We specialise in self guided audio tours of london that you can download onto your Smartphone.
If you like to explore but would prefer not to be in a crowd then our tours are just right for you to get the most out of your stay in London.
The process is simple, pick the tour you want and you will be taken to our partner site where you will be able to download the App and purchase your chosen tour. Once your tour is downloaded it is yours to keep and use as many times as you wish.
The simplicity of the App means that you can walk the tour completely hands free at a time or day that suits you and should you wish to stop for a break you can pause the tour at any time.
We can also offer you walking tours with an experienced tour guide who will take you to all of the areas that are covered by the audio tours and some extra ones that aren't.
In addition we can also plan and create a bespoke tour if you have a favourite topic or area of London you wish to explore.
Please contact us for more details
May 2023 sees the publication of three new audio tour, which I have been wanting to write for some time.
Sets, Squares and Syntax takes the listener through the area of Bloomsbury, with it's magnificent garden Squares and fine architecture, but the area is a bit more gritty than most would imagine!
London's other square mile is a romp through the streets of Soho, a fantastically vibrant area with a rich history in London's West End.
The Planners Dream Goes Wrong is a stroll around the area known as Seven Dials, which when it was set out in the late 1600s was heralded as a new design for living. However, nobody could foresee what the area was to become.
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London was once a city filled with hundreds of labyrinthine alleys and courtyards, but sadly many have been lost to the developer’s axe. On this walking tour, we’ll track down the ancient thoroughfares that remain within the vicinity of Fleet Street while I share a few fascinating stories about the people that once trod these streets.
I’ll give you a peek into the history of Fleet Street, once the major entrance and exit to the city from the South West. You’ll learn about the area’s long association with the printing trade, its connection to several prominent writers and poets, and its ties to the legal profession.
Highlights along the way include:
• Dr Johnson’s House, the birthplace of the modern dictionary
• The place Shakespeare visited when in need of an Italian translation
• One of Twinings Tea’s first stores
• Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a charming pub where Dickens, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were locals
• A famous hangout of Tom Cox, known as the Handsome Highwayman
"As a Londoner born and raised, Steve's excellent and clearly stated commentary gripped and fascinated me as my knowledge expanded. I have often walked along several of these streets and never knew what was behind some of the buildings I had blithely ignored."
You can look forward to hearing about:
• The first London docks
• A little piece of China on the shores of the Thames
• Francis Bacon’s lover’s plot to plant cannabis in the artist’s studio in order to get him arrested
• Great feats of Victorian engineering
• Law, order – and the lack of it – along the river banks, where drunks from a nearby pub were reputedly drowned
• The repurposing of Docklands in the 1980s
Brilliant. Thank you. Loved it - really interesting and great fun. Highly recommend
Do you long to get off the well-worn London tourist trail and see more of the city’s hidden corners? If so, you’re certain to enjoy this walking tour alongside the River Thames, once the main trading gateway into the city.
On this walk, you’ll hear the many, varied stories linked to this stretch of the river. I’ll share the history behind the buildings you see and, along the way, I’ll introduce you to some of the fascinating characters that have lived here, including the artist Francis Bacon, some of the protagonists in one of the first industrial disputes, and even a witch and a ghost. We’ll also pass the charming 450 year-old pub, The Bunch of Grapes, located directly above the spot where Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on his third voyage to the New World. If you pause here for a pint, you can get a glimpse of the staff that actor Sir Ian McKellan, who is also part-owner of the pub, used when he played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Trace Pimlico’s history, from little more than an agricultural swathe beyond the fringes of Westminster, to the centre of London’s political activity in the 1900s. On this walking tour, you’ll hear all about Thomas Cubitt, the “master builder” who transformed Pimlico into the neighbourhood of beautiful garden squares that you see today. We’ll explore the grid of handsome white stucco terraces that he developed and, along the way, I’ll tell you stories about some of the area’s intriguing residents. Pimlico was once synonymous with the aspirational middle classes, attracting artists, thinkers, scientists, politicians – and even secret agents – to this part of the city.
For all its beauty and order, Pimlico is no stranger to death, chaos and destruction. Its relatively modern history is made all the more interesting because the people and events that took place here are still within living memory.
Along the way you'll encounter:
• The first Churchill family home
•A little piece of modern American history
• Heroic tales from WW2
• An MI5 spy mystery
• A famous Victorian court case
• Pimlico's artistic and spiritual community
• Memories of Princess Diana
• The birthplace of an Australian Prime Minister
"A thoroughly engrossing tour in an area I knew very little about. What on the surface looks like a well to do residential area comes alive during Steve’s tour and the stories he tells make you see it in a completely different light. I would thoroughly recommend this and Steve’s other tours."
Do you long to get off the well-worn London tourist trail and see more of the city’s hidden corners? If so, this walking tour is the one for you. Moorgate is probably not on most people’s lists of top locations to visit, but it’s oozing with history, from the first Roman settlement through to the early 1900s.
