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  • Steve Matthews

What’s it all about then?

When I first started this site as a portal for A London Miscellany Tours and began to write about some of the history of London, like everyone I had no idea of how the Global Pandemic would affect my unusual walking tours of London.

With tours curtailed for much of 2020 and things looking bleak for the first half of 2021, I turned my attention to gathering stories and facts that I could use to create the best walking tours of London that I could. However there’s a limit to how many different ideas you can put together, as you can only run so many tours in any day or week. Some of the ideas still on the drawing board are walking tours of London churches and also some audio walking tours of London.

So, for the most part I’ve used the information I’ve amassed to create a regular amount of blog posts on facts or stories that I think will be of interest. I have to say I’m quite happy with the response, but frustratingly I find that people who regularly read my blog don’t always associate the articles with guided walking tours around the city of london. So in an aid to show how you can see some of things that you have read about in the blog, I’m going to spend the rest of this article outlining a bit about each of A London Miscellany Tours.

Beyond the Fringe

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I set this up to be a companion tour to a walking tour of Bloomsbury that I had written some months earlier. This tour deals with the area on the opposite side of Tottenham Court Road from Bloomsbury known as Fitzrovia. A lot of people, even born and bread Londoners have never heard of Fitzrovia and if you go on A London Miscellany Tour you’ll hear how the area got its name and about some of the literary and artistic denizens that made the area their home.

Taking Liberties

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This is an unusual walking tour of London as it concentrates on a very small area around Fleet Street. On A London Miscellany Tour, you’ll wander through a part of London in which no right minded citizen would have set foot 300 years ago. Areas of lawlessness with no state control where justice was homemade, swift and very harsh. Tales of murder, duels and poverty abound.

Another Brick In The Wall

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This is one of the tours of Roman London that you book. On this tour we’ll step back in time to around AD34 when the city was a Roman settlement known as Londinium. From that small beginning it’s footprint was ever increasing until it reached the overcrowded medieval walled city, who’s ghost can still be seen in parts today. As the progresses you’ll move further forward in time from those Roman beginnings, through the time of the diarist Samuel Pepys, right through to the Georgian period.

In The City

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This, not surprisingly given its name is a City of London guided tour. In the 1660 there were over half a million people crammed into London’s narrow streets covering an area of just around a square mile. As you can imagine there are so many stories to tell about not just the rich and famous, but also the lives, loves and dreams of the common Londoner. You’ll see some sights and even hear some sounds that medieval Londoners would have only been to familiar with.

Not Avenues, But Alleyways

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I have to admit that this is probably my favourite London walking tour, as its the first one I ever wrote and took people on. One of the fascinating things about historic London were the hundreds of labyrinthine Alleys and Courtyards that filled the city. Sadly many have fallen to the Developers axe, but enough remain that tell the fascinating story of everyday London and the people that once trod these ancient thoroughfares.

Crossing Boundaries

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On this tour you’ll explore the North East of the city and it’s boundaries, sometimes inside and sometimes outside the city’s jurisdiction. Covering from medieval to the 20th Century, this fascinating area has many tales to tell as we coss and re-cross the City’s boundaries.

London Calling

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This is a musical walking tour of london that I originally wrote for a friends 50th Birthday and found it was enjoyed so much that I thought it worth inclusion in A London Miscellany Tours repertoire. The original had quite a lot of pub stops in it as befitting a 50th Birthday bash, but for the more abstemious I’ve taken these out and replaced them with other places of interest, so the question I always pose is, “What do Frideric Handel, Ziggy Stardust and Oasis all have in common?” They all have a connection to London. And they’re not the only musical giants that worked and played in the city. So together we’ll Gavotte, Foxtrot, Pogo and Head bang our way through London’s musical history.

East of Eden

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This is a River Thames walking tour that I wrote while working around the Docklands area of London. Since the time of the Saxons the Thames has been the gateway into the city, so We’ll walk a part of the river where tales of pirates, witches and mutiny rub shoulders with the corporate heart of the modern city and end up on the fringes of the old city where trade was just as cutthroat.

Sets, Squares and Syntax

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And so we come round full circle, as this is the walking tour of Bloomsbury that I mentioned in the first tour, Beyond the Fringe. When you start to dig down, There’s more to Bloomsbury than Intellectuals. Wander through an area renowned for it’s tranquil gardens and peaceful squares, but scratch the surface and find a grittier side to life in London’s Literary heartland.

#London #Tours #History #Walking #Travel

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