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The Best Walking Tours in London

9 July 2017 | Charlie Kenber

With the weather mostly holding for the rest of the summer, why not make the most of it and take a stroll? And whilst you’re there you might as well learn a little about our wonderful city…

Black History tour

Spanning the entire city, each of these Walks focuses on a different area of the capital, from the City, to the West End, Docklands, Elephant and Castle and Notting Hill. The talks focus on the extent to which London’s wealth is built upon the shoulders of African labour and resources, as well as the lasting influence African culture has had on the city’s landscape. You’ll be shown those streets that carry names with African origins, and buildings with architectural influences from the continent. Lasting between two and two and a half hours, the walk is sure to quench your thirst for knowledge!

Tours run from January to November but do not follow a regular rota. Check the website for details.

The Blood and Tears Walk: London’s Horrible Past

This walk has been going for an incredible fourteen years – a testament to its quality - and continues to unnerve all who participate. Sold as “Jack the Ripper plus much more”, the route takes in all of London’s darkest secrets, charting the lives lost as the city grew. It features serial killers, execution sites, grave-robbers, conspiracy theories and secret tunnels, all in a two hour walk led by Declan McHugh – who himself has featured on Most Haunted Live. The tour focuses on the Fleet Street area, as well as Tower Hill, before ending near to Holborn Station. Peel back the layers of London’s history and take a peek at the dark past hidden beneath.

The walk lasts two hours and costs £10 for adults and £8 for children (12-14), although some discounts apply. It runs at 7pm Weds-Fri, and also at 9.45pm on Wednesday and Thursday. Not suitable for under 12s.

London Graffiti and Street Art Tour

This walk covers the progression of London’s street and graffiti art scene from early Banksy works to Shephard Fairey, Roa and Space Invader. As well as passing noteworthy work on walls around London’s East End, the walk includes stops at a number of street art galleries, highlighting its incursion into the fine art sphere. With new daubings appearing and changing all the time, the walk is certain to be unqiue. The route comprehensively covers east London, starting at Liverpool Street station and finishing up in Hoxton. Make sure to bring your camera!

Advance booking is essential. The tour lasts around two hours, and costs £20 per person, with a minimum of two people per booking. See the website for full details.

Old Map Walking Tour

Another historical adventure, this walk sees you explore often over-looked London neighbourhoods with the assistance of physical representations of the past. Led by Ken Titmuss - AKA the Old Map Man – these walks explore “history in unlikely places”, celebrating those unsung local heroes who are truly to thank for the capital’s richness. As well as recounting the history of the areas, Ken demonstrates their progression with a number of historical maps. Current tours cover areas such as Pimlico, Fitzrovia and West Bermondsey; all last two hours. Trace the ghosts of the city’s development.

There is no fixed schedule, and tours take place all across London, so check the website for details. £10 for adults, £8 concessions.

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