We encourage guests to walk as much as possible – it’s the best way of getting to know our fascinating neighborhood, whether you’re heading north to Covent Garden, west to Soho or east to the City. And while it’s great exploring on your own, there’s nothing quite like a good guide to take your understanding of a place to the next level. Each of these three guided walks comes with a twist: get into places you’d never see alone, find some off-the-beaten-track pubs, and find out about the dark side of St Paul’s and the City. Enjoy…
Behind Closed Doors
Starting at Covent Garden tube, this walk is about discovering interiors you’d never normally find – or never be allowed into. You’ll see the stunning Floral Hall at the Royal Opera House, with a barrel-vaulted glass roof and intricate ironwork; enter the baroque Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street (both guides have legal backgrounds); and admire St Clement Danes, the Christopher Wren church with ties to the Royal Air Force. It finishes up near the incredibly ornate Old Bank of England, a 19th-century pub with a huge island bar, glass screens and wood panelling.
The Old City Ghost Walk
It often comes as a surprise to non-Londoners that the City, abuzz with financial services workers, lawyers and other professionals from Monday morning to the small hours of Friday night, is almost eerily quiet over the weekend. This tour takes full advantage of the deserted streets, taking you down spooky alleys and into the shadows of centuries-old buildings as dark falls on Saturday evening. Led by Blue Badge guide Richard Jones, author of Haunted Britain, it’s great fun – atmospheric rather than genuinely scary – and gives you a chance to learn more about the ancient heart of the capital.
Hidden Pubs of Old London Town
This one starts at Temple underground station, just a short walk from the hotel. The actual pubs are a closely-guarded secret, but they’re all out-of-the-way places you’d never find on your own – and you get a proper stop in at least three. You’ll be exploring the fascinating warren of alleys, courtyards and streets either side of Fleet Street, touching on some of London’s famous Inns of Court and passing the beautiful Middle and Inner Temple gardens. There’s literary history too, with connections to Dr. Johnson, Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare. It’s run by the multi-award-winning London Walks.
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