SECRET LONDON WALKING TOURS
Explore the streets of secret and hidden London with author and Blue Badge Guide Richard Jones.
A WALK AROUND SECRET LONDON
Join Richard Jones for a tour around the tucked away streets, alleyways and passages that nestle at the heart of the old City.
London is, very much a city of secrets and, on this walk, we uncover some of the Capital’s most fascinating and hidden locations.
We begin on one of the City’s oldest thoroughfares, one that still follows its original medieval street pattern. It leas us to our first surprise of an afternoon that will be brim full of surprises as you come face to face with the local cordwainer.
What’s a cordwainer? All will be revealed at the first stop on our Secret London Walking Tour.
From this promising start we duck into a tiny courtyard to find ourselves standing at the exact centre of the City of London. This was once the location of the man upon William Shakespeare based the character of Falstaf and Richard will tell you all about the sites connections with the Bard, not to mention the fact that it was once the site of the house occupied by successive Lord Mayors of London.
Onwards we wend to encounter a man whose fame spread well beyond these shores when his name became indelibly linked with the legend of Pocahontas with tragic results.
Across from stands the church tower from which the fabled Bow Bells ring out. To be a true native Londoner – a cockney – you must be born within the sound of these bells, and Richard will explain how this tradition evolved.
By way of the corner that William Wordsworth immortalised in a 1797 poem, we pass the site of the house in which Sir Thomas More – the Man For All Seasons – was born.
Moments later we are gazing in wonder at the soaring walls of London’s medieval palace, built between 1411 and 1440.
A veritable warren of ancient streets then follow in which we’ll encounter a truly eclectic mix of famous figures from London’s rich and varied past. William Shakespeare turns up again and is joined by Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper, Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Bridget Jones, not to mention sundry Roman and medieval citizens!
This brings us to another highlight of a tour that is brim full with them.
Located not a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral is a secret garden at the centre of which is the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice. Here, on wall tiles that date back to the early 1900’s, long ago men, women and children who sacrificed their lives so that other might live are remembered in a setting that is both poignant and tranquil.
Speaking of tranquillity, we next find our way into the inner sanctum of London’s oldest hospital complex to uncover its secrets and learn about its fascinating history. You’ll see the building inside which Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick, Dr John H. Watson met and you’ll gaze up at the only outdoor statue to Henry V111 in a public place in London.
Having paused at the spot where William Wallace – Braveheart himself – was put to death on 23rd August 1305, we’ll duck beneath an timbered gatehouse that dates from 1559 to gaze upon the dark flint walls of London’s oldest parish church, a true time capsule that transports us back to the year 1123.
Finally, we dip into a tiny alleyway where we encounter the City’s oldest houses which date from 1602 and which are typical of the types of houses that lined the streets of London prior to the Great Fire of London, which devastated the City in 1666.
So join Richard Jones on his acclaimed journey back in time that will twist and turn its way through 2,000 years of captivating history.