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Literary London Tube Map

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, February 21, 2020, In : Literary London 

How well do you know literary London via its tube stations?

In The Book's literary-themed map replaces stations with famous novels based on the area they were set in London, a nice way of sharing some my favourite books (which are also some of our most popular tours). How many do you know?

Oliver Twist is set around Islington. Clerkenwell Green (Farringdon being the closest station) is where poor Oliver Twist is wrongly accused of trying to pick the pocket of Mr Brownlow. Oliver Twist Tour st...


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Why we provide Jack the Ripper tours

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, February 10, 2020, In : Jack the Ripper 

In today’s Guardian author and social historian Hallie Rubenhold has announced her plans to commemorate the lives of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper with a new mural in Whitechapel.  She claims Ripper tours are ‘atrocious’. 

One of the most popular questions we get asked by people is if we provide a Jack the Ripper tour. Yes we do. If we didn’t, they would just go with someone else. Is it not better to provide a Ripper tour which truly reflects the Whitechapel of 1888, the murky...


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Aaron Kosminski - Jack the Ripper Suspect

Posted by Jenny Phillips - Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Thursday, February 6, 2020, In : Jack the Ripper 
Arron Kosminski, the suspect hinted as being Jack the Ripper, by Sir Melvlle MacNaughton as being the most likely suspect. Also, the subject chosen by Author Russell Edwards, who bought the shawl in 2007 Results from a forensic examination of this stained silk shawl that investigators claim was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth victim, in 1888. The shawl is speckled with what is claimed to be blood and semen, the latter believed to be from the killer...
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Medieval London: Holy Trinity Priory

Posted by Ian, City of London Tour Guide on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, In : Medieval 

If you peer in the window of a modern office building at the end of Leadenhall Street, where it meets Fenchurch Street, you can see what is left of Holy Trinity Priory. All that remains is an arch which once led from the choir to a side chapel. There is little to indicate the priory’s former grandeur.

Holy Trinity was one of England’s wealthiest religious houses, and after the crown it was the largest landowner in the capital. We have a papal taxatio - a valuation - from 1291 whic...


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Have you been upstaged by a squirrel?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, In : Georgian 
Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. 

The squirrels you see in London are grey squirrels. They were introduced into the UK in the 1800s which is quite apt since this cheeky fella upstaged me on my Georgian London tour. As cute as these squirrels are, they can be damaging to woodlands and has contributed to the decline of the stunning red squirrel.

Did you know?

Grey squirrels are renowned for their agility, adept climbing and cunning - they can crack open bird feeders and run along tight-rope wa...


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Leadenhall Market: the Heart of Roman London

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, London Tour Guide on Friday, January 3, 2020, In : Roman London 

Leadenhall Market stands in the very centre of Londinium, for underneath its buildings and avenues lie the remains of the forum.

The Romans began their conquest of Britannia in 43AD, and the settlement of London began sometime after. We do not know exactly when, but perhaps the most important find from a great deal of archaeological digging in the capital points to very rapid development. A timber drain found under No 1 Poultry dates to 47AD, indicating that a road was constructed by ...


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When is Twelfth Night?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, In : Christmas 

It is said that it is bad luck to leave your Christmas decorations up past Twelfth Night. But when is Twelfth Night?

One of the biggest surprises for those on my Victorian Christmas Walk is that at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. It’s hard to imagine that many businesses did not even consider it a holiday and for most it was simply yet another working day. Instead Twelfth Night was the big event in the calendar associated with parties and drinking....


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Cartwright Gardens: classical calm off the Euston Road

Posted by Ian McDiarmid on Friday, December 20, 2019, In : Kings Cross 

Cartwright Gardens is a graceful crescent of brick buildings with stuccoed ground floors. The first floors facing the street have finely wrought iron balconies and the top, fourth floor is marked off from the lower levels by a heavy white lintel. Otherwise, the facades are plain with recessed sash windows picked out in white.

The effect is of restrained classical elegance. It lies just south of Euston Road in Bloomsbury, and features in our King’s Cross Walk. The buildings a...