As a born and bred Londoner, the city’s history has always fascinated me, and I started to put together tours around ten years ago. It’s really important to me that you not only get to see and hear about the locations and buildings on the route, but you also hear stories about the people who once lived there.
On this walk, I'll introduce you to a slightly crazy Elizabethan Doctor, the most feared man in Tudor England, and an unlucky delivery boy who got a clip round the ear for attending to a call of nature.
Along the way, I’ll tell you tales about:
• The Roman city of Londinium
• Medieval Moorgate
• The prelude to the English Civil War
• Victorian architecture
• 20th century espionage
• Life in Victorian Moorgate
• London's Trade Guilds
"Such a brilliant tour. What am amazing storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my second tour with Steve in two consecutive weeks. He has a firm grasp on history and culture.
Never knew Moorgate had such an incredible history associated with it.
Stories and experiences such as these are making me fall further in love with this city.
I'm looking forward to one of Steve's next tours already."
Fitzrovia is probably not on many people’s lists of top locations in London to visit. In fact, most people have never heard of it. On this walking tour, I’ll tell you all about its strange history, why it was viewed with suspicion by the neighbouring districts to the south, and the fact that it had no official name until the 1970s.
On this walk, we’ll venture off London’s well-worn tourist trail and see some of the city’s lesser-known corners. I’ll introduce you to Stan ‘the Spiv’ Setty, who met his end after a few too many dodgy dealings, a lustful murderer, a cowboy builder, denizens of the Bohemian set, and a legendary Victorian writer.
Along the way, I’ll tell you tales about:
• The Beatles’ 1964 film ‘A Hard Days Night’
• The area’s artistic community
• The place that inspired the workhouse in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
• The forgotten explorer, Captain Matthew Flinders, who led the first inshore circumnavigation of Australia
• The former home of Francisco de Miranda, the Venezuelan military leader and revolutionary
"I had worked in the City for twelve years and had never even heard of Fitzrovia let alone visited it. This was a fascinating tour around an area that has a great history, being introduced to some of the characters who once lived here made the tour even more enjoyable."
Stroll down one of medieval London’s most important streets, Westcheap which is now called Cheapside. It was once the city’s main market area and on this walking tour, you’ll be introduced to the colourful characters that populated it. While the modern street is no longer used as a market, there are clues dotted all along the route that I’ll help you decipher and uncover its rich history of pomp, ceremony, crime and violence. Along the way, I’ll point out where St Peter’s Westcheap church and Cheapside Cross used to stand and guide you down Ironmonger Lane, Bow Churchyard and Old Jewry.
On this tour, you can look forward to hearing about:
• The architecture of the street and its surrounding area
• Great feats of medieval engineering
• The area known as the Shambles and the Flesh Market that it served
• Westcheap’s connections with various Kings and Queens of England
• Tales of murder, assassination and religious conflict
• The life of some of the locals and traders
• Items for sale within the street, some common today and others a rarity
• The church that is synonymous with the right to call yourself a true Cockney
"Steve's clearly enunciated commentary is cleverly enhanced by various 'sound-bites' which do much to add to the atmosphere of this fascinatingly educational walkabout. Modern city life is almost relegated to a mere background hubbub as his voice transports you to Yesteryear. His suggestion to simply stand still for the 5 or 6 minutes close to the start was unexpectedly effective."
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If you would like to find out more information about our tours I would be more than happy to help. Please contact us on the email below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
A London Miscellany Tours
Trace London’s boundaries as it grew from a settlement through the Tudor and Elizabethan period into the modern city it is today.
On this walking tour, you'll find yourself strolling through Lincoln Inn Fields where cattle once grazed which is now the city’s main legal district, and across several of the city’s former boundaries into Farringdon. You'll follow one of the ancient routes for goods into the city and hear tales of rogues and criminals that lay in wait for unsuspecting traveller. Along the way, I’ll point out lesser-known sites like the 300-year-old Wildy & Sons bookshop and the Castle, the only pub in London that could legally act as a pawnbroker until the 1930s.
On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity:
• Hear how the physical boundaries of London grew
• Find out where Elizabeth I played as a girl while standing outside Ye Old Mitre
• See the church where Henry VIII took holy communion
• Walk through the world famous jewelry district of Hatton Gardens
• Listen to tales of robbery, violence, medical ineptitude and a pact with the Devil
• Take in the spot that was once the site of an execution and the rowdiest market in all of Europe
"We all know that London is (and always has been) a vibrant city. This fascinating walk adds depth and character to its history. Modern 'improvements' forced us to take the odd minor detour from the stated path but the hour was thoroughly worthwhile."
Trace London’s ancient city wall as it grew from an enclosure around the Roman settlement of Londinium, to the large medieval structure that ringed the bustling city.
On this walking tour, you’ll see parts of London Wall that still stand today. I’ll tell you about its origins, construction and, in some parts, its demise. I’ll show you the site of each of the seven gates that gave access to the city. You’ll also hear about some of the people that once lived in the shadow of the wall, and gain an insight into what life was like for these locals.
