Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Streets Ahead: #London Walks With Kids #HalfTerm 5/7 #Greenwich #historyforkids

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker





 "What London Walks would you recommend for children?"




The "walks for kids" question is one we're asked a lot. The wide-ranging answer usually goes something like this (this is how I put it in a recent email to someone who'd popped that very question):

Generally, it should be said that the walks are pitched at adults rather than youngsters – but there are quite a few that do work for kids.


I think another one that works for kids is the Historic Greenwich walk (it goes on Monday mornings). It of course starts with that wonderful boat ride, which is always fun. And Greenwich is so compact the walk down there is eezy peezy time-wise – and there's a great deal to see. 







Ditto the Old Westminster Walk (which we do every Tuesday afternoon, every Thursday afternoon, every Saturday morning and every Sunday afternoon). 









The London Half Term school holidays start on Monday 15th February and go to Friday 19th February. 


Accompanied children under the age of 15 go free on all London Walks

Full Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.





On Tuesdays our blog posts support the charity Missing People


Thousands of people in the UK are searching for a missing loved one. Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears.


 Support Missing People at www.missingpeople.org.uk    





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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#London Walks Guides' Tips For Winter Walkers No.10: Top Outdoor Kit @homeofmillican

Outside in all weathers, the London Walks guides know a thing or two about battling the cold weather.

In this short series we're sharing our winter weather tips with our lovely London Walkers, a hardy bunch who join us rain or sleet in the winter months.








Daily Constitutional Editor Adam writes…


Well, that was quite a weekend! Thanks to everyone who joined us in the wind and rain. And thanks to London Walker Maria for these kind words on Twitter…






But the rain is a two-way street, you know. I've blogged it before: it's not so much that WE as London Walks guides go out in all weathers… it's that YOU London Walkers come out and join us in rain and snow, blizzards and gales.

Here's a tribute to the London Walkers who joined (and stayed with!) my Ghosts of the Old City walk a couple of wet Saturdays ago…






The rain fell again this weekend… so what's my winter tip for rain? How did I keep dry? Well, I didn't…






The rain, it has to be said, was unusually heavy. Combined with the tail end of Storm Imogen, there was no hiding place. When I got home I squeezed out my Doctor Martens like sponges. My army surplus coat was so soaked that it was like carrying the weight of another person on my back.

The stuff in my bag, however, remained bone dry. Thanks to my mate Matthew.

I am constantly on the lookout for a good rucksack. I'm often out and about all day, leading walking tours, filming and photographing London for this blog and recording the London Walks Podcast and I need to take my tools with me (I'll reveal the mysteries of what goes in a London Walks guide's bag in a later post).

In a good rucksack I want comfort, sturdiness and I want it to look stylish, too. I am very picky. Almost all of the bags I have used over the years have been compromise options: big enough but not waterproof; waterproof but ugly; stylish but impractical.

For Christmas my wife and daughter bought me a Millican rucksack called Matthew the Day Pack. Having carefully considered the merits of Smith the Roll Pack and Dave the Rucksack at the Millican website, I think they chose rather well.

Here he is…




I've been road-testing it now for six weeks and at last I can say that I have finally found the ideal bag. The straps are good and thick and very well padded. The stud fastenings for the main flap are both secure and easy to use. There are compartments for my notebooks, sketchpads and pencils and holders for both of my flasks – I bring coffee and soup on a two/three tour London Walks day. The contents are easily accessible via a sturdy zip down the front (you don't need a miner's helmet to dig around for that lost pen in this bag).

This weekend Matthew really came into his own with his secret cagoule, tucked away in a hidden compartment in the base of the bag. Here he is modelling it on the tube…




Okay, the stylish element is seriously compromised here, but I ask you this: who looks cool in a cagoule? No one. Not even Derek Zoolander. Even someone as persnickety as I quickly saw the benefits of this ingenious little feature and it's well worth compromising style for practicality for the short duration of a London rainstorm. 

To deploy the waterproof covering, simply unzip the compartment in the base of the bag, take out the cagoule – it's attached to the bag by a cord – and sheath the bag when the rain gets heavy.

Every scrap of clothing about my person was soaked through… but my London Walks leaflets, my sketchpad, my notebook and my paperback book remained as dry as a bone inside my bag.

The picture above was taken on the Central Line on my way home from my London Walks tour. This is most appropriate as my wife first spotted Matthew on the tube and approached his owner to enquire about the bag. The chap proceeded to wax lyrical about the virtues of Matthew and he even went into the company's back story, telling my wife that they are based in Cumbria, they are committed to using sustainable materials and even make covers for Moleskine notebooks (another fetish of mine). I can now well appreciate how this excellent bag inspires such devotion as I too have become a Millican evangelist. (You can catch up with the Millican story and learn about how the bag is made at their website www.homeofmillican.com)


Thanks Karen & Isobella for my Christmas present. And thanks Matthew for keeping my stuff dry during Storm Imogen.



Any tips, London Walkers, for being out-and-about in winter weather? Drop me a line at the usual address.





On Tuesdays our blog posts support the charity Missing People


Thousands of people in the UK are searching for a missing loved one. Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears.


 Support Missing People at www.missingpeople.org.uk    









A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Monday, 8 February 2016

The London Nightly Photoblog 08:02:16 Murugan Temple on the #Archway Road

IT'S BACK! One photo per night, just before lights out, a final look at London Town after a long day walking and blogging.

Looking forward to seeing you "out there" tomorrow! Nighty nite…










A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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#plaque366 Sir Edward Burne-Jones

A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series




Artist and Pre-Raph in Kensington Square…













A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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