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Victorian Christmas in Islington with Rob Smith

Posted by London Guided Walks on Friday, December 13, 2019, In : Christmas Events 
Brand New for 2019

London Guided Walks are proud to present A Victorian Christmas in Islington presented by our very own Clerkenwell and Islington tour guide Rob Smith

The Victorians totally reinvented Christmas and this walk looks at how it was celebrated in Islington in the 1860s. Taking stories from local newspaper's of the period Rob will conjure up the sights of sounds of Christmas - the shops being readied for Christmas day, acts performing at the music hall, decorations for sale and ba...
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Guided Walks this Christmas

Posted by Hazel @ London Guided Walks on Friday, December 13, 2019, In : Christmas Events 

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Nunhead Cemetery Open Day 2019

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, May 2, 2019, In : Events 
Saturday, 18th May, 2019 11am - 5pm
FREE
Nearest Station: Nunhead

What does the event entail?
Cemetery tour including visits to the chapel and crypt which are not usually open to the public.
Seek guidance on family history
Food and drinks at our café.

More Nunhead open day information

Find out more about Nunhead Cemetery in our blog post.
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Beasts of London, Museum of London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, In : Events 
When: 5 April 2019 – 5 January 2020
Where: Museum of London
Suitable for: 7 years+
Price: Variable. Family tickets from £20

Beasts of London experience at the Museum of London explores the fascinating role animals have played in shaping the capital. Step into a self-guided tour through London’s beasty history, narrated by the animals who once lived here. 

Follow the footprints to travel through time, from the Roman era through Medieval London and right up to present day, narrated by the b...
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Who's your favourite Scrooge?

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, December 14, 2017, In : Christmas 


There is one question whilst doing my Christmas Carol Tour which I always get asked: who is your favourite Ebenezer Scrooge?

Hmmm….who do I think plays ‘a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping….old sinner’ the best? 

It’s fair to say there is plenty of choice:

  • 1910 Marc McDermott - A Christmas Carol (silent film)
  • 1938 Reginald Owen - A Christmas Carol
  • 1951 Alastair Sim - Scrooge (UK) & A Christmas Carol (USA)
  • 1962 Mister Magoo - Mister Magoo’s Christmas
  • 1970 Albert Finney - Sc...

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Howard's End London Filming Locations

Posted by Hazel Baker on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, In : Films 
The BBC's latest version of Howard's End has now hit the UK's TV screens. For those who have joined me on my Georgian London walking tour will see a familiar sight, Myddelton Square, Clerkenwell.


Myddelton Square, Clerkenwell 2015


Myddelton Square 2017

You'll notice the chapel has moved closer up the street and a large Victorian red brick building has replaced the small Georgian workers homes of Arlington Way.

Even though this majestic flagship square exudes Georgian elegance, a touch of movie m...
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BBC Filming in Clerkenwell

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, In : 20th century 


Whilst out with a lovely group on my Georgian London tour in North Clerkenwell we were lucky enough to come across the BBC filming. When I asked the crew, and after being told they were filming Jeremy Kyle the movie I was informed they were filming a new miniseries of Howards End. 

Back in February 2017 the BBC announced an all-star cast for Kenneth Lonergan's adaption of Howards End for BBC One. This is to be Academy Award® nominated screenwriter and playwright Lonergan's first TV screen ad...


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Rossopomodoro - a taste of Naples in Covent Garden

Posted by Hazel at London Guided Walks on Thursday, March 30, 2017, In : Eating 

One of the challenges of eating out in Covent Garden is to avoid the tourist traps and find somewhere authentic and affordable. Rossopomodoro’s Covent Garden restaurant is in olive-spitting distance from well-known chains Bella Italia and Spaghetti House. I was curious as to what culinary delights yet another Italian restaurant chain can offer the area.

The décor is simple and functional with ceiling lamps, and a golden mosaic tile wood oven creates a kitchen-like appearance.  

The menu i...


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Have you visited Nunhead Cemetery yet?

Posted by Hazel at London Guided Walks on Thursday, March 16, 2017, In : Victorian 
Nunhead Cemetery was originally called All Saints. Covering 52 acres, it is the second largest of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries established around the outskirts of London between 1832 and 1841 during a time when inner city churchyards were unhealthily overcrowded.
The cemetery was built on Nunhead Hill which rises two hundred feet above sea level with views of the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral to the north and the North Downs to the south.
The London Cemetery Company, th...

