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Walking Tours in London  

London is a hugely popular British tourist destination, as is demonstrated by the fact that it accommodates approximately 27 million over-night visitors every year. There are many reasons for London's popularity with tourists, the first of which being that it is the capital city of England, and any and all capital cities are popular places for tourists to visit, as they are often being seen as the epitome of that given country's culture and society. London, however, is no ordinary city, and is home to a very unique and varied history, as can be seen in many of the city's buildings and much of London's architecture. The city also offers a hugely eclectic array of cultural, entertainment and shopping opportunities, ranging from museums to markets, from street performers to performances at the Globe, and from Camden Market to New Bond Street.

London is so packed full of places to see, the best way to experience the city and see all it has to offer is like a native Londoner – on foot. This way you will discover all the hidden gems not viewable from a tour bus, and what's more feel like a part of the city's pulsating heart, rather than simply viewing it from behind glass. There is a lot to be said for simply exploring London free-style, though if you'd prefer to follow a pre-established route there are a number of great walking guides available. Examples of these are 'Walking London' and 'Secret London', both published by Globetrotter Walking Guides. The former alone lists 30 different walks around London, and 'Secret London' promises to reveal the hidden parts of the city even the locals don't know about! There are also many theme-specific walking guides for London, such as Richard Jones' 'Walking Haunted London', or even Ackroyd and Black's 'Walking London's Medical History'. Literature lovers might also enjoy guides such as 'Walking Dickensian London', also by Richard Jones, and 'Walking Shakespeare's London' by Nicholas Robins.

Yet whilst using a guide book is a better idea than attempting to navigate the city alone, the best way to explore London on foot is by taking part in a guided tour. These allow you the same opportunities to walk through the city and experience it first-hand, though with the added bonus of a native tour guide who can provide interesting information and local anecdotes, thus meaning there's no need for you to have your head stuck in a guide book! Many tour guide companies offer a variety of tours which cover different areas of London and cater to different areas of interest. London Excursions, for example, provides a selection of five different, though equally enjoyable, tours – 'Royal London'; 'City of London'; 'Musical Marylebone'; 'East London Walk' and 'Blood on the Ground at Smithfield'.

Whether you choose to use a guide book or follow a tour, remember to wear sensible, comfortable shoes when exploring London on foot. Also remember to take the weather into consideration - avoid excessive layers in the heat, and wrap up warm in winter as you're likely to be outside for hours. Items from companies such as Craghoppers are ideals.

Tower Bridge
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