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Recommended walks led by Blue Badge guide Mark King. See more details on the next page.

Book and subscribe to emails and updates about his walks here. Book private tours here.


For a taster of Mark’s walks, see these videos on Vimeo:

St. Bart’s the Great & Smithfield.

Transforming King’s Cross & St. Pancras.

Tracking Crossrail - Part 1: Paddington to Bond Street.

City of London ceremonies.

City of London Ceremonies (2)

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Guided Walks 2017 1 2

JANUARY

Monday 10 Jan. 10.30-12.30 pm

‘Merchants, Markets, Money and Mugs of Mocha’

Discovering the alleys and passage-ways around Cornhill and Leadenhall.

Explore London’s trading story on this guided walk through the City’s often narrow, twisting alleys, where merchants have been making deals since the Romans founded this great commercial centre. Hear how money is made and marketed, see where goods have been traded, sea-captains secured commissions, and investors meet to offset commercial risk. Discover the role of London's first coffee-houses, celebrated as progressive business institutions and 'penny universities' and still today the forum of choice for trade and social culture.

We shall also see how some of that wealth continues to be spent, as we pass several of London’s finest markets and modern office buildings including the Royal Exchange, Leadenhall, Lloyd’s of London, the ‘Gherkin’, Heron Tower and 'Cheesegrater', currently the tallest building in the Square Mile. We'll also be looking into the near future after construction of the 'Can of Ham', the 'Scalpel', 'Gotham City' and the City's imminent high-rise champion, Eric Parry's Number 1 Undershaft.
There’ll be plenty to see in every direction – vertically, horizontally and even 'Diagon Alley'!

After the walk, there will be an option to stay for lunch in one of London's last traditional chop-houses, Simpson's Tavern: Lunch at Simpson's  Places are limited, please reserve in advance when booking on the walk.

Book on Eventbrite: City alleys


Monday 23 Jan. 10.30-12.30pm

‘New Horizons - Imperial, Colonial and Commonwealth Connections in the City’

Coinciding with Australia Day and the inauguration of the next President of the USA, this walk explores international links to the City of London, especially with former colonies and Commonwealth countries. Meet famous and less well-known individuals who pioneered these settlements or came here to contribute to the development of our capital - creating new horizons for us all.

We'll meet a variety of well-known and less familiar local characters as well as names living on famously in the names of our companies, streets or institutions. Among these are early settlers involved in European colonisation of Australia and America, the Anglo-German entrepreneur who pioneered international news-gathering (using low-tech pigeons then high-tech telegraph and ticker-tape), the Canadian banker guiding monetary policy, and a South African who transformed London's railway network. 
You'll find you've been walking past so much more than you ever imagined in this international city!

Book on Eventbrite: New Horizons

 

Tuesday 31 Jan. 11.30-1.00pm

‘The Trial of the Pyx and other City of London Ceremonies’

On the first day one of the oldest judicial events in English history dating back to the 12th century, come on a guided tour celebrating ancient traditions and customs.

Our ancient City of London has customs, pageantry, institutions and traditions stretching back through the proverbial ‘mists of time’. Today's walk continues my popular series celebrating some of these colourful and often little-known events, including the Trial of the Pyx.
Hear about the origins and role of the City of London and the mayoralty - then and now - while learning about fascinating traditions still celebrated by institutions including livery companies, Freemen, monarchy, religious organisations and long-deceased charitable benefactors.
Walk starts on Foster Lane opposite entrance to Goldsmith's Hall (nearest Tube - St Paul's).

Book on Eventbrite: Trial of the Pyx

 

FEBRUARY 


Thursday 9 Feb. 6.30-9.00pm

'Pleasure, Pain and Pubs in Bankside' - guided tour with pub stops

Discover some of the historic and contemporary pleasures and pain associated with living - and dying - on this southern side of the Thames. A couple of stops in the area's fine pubs will keep us refreshed!