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Why did Charles Dickens choose the name Ebenezer Scrooge?

Posted by London Walks on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, In : Christmas 

Charles Dickens was prompted to write A Christmas Carol as his response to the evident evils of capitalism; but it was also an attempt to pay his ever-increasing unpaid bills. Six weeks after visiting Manchester where the fancy first occurred to him, his novella was complete. Dickens was in the event underwhelmed with the profits it generated, but his story went on to become synonymous with the modern Christmas ideal.

The first few paragraphs of the novella set the scene of Ebenezer Scrooge i...
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Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day?

Posted by Guided walks in London on Monday, February 22, 2016, In : 20th century 


The British tradition of Mothering Sunday is rather muddled. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the C16th. 

In the early twentieth century Mothering Sunday underwent a revival thanks to Constance Penswick Smith (1878-1938). It was in 1913 where she was inspired after reading a newspaper report of Anna Jarvis’s campaign for Mother's Day in America.

What is the connection between Laetare Sunday and Mother's Day? 
Laetare Sunday g...


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Victorian London; a new era full of hope

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, In : Victorian 

Victorian London was the largest city in the world for much of that time. London's population grew from about 1 million people in 1800, to about 6.7 million in 1900.  Many of the city’s residents lived in poverty.

Middle class England grew rapidly and the upper class, which was formerly purely hereditary, came to include the nouveau riche, who made fortunes from successful commercial enterprises.

However, a large proportion of Victorian society was still working class, and they remained disgr...


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Explore Victorian London on our walks

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, In : Victorian 

In Victorian literature London is often described as a labyrinth or a maze; once you enter it’s hard to get out. Even though we may look back at the Victorian era with fond sentimentality Victorian London was a dangerous place especially after dark, with highway men and other scoundrel’s waiting to pounce on anyone crossing their path. 

Our Victorian Covent Garden & Soho walk we delve into the world of Music Halls, the introduction of ice cream to the masses and the fortitude of V...


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Take a trip to Bath

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, In : Day Trips 
Bath is a small and beautiful city and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. From London, Bath is less than two hours train travel, making it an ideal location for a day or weekend trip. There is plenty to see without spending too much money. Here are a few suggestions:


Bath Abbey, BA1 1LT 
The fan vaulted ceiling and wood carvings in the choir stalls are particular fine.  They also have a free audio guide which you can download and listen to as you walk round. In the audio guide...


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Visit the Wellington Arch

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, June 18, 2015, In : Georgian 

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Wellington Arch is an English Heritage property which has an interesting exhibition about the battle and reveals a few details which are missed from the English history class rooms.

Wellington Arch now sits at Hyde Park Corner, where Kensington Road meets Piccadilly near its junction with Park Lane, and where the Kensington Turnpike Trust had its tollgate. As a result, Hyde Park Corner became thought of unofficially as the new entrance...


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Follow the Footsteps of Oliver Twist

Posted by London Guided Walks on Sunday, January 4, 2015, In : Victorian 


Many of Dickens’ contemporary critics and reading public feared that novels could be too realistic, and that naïve readers (often female readers) wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between fiction and reality. Especially for a novel like Oliver Twist, which is about “dangerous” subjects like poverty, crime, and the relationship between the two.

"Please sir, I want some more"

London is repeatedly described as a labyrinth or a maze – once you get into it, it’s hard to get back o...


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Georgian Clerkenwell & Islington

Posted by London Guided Walks on Monday, October 13, 2014, In : Georgian 


On Saturday many tour guides provided guided walks in London based on the theme of the Georgians for Local London Guiding Day 2014.



Luckily in Clerkenwell & Islington we are spoilt for choice as to what to include in an hours walk. The problem then is to decide what to include. Each guide designed their own walk around particular stops. Mine included Islington Tunnel, the Angel Inn, George Cruikshank and a young Charles Dickens as well as middle class houses and Georgians shops. No Georgian...


