London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

Another successful walk

Unbelievably yesterday was the first time ever that I have led two walks in one day and it definitely won’t be the last.

I was leading walks as part of the annual Local London Guiding Day where all 4 guiding associations (Westminster, City of London, Clerkenwell & Islington and Greenwich) join together to offer free walks. This year’s theme was “That’s Entertainment” and our walk started in the heart of the West End, Leicester Square outside Westminster Reference Library.

My allotted slot to lead a walk was 3pm but I didn’t want to wait that long; I was itching to get out there with a group. As a result of lots of online publicity I was also worried that we would be inundated with people so wanted to do my bit to help.  My worries were unfounded; we had a steady stream of people throughout the day but not the hordes I had been expecting.  I wonder why?
My first walk at 1pm consisted of a friendly group of 5 people and I really enjoyed leading the walk. They seemed receptive to my commentary and laughed at my jokes which is always good.  I finished the walk on a high as this is what guiding is all about and why I love it so much.
I am really pleased that I did that extra walk as my second group at 3pm consisted of 14 people many of whom appeared to be tourists and my initial jokes didn’t seem to work. However the buzz gained from my earlier walk really helped my confidence for the second one. After a shaky start I gained their attention and all of them stayed with me to the end after which I received several compliments from them about the walk; one saying it was the best of the three they had been on that day which was brilliant to hear and another saying my enthusiasm for London shone through.
As a result of my research I now have another few things to add to my “to do” list: to visit the “pop-up” William Curley chocolate shop on St Martin’s Lane, to attend a free Monday night concert at the Hungarian Cultural Centre and to visit the National Portrait Gallery for both Glamour of the Gods ending on 23 October and The First Actresses starting on 20th October.
I couldn’t finish the walk without mentioning a couple of good pubs in the area notably the Sam Smiths’ Lyceum Tavern and the Coal Hole with its bar named after a club for repressed husbands who weren’t allowed to sing in the bath!
I then went on to meet my fellow guides in the aforementioned pub hoping that those who had come on my walks would be inspired to explore London further.

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