Then and Now London Walks

Walk London’s rich history with Richard Cohen

Primrose Hill talk on Radio London

On Monday May 8 I gave a short talk about Primrose Hill on Salma El-Wardamy’s show on Radio London.  You will hear my clip at 2 hours 36 minutes and about 10 seconds into her show and it lasts for 7 or 8 minutes.   It’s part of their regular Monday morning item called Somewhere in London.  They run a little quiz of 2 or 3 questions and listeners have to guess which area the questions are about and then they invite someone to talk about that area.  That someone was me.  I did manage to get a little plug in for Camden guides at the end.

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Walk the Walbrook Amnesty Fundraiser Sunday May 14

20221124_140139Walk the Walbrook, London’s mysterious hidden river and support Amnesty’s appeal to protect civilians and document war crimes in Ukraine.

We follow the Walbrook, the shortest and most mysterious of London’s hidden rivers, from its source in Shoreditch right down to the Thames. This fascinating walk starts in an area that once had a reputation as one of London’s darkest slums, the fearsome Old Nichol, but is now undergoing rapid regeneration through high-tech start-ups and its night-time economy. Shoreditch once housed the open-air theatres that flourished in the golden age of Elizabethan drama outside the city limits and then became a tough industrial area of workshops and warehouses. As we follow the course of the river into the City of London the buildings get bigger and grander as we pass the Broadgate Centre, London Wall, the Bank of England, the Temple of Mithras and a wonderful array of the architecture of many different eras. This is truly one of the most contrastive and fascinating walks you can do in London – a true cross-section of our city’s history. More information here

This walk is a fundraiser for the Amnesty International Ukraine Appeal. Your donation will help investigators document human rights abuses and finance technology to expose the war crimes being committed during Russia’s barbaric war in Ukraine. Please be as generous as possible. There is no upper limit to your contributions.

Book tickets here:



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DIAMOND STREET Sunday April 2 at 2.00 pm

On Sunday April 2 come on my Hatton Garden walking tour through the interweaving stories of this historic area.  It is a fundraiser for Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party.  We will have Ragged Schools and Mean Streets, cholera, rookeries, Molly Houses, early social housing and the struggle for education and better health provision.  All this is set in a historic area full of stories going back to Roman and medieval times.  We will hear about the different communities that have lived and worked in Hatton Garden over the centuries and the trades and industries that make this area famous.  There is much to interest Labour Party members.  End at Caffé Terroni.  Book here by donation on Eventbrite.  Be as generous as you can!                                                                      


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This walk is part of Camden and Islington’s LGBTQI+ History Month 2023

Dive into London’s deep history of sexual diversity on this LGBTQ+ History Tour of Soho & Covent Garden & support The Ukrainian People. Meet the Mollies of C18th Covent Garden; take in the stories of John Wilmot, poet and libertine and Oscar Wilde. Hear the extraordinary story of a C18th soldier who challenged all the norms of gender identity. Discover how Soho became the heart of London’s LGBT community. Hear about a Victorian scandal which rocked the establishment. We end at the at the Fitzroy Tavern headquarters of the Bohemian and artistic demimonde of the 1920s and 1930s. This is a fundraiser for the Disasters Emergency Committee Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine. Please give generously. Suggested minimum £5.00 but there is no upper ceiling for your contributions.

Booking by Eventbrite: Higgins Trust-mollies-to-pride-tickets-483807590527

For further information about the programme:-



The World Reimagined in Camden and Westminster

I just can’t stop myself from exploring the wonderful artworks that are part of the World Reimagined project across London and several other cities across the country.  They are bright, moving and thought provoking and it is such a shame that they will only be in place till the end of this month.  I would love it if these glorious examples of public art became a permanent feature of the places they are only temporarily enhancing!

Have a look at the account I have written of the trail through my home area of the borough of Camden and the city of Westminster.

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The World Reimagined – A trail through the City of London

Do make your way down to the City of London during the month of October to look at a series of 10 wonderful and very moving artworks which discuss a range of themes arising from the long and tragic history of enslavement and its consequences for the world.    Read the brief account of what I saw when I walked this trail yesterday afternoon. It starts near the Bank of England and finishes out at Aldgate.

Have a look:-





Explore Albertopolis with Silver Sunday – October 2 at 2.00pm

Silver Sunday on 2 October 2022 is a national day of activities for seniors.  I am putting on a free walk in South Kensington to explore the wonders of Albertopolis.  We meet in the ticket hall of South Kensington station and finish for refreshments at the Bowling Green Café in Hyde Park.   Explore the wonders of the great museums, hear about the Great Exhibition and take a close look at the extraordinary Albert Memorial, more correctly known as the Prince Consort National Memorial.

Follow this link to join




Bloomsbury Festival 2022

The theme this year is Breathe and so I am putting on a walk called RUS IN URBE – the Countryside in the Town.  We will visit no less than 5 different Bloomsbury Squares to enjoy the calm and serenity that they offer in contrast to the busy streets of the city.  The walks are on Sunday October 16 and Sunday October 23 at 2.00 pm.  What better way to spend an autumn Sunday afternoon?  Booking through Eventbrite here.   




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:-

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FROM MOLLIES TO PRIDE Sunday 3 July at 11:00 and 14:30

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!

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