Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker…
"What London Walks would you recommend for children?"
The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):
Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.
Other London Walks that I think work for kids – well, for a lot of them – are Angela's and new dad Liam's Old Palace Quarter Walk, which goes every Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon. And sure enough the Friday afternoon walk is also fronted by guides who are great with kids – Hilary and Kim. I think the general principle – apart from having a guide who likes children and is comfortable with them and goes out of his or her way to include them – is that walks where there's quite a bit to see – where there are lots of visual "hands ons", so to speak – are usually a better bet than walks where things have to be carried for the most part by the story telling. And some of the visual "hands ons" are pretty special on this pretty special walk.
You've got that secret passageway they go along at the beginning of the walk; and the child thief bar; and boot scrapers and link extinguishers; and the lion door knocker that Winston Churchill looked at when he was a child; and the only chance a child will ever get to be a gas lamp lighter; and a former stables; and shops that are like the inside of a toy chest; and a hidden, real duelling ground; and real soldiers (guarding St. James's Palace) – and quite often we catch the up-close-and-personal changing of the guard ceremony there, which is always fun. Well, you get the idea.
Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks
Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.
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 www.walks.com.