London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

Are you looking for a walk for a social occasion for work, a lunchtime walk maybe or do you have a group of friends and want to book me for a private walk? Have a look at the choices below which are split into four sections:

  • Walks in the City of Westminster (around Parliament and the West End);
  • Walks in Clerkenwell & Islington;
  • Walks in the City of London;
  • Walks in Walthamstow & Chingford.

All walks can be adapted to start and finish at your place of choosing within a specified area.

My public liability insurance covers me for up to 30 people but in reality that is too big a group. The ideal maximum is 20. I can always bring in guiding colleagues to help 

Do you have limited time in London but want to see as many of the sites as possible without too much rushing around?

Then I would recommend a tour in one of London’s famous licensed  taxis with a knowledgeable driver (Ray Coggin is both a qualified walking guide and taxi tour guide). A taxi tour is much better value for a family than a bus tour. 

Ray’s Discover London taxi tour 

Ray also leads special Soccer Themed Tours – more info here 

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Guided Walks in the City of Westminster

Westminster is much more than just the area around the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey although of course I do lead tours there. The City of Westminster is made up of a collection of areas each with their own distinct identity. Areas I lead walks in include Covent Garden, Little Venice, Marylebone, Paddington, Soho, St James’s and Victoria. Scroll down for suggestions of walks in these areas.

Westminster: Highlights and Hidden Places

Are you looking for a tour that takes in Westminster’s highlights but a bit more besides? I can put together a tour where in addition to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Horseguards we could see:…

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Mercers’ Maidens and Mozart: Covent Garden off the Beaten Track 

Mercer's Maiden

A walk exploring the lesser known streets and alleyways of Covent Garden from the site of a burial ground and workhouse to the site of a leper hospital and rookery.

We will also go on a search for Mercers’ Maidens, hear about pubs allegedly linked by their cellars and spot ghost signs recalling a long forgotten trade the area was once famous for.

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Little Venice, Paddington and Pubs

A walk exploring three contrasting areas – Paddington Basin, the old village of Paddington now ‘marooned’ on the other side of the Westway and the area known as Little Venice.

Built in the early 1800s the canals in this area provided a link to both the Midlands and the Thames for the easy transportation of goods. Trade like this has long gone but evidence can still be seen of how the business of the canals functioned.

We start in the area once known derisively as “Stinking Paddington” or the “Paddington Alps” because of the piles of rubbish that awaited transportation out of London. Thankfully it has changed out of all recognition and amongst the new buildings quirky bridges and sculptures are at least several reasons to visit. 

Next Little Venice, Paddington & Pubs public walk:

Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2019 2.15-5.30pm (two pub stops)

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A Foodie Themed Christmas Lights Tour

The walk starts in a cosy Sam Smiths pub in Marylebone (with a fire) then meanders through the back streets of the West End (where the best lights can be found), through Mayfair and into Soho. The walk includes hidden passages, posh shops (usually with the best decorations) and lots of historical snippets along the way.

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St James’s – Coffee Houses, Clubs and Pubs

Blue-Ball-Yard

A food and drink themed walk around St James’s one of London’s most exclusive areas. Famous for its gentlemen’s clubs which were originally coffee and chocolate houses St James’s also houses one of the oldest and most expensive restaurants in town and Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant not to mention the Queen’s grocery store and a 200 year old cheese shop…

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Soho UncensoredSoho Uncensored

A new walk around Soho – not for the faint hearted and definitely over 18s only

“Better a seedy Soho than a tarted up tourist attraction like Covent Garden” so said musician George Melly in 1987.

Soho’s seediness isn’t just a 20th century creation though. This walk explores places which would feature in an x-rated history of Soho from the 1700s right up to the present day.

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Soho – A Foodie History & Cocktail Bar Tourslider-soho

Discover how Soho’s colourful history has made it what it is today – a place with a vibrant night life and myriad food and drink emporiums. Hear about the raucous parties that took place in the 18th Century and also the shenanigans in the private drinking clubs of more recent times…

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Victoria and its Secrets

Westminster Cathedral

Do you work in Victoria? Away from the main street there is so much to discover. I can offer various walks in this neighbourhood including lunchtime circular walks either from a specific spot such as Westminster Cathedral in Victoria Street or maybe from your office.

