Saturday, 25 July 2020

Old Westminster

DC Editor Adam writes…


It was great to be out-and-about again on Thursday leading walking tours with London Walks. Very chuffed to receive the following review for the Old Westminster tour





I'm leading the tour again on Tuesdays 4th & 18th August 2020, book now via my online shop Pay A Tour (NO booking fees)




Here's a little bit more about the tour as I lead it…



Westminster



It’s two tours in one - the big ticket items are here and plenty of them. But the small details are every bit as special.


Old Westminster is the centre stage London walk – 1,000 years of history in a compact UNESCO World Heritage Site… but when we get behind the scenes, to the back streets and nooks and crannies of Westminster… that’s when the history really begins to pop.


We will see…



The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey (from the outside), St Margarets Church (founded 12th century), Parliament Square, perfectly preserved Georgian streets and the major buildings of government.



Cast Of Characters…



Includes Dame Millicent Fawcett, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Emmeline Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Queen Elizabeth I, Kathleen Kennedy, Winston Churchill and more.


Selected Prime Ministers… Lord North (1770-1782), Harold Wilson (1964-1970, 1974-76) Margaret Thatcher (1979-92).


Our narrative is ALWAYS affected by the affairs of the day and I will bring in any current events that apply to our route.





Prominent Periods…


My tour ranges from the 1000’s to the present day but will foreground…


Victorian London

Georgian London




Prominent Themes


The Suffrage Movement

British political history 

The Blitz

Victorian architecture

Royal History





Reading List…


A few titles – for fun, NOT homework! – to compliment the tour…


Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (1857) Esp. Chapter 10 The Circumlocution Office)


Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (1992) Fun alt-history romp through the London of the 1880s


Moonraker by Ian Fleming (1955) The only Bond novel with scenes in Westminster - good London locations generally


House Of Cards by Michael Dobbs (1989) Excellent thriller and jumping-off point for the Netflix TV series


Über - By Kieron Gillen & Canaan White (2013) A graphic novel doe 18+ age range - vivid alt-history set at the end of WWII set partially in Westminster and featuring Churchill and Alan Turing


What A Carve Up! Jonathan Coe (1994) Satire on Thatcherite Britain in the 1980s





Cup Of Tea



Methodist Central Hall is the perfect, inexpensive spot for a cup of tea post-/pre-tour. Enter the very grand Edwardian Baroque building (by Edwin Alfred Rickards, 1905) veer to the right and head downstairs (the security guards are a friendly bunch and will help direct you.)





A Good Local Bookshop


The Houses of Parliament Shop at 12 Bridge Street (CLICK FOR MAP) has a good selection of historical and political titles (fun souvenirs for the political spod too!) https://www.shop.parliament.uk/




Family Friendly?


Very much yes. I regularly take school groups on this tour – it has a great many tie-in points to the current UK curriculum. For KS1 history we have the Gunpowder Plot & William the Conqueror; KS2 the Victorians; KS3 Slavery, crime and punishment, the cold war, women & the vote, WWI. Government and politics can be a major theme alongside British literature of the 19th Century.




Here's my full schedule for the rest of July - click HERE or the button below – walking tours are listed in RED with virtual tours listed in blue. If you have any queries, or if you'd like to book a private tour – please do not hesitate to drop me a line




Keep In Touch…

    


Thursday, 23 July 2020

Three Is The Magic Number…

DC Editor Adam writes…




I'm out-and-about today leading THREE walking tours with London Walks. Feels good to type that.

I call it The Triple.

(Those of you who have seen the classic 1956 movie Trapeze with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollobrigida may get the reference – the triple summersault is the acrobats' holy grail in that movie. Here's the trailer…)




The Triple in my case is a little nearer to ground level. Today it's…




If you click the links above there may well be a couple of tickets left – booking is essential for the strict Track & Trace protocols that I follow in line with my Good To Go certificate from Visit England.






(Bookings are handled via my online shop Pay A Tour – NO booking fees.)


In normal times, Thursday is always my busy day for walking tours and I'll find myself doing The Triple at least once a month.

I look forward to it – leading the tours is fun and rewarding and I meet lovely people

The gaps in between are fun, too – I spend them researching new tours, taking photographs for my photoblog or filming for the various clips of mine that you see on social media.

All on foot.

Being up on my hind legs and walking with a purpose every day is something that I have greatly missed during lockdown. The toll on my mental health has been heavy indeed – I'm sure that I'm not alone in this. 

On another day I'll blog about depression and walking and the coincidence of how I stumbled into the walking tour business – for me they are all related. 

For the moment, compare my walking stats for the end of February 2020 just before lockdown…







… with those of mid March during my intense period of devising Virtual Tours



Don't even START me on my abusive relationship with the biscuit tin

I'm SO looking forward to being out-and-about today – I hope you can join me if not today, then very soon. There has never been a better time to see London so empty and quiet.

