All through the month of August we'll be blogging a few choice nuggets from The Mothership – that's www.walks.com, the main website of London Walks. Our From The Archive series is written in the main by London Walks' Pen David Tucker and will feature practical tips on joining in with a London Walk, some general London info as well as some more "off the beaten track" bits…
"Where can I pick up a copy of the London Walks leaflet?
Good question. Not least because leaflets – like cello tape dispensers, pencil sharpeners, keys, corkscrews, etc. – have a habit of going walkabout. They get left in desk drawers or books or coat pockets, etc. etc. So if you've pitched up in London and lo and behold your London Walks leaflet – which you thought you'd carefully packed with the maps and the tube guide, etc. etc. – is nowhere to be found.... well, all is not lost.
Here are two absolutely brilliant places in central London where you can always pick up a London Walks leaflet!
Primus inter pares is the wonderful Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square. Their information tables are always well stocked with London Walks leaflets. There are two information tables right there, just inside the entrance, at the bottom of the steps. They also have them on the counter (right by the cash register) in their little shop.
And look, just to drive the point home: you should be going to the Cafe in the Crypt for a whole lot of other reasons in addition to its "carrying" London Walks leaflets. Reasons that are best summed up in its having been awarded the Palm d'Or in its "sector". Yup, the Cafe in the Crypt is Les Routiers London Cafe of the Year 2012. And, hey, it's not as though going to Trafalgar Square is in the least inconvenient, a detour. T-Square is, after all, the great crossroads of London, the very centre of the jampot!
And if you're on the other side of the river, well make a beeline to the best outdoor book market in London. The one on the riverside, right by the National Theatre. You can't miss it. Tables of books – heaven! – spread out directly underneath Waterloo Bridge (so it's an outdoor market that's weather proof!) on the Southbank. Ask for Richard, London's friendliest second hand book dealer. He'll rustle up a leaflet for you. And pass the time of day with you very agreeably – talk books and prints and London generally.
Trafalgar Square and beside the Thames at the Southbank Arts Complex: London "points" don't come any more nodal than those two. So how convenient is that? There's even a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone factor to all of this, which if you think about it means that either of those pick-up points will even save you the half hour or so that you would have "spent" if you hied off to an Information Centre to get the leaflet. And since nothing's more precious than time... yaddah yaddah yaddah.
Closing argument: why the leaflet? Why not murmur that little eight-letter word – Internet – and leave it at that? Well, lots of reasons. Everything from roving charges to sites being down to the battery dying a death to the plain fact of the matter that a leaflet is easier on the eyes than a screen. And indeed easier to navigate.
And that's not to take anything at all away from this medium. At a very high risk of belabouring the obvious, all the information in the leaflet is of course readily to hand right here on this website. There's the London Walks Timetable – Week at a Glance page. And, if anything even more convenient, the London Walks Calendar, which sets it out day by day, date by date. I said "all the information" but actually of course there's vastly more information available on www.walks.com
(And, for the record, if you're printing from home, the pdf form condenses matters to something like 11 or 12 pages. In the old days people just try to print the whole website out and it would come to dozens of pages. No worries on that count any more. Indeed, the "itinerary planner" effectively reduces the print out to just a couple of pages. Pretty handy, pretty efficient)
Anything else? Yes. Sure. Almost a "for old time's sake" point. And long may it be with us. It's this:
We'll be happy to mail you a copy of the London Walks leaflet. Just drop us a quick email – or phone or even write (if you're having a retro moment) – and we'll pop one in the post to you. And if you're reading this on the other side of the pond, how's this grab you? London Walks mails its U.S.-bound post from Madison, Wisconsin! So you'll get your leaflet super quick, providing the U.S. postal service is up to the mark.
Hope this helps. Bestest, pip pip and tinkerty tonk...
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.