Saturday, 30 May 2015

London Spy 30:05:15 – Our Saturday Review of #London

It's our weekly London roundup starting with a few headlines that caught the eye in London over the last week or so, click the links for the full stories…

NFL: Countdown to Dolphins v Jets at Wembley – American Football International

ENTERTAINMENT: Liza Minnelli Returns to the Palladium – What's On Stage

CULTURE: Celebrating Soho – The Guardian

PROPERTY: London's New Luxury Post Codes – Daily Telegraph

TRANSPORT: History of the 711 Green Line Bus – Reigate Mirror

DINING: Printed Food – CTV News

CITIES: New York v. London… London Wins! – Business Insider

TOURISM: Record Number of Visitors Second Year In A Row – Evening Standard

If You Do One OTHER Thing In London…

Our weekly slot in which we point you in the direction of other happenings and events in our great city. A new exhibition, a gig, a museum, a pop-up-shop – the best of London within a few minutes of a London Walks walking tour.

This week, we're recommending a book-ahead event - and we're sure booking will be essential for Afternoon Tea at Kensington Roof Gardens

The date is Saturday 29th August 2015 and the event is back by popular demand.

From 12pm – 4.30pm, 100ft above Kensington High Street you can enjoy a delicious selection of sandwiches, pastries, cakes and many more tasty treats!

Afternoon tea is £29.50 per person, and you can upgrade and enjoy a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne for £10 on the day. To ensure your party are seated together please book your tickets in one transaction.

We'll be running our regular Saturday Kensington Walk, with David or Angela leading, on the day at 2pm.

The Roof Gardens website is here:

Walking & Footwear News

An app that tells us how to walk.

How. To. Walk.

Sweet baby Jesus…

Back in ancient Greece, Plato told the story of a man who gazed so intently at the stars that he walked right into a well. Supposedly, Thales was "so eager to know the things in the sky that he could not see what was there before him at his very feet". Flash forward to today, and scientists have finally found a way for us to avoid the fate of an absent-minded professor. But before we get too excited about enhanced navigation, we should pause to consider why commercial applications might encourage us to embrace something awful: an alienated relation to our own embodiment.


Full story here:

Roger Bannister's record-breaking running shoes – in which he broke the four-minute mile barrier back in 1954 – are up for auction this September and are expected to fetch something in the region of £50,000…

The shoes, made by GT Law and Son, have long, thin spikes and weigh 4½ ounces, much lighter than other shoes at the time. “I could see there was an advantage in having the shoe as light as possible,” said Bannister, who started his running career while he was a medical student at Oxford in 1946.

Full story in The Guardian.

Seen In London This Week

A family out for a half-term stroll in Wandsworth…

Read in London This Week

Thanks to Toronto-based London Walker Vanessa B for the lovely review on her classic film blog Stardust

Without a doubt, the best walking tour company currently operating in London, England. Each time I've gone to the UK, I've gone along on a handful of walks and I've enjoyed each one immensely! The guides are amazing and so damn knowledgeable - you can literally ask them anything and they'll have an answer ready for you! London Walks offers daily walking tours set within the city of London and day trips to just about anywhere else in England. If you know you're going to be visiting London soon, I would definitely suggest logging onto the London Walks website to check out their daily tour schedules.

You can visit Vanessa's blog here:

Heard In London This Week

It's the London Walks Podcast! Literary London Parts 1 & 2.


(P.S We're currently making a few notes of the next London Walks Podcast on Crime & Punishment)

Thanks for reading! Stay in touch! London Spy will return next week

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 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

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Friday, 29 May 2015

Friday is Rock'n'Roll #London Day. Happy Birthday Noel!

Happy Birthday Noel!

No, not Noel in the London Walks office, a different Noel altogether. Here's a clue…

Another of our classic London sleeves (below) – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis on Creation Records from 1995.

We feature it today because it's Noel Gallagher's 48th birthday.

