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The Sad Past of Danson House

Posted by Rob Smith, Clerkenwell and Islington Tour Guide on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, In : Georgian 

Today Danson House in the London Borough of Bexley is home to a rather wonderful tea room and provides a stunning venue for weddings, but it was built on the proceeds of human misery and was not a happy place for its owner Sir John Boyd.

 

John Boyd’s father Augustus left Donegal in 1700 to run a sugar plantation on the island of St Kitts that had belonged to his uncle. The plantation was worked by African people brought as slaves from Sierra Leone. Augustus bought more plantations but gradua...


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James Maybrick: Fact or Fiction?

Posted by Jenny Phillips, Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Monday, September 14, 2020, In : Jack the Ripper 

James Maybrick, a cotton broker from Liverpool, did not become a suspect until 1992 when a diary written on part of a Victorian ledger was rumoured to have been found by Tony Devereux, in the attic of Battlecrease House, Aigburth in Liverpool, the former residence of Maybrick. He supposedly gave it to a friend Michael Barrett in a pub, but the story later changed as his wife Ann said it had been in her family for generations. She had asked Devereux to give it to her husband because he had lit...


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A Modern Monument to 2,000 Years of History

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, In : City of London 

As you cross the Thames on the Millennium Bridge (the “wobbly bridge”) you may well not be aware that immediately below you on the north bank river path there is a fascinating record of the history of London and the UK, scientific instruments/inventions and religion in London over the last 2,000 years.

 

Leading up to the year 2000 the northern riverside, round where the bridge is now, was completely regenerated. An accessible and pleasant riverside promenade was created where previously it...


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A Fine House For A Ship's Captain

Posted by Rob Smith, Clerkenwell and Islington Tour Guide on Friday, May 22, 2020, In : Local History 

Rainham Hall, in the London Borough of Havering may not be the largest house in London, but it is certainly one of the most charming. Now owned by the National Trust it was built for a ship’s captain. Captain John Harle, one of the traders and ship owners who made 18th Century London wealthy, showed off his fortune by building Rainham Hall in 1729.

Harle was born in South Shields , in the North East of England and began his career sailing on ships bringing coal from Newcastle to feed London...


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We'll Meet Again for VE Day 75

Posted by Hazel Baker on Friday, May 8, 2020, In : Things to Do in London 
For the first time in our 150 year history, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to a unique concert.

Mezzo Soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE will perform in an empty Royal Albert Hall in a special free online half-hour concert.

Katherine will sing wartime favourites including The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again; the latter performed as a virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynn. The timeless song, featuring the lyrics, ‘I know we’ll meet again some sunny day’, epitomised the emotion...
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Earth Day 2020

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, In : Events 

Wednesday 22 April marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


It’s a time when millions across the globe partake in positive action in order to raise awareness and save the planet.


This year will be different. Earth day 2020 will be the first ever digital Earth Day. Participants are encouraged to use hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE to safely raise awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic.


It’s clear to see benefits of reduced air traffic from the wonderfully bright blue skies across London...


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Growing from strength to strength

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Thursday, February 27, 2020, In : Guided Walks 
Becoming a London tour guide wasn't originally on my career ladder. For a couple of years I had been writing a London history blog and by default had ended up on the most specialist London tours going. "You should really move your blog onto the streets" I was told. And so that's what I did. I went back to university to become a qualified London tour guide. 

For four years I have worked on my own, always with the vision of creating a space where other professional guides would be able to share...

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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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Best way to get around London

Posted by Hazel, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, February 17, 2020, In : Travel 

Navigating London

London is a fabulous city in which to live and to visit. Saying that though, the most hardcore of Londoners can use a little help at time. And that help comes in the form of a mobile app.



It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security on regular London journeys, we know the optimal route on autopilot, even the specific carriage to get for a speedy exit from the station. But as soon as an unfamiliar journey is required a little more thought and preparation needs to ...


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Rare objects paint a new picture of Bronze Age London

Posted by Hazel Baker on Monday, February 10, 2020, In : Things to Do in London 

A total of 453 bronze objects dating between c.900 and c.800 have been discovered in Havering, Greater London. They were uncovered by archaeologists from Archaeological Solutions, as part of a planned excavation.

A pair of terret rings will be on display at the Museum of Docklands’ new exhibition: Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery. 

What are terret rings?

Terret rings are believed to have been used to prevent the reins of a horse from tangling on carts. 

These are the first Bronze Age ex...


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Soho-Ho Treasure Hunt

Posted by Hazel Baker on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, In : Christmas Events 
Our Soho-Ho Treasure Hunt kicked off the Christmas season on Sunday.

Forty people donned their santa hats and explored the area of Carnaby street looking for answers to our cryptic clues in the streets and in shop windows.

Here's a short video of what you missed: https://youtu.be/AfQGwb32Yr0


Our Soho-Ho Treasure Hunt makes a fun Christmas Event for corporates or friends and family.
Who knows, we may see you on our next public Soho-Ho Christmas Treasure Hunt next year with new clues!
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Susan's River Thames Walk

Posted by London Guided Walks on Monday, October 7, 2019, In : Guided Walks 

Susan's City of London River Thames walk helps us all make sense of the changing scene on London's river. The Thames rapidly became the most important river in the country following the Roman invasion, and has remained so ever since.

Starting at Blackfriars walk along the length of the City of London's edge of the Thames to the Tower of London. Susan's walk puts everything into perspective and looks at how it developed and changed through the ages. 

Hear the origins of the nursery rhy...


