Guided London Walks

HLSI Library

HLSI Library

London Walks

Footprints of London is delighted to partner with HLSI to bring you a programme of Monday afternoon walks and tours.

We are a collective of independent, qualified and insured London tour guides. All our guides research and write their own walks and tours based on their own interests bringing unrivalled knowledge and enthusiasm to the stories they tell.

We are where Londoners walk. We look forward to meeting you and helping you to love London just a little bit more with our autumn programme outlined below.

All walks/tours commence at 2pm. Indicative location of the start point for each tour is shown below. The guide will send you precise details of the meeting point six days prior to the tour.

Tutor:                    Footprints of London

Time:                    Mondays 2pm – 4pm

Dates:                   Autumn term 2018: Sept 17 – Dec 10 (half term w/c Oct 22)
                               Spring term 2019:  Jan 7 – April 1 (half term w/c Feb 18)
                               Summer term 2019: April 29 – June 3 (to take into account May bank
                               holidays on 6th and 27th May)

Venue:                 various – see programme

Fees:                     £124 for a 12-week term

                              £41 for a 4-week summer term


Date: 07/01/2019  The Real Dick Whittington
Your Guide: Jen Pedler

On this walk through the City of London, we’ll discover the story of Richard Whittington – the medieval merchant, philanthropist and Mayor who inspired the legend of Dick Whittington and his Cat. We’ll see the church whose bells are said to have summoned him to return to London and the church where he was buried. We’ll learn about livery companies, mayors and public toilets. We’ll find him commemorated with plaques and statues and find out how the money he left in his will is still benefitting Londoners today. And, of course, we’ll try to answer the question ‘did he really have a cat?’

The walk starts and finishes at Bank Underground Station

Date: 14/01/2019  But is it Art? – Highlights of the Tate Modern
Your Guide: Stephen Benton

Stephen is a qualified Tate Modern guide and regularly leads tours of the gallery. Today he will take you on a highlights which will include works by internationally famous artists including Picasso, Dali, Mondrian, Warhol and Rothko, as well as some newer less well known – and more challenging – pieces. The tour will include a visit the Level 10 viewing terrace for a fantastic 360 degree view of London.

Meet your guide at the Tate Modern, by the Cloakroom on Level 0.

Date: 21/01/2019  Festivals of Light (RESCHEDULED FROM 10/12/18)
Your Guide: Marilyn Greene

Over the centuries many religions have celebrated the significance of light, often for similar reasons, whether practical or metaphysical. Within the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum there are many examples of lamps and candleholders made for religious purposes, as well as religious objects and images that are intended to convey light, both literally and spiritually. This festive and symbolic tour takes you across time, cultures and galleries and is led by a former member of staff specialising in inter-cultural connections.

Meet your guide at the Cromwell Road entrance to the V&A (nearest tube station South Kensington).

Date: 28/01/2019  Follow the Holloway Road: From Archway to Arsenal
Your Guide: Jiff Bayliss

From 1400 the path followed by today’s Holloway Road was part of the main route north from the City of London. It cut directly across fields to join Islington with Highgate to take the exponentially increasing traffic.

Walk down it to see and hear how land was expropriated to meet the needs of the poor and how one of the most successful association football teams in history came to set up home here.

See glimpses of San Francisco, tunnels that collapsed, hidden memorials and where music was combined with murder

The walk starts at Archway Underground Station and finishes at Holloway Road Underground Station.

Date:  04/02/2019  Engineering Change
Your Guide: David Charnick

This walk explores how engineering has helped and shaped the City, and London in general.

The walk starts outside Costa Coffee, Tower Vaults (near Tower of London) and finishes at Moorgate Station.

Date: 11/02/2019  James Bond and the Spies of Mayfair
Your Guide: Michael Duncan

For Bond fans we will explore Ian Fleming’s Mayfair: where he was born, where he gambled and drank and how he got the inspiration for his greatest creation, James Bond.

But not all the spies of Mayfair are fictional. One of Britain’s greatest traitors fled the country from here, a Russian spy was murdered and real spies still scheme and plot.

The walk starts at Marble Arch Underground Station and finishes in Piccadilly.

