Monday, January 24, 2005

London Walks

Just a few more words about London Walks. Saturday, I took part in two walks led by guides from London Walks. (The details of my walks are listed below.) I found a brochure for this place last Saturday. Opening it up, I discovered a huge variety of walks held every day of the week. They offer tours on just about every London-related topic I can imagine – including basic London landmarks, Jane Austin, the Beatles, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, various London neighbourhoods, museums…the list goes on for quite a long while. They even have a few Explorer Days where they take day trips to sights outside of London.

Each walk is said to last about two hours. The cost is a very reasonable £5.50 – it’s even cheaper if you are a student, a ‘super adult,’ or have the Discount Walkabout Card. (Kids under 15 go free with a paying parent.) The Discount Walkabout Card costs but a single pound and entitles the bearer to £1 off of each walk after the first one. (The first walk costs £5.50 and the card costs £1. The second walk costs £4.50. At this point, you’ve broken even. Each walk you take now costs £4.50, saving you £1 each time.)

The guides are well qualified. The brochure lists the guides scheduled for each walk and then you can read their brief biography on the last page of the brochure. My morning guide, Stephanie, used to be an elephant trainer at the London Zoo. The Jack the Ripper walks are led by one of the top Ripper scholars anywhere.

The best part, though, is that to join a walk, you just meet the guide outside the tube station listed in the brochure. That’s it. No pre-registration. No pre-payment. Just show up, pay your fee, and off you go!


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