On this tour, you’ll hear about:
• Why a seventeenth century diarist decided to bury a hunk of cheese in a hole in the ground
•The church where victims of the Great Plague are buried
• Hear about the church that inspired Charles Dickens’ “St Ghastly Grim" in The Uncommercial Traveller
• Listen to tales of robbery, violence and deception
• Take in the oldest Synagogue in the UK
• Walk through an area synonymous with law, order and incarceration
what an excellent tour. Very professionally done, with even detailed thought given to those who may find it somewhat lengthy. A fascinating deluge of information much of which I had up to now been unaware. Congratulations to all involved
Bloomsbury, famed for its connection to the arts, sciences and academia, is also known for its upper-class garden squares and fine Georgian architecture.
On this walking tour, you’ll see and hear about the British Museum, Virginia Woolf’s house and the Charles Dickens Museum, where the celebrated writer once lived. But our walk through this renowned neighbourhood isn’t only about enlightenment. Along the way, I’ll also reveal the area’s seedier side, where everyday life was hard and lawlessness was rife. You’ll hear about an opportunistic thief called Thomas Marquiss and how he escaped death, and the murder of Louisa Janoska who lived in the area.
On this tour, you’ll:
• Become familiar with ‘cabmen’s shelters’ and how they were used in the 1900s
• Hear about the unlikely friendship between writer and humourist Jerome K Jerome and revolutionary Leon Trotsky, and their penchant for fish and chips
• See buildings linked to the D-Day landings
• Stroll through beautiful Georgian garden squares including Russell Square, Gordon Square and Bloomsbury Square
• Take in sites with links to the arts, architecture and philanthropy
• Find out about the many historical characters that called Bloomsbury home
• Discover tales of death, dueling and robbery
• See where the artistic movement, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was founded in 1848
• Walk through the heart of the University of London campus
Soho is known for its vibrant and sometimes exotic nightlife, right in the heart of London’s West End. It’s always been a very cosmopolitan and diverse place, and there’s history on every street corner. On this walking tour, I’ll share the stories that most visitors miss, including tales of death, disease and robbery.
On this 90-minute tour, I’ll tell you how the area was transformed from farmland on the fringe of the medieval city into the city’s French quarter and, later, into slums and, eventually, a mecca for bohemians. You’ll stroll down the world-famous Carnaby Street where I’ll reveal the truth about whether the Shakespeare’s Head pub was really founded by two of the renowned writer’s descendents. I’ll also show you a few picturesque squares like Golden Square and Soho Square Gardens, as you make your way down several interesting and quirky streets.
Along the way, you’ll have a chance to:
• Take in the world-famous London Palladium which has connections to the Beatles
• Pass by the iconic Liberty Department Store that Oscar Wilde described as “the chosen resort of the artistic shopper”
• Have a drink at the French House pub where Charles de Gaulle was once a regular visitor
• Find out how a cholera outbreak from the Broad Street Pump’s water led to a breakthrough in medical science, that saved countless lives
• Hear about Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and its neighbour, Bar Italia, another authentic Soho club
Join me on this tour through one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods where I’ll share the history you won’t find in guidebooks.
On the outside, London’s Seven Dials neighbourhood looks like many others, with its variety of houses, shops and businesses. But when it was developed in the 1690s by the talented young entrepreneur, Thomas Neale, he devised a clever way to maximise the number of buildings that could be built here and save himself from financial ruin at the same time. On this walking tour through the area, I’ll share his clever plan with you and show you how it led to Seven Dials’ unique street layout. You’ll also find out how the neighbourhood – once a breeding ground for petty crimes and prostitution – has escaped modern-day developers, leaving Neale’s original streets and a few alleys and courts for you to explore.
Starting near St Martin’s Lane, I’ll guide you to the Agatha Christie Memorial, where you’ll hear about her connection to the area. As you make your way to the Historic Seven Dials obelisk, you’ll hear a few of the stories that inspired her eighth novel, The Seven Dials Mystery. Along the way, I’ll point out some interesting places, including:
• The Garrick Club, one of the world’s oldest members’ clubs, which counts the likes of Henry Irving, Stephen Fry, Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, A.A. Milne, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti among its members
• Neal Street, arguably the birthplace of the Punk Rock movement
• The Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden, a pub that was once synonymous with bare-knuckle boxing and was frequented by Charles Dickens
• Flaxdresser & Ropemaker, a ship chandlers where, before it closed during Covid, one could find an Aladdin’s cave of all things nautical
• The building that was, apparently, once Queen Anne’s bathhouse
On this tour, you'll also have a chance to:
• See the centre for Georgian carriage-building
• Become acquainted with Seven Dials’ first residents, as well as local characters from the Georgian period
• Hear about E.J. Dent, the man who built the clock for Big Ben
• Learn about the Battle of Bow Street
• Pass by what was once St Giles workhouse and the hospital that replaced it
• Find out about Caravan Club, the scandalous and LGBTQ-friendly 1930s nightclub financed by a small-time local criminal named Billy Reynolds
• Discover Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, an annual directory of prostitutes