Here are some of the walks until the end of October 2017 that anyone can join. For more information about the content of each walk, scroll to the end of the dates. Each walk lasts around two hours, and costs £10, £8 for over 65s and full-time students.
You do not need to book in advance, just turn up and pay me at the start. I shall be wearing my Blue Badge,
C the City!
Saturday 6 May, 2.30 St Paul’s tube, exit 2
Lower Marsh and The Cut
Sunday 14 May, 2.30 Southwark tube
Sunday 21 May, 2.00 Tower Hill tube
Princes and Paupers
Saturday 3, 10.45 Kennington tube
Walworth Old and New
Saturday 10 June, 10.45 Kennington tube
Fair Maids, Feminists and Philanthropists
17 June, 2.30 Southwark tube
Sunday 18 June, 2.00 Tower Hill tube
Roaming by the River: Fish ‘n’ Ships
Sunday 9 June, 10.45 Monument tube
The London Wall Walk
Sunday 9 June, 2.30 Tower Hill tube
Bank Junction In Focus,
Saturday 22 July, 2.30 Bank exit 2
Slavery and the City
1 Oct, 10.45 Monument tube
Walking the Elephant: the Regeneration Game
Sunday 8 Oct Mar, 10.45 Elephant and Castle tube, L’don Southbank Uni exit
Denmark Hill and Camberwell,
Sunday 15 Oct, 10.45 Denmark Hill r’way station
Saturday 21 October, 10.45 Vauxhall exit 2
C the City, exit 2 St Paul’s tube
If it begins with C you might see it on this walk and hear the stories about why it is here; cheese, camels, Churchill, cranes…See if you can spot them before I say them. And bring a camera if you have one. We had a lot of fun, and quite a bit of competitiveness, with this one earlier in the year. At the start and end of the walk there are also opportunities to ‘see’ the City from higher up.
It’s a cracker!
Denmark Hill and Camberwell, Denmark Hill overground station
Called ‘the Belgravia of South London’ by The Builder magazine, Denmark Hill, once home to John Ruskin, is close to central London and manages to retain a whiff of the countryside away from busily commercial Camberwell Green. Most of this walk is behind the scenes, The Denmark Hill and Camberwell you might have suspected existed, but had not yet explored. More than one person has consulted the estate agents after finishing this walk. There are pubs galore, including one celebrated for its food, so why not come along and make a meal of it.
Fair Maids, Feminists and Philanthropists, Southwark tube
I love this walk. Originally entitled Unsung Women, I created it several years ago for Southwark Council to celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s much too good to keep to a once a year slot. You’ll have heard of some of the women I imagine, but others, no less remarkable, such as Janet Johnson whose pioneering work with children is still having an impact half a century after her death, seem to slipped through the cracks of history. Come along to learn about and celebrate them. We’ll be near Gordon Ramsey’s new gaff, but as he is not the right gender for this walk, he won’t get more than a mention. Let’s hear it for the girls!
The London Wall Walk, Tower Hill tube
Another City walk that compliments the morning one nicely. We make our way from east to west, keeping inside the boundaries of the old City walls, built around 200 AD as a sign of the settlement’s prosperity. That’s a lot of history and this walk is like taking a cross section of time; glimpses of the layers from the Romans onwards. Think of the City is time capsule. Although much has changed, the echoes of past people and events can be heard if you know how to listen.
Princes and Paupers, Kennington tube
This walk is around lovely Kennington with its excellent independent bookshop and vibrant community feel. It takes in a rare spirit door, Rural Economy, an art gallery in a converted public lavatory, tw royal princes, Charlie Chaplin and the worst disaster of the Blitz in Lambeth. There’s an Indian restaurant that is patronised by MPs of all parties, and it finishes conveniently close to a friendly pub that serves food. What more could you want?
Roaming Down By the River, Monument tube Fish Street Hill
This City walk, aka Fish ‘n’ Ships, is one of my favourites and the first one London Walks accepted from me for their repertory slot. So the river is the Thames, the reason why London is here, and an important port since Roman times. I can’t promise any fishing, but you may see cormorants diving for their dinners. We weave east from our starting point, taking in churches and pubs, finding quiet corners in this commercial Square Mile, enjoying the historical and the contemporary City.
Slavery and the City, Monument tube
London has done a pretty good job of disassociating itself from the triangular trade, but it had the monopoly for some time. Prepare for your blood to be chilled by tales of man’s inhumanity to man, then warmed by the compassion, empathy and commitment of a loose group of individuals who managed to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire two hundred years ago.
Terra Incognita, Elephant and Castle tube, London Road exit
One of the most unloved places in London, the Elephant and Castle deserves more than a shuddered glance from from the inside of a car or bus. This is your chance to see why the area inspires such loyalty, and affection in its populace. Away from the notoriously busy junctions, the Elephant walks to a different rhythm. Georgian terraces, a nightclub that is a global phenomenom, the Cinema Museum, and great coffee courtesy of the thriving Latin American community will remind you what Sunday mornings are all about.
Viva Vauxhall! exit 2 Vauxhall tube
So much more than a transport hub and multi-lane pedestrian nightmare. Think Lily Savage, pleasure gardens, James Bond, community spirit, hymns ancient and modern. Throw in a garden designed with the help of Dan Pearson, mosaics hidden in railway arches, alpacas, and cake, yes lots of cake. Or Welsh rarebit and real tea served in cosy-covered teapots. Yum!
Walworth, Old and New 10.45 Kennington tube
I’m on home turf here. This is the Walworth Walk. Distinct from the Lambeth one. More fun I’d say, but I could be biased. @ThisisWalworth tweeted “just when u think u know all there is to know about #walworth #se17, along comes @GuidedbyIsobel”. Bring your cash to enjoy the artists’ Open Studios. Terence Conran raves about it, and Keith Richards came here for a bespoke guitar. There’s a café or a pub for lunch. Unless you fancy Thai food, in which case, I’ll give you directions. It is also Open Gardens Weekend, so why not make day of it and enjoy our green spaces on the edge of the city.
Remember if you want to get a group of friends or colleagues together and hire me to one of these or many other tours for you, just leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you via email.
I’ll also be popping up on other regular walks for London Walks, including Greenwich, Royal London, the British Museum, Plague Fire and Revolution to mention just a few, as well as guiding public tours in parliament. Get in touch via the contact form if you want to know more.