Sometimes the only way to cover a subject adequately is to move around on foot. Here are some of the most popular themed walks I do.
Financial London: See one of the world’s three leading financial centres up close. Either in the City of London, the very special square mile which contains the Stock Exchange, the Bank of England, the investment banks and Lloyds of London. Or alternatively in Canary Wharf, the enormously successful expansion of the City built on derelict dockland in east London. Hear how the largest urban redevelopment in Europe attracted the world’s largest banks and a host of other prestige financial institutions.
Legal London: Long ago, London’s lawyers worked out that the best place to be was between their clients (in the City) and the Courts (in Westminster). So since the 14th century they have occupied a distinct area known as “Legal London”, where all four medieval Inns of Court are located and where barristers (court-room lawyers) train and work. Visit Middle Temple Hall, where Queen Elizabeth I watched the first ever performance on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Nearby is the 13th century Temple Church, featured in Dan Brown’s bestselling thriller The Da Vinci Code. And see the law in action inside the Royal Courts of Justice.
West London is where the idea of urban gentrification started. Knightsbridge, Kensington, Chelsea and Notting Hill have some of the most exclusive homes and upscale shopping in London. And yet Chelsea has its artists, Kensington its world class museums and Notting Hill its musicians. Every August the elegant streets of Notting Hill play host to the largest street carnival in Europe. Let me show you around this eclectic mix of affluence and popular culture.
Other tours much in demand are the Olympic Sites, now being re-purposed for housing and community life, and the ever popular Beatles Tour around the places where they lived, performed and recorded.