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Gingerbread and Tea – A Food and Drink Themed History of Mayfair

Connaught Hotel

Known for its exclusive hotels such as Claridge’s and Brown’s with their expensive afternoon teas, Mayfair is also home to a famous auction house offering a bargain afternoon tea and a hidden café in a designer clothes shop. You will hear about the Georgian passion for ice cream, the binge-eating composer and the famous gingerbread seller Tiddy Doll…

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Palaces, People, Mansions and Monuments

monu-westminster

A riverside roam exploring the lost palaces and mansions of London’s riverside together with some of the City’s lesser known monuments.

Starting at Westminster Underground Station the walk wends its way east along the Thames seeking out remnants of a time when palaces and mansions lined the river – a set of steps, a water gate, the street names – these are all clues that connect us with the past and the stories of those who lived there.

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The hidden pubs of Belgravia

nags-head

Belgravia is one of London’s most exclusive areas but in the mews areas behind the grand squares can be found some of the most historic and picturesque pubs in the whole of London. I will take you to visit 3 of the most interesting pubs in the area…

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Marylebone Foodie & Pub Themed Tour

Sing song pub

Tucked away from Marylebone’s famous high street can be found some amazing historic pubs. So what better way to spend an afternoon (not Sunday) than taking a walk that includes visiting two pubs (spending half an hour in each) whilst hearing about some of the characters and events associated with the area…

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Walks in Clerkenwell & Islington

Canonbury Tower

Canonbury Tower

Secret Islington – a Tour of Historic Canonbury

Just off Upper Street and only a couple of minutes’ walk from Highbury & Islington tube the area of Canonbury has a history that really should be explored…

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The Perilous Pond, Pest House and Prostitute Walk

The back streets between Moorgate and Old Street are full of interesting links with the past, many of which we will see on this walk around the area known as St Luke’s.

Hear about the marketing genius who transformed a notorious drowning spot into a popular bathing location and see …

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Photo courtesy of Esprielle Kiefer

A Drinking History of Clerkenwell

This walk explores Clerkenwell, historically a place of gin and beer production. Hear how the abundance of fresh water in the area shaped the area firstly with the religious settlements and later with distilleries and breweries.

With Smithfield Market on its doorstep Clerkenwell was once full of pubs along St John Street; many of the pubs may have gone but the buildings and stories remain

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Walks in the City of London


Let me take you to corners of the City that most people pass by and learn about its fascinating history…
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Walks in Walthamstow & Chingford

Chingford: From Fields and the Forest to Royals and the Railway

Pimp Hall Dovecote

What do Ivor Novello, Lawrence of Arabia, Queen Victoria and the Forgotten Father of English Sport have in common? Answer – they all have connections to Chingford.

Next Chingford public walk:

Saturday 24th August at 2pm. Book here

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Walthamstow: From Monoux and Morris to Beer and Bacon Jam

St Mary's Churchyard Walthamstow

William Morris, grand tombs, theatre, music, an ancient house, a 12thC church, a brewery and illuminations galore all feature on this Walthamstow walk. We start at the William Morris Gallery and finish at a neon wonderland (alongside 3 breweries, a gin bar and a good pub). 

Next Walthamstow public walks:

Friday 28th June 2019 at 2pm. Book here

Saturday 20th July 2019 at 2pm. Book here

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Walthamstow – Artistes and Artisans

Walthamstow-Artistes---former-cinema-entrance-Wood-St

On this walk you will discover Walthamstow’s historic shops (and some newer quirky ones too) together with its early cinema history. Find out how some local pub-goers ended up as film extras and what connection this same pub had with Wood Street’s own annual (but now long-gone) sporting activity. Hear how one current shopping emporium started off as a cinema and about another less successful but unusual entertainment venue in the vicinity…

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