Monday, 28 February 2011

In and Around London... St Giles

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





Once London’s most notorious rookery, St Giles has been transformed of late by both Crossrail and the work of Renzo Piano.


St Giles Church by Henry Flitcroft


Left to right: 19th, 21st and 20th century St Giles


The St Giles Alms House


Tin Pan Alley (see Friday's Rock'n'Roll London Walk)


Still looking modern 45 years on.


The Hidden West End Gin City, the Seven Deadly Dials, the Slum of Slums Pub Walk takes in the parish of St Giles and it goes on 2nd April. For a full programme of Saturday Night Pub walks click HERE.



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Sunday, 20 February 2011

London Walks Seven Days 20:02:11


Seven Days is our weekly round-up of all things London & London Walks in which we highlight seven top news stories rounded up from our Facebook page and seven recommended London Walks for the week ahead.
If you've spotted a London news story that may be of interest to London Walkers you can email it to the usual address



Seven Days Back: London Walks News Digest

The Top Seven Stories rounded up and posted to our Facebook Group London Walks Walkers this past week…


The Unseen Rolling Stones – Hampstead & Highgate Express

How the London 2012 Venues Will Look – BBC

Happy 100th Post to One of Our Fave Blogs – Bollards of London

The 100 Club Saved – The Guardian

London Fashion Week – The Daily Mail

London Photography Special – BBC

Royal Wedding Photographer – Daily Mirror


Seven Days Ahead

Seven Choice London Walks for the Coming Week:




MONDAY: The Royal Wedding Walk

TUESDAY: Ghosts of the Old City

WEDNESDAY: Legal & Illegal London

THURSDAY: Kensington

FRIDAY: The Best Art Tour Ever

SATURDAY: Bohemian Fitzrovia Pub Walk

SUNDAY: Old Kingston Village



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Saturday, 19 February 2011

London Walks at the Pictures No.15

Having spent the whole week in the delicious darkness of London’s cinemas, London Walks’ movie expert Richard IV and his chums emerge, covered in popcorn crumbs, blinking into the light to prepare for Sunday’s London Walks Film Special. Here they pause to share a favourite London movie location.

This week, Richard IV on…



THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1939)

The second outing for Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes & Watson has the feel of classic Victorian London that only 20th Century Fox’s Hollywood studios could provide: a reckless hansom cab journey through the fog-shrouded streets and a grand denouement at the Tower of London are among the highlights, and the recreation of the Crown Jewels’ display in the Wakefield Tower in the 1890s is near-perfect. A witty and deliciously unhinged Professor Moriarty from George Zucco, and Rathbone’s comic music-hall turn (‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…’) are two of the many delights.


The West End on Film Walk meets this Sunday at 11.00a.m at St James’s Park Station.



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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Pint o' Porter

It’s thirsty work this London Walks game. Who, therefore, could begrudge our Ann a pint of porter?


“A mutton chop and a pint of porter – standard fare for the Victorian Londoner. You may find it hard to get a mutton chop, but London porter is now coming back into fashion thanks to small breweries.

The Kernel Brewery in Bermondsey is brewing it from a C19 Whitbread recipe. Tasting notes claim ‘interchangeable aromas of chocolate, raisin, coffee and a touch of roasted, smokey malt, leather, wood. Dark perfumey fruits at the fore developing into some sour berry tones and succeeded by dark chocolate & coffee dominating the finish.’

The Kernel’s owner is Evin O’Riordan, who started his brewery after realising that while foodies pay great attention to the provenance of their food and wine, beer is often something that is just downed quickly in the pub, without a second thought.

The first brew was in September 2009 – and this year Kernel’s Export Stout, based on an 1890 recipe from Trumans, won 2 gold medals at the south of England Beer Festival. Its IPA Simcoe won gold and bronze in different classes – IPA, India Pale Ale, is another of those drinks favoured by drinkers in Dickens’ novels.

The Kernel Brewery is in Druid St., Bermondsey, and has near neighbours including Monmouth Coffee, and Booths fruit and vegetables, who moved here from Borough Market. The shops and brewery are open on Saturday mornings, and you can easily combine a visit with a trip to Borough Market.


Cheers!”


For details of Ann's forthcoming Foodie London Walks go to www.walks.com/foodie


Here's a video preview of Ann in action…






POST UPDATED 23/3/16


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.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

It's a London Thing No.24: On Paper

It’s a London Thing is our Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.


A copy of Time Out. Ditto a copy of The Evening Standard. Indispensible both.*

A book. Any book. Don’t get stuck on the Tube without one. As I type this, I’m glancing around this carriage, this hurtling library. In my section alone the books I see are Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – appropriately a book about books and paper; Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, an apposite tale to read underground in London; Microsoft Word for the Over 50s (see, it’s never too late to learn new things); and a Dan Brown. There’s always a Dan Brown.

A ticket to Billy Elliot** – best British musical since Blood Brothers and up there with Oliver as the greatest, IMHO – is also a very good piece of London paper to have.

A tube map. Beautiful to look at, simple to follow: the perfect mix of style and substance, ornament and practicality. Sure, you’ve got an electronic device and it’s got GPS and a search facility and a “Save Favourite Journeys” widget and it plays When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano while you wait for it to load. But by the time you’ve switched on, logged in and typed, I have, at a glance, already found the quickest way from Cockfosters to Mudchute. The map is now back in my pocket and I’ve settled down to read The Evening Standard over my neighbour’s shoulder (is this still considered rude now that the Standard is a free paper?).

If the battle between electronic tube maps vs. paper maps was a Western gunfight, then I’m Gary Cooper and I’m now striding away to get the girl. You are eating dust, my friend.

Anyway, if you are visiting London, then the small paper tube map is the perfect souvenir to take home and keep. Press it between the pages of a book and let it surprise you one day in the future. With its pen circlings and notes in your own fair hand (the words "Billy Elliot" scrawled beside Victoria station) it will remind you that you have to come back and see us in London.

Same goes for your paper copy of the A–Z, the greatest London book of ‘em all. I’ve kept the first copy I ever bought. It’s in black and white on newsprint-ish paper and it has my peregrinations in search of rented accomodation and employment marked in red biro. It’s not quite written in Latin with “Here Be Dragons” emblazoned across anything outside the Londinium City wall, but it has a lot of gaps at what is now known as Canary Wharf, the only Dome was St Paul’s and it certainly doesn’t have Andrew Borde Street. It’s my Domesday Book, my Magna Carta, it marks the moment I became a Londoner. And I wouldn’t part with it for all the royalties from The Da Vinci Code.

Then there’s the Famous White Leaflet. It’s portable. It’s interactive (i.e. you can unfold it AND read it). It’s a great umbrella when it rains – you can always pick up a new one at St Martin-in-the-Fields or Mr Simms sweet shop at Ludgate Hill. It’s the means by which you will identify your London Walks guide (s/he will be brandishing it outside the designated tube station). And the new season leaflet, Summer 2011, is in production right now.

The Famous White Leaflet. It’s a London Thing.


POST UPDATED 2/3/16

* When this post first appeared both Time Out & The Evening Standard were both still paid-for publications, both are now freesheets

** Billy Eliott closes on 9th April 2016



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.









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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

In and Around London... Signs of the Times Past

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.




Finger prints of the recent past left behind in London…



In an alleyway off The Strand


On an old department store in Kensington


In SE1, Somewhere Else London


On the Underground


In Covent Garden outside an old-school tobacconist



POST UPDATED 9/4/16

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.









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