Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Long Distance London Walker No.1: Meet Michael Innes

DC Editor Adam writes…

In December 2016 I posted the The Daily Constitutional's blog post number 5,000.

To mark the occasion I've been digging in the archive and over February 2017 I'll be reblogging The DC's "Greatest Hits" – my 50 favourite posts. 

In addition I'll be sharing my 50 favourite London photos to have appeared here since October 2008. 

I hope you enjoy them

Feb 2017

This post first appeared in January this year…

Richard III writes…

This is Michael Innis, on the right, with David of London Walks, waiting for the Hampstead walk to start.

Michael did 46 London Walks in less than three weeks. 

He graduated with a double major in history and English from Millikin University, in Decatur, Illinois. His first trip to London was in 1978. Since then he has returned perhaps two dozen times. He has also travelled around a bit in the UK, including visits to Oxford and Oxfordshire, Salisbury, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Bath, Cardiff, Holyhead, Brecon Beacons, York, Durham, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, and Aberfeldy.   Currently retired after 35 years as a U.S. federal employee.

While originally intending to focus on London Walks during this last visit, he had no idea that this somewhat vague premise would snowball into 46 consecutive walks.

He thoroughly enjoyed each walk and is glad he undertook this amazing walkathon. 

He writes: 

"I’ve always felt that walking is the very best way to get to know a city, its history, and its people. And among cities, London seems to harbor a hidden surprise around every medieval (or ancient!) corner."

London Walkers, you are invited to contradict my assertion that this is a record.

DC Editor Adam adds…

Yup, a record indeed, in terms of an unbroken run. The 46 London Walks that Michael joined were 46 CONSECUTIVE London Walks. What a streak!

Regular Daily Constitutionalists will know that I'm measuring my London Walks in the first months of 2017 for steps and distance. Applying the stats I've collected so far, here's how Michael's Walks stack up…

Based on an average of 1.4 miles per walk, and an average of 2718 steps per walk…

Michael walked 64 miles with London Walks

Michael took approximately 125,000 steps with London Walks

That's approximately 7814 steps a day – well on the way to your RDA

That's about a mile-a-day more than the average American (source:

According to the NHS, that's TWICE the amount of the average Brit (who will clock up 3-4,000 steps a day) Source:


Cambridge is 54 miles on foot. Michael beat that by 10 miles

Further than Brighton…

Further than Canterbury…

Further than Oxford to the west…

In a London context…

Michael could have walked the Northern Line from Morden to East Finchley – along what was once the longest tunnel in the world, 17.3 miles – and back again and back AGAIN and still have change to walk to the Olympic Park to get a stupendous sausage and egg panini at the View Tube cafe (8 miles) (Ed's note Feb 2017: the View Tube is sadly now longer with us :( ) …

… then STILL have miles left over to saunter over to Wapping for a pint at the excellent Prospect of Whitby pub (4 miles).


David adds…

That's a LOT of stats. Better I think to view Michael's achievement as the London Walks equivalent of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941


Finally, here's the list of what we are calling The 46

London Walks tours enjoyed by Michael Innis, 12/21/2016 – 1/5/2017

Wed 12/21:            Arrive from Chicago

1)  Brunel’s London (Kevin)
                        2)  The Old Palace Quarter (Jan)
                        3)  Rock ‘n’ Roll London (Adam)

Thu 12/22:            1)  Old Mayfair (Peter)
                        2)  Old Westminster (David)
                        3)  The Ancient City at Night (Peter)

Fri 12/23:            1)  Hidden London (Shaughan)
                        2)  In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes (Lawrence)
                        3)  River Thames Pub Walk (Simon)

Sat 12/24:            1)  The Sherlock Holmes Christmas Walk (Richard IV)
                        2)  The Charles Dickens Christmas Walk (Simon)
                        3)  The Christmas Lights Pub Walk (Simon)

Sun 12/25:            1)  Samuel Pepys’ London (Simon)
                        2)  Dickens’ London (Mary)
                        3)  [no evening walk offered]

Mon 12/26:            1)  Darkest Victorian London (Rex)
                        2)  London’s Secret Village (Andrew)
                        3)  Westminster by Gaslight (Adam)

Tue 12/27:            1)  In My Life Beatles Walk (Richard)
                        2)  Past the Palace (Karen)
                        3)  Hidden Pubs of Old London (Andrew)

Wed 12/28:            1)  Shakespeare’s and Dickens’ London (Andrew)
                        2)  Old Hampstead (Richard III)
                        3)  Jack the Ripper Haunts (Andrew)

Thu 12/29:            1)  Undiscovered London (Ann)
                        2)  Old Kensington (Adam;)
                        3)  West End Ghost Tour (Andrew)

Fri 12/30:            1)  Victoria and Albert Museum (Margaret)
                        2)  Legal and Illegal London (Angela)
                        3)  Haunted London (Steve)

Sat 12/31:            1)  Camden Town (Judy)
                        2)  Spies and Spycatchers (Richard IV)
                        3)  Ghosts of the Old City (Adam)

Sun 1/01:            1)  Magical Mystery Tour (Richard)
                        2)  Little Venice (Peter)
                        3)  Soho’s Secret Pubs (Peter)

Mon 1/02:            1)  Greenwich (Isobel)
                        2)  The British Museum (Brian)
                        3)  Jack the Ripper Haunts (Delianne)

Tue 1/03:            1)  St. Paul’s (Margaret)
                        2)  Literary London (Brian)
                        3)  Jack the Ripper Haunts (Steve)

Wed 1/04:            1)  The Tower of London (Delianne)
                        2)  Chelsea (Stephanie)
                        3)  Mayflower to Brunel’s Tunnel (Tim)

Thu 1/05:            1)  Inside Covent Garden (Adam)
                        2)  Crime and Punishment (Richard III)

Fri 1/06:            Return to Chicago for a well-earned rest!

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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