Walking Tours with Simon Collins
A days tour is for 6 hours (including one hour for lunch with my guests at one of my favourite London haunts, or if prefered just a few sandwiches in the park). Remember my walking tours can be tailor made to suit your requirements. Feel free to request any unique tour that tickles your fancy, and I will always try to accomadate.
Just as a taster. Here is a list of my top five walking tours!
Westminster and the West End - The essential tour of London!
Westminster and the West End need no introduction. See the London of History Books, Film and Television brought to life before your very eyes.
This tour takes in all the best known sights of London including Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and this is just a selection.
Take a walk through living history and explore the best of London past, present and future. Take in the sights you’ve seen a thousand times, learn the back-story and discover new sights that other miss. It really is a must see tour and it’s all for the taking!
Mayfair – London’s most exclusive district
The most expensive property on the Monopoly board and this is no error. This exclusive enclave in the heart of west London is the original home of the London elite. The area was developed in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Grosvenor family and named after the annual 15 day May Fair (which was stopped in the 18th Century as the local nobles considered the fair ‘Lowered the Tone’ of the neighbourhood).
The area is a beautiful collection of elegant squares, Georgian thoroughfares and picturesque parks. It is home to an extensive range of exclusive shops, art galleries, restaurants and hotels that never fail to impress in the scale of their grandeur (and eliteness).
A walking tour of Mayfair is a delight for anybody seeking visual treat. Take in the magnificence of the architecture of this stunning London neighbourhood at a casual walking pace. You will learn all about the areas intriguing history as you stroll around Grosvenor, Hanover and Berkeley squares, wander through the through the historic Shepherd Market and take the back roads and alley ways missed by most visitors.
Clerkenwell – The hidden village of Old London
Perhaps my favourite neighbourhood of London due to its magnitude of mostly missed historical treasures available to those in the know. This small and ancient neighbourhood in London is stepped long and dark history, all of which is just crying out to be discovered.
Clerkenwell took its name from the Clerks' Well in Farringdon Lane. The area has played host to numerous ‘persons of note’ including (to name but a few): Marie Lloyd, John Bunyan, Katherine Par, Elizabeth I, Lenin, Nell Gwynn, Daniel Defoe and not least one of its most famous fictional visitors Oliver Twist.
If you are looking to find the common man’s history, in the heart of London, then this is a tour not to be missed. A history buff’s dream unfolds as we make our way slowly around the ancient streets unveiling tales of the neighbourhood’s religious past, urban squalor, notorious prisons, ghosts and ghouls, radical thinkers and social change.
Dickens London was a dark and dirty place. Dickens new the streets of Clerkenwell intimately and gives vivid descriptions of the filth, sleaze and squalor which existed at the time. The neighbourhood is also home of Fagin’s Den from Dickens’s classic Oliver Twist including Hatton Garden Police Court where Oliver was brought before Mr Fang the magistrate!
See London through the words of Dickens and we stand on the sites that inspired his tales.