Sunday, 24 September 2017

#LondonWalks London Walk of the Week: #BritishMuseum Highlights Tour



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 www.walks.com.



But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…






British Museum Highlights Tour

Wednesday 2.15pm
Meet at Russell Square tube

Walk description HERE

Watch the video…






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.



Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day: The Paolozzi Mural


Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day! Join the Rock'n'Roll London walk this (and every Friday) afternoon at 2:00p.m meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station





Adam writes… 



As you pass through Tottenham Court Road tube on the way to Friday's Rock'n'Roll London Walk, or the Wednesday night Rock'n'Roll Pub walk, or to The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, check out the famous Paolozzi murals on the platform…





Eduardo Paolozzi was born in Leith, Edinburgh in 1924 and is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Pop Art. He is notable in the context of our music tours in that he taught former-Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe at Hamburg College of Art.





And here's the trailer for THIS AFTERNOON'S Rock'n'Roll London Walk which meets at 2pm Tottenham Court Road station (exit 1).








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.



Thursday, 21 September 2017

Freedom! And Irn-Bru! @irnbru #Smithfield

Adam writes…


Had to have a chuckle on Tuesday night as I passed the William Wallace memorial at Smithfield on my Ghosts of the old City walk…





There are often floral tributes to be found at the spot, but on Tuesday the bouquet had an added extra bit of oomph. A bottle of Scotland's other national drink, Irn-Bru*…





Nice touch.

On close inspection, I noticed that the bottle had been opened and a small amount had been taken from the contents, and I wondered… did the Scottish patriot who left the tribute sprinkle the drink at the site like holy water in some ritual attempt to conjure up Wallace in 21st century Smithfield?

Perhaps they had taken the old "Coke Adds Life" advertising slogan a step further: "Irn-Bru Brings Wallace Back From The Dead". 



* For those of you reading this blog outside the UK who may not have sampled the ample delights of Irn-Bru, here's a short description from Wikipedia…


Irn-Bru (/ˌaɪərnˈbruː/ "iron brew") is a Scottish carbonated soft drink, often described as "Scotland's other national drink" (after whisky).It is produced in Westfield, Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, by A.G. Barr of Glasgow…

In addition to being sold throughout the United Kingdom, Barr's Irn-Bru is available throughout the world and can usually be purchased where there is a significant community of people from Scotland. Innovative and sometimes controversial marketing campaigns have kept it as the number one selling soft drink in Scotland, where it competes directly with global brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.





Here's a trailer for my Ghosts of the Old City walk (we visit Wallace along the way) on Tuesdays & Saturdays…




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.



Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tucker Gets Stoned & Presents His Unified Theory

If Einstein can have a Unified Field Theory why can’t the rest of us?

Here’s mine (David of London Walks writing here).

If you want to picture it picture this guy…

 

… with rays running out from him in all directions. Like shook foil. Like rays of light streaming out from the sun.

(Don’t need to worry about the halo, it’s already there – you can glimpse part of the arc of the halo in the upper right hand corner of the image.)

The gentleman – love the ear ring, the sizing us up look, the wild hair, the tash and raggedy beard, the high forehead (you pretty much know what’s behind a dome of those proportions) – is of course Shakespeare.

I turn to Shakespeare again and again – whether it’s history or politics or literature or love or human behaviour or music or nature or society or whatever. He’s always there with something. Not just something – with the spot-on right something.

Anyway, my eureka moment – my Unified Field Theory moment – came late last night when I was thinking about Ruth’s Urban Geology walks. I’d been re-reading Romeo & Juliet. And suddenly there it was, these lines:


O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies

In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities



Mickle means much or great.

The kicker is of course that third noun in the second line: stones.

Floored. I was.

Because it perfectly describes the “power” that’s in those stones’ stories. Simply astonishing stuff. What a granite – for example – went through to become a granite. (Love Ruth’s line: “Granite is like ice cream, there are many different flavours but they’re all essentially the same ingredients.”) And what it’s “seen” in its millions of years of existence. Let alone what its properties and characteristics and specialities are.

To see their “true qualities” – as we do when Ruth takes us “into” those stones and their back stories – is to change, profoundly, the way you see London.

My best American pal lives in Manhattan. He went on one of Ruth’s walks. Two hours moving through London with a group of people of whom everybody – Ruth excepted – had their mouths hanging open in wonderment pretty much the whole time. And the upshot?  David – he’s Little David, I’m Big David – says every time he goes out for a walk in Manhattan he’s looking at building stones and internal monologuing “I wonder what Ruth would have to say about this stone – or that one directly over there.”

And as for “grace” – well, that’s Ruth and her manner, her complete command of her subject, her delight in it, her delight in sharing it with those lucky enough to have plumped for one of her walks, her story telling, her fun and sense of humour. To say nothing of the twinkle in her eye.

It’s not just stories in stones, it’s a pas de deux with those stones and the extraordinary events and millions of years (billions in some cases) they crystallise.

Conclusion: if Shakespeare is able to “reach out and share” – let alone be spot on – about stones (and in particular an Urban Geology London Walk – well, why wouldn’t you look at Mary (“the boss”) with a wild surmise and burble, “I’ve just discovered the Unified Field Theory. He – the UFT – was born in Stratford in 1564. Worked in London. Lives in all of us. And explains everything. To perfection.”







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.



Monday, 18 September 2017

In & Around #London… Hats

The Monday Photoblog!


Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.

Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.





Full Nelson at Greenwich


Henry Croft's pearly topper at St Martin-in-the-Fields


A Seven Dials Fez


Lost in Baker Street – in the window of the Lost Property Office


Found in Baker Street – Sherlock takes the Tube






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.