While in London, I did a LOT of walks guided by top-of-the-line London Walks tour guides, so I thought I’d dedicate a page to my reviews about each different walk I did. Might take a while to get them all up here, but I’ll work on it. Can you believe I have participated in 10 so far (in a little more than a week during half of which I was in Cambridge)?
Written in the order in which I participated.
Ancient City at Night~
This was my very first experience with London Walks, and I was not disappointed. Peter G was so knowledgeable about the area and it’s history it astounded me! While walking, he would walk at a fairly quick pace that was easy for me to keep up with so he would tell me little tidbits that he hadn’t told the rest of the crowd (I’m assuming because of time constraints). Plus, he was really friendly and really into what he was doing which made it that much more interesting to listen to. The variety of pubs within the three we went to was pretty impressive too… a more modern pub, a winery, and of course, Dirty Dicks. It was almost like a travel back in time with each one. It was so cool to see the back streets of London in this walk as well as to learn its intriguing history with Peter G as our guide. Loved it! (and the fact that the Harry Potter tidbit mentioned in the walk summary on their website made me squeal like a little girl when we got there… haha)
Wonders of the V&A~
We had Mary, I believe, as our guide instead of the normal guides. I absolutely loved listening to her! She had one of those very proper English accents so it made what she said sound like she was THE authority on this walk. She was very expressive and just darling in her deliverance. Of course, we didn’t get to see the entire V&A but she did manage to show us some interesting highlights of the museum. Personally, I really liked this walk because even though we only stopped at the highlights, you still pass some amazing historical artifacts so you can see them and come back afterwards to those that piqued your interest. Really enjoyable walk, though not as fast paced as some others. I think my favorite thing that she mentioned was that half of the phone booths in England are frauds and that only the ones with square frames were the real original phone booths that have been around for about a century… made me a little paranoid when I noticed how many of them weren’t “real.”
Along the Thames Pub Walk~
This walk is one of my favorites that I went on, largely because of our guide– David. I believe he is one of the creators of the London Walks and rightly so, he really knows England! And the funny thing is: he’s American! But he’s lived in England for many many years… I seriously learned so much from him, and he made it interesting! His enthusiasm and positivity is really contagious. He was also very good at making everyone feel included. Fun to weave through the backstreets on the other side of the Thames and learn about their history. Seeing the Globe was a highlight for me as well. Very different pubs– I’m amazed at the variety of them that I’ve seen now! The Founders Arms was one of my favorites because it was right next to the Thames and you could walk along the shore if you wanted. Not only did I learn a butt load about England, I learned a lot about David (I have a tendency to try and stand by the guides as much as I can). I’d be happy to go on any walk with him as the guide. He also gave us some really good recommendations for restaurants in the area– happy to say I enjoyed the one he liked most (Taz). All in all, it was a really great time. Met a few cool girls to hang out with for the night as well.
Harry Potter Walk~
There was certainly no problem finding this walk as there was over 100 people crowded around the tube stop (I counted). But it did dwindle down quite a bit as the walk progressed presumably because the group was too big.
Being an a big HP fan, I was quite excited for this walk! With the crowd though, at times it was hard to hear Alan. He was quite animated and fun when I could get an ear in though! There were a couple birthdays and it seemed the kids really had fun dressing up with his brought props. The walk in general seemed quite directed towards kids as Alan involved them in “Diagon Alley”. Magic tricks were a little questionable though… haha.
The street that inspired Diagon Alley, the Ministry of Magic phonebook as designated by Rowling, and the Australian House (where Gringotts scenes were filmed) were particular highlights for me. I wish there had been more HP specific things like these. Might I recommend he read passages from the books pertaining to London?
The distance was a good length for kids and it was even a warm day.
I enjoyed the walk but I can see how it can be a challenge to entertain both adults and children. I think Alan did as best as was possible with such a large group.The rest coming soon! Believe it or not, it takes quite some time to write each one of these.