Hi! Husband and I are going to spend 3 weeks in London May-June 2013. I'm curious what walks in London (guided or otherwise are especially good or fun. We are into history, food and culture, but not too interested in the Beatles or Harry Potter walks. Jen
Do you mean London Walks as in walks.com?
Yes, and any others that might be available, too. I can just go to the site, but I'd like to hear what others thought were good.
We only took the Jack the Ripper one. Guide was great. Only problem was at the start of the walk, it is very high modern buildings so really had to use imagination. Half way through, went to a "seedier" area and to a similar pub and that was great, didn't have to use imagination as much. We did enjoy it.
Hi Jen, have done maybe 30 of the London Walks and maybe 8-10 of their Explorer Days. Some of the guides are excellent, most are very good, only one or two I would avoid. I think you should just pick the walks that appeal to your interests - when I have talked to others on the walks we all seem to have different favourites. I liked the British Museum tour (which I did with Tom) good to get an overview of somewhere that would have been overwhelming. Also liked the V&A walk with Margaret. My favourite so far was the occasional walk they sometimes do Underground London, Banksy and co -which was very surprising. I have done the 3 Foodie walks they do and these were pretty good. On the Explorer days, I really liked the Winchester day, the Colchester and Constable country day and the spring day trip to the Cotswolds - on some of the other day trips I liked part of the day, eg Chartwell. There are lots of walks I would still like to do, especially to places like St Pauls and Westminster Abbey as I think you get so much more from these places when you have a good guide.
Jennifer A good walk to do on your own is along the south bank of the Thames. If you start at Embankement tube,cross the river and then walk downstream you pass the South Bank Centre, New Tate, Shakespeare's Globe and the Golden Hind. You can stop at Tower Bridge or, if you are feeling energetic, walk right the way down to the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe and (eventually) to Greenwich. A good overview of river walks here http://www.walklondon.org.uk/route.asp?R=6 And a good site for other walks http://www.londonwalks.libsyn.com/ Alan
Re the Original London Walks (walks.com), I echo Gail's comment about the Jack the Ripper walk: that portion of London is no longer the dark, crowded slum it once was and it is difficult to get in the mood. But if you have an interest in the subject, the walk is still good. On our latest trip, we took the Shakespeare and Dickens walk (this is one single walk, not separate ones.) I have little more knowledge of these writers than your typical American high school education, but I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. In addition to learning much about both men, I learned a bit of London history and a lot about identifying architectural clues to the past that are all around you if you keep an open eye. I got out of it much more than what was advertised and I highly recommend.
Go to amazon.com and look up City Walks London. They have boxes of cards for 50 walks in each of a number of cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome. Each card has a map and comments on places along the way.
With regards to London Walks, I've done several dozen of them in the last 20 years. I tend to prefer the ones that take you through a neighborhood that you might not otherwise see in the normal course of sightseeing. In particular, I've enjoyed the Hampstead Village walk, Somewhere Else London, Old Kensington, and Chelsea. For food, Celia Brooks Brown does some fun (albeit a bit pricey) "gastrotours". She is an American food writer who has lived in London for years. I've taken her Borough Market and Marylebone (through Divertimenti) walks. celiabrooksbrown.com