Sunday, 27 July 2014

Walk of the Week

Every Sunday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks repertoire and put it centre stage.

You can check out the full schedule at

But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…

Bloody, Flaming, Poxy London

2 pm on Mondays (not August 25) from Tower Hill Tube

This walk's an outdoor museum. The museum of the Lost City. Its 17 stops – 17 pearls in a pan of gravel – are core samples into London's past. Into its history. As per the title of the walk, we concentrate on the classical city.* But Roman, Saxon, Mediaeval, Renaissance, Jacobean, Georgian, Victorian, Manhattanisation – it's all here. Against those foils – ancient and modern – the classical city cracks into poetry. Come upon it unawares you feel you've walked into another dimension. That's where we're going (going inside in a couple of cases), that's what we see. Everything from a rare surviving mediaeval church – there's no better gauge of Wren's achievement – to St. Paul's itself. And from the church that's regarded as the world's most perfect building (if it doesn't stop you in your tracks nothing will – miss the Tower of London, if you have to, but don't miss this little church) to crook-backed little cobble-stone lanes and alleyways that breathe history. Guided by Hilary or Kim.

*And so we come to the great period. What a city it was, with every view inflected, the steeples bigger than the houses and St. Paul's much bigger than either – Wren ringing the changes infallibly. Three hundred years on a surprising amount of the classical city survives, but it's hidden – the pearl in the oyster. As the poet said:

"Now lighted shops down aisles of mist smoulder in gold and amethyst;
And, paved with fragments of the skies, our sooty town like Venice lies..."

The Bloody, Flaming, Poxy London walk takes place every* Monday at 2 pm
*except August 25

Meet Hilary or Kim just outside the exit of Tower Hill Tube.

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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

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