The sleeve was shot in Berwick Street, Soho and the "stars" are DJ Sean Rowley (facing the camera) and the sleeve designer Brian Cannon. Reckless Records on Berwick Street gets a starring role in the sleeve’s photo shoot. The fact is commemorated in their window where the sleeve takes pride of place (12” version of course!) with a little sticker and an arrow with the words “You Are Here”.

You can see it with Rex this afternoon on the Rock'n'Roll London Walk.

In the meantime, heres our own RocknRoll London video

Join the Rock’n'Roll London Walk on Fridays at 2pm, meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station (Exit 3) – to book a Private Walk call 020 7642 3978 or email

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 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

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Legendary London Walkers

Daily Constitutional Associate Editor and London Walks guide Richard III introduces another of his long-distance London walkers…

Meet Sarah McCabe from Toronto…

There are so many walkers from Toronto, I have had about fifteen in the last week, I think we should have a Toronto branch of London Walks. Any takers?

Hello Richard,

In the interest of London geekiness, I made a list of the 45 London Walks I took from 2011 to 2013, while completing an MA in Historical Research.  

My MA dissertation from 2012 is about underground public conveniences (toilets) in the City of London, in case you ever need help falling asleep.  

My wonderful experience with London Walks was so important that you all are thanked in the acknowledgements.

I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable (and thrifty!) way to delve into the history of the city.  Many thanks to you and all the Guides.

All the best,
Sarah in Toronto

1.       Blood-Curdling London
2.       Old Hampstead Village
3.       London’s Secret Village
4.       Old Westminster
5.       Stonehenge and Salisbury
6.       Darkest Victorian London
7.       The Famous Square Mile
8.       Hidden London
9.       Legal and Illegal London
10.   Old Camden Town
11.   Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and Seasonal Traditions
12.   The Old Jewish Quarter
13.   Notting Hill and Portobello Market
14.   The Unknown East End
15.   Old Mayfair
16.   The Old Palace Quarter
17.   The Olympic Walk
18.   Behind Closed Doors
19.   The Famous Square Mile
20.   Old Kensington
21.   Secret London
22.   Old Kensington (again)
23.   Eccentric London
24.   The Old University Quarter
25.   Literary Bloomsbury and the Old Museum Quarter
26.   Royal London and Westminster Abbey
27.   A Soho Saunter
28.   Soho Unzipped
29.   Brunel’s Thames Tunnel
30.   Jack the Ripper Haunts
31.   The Beatles “In My Life” Walk
32.   Old Marylebone
33.   Charles Dickens’ London
34.   Old Highgate Village
35.   Inside the Hidden City
36.   The Tower of London Tour
37.   Secrets and Splendors of St. Paul’s
38.   Canterbury
39.   Wapping Tales: Ships, Pirates & Murders
40.   St. Albans
41.   In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes
42.   Cambridge
43.   Royal Winchester
44.   The British Museum Tour
45.   The Cotswolds

How many have you done? Drop us a line and tell us about your London Walks!

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 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

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wordy Wednesday – It's The Literary #London Pub Walks with Brian Tonight at 7pm!

Wordy Wednesday: Brian Leads the Literary London Pub Walk Tonight

Some Literary London links to tide you over until you join me on my walk this evening at 7pm…

Some Literary London Links..... 

William Makepiece Thackeray sets 'Vanity Fair' in Russell Square, his daughter was Harriet Thackeray who married Leslie Stephen; Leslie Stephen was the father of Virginia Woolf; Virginia Woolf was the first cousin of Ralph Vaughan Williams who was related to Charles Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and John Maynard Keynes, who bought a house from Virginia Woolf, who was proposed to by Lytton Strachey, who was Duncan Grant's cousin, who was the father of Angelica Bell who married David Garnett who had an affair with Clive Bell…

Meet Brian at 7pm, Holborn Tube station. There's no need to book. A London Walk costs £10 (£8 concession)

Brian, a professionally qualified Blue Badge Guide, won the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year Award in 1994. His career has embraced the law, surveying, catering, dispatch riding and art - and the stage may be beckoning. Now, anyone for a soundbite? And if you'd like a completely independent take on Brian's guiding, well, read this Marylebone Journal review of his Old Marylebone walk. 

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 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

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