Southwark & Bankside Pub Tour.
London Bridge Tube, 7.15 22nd Feb Tooley St Exit
Southwark has a unique historic and literary heritage and an authentic historic ambiance, with beautiful views of the Thames and the City of London. Plus some of London’s most famous Pubs!
Historic Southwark is chock-full of famous people, and we encounter traces of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens as we explore the history of London’s most famous suburb. Its location at the south end of London Bridge made it a key strategic and commercial site. This was where the great Medieval Inns were located, and from where Chaucer’s pilgrimage set off for Canterbury. Its independence from the City made it a haven for ‘undesirable’ elements and it became the home of the Medieval Stews (Brothels), and also the home of the Shakespearean Stage. On the walk we explore the sites of the Globe, the Rose, the Swan and the Bull and Bear Baiting Pits and Shakespeare’s role in the area. By the Victorian period its nature had changed completely into an industrial centre, home of notorious slums, of debtors prisons, and of charitable hospitals. It became one of the main inspirations for Dickens London fiction whose father was imprisoned here for debt when Dickens was a young boy. It was at the White Hart that Dickens introduced Sam Weller into the flagging story of the Pickwick Sporting Club – the character who saved Dickens literary career.
This is a London Walks Guided Walk by Kevin Flude
Bishopsgate Ward Walk. 2nd Feb 20 10.45.
Liverpool St Tube. Bishopsgate Exit. Top of Escalator
The next in a series of occasional Ward Walks. This is a chance to explore a small area of the historic City of London in detail. The area in question Bishopsgate is split into 2 parts – Within Bishopsgate and Without the gate. This means that the Ward covers two of the most fascinating areas of the City of London – from the Gate to Leadenhall Street, and outside the Gate to the border of Shoreditch. The extramural section was an area of monastic settlements, burial grounds, grand housing, and on the periphery slums. Inside the Gate were prime business locations, important markets and Parish Churches. Along the way we will look at the archaeological discoveries and the historic and literary associations of the area, including local resident William Shakespeare.
This is a London Walks Walk by Kevin Flude
Blackfriars to Fleet St. Pub Tour.
Jan 25th 7.15 Blackfriars Tube
We take a slice of London’s history as we explore the banks of the River Fleet. On the East Bank, the Roman Wall and Blackfriars Monastery in the shadow of St Pauls. On the West Bank, Fleet Street and Legal London. To reflect on our discoveries we stop in some of London most historic and beautiful pubs.
Our timespan will stretch from the Romans to the Present day, and we will discover Palaces, Monasteries, Roman Temples, and visit the home of Katherine of Aragon; the Street of Shame, the best modernist building in the City, and Wren’s best Spire. A feast of topography, history, architecture and literature not to mention the best pubs!
This is a London Walks guided walk given by Kevin Flude
Thomas More & Thomas Cromwell’s London – The City of Wolf Hall
14:30 Sat 25th Jan 2020 Liverpool Street Station
The Walk creates a portrait of London in the early 16th Century, with particular emphasis on the life and times of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More.
More and Cromwell had much in common, despite being on opposite sides of the religious devide, both lawyers, commoners, important figures in the City of London. They both rose to be Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, and ended their career on the block at Tower Hill.
The walk visits the sites of Thomas More’s birthplace, and the Town houses of More and Cromwell before exploring the Tudor City of London, including the Guildhall and St. Pauls where Martin Luther’s books where burnt.
We end with an exploration of the Reformation at its London epicentre in Smithfield – site of the stake where Heretics were burnt alive, surrounded by Catholic Monasteries and playing a significant part in the life and downhall of Thomas More.
This is a London Walks guided walk given by Kevin Flude
Shakespeare’s London Locations – The places in the plays
2.30pm 21 Dec 19 Shoreditch High Street Overground Station
Most Shakespeare walks in London are biographical, this one is different. It is about the places in his plays. Exploring the places, the plays and the people the walk will hope to bring Shakespeare’s London to life amd give some insight to Shakespeare. And OK, there will be, perchance, something about his life in London, but we hope to keep this as one of those walks ‘which does what is says on the tin’. i.e. keeps focussed on the ‘places in the plays’. Sadly, in the 2 hours we have we won’t be able to get to Verona, or Venice but we might be able to shed some light on those locations by exploring their London equivalents.
The Smithfield Pub Tour takes place at 7.15 pm
on Saturday, November 30.
Meet Kevin just outside the exit of BarbicanTube Stop.
One of the greatest place for London history. Just outside the Roman City Wall and used by the Romans as a cemetary. The “smooth field” became the main live stock market of London, occassional tiltyard and place of public executions. The Peasants’ Rebellion climaxed here. On 23 August 1305 William Wallace (‘Braveheart’) was hanged, drawn and quartered here. Religious martyrs were burnt here and forgers boiled in oil. There are two monasteries which give a great insight into the Reformation, with connections to Thomas More. St Bartholemews hosted Britains’s greatest fair, and provided the oldest hospital in the United Kingdom – the second oldest in Europe. There are more pre-Great Fire buildings than anywhere else in London. There are also the trace of World War 1 bombing and Zeppelin raids. There are street names that sing: Cow Cross Street, Giltspur Street, etc. There are people names that resonate: Ben Franklin, John Milton, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rahere, to name but a few. Oh, and did we mention this is where Holmes met Watson and where Benedict Cumberbatch fell off the roof.
This is a London Walks walk given by Kevin Flude
Chelsea From Thomas More to the Swinging 60s
Saturday Night Pub Tour
September 28 7.15 Sloane Square Underground
The walk will look at the history of Chelsea from its origins in the Saxon period with the Palace of King Offa to the present day.
Chelsea may be best known as the spiritual home of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ but it has many other claims to fame, and its pleasures are attested by the unrivaled quality of its architecture, its famous residents and its local history.
It was home to: Thomas More, Henry VIII, Turner, Bram Stoker, George Elliot, Rossetti, Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Lawrence Olivier, Mike Jagger, James Bond, George Smiley, Richard Rogers and many many more!.
It was known as a Village of Palaces in the 16th and 17th Centuries but it changed profoundly in the 18th Century when the palaces were torn down and the gardens turned into streets of Town Houses. By the 19th Century it had gone ‘downhill’ to become a centre of bohemian London, but enriched by a colony of writers and artists. The recovery from urban decline began in the 1950’s when Chelsea became the centre of a new vibrant youth culture that rescued London from mediocrity. Sadly, fame contains the seeds of its own destruction, and as it became more fashionable it became less affordable so although the creative ‘buzz’ has moved somewhere cheaper, Chelsea remains a beautiful place to stroll around in company with its illustrious natives.