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London Walks - questions about specific walks in London

London Walks - questions about specific walks in London

Old May 1st, 2009, 08:09 PM
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London Walks - questions about specific walks in London

Have never done a London Walks tour but have always intended to do so. After reading a lot of threads on London Walks, I have decided we will do the Oxford/Cottswald Explorer Day in mid-May; but I will have a alternative plan in case there is a huge crowd. (DH is happy to go anywhere as long as he doesn't have to plan or decide.)

There are several other walks in London that I'm considering and didn't find any reference to in previous posts. So I'm wondering if any of you can offer comments.

We land on a Fri. at 9AM and will make every effort to keep ourselves out of the bed until about 8PM so we'll be heading toward normal on Sat. (In my experience, that will involve a lot of time on our feet - I once sorta dozed off on arrival day while sitting on a wall in front of the Natural History Museum and dropped my egg mayo sandwich in my lap). I considered some museums but am also interested in a couple of walks. Many people have said they like the Inns of Court walk but I haven't seen any comments on The Old University Quarter, both at 2PM. One advantage to the University one is that we also planned to get to the Petrie this time and it's open till 5 on Sat., so we could scoot in there after the walk (which I assume runs about 2 hrs.). We could possibly do Inns on Mon. afternoon, depending on what else we end up with that day.

Also didn't see Somewhere Else, Forbidden City, or Secret London mentioned. Do some of you who have done a number of these walks have any strong preferences? (Little Venice also is on my list and people seemed to like that one.) Think we will have to pick 2, maybe 3 of these.

What about Ghosts of the Old City? The only nights we have are Sat. & Tues., and that's the tour offered both nights as luck would have it.

Was glad to get a warning about the overcrowded conditions on some of the walks. Was hoping that maybe it wouldn't be too bad in May, but that seems to have been a pipe dream. At least I know to have alternatives in mind if any of the groups are too large to suit us.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 08:24 PM
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I've done the Somewhere Else one... despite the fact that the regular leader was sick, and the replacement wasn't as much of an expert, I still enjoyed it. It did talk a lot about old and new buildings and the juxtaposition between the two. I always learn something on the walks, which is what I enjoy about them. This one was pretty good IMO - not the best, but good. Can't really speak to any of your other choices.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:33 PM
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polly229 - I can't answer your question, but I would love to hear your experience if you do go on the Oxford/Cotswolds walk. I'm considering that one for my trip in a few weeks (with the full knowledge that it packs a lot into one day).
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Nearly all of the comments in previous threads have said the Oxford/Cotswolds walk was very good - I probably read a dozen. Don't believe I saw any that said it was disappointing, the negative comments came from people who hadn't been but thought it was too much for one day. As I discovered myself, on a trip to England in '98, coincidentally, I had been packing too much in and trying to do too much. So I've intentionally slowed down a lot since then. But once in awhile it doesn't hurt, I don't think. In fact gives you an idea of places you'd like to explore in depth on a later visit. Took a day tour of the Argolis region out of Athens a few years ago and just hated the "if it's 2:15, it must be Epidaurus" aspect (and spending the day with 40 other people). But we "discovered" the region, which hadn't been high on my priorities, and Nafplio, which I would never have bothered with just from reading guidebooks; next year we rented a car and spent several wonderful days based in Nafplio. So I have to consider the tour a success in retrospect.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Hi, we have done about 6 of the guided walks through London Walks and they have all been good.

I think the Greenwich walk and the London pubs evening walk stand out in my memory. For the Greenwich walk, you start off with a boat trip down the Thames, complete with commentary, then do a guided walk once in Greenwich. The tour ends in Greenwich but the guide explained the various ways to get back to central London.

On the evening pub walk, we visited 3 pubs, all quite different and there were some people who had a drink and others who didn't. It wasn't really the focus, more a way of giving the walk a theme. At the last pub, some people stayed and had a drink and a chat. The walk was really interesting and went for nearly 3 hours. There wasn't much time for eating, though I think some people grabbed something. We ate before we went.

Other walks which were good are the Little Venice Walk, High St Kensington walk, one that started at Green Park and went past Clarence House, a walk inside The Tower, one around Smithfield market.

They seem to us to be a very good company and all their guides are professionals. We also did two walks in Paris through their affiliated company. We have been told that if they get way too many people on a walk, they call for another guide.

Hope this helps. One other thing I just thought of, make sure the person you are paying at the start is from London Walks as there have been reports of shysters pretending to be from there and taking money, and disappearing when the real guide turns up.

Kay
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:52 PM
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Thanks, Kay, I think maybe Little Venice should be near the top of our list as numerous people seem to have liked that one. The Old Palace Quarter starts at Green Park, so I wonder if that's the one you took; Clarence House would fit in.
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