Sunday, 22 March 2015

Walk of the Week: The Ancient City At Night

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…

Take Another Look!

6.30 pm on Thursdays from Bank Tube (meet Peter by the Wellington statue outside exit 3)

There's no need to book. A London Walk takes about two hours and costs £9 or £7 for concs. Kids under 15 accompanied by their parent[s] go free.

If I were going to take Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Dante, Elizabeth I, Adam Smith, George Washington and Claude Monet on a London Walk this is the one I'd plump for. Because of where it goes and what we see. Historically this is the oldest part of London; but it's also the most aggressively modern part. And after hours – which is when we're heading in there – it's transfigured: crystalline, transparent as a dragonfly, submerged in its past. We can peer into its depths. And then rub our eyes and wonder at a church that "transcends originality", at the only private house in the country with its own court and cells, at a lost river, at a jewel box of a market (going there is a little touch of Harry Potter in the night), at Dirty Dick's, at the architectural equivalent of a butterfly collection. And to see it at night – washed in blue and green light – it's like moving, stunned, through the crevasses of a mountain glacier! And that's just first impressions, a quick scratch at the surface. The behind-the-scenes stuff – hidden courtyards, dimly lit alleyways and wonderful old pubs* – will take us right down into the depths of London's ancient past. Guided by Peter G.

*Yes, pubs are included on this walk; a post-walk curry is an optional extra (which is by way of saying, the walk ends near that little parade of the best – and best value – curry houses in London!)

The Ancient City at Night – Take Another Look! walk takes place every Thursday evening at 6.30 pm from Bank Tube, exit 3

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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