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Free London Walks

Posted by Guided Walks in London on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, In : Local History 
It's back again!  Local London Guided Day

I am proud to be involved with this years Local London Guided Day on Saturday 11 October. This year's theme is the Georgians, a particular favourite of mine. Four guiding associations are working together to deliver free guided walks in their specialist areas: Clerkenwell & Islington, City of London, Westminster and Greenwich.

Walks start at 10am and repeat on the hour with the last one at 4pm. Each walk will last no longer than an hour which means you...

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Hampstead Village Highlights - A Guided Walk

Posted by London Guided Walks on Friday, September 12, 2014, In : Guided Walks 

Hampstead Village has a rich history of intellectual and artistic associations and, of course, Hampstead Heath. With Hampstead having attracted the rich and famous over the last two centuries it's not surprising there are plenty of historical plaques which show a glimmer of its glamorous inhabitants.

This guided walk starts at Hampstead Tube station (Northern Line). There will also be a post walk drinks option too. The terrain does have a few inclines (Hampstead is on a hill you know). Ther...


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Notable Priors of St John's Priory, Clerkenwell

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, September 6, 2014, In : Local History 


Thomas Docwra Shield

Notable Priors of St John's Priory, Clerkenwell



The shields in the Chapter Hall of St John's Gate are a wonderfully visual timeline of the English Grand Priors of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell. The following are Priors who made history.

Thomas Docwra

Responsible for the rebuilding of the gateway in 1504. He was very close to King Henry VIII and accompanied him to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Val d’Or in 1520. 


Sir Robert Hale

By the 1200s the Knights Hospitaller were h...


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A brief history of Barnsbury, London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Monday, September 1, 2014, In : Local History 

Where does the name Barnsbury come from?


The name ‘Barnsbury’ comes from the de Berners family, which owned the medieval manor that occupied the site until the early C16th. The Manor of Barnsbury (also called Bernersbury or Iseldon Berners) was held in 1086 by Hugh de Berners.


Who owned The Manor of Barnsbury?

The Berners family retained the manor until 1502 when it was sold to a Merchant, Thomas Fowler. He passed the manor on to his son Edmund (d 1560) who left it to his son Sir Thomas (d 1...


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Artist Walter Sickert in Highbury

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 28, 2014, In : Art 

Walter Sickert, Victorian artist & actor

At 1 Highbury Place there is a Georgian building with the green plaque was once Walter Sickert’s school of painting and engraving.



Walter Richard Sickert was a late Victorian painter who came from an artistic family. He had a particular fondness for Islington which was a major presence at both ends of Sickert’s life, personally and professionally.


It was a 5yr old Walter Sickert who first visited Islington. In 1865 he attended St Mark’s Hospital, Ci...


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Cloudesley Square, Barnsbury

Posted by London Guided Walks on Monday, August 25, 2014, In : Local History 

Cloudesley square was the first square to be built over the Barnsbury area of Islington and was originally part of the Cloudesley Estate. 

Cloudesley Square, Barnsbury, London

The site of the square was formerly known as Stoneyfield and in the C16th was owned by Sir Richard Cloudesley. By the early C19th, the area was leased by dairy farmer Samuel Rhodes (great grandfather of the founder of De Beers diamond company Cecil Rhodes).


It wasn’t long before areas of the Estate were being chosen for ...


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The Start of the Georgians

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, August 23, 2014, In : Georgian 

Queen Anne of Great Britain & Ireland (1665-1714)

Only one of Queen Anne's seventeen pregnancies produced a potential heir, William, Duke of Gloucester (1689-1700). His death in July 1700 at the tender age of eleven caused Parliament to institute the Act of Settlement making Electress Sophia of Hanover heiress presumptive. Electress Sophia died two months before Queen Anne.


In 1714 Queen Anne died and was succeeded by her second cousin, Georg Ludwig, Elector of Hanover. Georg was an appealing c...


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Christie's in London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 21, 2014, In : Art 

Christie's is the world's oldest fine art auctioneer and has sold fine art, furniture, jewellery and wine since 1766, when James Christie conducted the very first sale in London. Since then, Christie's has continued to build its reputation as the perfect backdrop for the sales of the world's finest collections and greatest works of art before their auction. 


It was in 1823 when Christie's moved to its global headquarters at 8 King Street, St. James's, which remains to be its London headquarter...


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