1.45 p.m.)


Monday, 20 October 2008

The New Winter Brochure

Keep an eye out for the new season London Walks leaflet. The Winter Season brochure (6th November 2008 – 30th April 2009) has all the new repertory walks as well as the old favourites and can be found in all the usual places – click here to find out where those places are!


Friday, 17 October 2008

London Walks Reading List No.1

MOONRAKER by Ian Fleming (1955)

The jet set nature of James Bond’s remit means that those looking for London settings in the novels of Ian Fleming must make do with fleeting glimpses of St James’s (his club), Regent’s Park (his “office”) and King’s Road (his apartment) before he sets off for adventures in climes exotic. The exception is Moonraker: the third Bond novel is set entirely in England.

In pursuit of Hugo Drax, a megalomaniac would-be dictator, arms manufacturer and (worst of all in M’s book) card cheat, Bond gambles, drinks and drops Benzedrine in St James’s, meets with Assistant Commissioner Vallance at Scotland Yard and prangs his vintage Bentley in the prosaic surroundings of the capital's South Circular ring road. He later road tests his new motor, a four-and-a-half litre 1953 Bentley Mark VI on Birdcage Walk SW1.

Drax remains one of Fleming’s best villains; Bond is at his most bullet-proof, bouncing back from the events of the previous assignment (Live and Let Die); and the glimpses behind the mask of M bring one of popular fiction’s most enigmatic supporting characters leaping from the page. But it is perhaps the behind-the-scenes tour of Pall Mall’s club land that holds the most enduring fascination in this.


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Protective Gloves For the Executioner?

Thursday 16th October 2008

You Said It… an occasional series relating questions asked and comments overheard on London Walks walking tours…

Overheard by Adam (pictured doing some research above) on Ghosts of the Old City…

"Upon presenting the gory details of hanging, drawing and quartering to a horribly delighted group of seven-year-olds, one little girl asked the following question: 'Did the executioner wear protective gloves?'"

GHOSTS OF THE OLD CITY goes from St Paul's tube – exit 2 – every Tuesday and Saturday at 7.30 p.m.)


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

On This Day in London… 1888

Wednesday 15th October 2008

On This Day in London… 1888

15th October is the date on which the so-called “From Hell” letter was sent, to George Lusk, head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee at the height of the Autumn of Terror. Believed by some to originate from the very hand that performed the Jack the Ripper murders, it is addressed “From Hell” (inspiring a graphic novel and later the Johnny Depp film) and is signed with the taunt “catch me when you can Mishter (sic) Lusk.” It has fascinated and confounded Ripperologists ever since.

(Trace the footsteps of JACK THE RIPPER with London Walks nightly at 7.30 p.m from Tower Hill Station. NB: At Tower Hill, always make sure it’s LONDON WALKS: beware of pale imitations!)