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London Wine Week 13-19 May 2019

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, May 2, 2019, In : Events 

What: London Wine Week 
When: Midday Wednesday 13 May to Sunday 19 May 2019
Where: Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark St, London SE1 1RU
Cost: FREE Event, you need to get your free digital festival pass

There will be over fifty of London’s top spots for a delicious drop, offering £6 wine trios or wine & food pairings, so whether you fancy something red, white, pink of fizzy.

Get your FREE festival pass now


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London's Brunch Festival

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, May 2, 2019, In : Eating 
Saturday 31 August & Sunday 1 September 2019
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
Tickets: £12.50 + booking fee
VIP Tickets: £35 + booking fee

This will be the biggest celebration of brunch London has ever seen. There will be coffee, there will be booze, also workshops, talks, music and most importantly … more perfectly delectable brunch food, yum yum.

Event includes:

Marketplace
- 10 amazing Brunch Headliners who will each be serving a special festival menu

Sweet Street
- packed full of...
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PLAY THE MILE  - a 100 day FREE Summer event, 18 May – 25 August

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, In : Events 
Explore the value of play and creativity in everyday life. Have you visited the Culture Mile of late? The Culture Mile stretches from Farringdon to Moorgate. Explore 2,000 years of history colliding and the places and people in Culture Mile and PLAY THE MILE.

MAJOR FESTIVALS - free performances in new and unusual venues
POP UP PLAY - outdoor activities responding to the streets, building and architecture of the area
PLAY SESSIONS - meet, make, and celebrate the benefits of creativity for loca...
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FREE music festival at the Barbican

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, In : Events 
Music will burst from the Barbican and out across Culture Mile’s architectural gems with a line-up of artists for whom the boundaries between classical and contemporary, experimental and jazz are blurred – or never even existed in the first place.

Venues include:
Barbican Lakeside, Hall, Conservatory and Cinema
St Giles' Cripplegate
Silk Street Music Hall
LSO St Luke's
Museum of London
fabric
The Charterhouse
St Bartholomew the Great
Cloth Fair
St Bartholomew the Less
Piano Smithfield

From authentic m...
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Unusual Work Christmas Parties

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, In : Christmas 

Need to organise a Christmas works do with a difference? 


Being a small business owner, one thing I don't miss are those awkward Christmas work dos, where you're sipping a glass of paint thinner disguised as white wine while trying to look like you are having a good time.

If you need to organise your work’s Christmas do, give them an experience they can share and remember with our Christmas corporate events. This is your chance to get out of the office and to explore an area of Lo...


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Pancakes in Covent Garden

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, In : Eating 
If you have a love of pancakes then you are sure to enjoy Pancs in Covent Garden.

No matter whether you prefer savoury or have a sweet tooth there is sure to be something that suits your palate. We ventured down to the lower level of Covent Garden Market, following our noses to the warm and welcoming smell of Pancs. 



Having chosen Duck Confit Panc containing duck, stilton, rocket, mustard and honey and a Chicken Teriyaki Panc with chicken, pepper, lettuce and teriyaki we say down on the raised ...
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Pancake Day in London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, In : Events 
It is Shrove Tuesday! While Brazilians donne their carnival colours and Danish children dress up and 'hit the cat out of the barrell' we English partake in pancake races.

If you are stuck for something to do today then you are spoilt for choice for pancake-related events in London:

Parliamentary Pancake Race, Westminster

Now celebrating 21 years of tradition, the parliamentary pancake race in Victoria Tower Gardens where MPs, Lords and members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery willingly...


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Winter Lights Festival 2018, Canary Wharf

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, In : Festival 

It’s back! From tonight Canary Wharf will be illuminated by sculptures, structures and installations as part of the Winter Lights Festival, an annual celebration of light technology and art.

Over 30 cutting edge installations and artworks provided by artists from across the world including UK, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and USA. They will be on show both indoors and outside from 5-10pm across Canary Wharf estate where you can also enjoy an array of over 300 bars, shops and resta...


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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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Thames River Crossings Event - Saturday 13 May, 2017

Posted by Hazel from London Guided Walks on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, In : Events 



The first London bridge

The first bridge in London to span the Thames was built by the Romans in AD55 using piled structures for the foundations. It was located where the current London Bridge stands. It has been rebuilt many times since. A small trading settlement grew up around the wharves and bridge which later became known as Londinium.

The Thames depicted in Art
French Impressionist Claude Monet painted the Thames three times. 'The Thames below Westminster' painting depicts the riv...


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The personal touch, Covent Garden

Posted by London Walks on Sunday, May 15, 2016, In : 20th century 





Covent Garden's Apple Market is a popular market under the glass roof of Covent Garden market providing an antiques market every Monday. For the other days a vibrant market filled with individuals selling unique products for ever-demanding visitors.


Lavinia has had a popular stall The T-Shirt Club Covent Garden's Apple Market for the last six years; making and selling hand made T-shirts with a London theme. All T-shirts host hand-painted designs by Lavinia herself and are machine washable at 4...


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London Underground - Victoria Line

Posted by Hazel Baker on Friday, February 27, 2015, In : Travel 

For many of us Londoners the tube is something which needs to be endured rather than enjoyed. Big improvements have been made to the Victoria line with new bigger and more comfortable trains with wider aisles and doors, and higher ceilings.

Victoria Line History

Funding for a deep-level “Route C” line, better known as the Victoria line, was approved back in 1955. The grand opening of the Victoria line, or “London’s Pride”, was on 7 March 1969. Queen Elizabeth II was the firs...


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