Wish me luck!




In the meantime, here's a post from my archive all about The Triple. This post was first published in January 2017…


It's January and, once again, thoughts turn to fitness and shedding a few pounds after the Christmas binge.

Luckily, my job as a tour guide has a built-in fitness plan.

Thursday is usually my busy day and today was no exception.

The day starts with a brisk quarter mile chasing a eight-year-old on a scooter on the school run…




… and from there it's another quarter mile to the tube station. An easy half mile before the day has even started.


The first of today's three walking tours was Inside Covent Garden which, by my reckoning, clocked up some 1,700 steps…



At Covent Garden tube I used the steps…



Confession: I walked down NOT up!

Alighting at Hyde Park Corner I hopped a Sadiq Cycle to Kensington (1.5 miles), snapping this shot along the way (it was the perfect winter day for walking)…



Then it was on to the Kensington walk, which broke the 2,000 steps barrier…




Another Sadiq Cycle back to Hyde Park Corner (another 1.5 miles)…



… in brisk wintry conditions…



Then on foot from Hyde Park Corner to Tower Hill via the West End and along the river, my favourite "commute" of the week.

The final tour was Jack the Ripper, at 1.4 miles and 2,900+ steps the longest of the day…




Bringing my total for the day 34,000+, just over 16 miles covered!






Here's my full schedule for the rest of July - click HERE or the button below – walking tours are listed in RED with virtual tours listed in blue. If you have any queries, or if you'd like to book a private tour – please do not hesitate to drop me a line




Keep In Touch…


     


Friday, 17 July 2020

Into The Great Unknown

DC Editor Adam writes…

Heading into the great unknown. 

It's been quite a journey over the last few months as a tour guide on lockdown in London. Many of us have been leading Virtual Tours… some love 'em, others not so much. That goes for guides as well as clients.

It's been quite a learning curve. My wife Karen was so wracked with techno-fear on her first Virtual Tour that I ended up leading it with her.

Here we are on screen looking like regional news presenters…





It has to be said, she got the hang of it pretty quickly. Here's just one of her ★★★★★ star reviews on TripAdvisor…




Here's my full schedule for the rest of July - click HERE or the button below – walking tours are listed in RED with virtual tours listed in blue. If you have any queries, or if you'd like to book a private tour – please do not hesitate to drop me a line



For Karen's tours click here…




Keep In Touch…

     




Thursday, 16 July 2020

Back On The Streets – Three Walking Tours Thursday 23rd July 2020

DC Editor Adam writes…

BIG day next Thursday 23rd July 2020 - I'm out-and-about leading THREE walking tours for the famous London Walks Company!




Booking is essential as all tours have strictly limited numbers and will adhere ALL government advice on social distancing and hygiene. 



I have been awarded the Good To Go Mark from Visit England – awarded to all guides who have shown they can comply with every known measure to minimise risk for our guests and clients. 

Other tours will relaunch soon  - so keep an eye out on www.walks.com to see what my very talented colleagues are up to walks-wise. We will all be keeping our Virtual Tours going too!

Here's the schedule for next Thursday 23rd July - all booking handled via my online store Pay-A-Tour with NO BOOKING FEES…



Thursday 23rd July 11am BST

A VILLAGE IN PICCADILLY BOOKING ESSENTIAL


Royal history, upmarket shops, a Christopher Wren church, and a pageant of colourful characters from London's history from Beau Brummell to Sir Joshua Reynolds and Marie Lloyd. 

Meet at Piccadilly Circus tube (by Eros) 11am Thursday 23rd July

COVID 19 In line with government advice on group numbers this tour will be limited to FIVE people (a group of 6 including your guide)

As your guide I wIll wear a mask and would encourage walk participants to do so as well

This tour features NO interiors

Social distancing will be observed throughout the tour



Thursday 23rd July 2pm BST

OLD WESTMINSTER BOOKING ESSENTIAL


ALL the famous sights of Westminster… blended with a festival of hidden, off-the-beaten track details.

Meet at Westminster tube Thursday 23rd July 2pm

COVID 19 In line with government advice on group numbers this tour will be limited to FIVE people (a group of 6 including your guide)

As your guide I wIll wear a mask and would encourage walk participants to do so as well

This tour features NO interiors

Social distancing will be observed throughout the tour



Thursday 23rd July 7pm BST

JACK THE RIPPER BOOKING ESSENTIAL


The world-famous Jack the  Ripper tour with London Walks 

Meet at Tower Hill tube Thursday 23rd July 7pm

COVID 19 In line with government advice on group numbers this tour will be limited to FIVE people (a group of 6 including your guide)

As your guide I wIll wear a mask and would encourage walk participants to do so as well

This tour features NO interiors

Social distancing will be observed throughout the tour




Keep In Touch…