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Five of London’s best walking tours

The enormity of London – geographically, historically and culturally – can be fairly overwhelming, even for those lucky enough to call the city home. Getting to grips with the capital is a task best undertaken slowly, so start unpeeling the layers on our selection of London walking tours…


Unseen tours' Shoreditch

Unseen Tours‘ professional homeless tour guides offer a completely different perspective on the city, combining historical context with personal experience. The two-hour Shoreditch tour explores the neighbourhood’s rich creative scene but also examines how intense gentrification has affected the homeless and poorer residents of this formerly working class district. Tours of London Bridge, Covent Garden, Brick Lane and Brixton are also available. Shoreditch tours run on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and cost £12.


London Walks’ Beatles Magical Mystery Tour

Guided by self-proclaimed Pied Piper of Beatlemania Richard P, this Beatles Magical Mystery Tour visits all the Fab Four’s famous capital hangouts, including the Apple offices where the band played their legendary rooftop session, the studio where Hey Jude was recorded and the most well-known zebra crossing in the world at Abbey Road. The tours take place on Wednesdays at 2pm, Thursdays at 11am and Sundays at 11am and cost £10.


London Walks’ Old Hampstead Village Pub Walk

Liberal, literary, affluent Hampstead Village still retains a well-preserved Georgian air, where red brick townhouses line narrow cobblestone alleys and the views over London are the finest in the city. The pretty hidden lanes of this exclusive London neighbourhood harbour cosy, traditional pubs like The Flask and the Holly Bush, several of which are visited on this weekly Saturday night Old Hampstead Village Pub Walk. Tickets cost £10.


Context Travel’s Charles Dickens: Storyteller of Victorian London

Context Travel‘s in-depth historical walking tours are led by world-class academic and specialist guides who delve deep into their subject to paint a vivid portrait of contemporary life at the time in question. The three-hour Charles Dickens tour reveals the reality of life in the era in which he lived, beginning with his early years working in the Blacking Warehouse near Temple to his time in Marylebone, where he lived for more than a decade. Small group tours (maximum 6 people) run Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays and cost £85.


Fox & Squirrel’s Fashion Walk

Fox & Squirrel‘s 4-hour Fashion Walk is led by company founder and fashion historian Penelope Sacorafou who is passionate about opening up the world of London’s fashion scene to visitors. This is an exclusive, hands-on tour which invites guests into designer’s studios and warehouses to meet the people behind-the-scenes, with the option of add-on workshops or one-off events. Tours take place on the 3rd Wednesday and Saturday of every month from 12pm to 4pm and cost £125.


Written by Maxine Sheppard

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Walking tours © iStock: alb_marangoni