I am taking part in two great walks organised by the City Guides and the Westminster Guides that are taking place this every Sunday from now until mid-August. The walks last two hours and cover the route from St Paul’s Cathedral to Trafalgar Square starting at 11 in Paternoster Square in the shadow of the great cathedral. You will be with a City of London guide for the first half of the walk and then a Westminster guide will take over at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The walk passes through some streets at the heart of the most dramatic events in our history. There’s some great royal gossip as well as we pass through some of the back streets of Covent Garden.
Press this link to register on Eventbrite:- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/monarchs-mansions-and-mistresses-walking-tour-tickets-360514317027
London’s LGBT Heritage in Covent Garden and Soho
To celebrate Pride weekend I am leading a walk for Westminster Friend as a special fundraiser to give you a vivid snapshot view of London’s deep history of sexual diversity. We will meet the Mollies and Macaronis of C18th Covent Garden. We take in the stories of John Wilmot, poet and libertine and Oscar Wilde. We will hear the extraordinary story of a C18th soldier who challenged all the norms of gender identity. You will discover how Soho developed into the heart of London’s modern LGBT community. The walk ends with the story of a Victorian scandal which rocked the establishment. Finally, we will take a look at the Bohemian sub-cultures of Fitzrovia looking at a notorious pub which attracted the literary and artistic demimonde of the 1920s and 1930s where festive Pride refreshments await.
This walk is a special fundraiser for the Disasters Emergency Committee Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine. Please give generously. There is no upper ceiling for your contributions.
Booking is through Eventbrite here
Please give generously!
I’m presenting several walks in the London Festival of Architecture all through the month of June. This is an exciting series of events which this year is featuring the Camden Cultural Corridor. I am putting on walks in:-
Regent’s Park on 15 and 19 June: Fantasy Terraces and Secret Gardens
Bloomsbury on 22 and 26 June: London’s Medical Powerhouse
Hatton Garden 24 June: Diamond Street
Why is there are plaque to Mary Prince on the side wall of Senate House on Malet Street? Listen to this short video on YouTube to explain why this extraordinarily brave woman is commemorated there.
Guided Walk: Fantasy Terraces and Secret Gardens
Sunday June 12 at 11:00 am
Richard and Jo will show you the most beautiful Nash Terraces on the Outer Circle and the gardens of the Royal College of Physicians with their medicinal and poisonous plants. We will walk through the English Gardens, looking their very best in early June, and the impressive landscaping of the Broad Walk. We will hear about Prince Regent’s grand scheme to make London the most magnificent city in Europe. We will look at how the buildings, gardens and open spaces of Regent’s Park act to enhance our lives. What better way to spend a summer Sunday morning?
I have organised a walk in Mayfair on Sunday 8 May. We meet in the forecourt of the Royal Academy at 2.00 pm and finish the walk near Bond Street. Half the money raised will go to Amnesty International to support their work providing help for prisoners of conscience and defenders of free speech around the world. The other half will go towards the DEC Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine.
We have all been shocked by the events that have unfolded in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Millions have fled the country and millions are internally displaced. The destruction and suffering has been dreadful. There is a huge need for relief and supplies of all kinds to help those whose lives have been shattered by this war.
You may question why I have chosen Mayfair for this fundraiser. There are a couple of strong connections with the current war. We will pass a famous shop run by an extraordinary Russian entrepreneur who was lucky to escape with his life from Putin’s Russia to rebuild it in the West by establishing what is possibly the world’s most luxurious wine shop and we will end at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral. These will both give ample opportunity to discuss issues of relevance to the current conflict. Mayfair of course also offers much else of enormous historic and cultural interest. We will meet some of the great characters who have made Mayfair their home, including Handel and Hendrix and we shall pass some of the most elegant squares in London.
Please register for this walk. Payment is by contribution. Please give as generously as you can. Booking is through Eventbrite. You can book here.
Are you looking for something different to do on the last Sunday before Christmas to help you escape from all the commercialism? Well I might just be able to help you. I am leading the last of a series of walks called Follow the Yellow Brick Road. We meet at 1.30 pm in the downstairs concourse of Tottenham Court Road station on Sunday 19 December and we will walk through Covent Garden, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Fleet Street and some of the hidden alleys and backstreets of the City of London. There are so many fascinating stories to tell and ancient and modern buildings to take in! It is a great way to appreciate the wonderful variety of buildings and streets our great city offers. The walk is free but booking on Eventbrite is essential:- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/follow-the-yellow-brick-road-tottenham-court-road-to-bank-junction-tickets-180993334937
I have written another article for the City Guide magazine. This is on the background to an extraordinary building on New Fetter Lane in the City of London. I wonder how much the students of King’s College London who use this amazing building as their main library know about the long and varied history of this huge building:-
This is a virtual tour in which we follow a route through the western edges of the City of London. Our virtual journey starts at Holborn and ends near St Paul’s and gives us a chance to look closely at some of the great institutional buildings of the law like the great Rolls Building and some of the ancient inns of Chancery and the Old Bailey itself as well as the magnificent Twentieth Century press headquarters of Fleet Street. It is sponsored by the Temple Bar Trust which is an organisation dedicated to the built environment and calls itself the Architectural Gateway of the City of London. Click here to book a place through Eventbrite.
Have a listen to this podcast about a recent tour I did for the Bloomsbury Festival on the theme of the Art of Bloomsbury.
It was recorded by Bloomsbury Radio
Link here for the podcast.