Date: 18/02/2018  HALF TERM

Date: 25/02/2019  City by the Book
Your Guide: Jill Finch

The City of London is possibly best known for banking and money making, but this walk uncovers the wealth of literary history in its streets.

The walk starts at St Paul’s Underground Station and finishes at Bank Underground Station.

Date: 04/03/2019  Marx Lenin and Anarchism
Your Guide: Oonagh Gay

Successive waves of exiles from France, Germany and Russia made a home in Fitzrovia, close to the British Museum where Marx and Lenin studied, yet in an area where foreigners ran the bookstores and shops. On this walk we will find the streets where the leading Communard Louise Michel lived and established a pioneering Fitrovia school, and revisit the site of the Autonomie anarchist club, linked by police to the Greenwich bomb of 1894 which inspired Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.

The walk starts at Goodge Street Underground Station and finishes at Oxford Circus Underground Station.

Date: 11/03/2019  Shakespeare, gin and old lace in Clerkenwell

Your Guide: Neil Sinclair

The story of playwrights, pubs, priories and French protestant exiles in Clerkenwell.

The walk starts at The Museum of London and finishes at Farringdon Station.

Date:  18/03/2019  Imperial Boulevard: Kingsway
Your Guide: Guy Rowston

Take a walk down the 100ft wide boulevard l of Kingsway, Edwardian London’s attempt to emulate Paris. Hear of the lost opera house, the police raid on suffragette headquarters, the underground tramway. The great imperial architecture was background to roller-skating suffragettes, rioting Yank soldiers, Ready, Steady Go, Pavarotti’s first recording, and the home of the BBC’s World Service.

The walk starts and finishes at The Hilton Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych.

Date: 25/03/2019 Bram Stoker, Dracula and Friends
Your Guide: Anthony Davis

A walk in the West End, focusing on the creator of Dracula and his circle – a remarkable range from Oscar Wilde to Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Henry Irving, the great actor who was probably one of the models for the blood-sucking Count.  We hear about the later history of the book on stage and screen.  And there is a real-life murder, the front door of a secret society and a dark alley where we learn the sinister influence of gas lighting.  

The walk starts in Wellington Street opposite the Lyceum (the Lion King’s theatre) and finishes near Trafalgar Square.

(This replaces Buns and Guns previously scheduled for that date – now resheduled for 29/04/19)

Date: 01/04/2019  Soho Uncensored
Your Guide: Joanna Moncrieff

“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 as far back as the 1700s.

The walk starts in Soho Square Gardens and finishes at Leicester Square Underground Station.


Date: 29/04/2019  Buns and Guns (rescheduled from 25/03/19)
Your Guide: Anthony Davis

A walk around some of the highlights of Chelsea. We walk Chelsea’s elegant streets and hear about some of the famous residents who left their mark on the area, starting with Sir Hans Sloane, the Royal Physician who prescribed chocolate as a medicine and was Lord of the Manor.

The walk starts near to Sloane Square and finishes in the Kings Road.

Date: 13/05/2019  Maritime Blackwall
Your Guide: Rob Smith

Tales of trade, exploration, shipbuilding and migration that all started in the Blackwall area of Docklands. The walk takes in the former East India Docks used by the East India Company and the Cutty Sark, and Trinity Buoy Wharf, now home to an arts centre

The walk starts and finishes at East India DLR Station.

Date: 20/05/2019  Mr Selfridge and his Competitors
Your Guide: Stephen Benton

A walk featuring some of London’s famous stores. Learn why the first John Lewis was not a great employer and how his son changed the company. Find out Liberty’s unexpected connection to the British Navy and why a Marks and Spencer’s store is named after a building in ancient Rome. And discover which bits of the Mr Selfridge TV series were actually true!

The walk starts at Oxford Circus Underground Station and finishes at Selfridges, Oxford Street.

Date: 03/06/2019  Conserving Canonbury 
Your Guide: Jen Pedler

Canonbury was one of Islington’s earliest conservation areas; it’s also one of the greenest parts of the borough. On this walk we’ll explore its streets, square and hidden river. We’ll see one of the oldest buildings in Islington as well as a house that was listed before it was built. We’ll also consider how street furniture, paving and signage contribute to the character of this conservation area so we’ll be looking down as well as up!

The walk starts outside the Union Chapel, Upper Street and finishes at Islington Town Hall.