Put your best foot forward: London’s best walking tours

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Put your best foot forward London’s best walking tours

There’s no better way to take a closer look at the most famous and historically-resonant or the more unique and curious of London’s many sights than to do so via a walking tour. Covering a plethora or different London-centric topics, each of these walks are led by genned-up guides and are ideal for those in awe of the Windsors, marvelled by London-featuring movies and TV shows or turned on to true crime… 

Sherlock Holmes Tour

This walk is an awesome opportunity to visit the sites in London that inspired Victorian author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to create some of the most iconic features and moments of his tales of the super sleuth to top them all, Sherlock Holmes. A must, then, for any Montcalm At The Brewery bookers who just can’t get enough of high-quality detective fiction.

The tour also covers a number of the locations from films and TV series based on Conan Doyle’s creation. Now, sure, you don’t have to cosplay in a deerstalker hat and Sherlock costume on this two-hour walk but, if you really want to, don’t worry; it’s been known to happen! 

Jack the Ripper Tour

If you’re a sucker for true crime, there’s more than a good chance you’ve heard of Jack the Ripper; in fact, there’s a decent chance you’re fascinated by the whole Jack the Ripper phenomenon. This tour enables you to visit the present-day sites associated with the Victorian-era Whitechapel Murders, for which ‘Jack’ was responsible.

The tale began in 1888’s East London, when the body of a murdered prostitute was discovered and so began a hunt for her murderer; yet, the culprit went on to slaughter similar victims in the area again and again – and was never caught. Beginning on Whitechapel High Street, then taking in the murder sites of the Princess Alice pub, the Ten Bells pub, Osborn Street, Ye Frying Pan (on Brick Lane), Dorset Street, Goulston Street and Mitre Square, this tour is a step into the murkier, gorier side of London’s past, for sure, but is always immensely popular and not a little thought-provoking. 

Brit Movie Tours

Another always-popular walking-tour option, this company offers walks that cover the locations of many of the UK’s most popular and best-known movies and TV shows. Yes, it enables you to find the exterior door to Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic, explore the spaces where superheroes as illustrious as Batman and Wonder Woman have defended London, spit-spots where Mary Poppins and Paddington Bear have trod or the chance espy the real-life locales used in the films of the exploits of the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond himself. 

Royal Tour of London

With Platinum Jubilee fever poised to erupt across Britain, why not embrace the spirit by criss-crossing the centre of town, taking in the haunts and locations associated with the Royals? This tour visits three Royal palaces, starting at the Palace of Westminster (home to the UK’s Parliament) and ending at Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square (ideal, then, if you’re looking to book at, say, Chiswell Street hotels). During the walk, you’ll hear about (and variously see) plots to destroy Parliament, the hidden bunker of legendary wartime PM Winston Churchill, exclusive clubs of the elites and a great deal more besides. 

Downton Abbey London Tour

Return to the elegance, style and luxury of the early 20th Century aristocracy via this walking tour dedicated to the London-based sights seen in the iconic British TV drama. On this walk, then, you’ll be able to bask in the legendary London haunts of the titled members of the Crawley family and, indeed, all their household.

This includes, of course, their London home, Grantham House, as well as the likes of the locations for the Lotus Jazz Club and Caxton Hall, in addition to the National Gallery. You can also expect a plethora of on-set stories, behind-the-scenes insider knowledge and, naturally, the chance to snap all the pics you want. 

Blue Badge Tourist Guide Walks

Perhaps the most reputed company to specialise in guided walks anywhere in the UK, the Blue Badge folks’ reputation is well earned, for sure. Fully-trained and entirely professional, their guides lead walks that showcase all the capital’s must-see sights, as well as others that are great for taking you off the beaten track and deliver an intriguing, fascinating experience. They also pride themselves in being genuine *guides* of the city; being able to recommend the best museums to browse around, the greenest parks to visit and the finest restaurants to dine in (such as, say, Chiswell Street Dining Rooms – as well as being versed in more than 40 different languages. 

Discovery Richmond

They may be tour specialists who restrict themselves to this West London area only, but Discovery Richmond are experts in what they do, make no mistake, and their tours are nothing if not diverse and well worth giving a go. Enabling tours by bicycle as well as on foot, as is traditional, they cover the most historically rich aspects of the area, while allowing participants to properly soak up the rarefied vibe of one of London’s most countrified suburbs, as they absorb anecdotes and facts all about England’s most iconic and lesser-known kings and queens, in addition to those about local wildlife and even rockstars. Who could ask for more? 

City Visitor Trail

Finally, an alternative to the *guided* tour can be had by following a City Visitor Trail map – that is. more of a self-guided tour, which you can take as and when you like during your stay in the capital; perhaps as you take advantage of London Montcalm hotel deals. The main ‘tour’ map takes visitors through the historic centre of the city, via the major sights that are St Paul’s Cathedral, the Guildhall, the Bank of England, Mansion House, the Monument, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

A different experience is offered by the ‘side tracks’ maps, each of which delivers a themed walk focusing on a particular aspect of the capital; you can specialise, then, in anything from history and heritage to architecture and culture – in short, whatever’s your desire. Indeed, you may want to download the City Visitor Trail app to your phone (Apple or Android). Not only does it come complete with maps, but also enables you to listen to stories about great London attractions from those-in-the-know. Plus, a big bonus – it’s free to download.