Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The London Reading List No.8 – And An Olympic Walk Announcement!


Judy writes… This Thursday (Aug 1st) I am doing the Olympic walk and it is the first time we will actually be going INTO part of the Olympic Park.

Be one of the first to experience it. Come along and here the story of the Games in 2012 and what is happening there now & in the future. August 1st Olympic Walk, 2.15p.m West Ham tube (Jubilee & District line)





The Great London Reading List! Essential London books that Londoners take away on holiday to remind them of home… books visitors should read before arriving in London… fact, fiction, poetry, all genres welcome. If you’re in the mood to recommend a great London bookshop, too, we’d love to hear it!  All suggestions to the usual address, please, or leave a comment below or get in touch via Twitter @londonwalks.



No 8. The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948

By Janie Hampton


Adam writes… Janie Hampton’s wonderful book on the 1948 Olympics tells the tale of London’s second hosting of the Games.

For those of you stifling a yawn at this point, perhaps anticipating lists and times and heights and team sheets and medal tables, well think again. Hampton’s narrative is just that: a narrative, a tale well told, mercifully free from dry match facts and mere sports reporting.

Instead, Hampton treats us to the stories of the people who made the Games: the posh rower who thought his official Olympic blazer to be of such poor quality that it must have been “cut with a spoon”; then the athlete who found her blazer so smart that she wore it to her sister’s wedding. There are tales of the American and Canadian teams sharing their ample rations with the deprived European teams – and of the French captain complaining strenuously about the British food!

Every corner was cut, every penny pinched. Teams were put up not in a swish Olympic Village, but in schools and army barracks. One official even expected the cycling competitors to be able to ride their own bikes to Herne Hill for the races!

The Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen remains the heroine of the ‘48 Games, winning four gold medals on the track. Despite the fact that she beat British girls into silver position to take three of those golds, the London crowds took her to their hearts. And her journey is here too – from Nazi occupied Holland to the Hunger Winter of ’44 to the winners’ podium at Wembley.

But it is the unsung heroes who make the story such a delight. The overall tale that emerges is humane and moving, nuanced and rich, truly Olympian. Left to a sports reporter, there’s every chance this book would have garnered as many gold medals as the British track and field competitors in 1948 – none at all. In the hands of Janie Hampton, it’s a story as garlanded as the great Fanny Blankers-Koen herself.




A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

If You Do One OTHER Thing In London This Week…

Our Tuesday slot in which we point you in the direction of other great happenings and events in our great city. A new exhibition, a gig, a museum, a pop-up-shop – the best of London within a few minutes of a London Walks walking tour.





Poster Art 150




A vibrant collection of Underground posters as part of the ever-reliable Transport Museum’s permanent exhibition. Your museum ticket is valid for a year.


London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza
WC2E 7BB
10am-6pm Mon-Thur, Sat, Sun; 11am-6pm Fri (last admission 5.15pm)

Price:£15, £11.50 concs








A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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, 29 July 2013

The London Nightly Photoblog 29:07:13

The Nightly London Photoblog at The Daily Constitutional returns with its now famous brief: just one last look at London before lights out.

Maybe you saw tonight’s pictured location on one of today’s London Walks. Perhaps it’s your shot, sent to us at the usual email address.

Of course some London Walks guides will still be out there, Londoning away into the small hours. For them, we borrow a famous London phrase… Goodnight, and good luck.



Albert in the background. NOT Victoria in the foreground.






A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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Walk of the Week


Every Monday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks
repertoire and put it centre stage.

You can check out the full schedule at www.walks.com.

But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…






NOTTING HILL & PORTOBELLO MARKET

Saturdays at 10.45 am from Holland Park Tube

This is reconnaissance on the razzle – the search-party that syncopates. Because Notting Hill on a Saturday morning – market morning! – is curious and colourful, offbeat and yeasty. Here you walk with a ticket of freedom – a pass to scintillating escarpments. Just consider what's squeezed out onto the palette this hillside: swells and scruffs; market stalls and scandal; Jimi Hendrix and Carnival; Cut Throat Alley and Victorian Gothic; Madonna and Hugh Grant (let alone Julia Roberts and that bookshop); cottages, potteries and piggeries; colour washed mews and cab shelters and a race course and the gout route to Bath and butchers in straw hats and an invisible boundary between the present and the past.... Magic!


The Notting Hill & Portobello Market Walk takes place every Saturday at 10.45 am

Meet Tom or Brian or Richard III just outside the exit of Holland ParkTube Stop.






A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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In & Around London… An Infinite Variety of Street Signs 2

The Monday Photoblog!


Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.


Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.



















POST UPDATED 9/4/16

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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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stop Press: Somewhere Else London Walk Attacked By Daleks!


Lambeth 27:07:13 11.55a.m on the route of the Somewhere Else London Walk. Adam writes


Look carefully at the picture above.

At first glance it looks like a simple shot of a Lambeth backstreet on a glorious high summer morning.

Look again. For your own safety, look again...

That's not an eccentric postbox under the arch. Nor is it an outsized bollard. If only it were...


That, my friend, is a Dalek.

And if there's one, then there's more. Many, many more.


The Invasion is clearly underway. I have already sent my family for the comparative safety of the countryside. I for my part will remain here in the capital, where, despite the approach of the evil Daleks, I'll be leading my Ghosts of the Old City walk tonight at 7.30 in and around the site of the infamous Cybermen invasion of 1969




It takes a lot more than Doctor Who's most evil foes to derail a London Walk.








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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