Last year was my first year of running a number of guided walks based on the blog.
I really enjoyed talking about some fascinating places in London, and meeting so many readers of the blog.
For 2022, I have two new walks, exploring Wapping, and Bankside to Tower Bridge. I did intend to include a Bermondsey walk, but have run out of time to complete this, hopefully later in the summer.
I am also running a few of my Barbican and Southbank walks.
The walks are based on the blog, and use some of my father’s photos to show viewpoints as they were in the late 1940s.
The four walks are described in detail below, along with links for booking (or just go to my main Eventbrite page here).
I hope you find something of interest, and I plan to add additional dates, so please check again later if you do not find a suitable free date.
Wapping – A Seething Mass of Misery
Wapping – A Seething Mass of Misery. So wrote Francis Wey in the 1850s in his book, “A Frenchman Sees the English in the Fifties”.
As London’s docks expanded to the east, Wapping developed to serve the docks and the river, and this expansion resulted in living conditions that would lead to Francis Wey’s description.
Wapping was different to the rest of east London as it developed a nautical subculture, one that existed to serve and exploit sailors arriving on the ships that would moor on the river, and the docks and wharves that lined the river.
This walk will discover the history of Wapping, and will run from near Tower Hill underground station, along Wapping High Street and Wapping Wall, across the old Ratcliff Highway to Shadwell Overground and DLR stations.
We will explore the development of the docks, the ancient gateways between land and river that are the Thames stairs, lost and surviving pubs, the history of the River Police, a sailor’s experience of Wapping, warehouses, crime and punishment, murders and a burial at a crossroads.
We will also meet some of the people who lived, worked and passed through Wapping, such as the Purlmen who worked on the river, and John Morrison, a ship’s boy on a collier, who in 1832 almost froze to death whilst waiting to row his master back to his ship after a night in Wapping’s pubs.
The walk will use some of my father’s photos to show the area post-war, and will look at how Wapping has developed to become the place we see today, and should be considerably more enjoyable than Francis Wey’s description.
The walk is about 2.5 miles and will take between two and a quarter, and two and a half hours.
The following dates for my tour of Wapping are available to book on Eventbrite. Click on any of the dates to go to the site where they can be booked.
Saturday 18th June 2022Sold Out Sunday 19th June 2022Sold Out Wednesday 6th July 2022Sold Out Saturday 16th July 2022Sold Out Sunday 17th July 2022Sold Out Saturday 23rd July 2022Sold Out Sunday 24th July 2022Sold Out
Bankside to Pickle Herring Street – History between the Bridges
This walk explores the remarkable history of Bankside and Southwark between Blackfriars and Tower Bridges.
Looking at how the river bank along the River Thames has developed, and using my father’s post-war photos to show just how much the area has changed, and what was here when this was a working part of the river.
From the sites of Roman discoveries to recent development of old wharfs and warehouses, the walk will explore pubs, theatres, Thames stairs, lost streets, the impact of electricity generation, fires, alleys, and the people who lived and worked along the river.
The walk will also look at how being opposite the City of London led Bankside and Southwark on a unique path through history.
Lasting around two and a quarter hours, the walk will start near Blackfriars Bridge and end at Tower Bridge.
The following dates for my tour of Bankside are available to book on Eventbrite. Click on any of the dates to go to the site where they can be book.
Sunday 29th May 2022Sold Out Sunday 5th June 2022Sold Out Wednesday 8th June 2022Sold Out
- Wednesday 15th June 2022
- Saturday 25th June 2022
- Saturday 9th July 2022
- Sunday 10th July 2022
The Lost Streets of the Barbican
On the evening of the 29th December 1940, one of the most devastating raids on London created fires that destroyed much of the area north of St Paul’s Cathedral and between London Wall and Old Street.
The raid destroyed a network of streets that had covered this area of Cripplegate for centuries. Lives, workplaces, homes and buildings were lost. Well-known names such as Shakespeare and Cromwell and their connection with the Barbican and Cripplegate will be discovered, as well as those lost to history such as the woman who sold milk from a half house, and that artisan dining is not a recent invention.
Out of the wartime destruction, a new London Wall emerged, along with the Barbican and Golden Lane estates that would dominate post-war reconstruction. Destruction of buildings would also reveal structures that had been hidden for many years.
On this walk, we will start at London Wall, and walk through the Barbican and Golden Lane estates, discovering the streets, buildings and people that have been lost and what can still be found. We will explore post-war reconstruction, and look at the significant estates that now dominate the area.
Lasting around two hours, by the end of the walk, we will have walked through 2,000 years of this unique area of London, the streets of today, and the streets lost to history.
The following dates for my tour of the Barbican are available to book on Eventbrite. Click on any of the dates to go to the site where they can be book.
The South Bank – Marsh, Industry, Culture and the Festival of Britain
This walk will discover the story of the Festival of Britain, the main South Bank site, and how a festival which was meant to deliver a post war “tonic for the nation” created a futuristic view of a united country, and how the people of the country were rooted in the land and seas.
We will also discover the history of the South Bank of the Thames, from Westminster to Blackfriars Bridges, today one of London’s major tourist destinations, and with the Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre, also a significant cultural centre.
Along the South Bank we will discover a story of the tidal river, marsh, a Roman boat, pleasure gardens, industry, housing and crime. The South Bank has been the centre of governance for London, and the area is an example of how wartime plans for the redevelopment of London transformed what was a derelict and neglected place.
Lasting around 2 hours, the walk will start by Waterloo Station and end a short distance from Blackfriars Bridge.
At the end of the walk, we will have covered 2,000 years of history, and walked from a causeway running alongside a tidal marsh, to the South Bank we see today.
The following dates for my tour of the Southbank are available to book on Eventbrite. Click on any of the dates to go to the site where they can be book.
Details covering the location of the meeting point for all walks will be sent in the week prior to the walk.
I look forward to seeing you on a walk.
Normal posts will resume next Sunday.