The Bankside area of Southwark is regaining its historic reputation as one of London’s most vibrant entertainment districts. On this tour through a thousand years of London’s southern shore, we’ll pass landmarks including Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Borough Market and The Shard, and enjoy great views across the Thames to the City skyline including that landmark ‘fry-scraper’, the ‘Walkie-Talkie’. 
We’ll encounter bearded Viking invaders, The Bard, bear-baiting, bawdy ‘Winchester geese’, bad men, and the saintly Octavia Hill. The cast of characters includes dodgy bishops, writers Charles Dickens and Geoffrey Chaucer, buccaneering sea-captain Sir Francis Drake, the founder of Harvard University, globe-trotting director Sam Wanamaker and press baron Rupert Murdoch. Which are 'pleasures', which are a 'pain'? You'll be the judge!

Stopping for a drink or two in a couple of the area’s fine pubs, we’ll also find out about the area’s historic role as a centre of beer-brewing thanks to water from the Thames and hops from Kent.
NB – drinks in pubs are at your own expense. This walk is not suitable for children.

Book on Eventbrite: Bankside history and pub tour

 

Wednesday 15 Feb. 10.30-12.30pm

‘Thames, Trade, ‘Jack Tars’ & Torpedoes’

A First World War-themed walk beside our beautiful river that looks at the war at sea and its impact on London’s port.

Explore how our island nation prepared for war and the crucial role expected to be played by the ‘Senior Service’ (Royal Navy). Proceeding alongside London’s mighty river, we’ll discover the war’s dramatic impact on this port‘s vital, global trade routes, the impact of tragic events such as the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and the brave contribution of sailors in the navy, merchant marine and fisheries fleet. Discover what makes ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ on Embankment look slightly bashed about even today, and how refugees crossed the Channel in unprecedented numbers to seek protection.

Hear about submariners, Master Mariners, one of only three Great War military ships remaining in British waters, air-ships and even ‘ships of the desert’.

Book on Eventbrite: First World War - Thames and the sea

  

Sunday 19 Feb. 10.30-12.30pm

‘Creatures in the Garden' – a family-friendly guided walk in Covent Garden

Telling the story of Covent Garden through creatures concealed in its streets and buildings.

My original ‘Creatures of the City’ walk proved to be a fun way for people of all ages to appreciate the City of London’s remarkable story. On this walk, I’ll be following an equally ‘beastly’ theme to explore a different kind of jungle, Covent Garden. Using only references to animals in the buildings and streets, we’ll roam from its early days as a Roman settlement, through Saxon Lundenwic, medieval monks and nuns into the 17th century, when the area underwent a ‘Big Game’-changing redevelopment.

Covent Garden was transformed into one of London’s most famous markets - both vegetable and ‘meat’ - and an entertainment district. In late 20th century, the market was developed into its present incarnation as a popular leisure and retail destination. 
So, ‘camel long’ with your friends and family members of all ages to track those creatures lurking out there in the Garden!

Book on Eventbrite: Covent Garden

^Walks_Mark_King_2.html

London Ceremonies

City Alleys

Commonwealth Connections


NOTES

1. My 2015 Gift Vouchers are accepted on all my walks as payment for guiding fee only. Vouchers are available to buy as gifts throughout the year.

2. Guide reserves right to alter route or timing of an advertised walk due to unavoidable circumstances (e.g. weather, construction work, re-hang) or to re-schedule or cancel if numbers are too low to be viable in his professional opinion. In the latter event, payment shall be refundable or may be transferred to another his walks, at client’s request.

3. Check for anticipated disruption to your journey on public transport at: www.tfl.gov.uk and www.dlrlondon.co.uk/Planned-Engineering-Works/ 

4. It may not be possible on certain days to go inside places of worship on the routes but please wear appropriate clothing.

5. Guide will sometimes use a radio microphone system. You are welcome to bring your own headphones or to use a single-use, personal earpiece supplied on the day.

6. Please be aware of additional charges e.g. entry to venues; drinks not included on evening tours. See details of each tour.

Mark King’s London Quiz book is now available:
The Blue Badge Guide's London Quiz Book

River Thames