Sunday, 18 December 2016

#London Christmas Shopping No.23: Make A Gift of a Private #London Walks Tour

Daily Constitutional editor Adam Scott-Goulding writes…

It's back! The annual London Christmas Shopping Guide from The Daily Constitutional!

This year I'll be including museum gift shops and markets for gift ideas. 

As well as gifts I'll be pointing you toward local London shops for the best in Christmas food and drink. Where relevant, I'll list the London Walks tour that finishes near the shop in question.

As usual, you can drop me a line with your own tips by emailing the usual address, by leaving a comment below or via Twitter.

David Tucker writes…

Buy A London Walk!

Don’t give them a thing. (Interesting ambiguity isn’t it?)

Give them an experience.

A thing ­– I mean, it’s more clutter, more baggage. Yet another particle carried along, carried past us by the rivers (they’re one and the same river, really) of time and life. 

So instead of a thing – an object  – that comes in a package and is “gift-wrapped”… give someone an experience.

No prizes for guessing the experience I have in mind: a private London Walk.

With Karen. (Or Adam or Donald or Tom or Stewart or Fiona1 or Fiona2 or Barry or Marc or Joanne or Hilary or Kim or Judy or Shaughan or Robert or Ruth or Richard or Peter or…any of our box-office guides.)

And that’s just a selection – 18 or so out of 75 or so. You can read about each of them on – you’ll see why they’re box-office, see why “if this were a golf tournament every name on the Leader Board would be a London Walks guide.”

But let’s spotlight Karen. The figurehead on the prow of the Good Ship London Walks.

Declared “the world’s greatest guide” by the august American travel magazine Travel & Leisure. Winner of the London Tourist Board’s Guide of the Year Award. Recovering actress and Independent correspondent. Author of Royal London. Super mum. Well, you get the idea.

Being shown around London by Karen. Talk about a special gift. The gift of a marvellous experience. A gift that becomes a memory. And it’s memories – not stuff in packages – that make us rich.  Do you remember what you got for Christmas last year? Let alone five years ago. You – or whoever gets the gift of a London Walk with Karen – will certainly remember that gift, remember that experience.

Seeing London with Karen – or any of her London Walks colleagues – is London as Tralfamadore. (Explanatory note: Kurt Vonnegut of course. His novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Tralfamadore is the home to beings who exist in all times simultaneously…)

“All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.”


“It is just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone, it is gone forever.”


“When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments.”

The way I put that is: every London Walks guide has double or treble or quadruple vision. For example, when you look at Waterloo Bridge you see one bridge. When I look at it – or guide it – I see what you see but I also see the Ladies’ Bridge and the Rennie Bridge (“the most beautiful bridge in Europe”) and the bridge that was the dagger driven into the Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

And when I’ve got London Walkers with me – well, they see ‘em too. They see what I see instead of just what they see.  One of those views is a bit meagre, a bit impoverished, frankly.

The other one is rich and varied.

A view that’s a Tralfamadorian moment. One of many that you get on a London Walk.

The dagger driven into the heart of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

You think people don’t remember that? That’s not a memory? That’s not something that’s stored up and savoured and shared?

So, yes, why not think about it? Why not give someone a private walk with Karen? (Or Adam or Tom or Hillary or Fiona….)

Give us a bell. On 020 7624 3978. Or email us at

Christmas 2016 With London Walks…

On Christmas Day there are TWO London Walks: 

Walk up an appetite with The Christmas Morning 1660 Walk – meet at 11:00a.m by the big tree in Trafalgar Square

Walk off the pudding with The Christmas Day Charles Dickens Walk – meet by the big tree in Trafalgar Square at 2:00pm

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

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