Southwark Private Walking Tour
Exploring London's first borough!
Southwark may not be the first place visitors to London head to on arrival as they are drawn, quite understandably, to the better known iconic palaces, cathedrals and ancient shops. But Southwark is the oldest borough in London and its many hidden gems and unusual sights make it an absolute must to explore.
Since the days of Roman Britain, Southwark has developed on the coat tails of the City of London across the banks of the River Thames. For centuries it became the entertainment centre for the City's young men looking for a bit of fun outside the constraints imposed by the City's strict authorities. From inns and brothels to theatres and bear-baiting, Southwark had it all.
But Southwark was not all about supplying its wealthy neighbour; in the midst of the sleazy, run down alleys and yards plying their goods and services, were the grandeur of Winchester Palace, home to the Bishops of Winchester and Southwark Cathedral, the church the Bishops helped to create as far back as the 12th century. Southwark was where the posh people and the paupers lived side by side.
The highlights of my Southwark tour are the:
soaring arches, dramatic ceiling and timeless stonework of Southwark Cathedral
ruins of what was once the lavish and luxurious London home of the Bishops of Winchester
reconstruction of the magnificent Globe Theatre, the completion of which became the life's work of an American actor called Sam Wanamaker
life sized replica of the Golden Hinde, the ship that circumnavigated the globe in the 1500s
hustle and bustle of one of London's oldest food markets
fantastic views of London including the modern giants of the City competing for space with historic buildings like St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London
Add to that the fascinating stories about two fires which came close to destroying the City, the impossible load carried by the first stone arched London Bridge and the conditions inside the first prison in England and you realise that this is a tour not to be missed. And that is before I explain the meaning of the intriguing phrases 'Winchester Geese', 'shooting the bridge' and 'brewery tap'.
By now, I know the diaries are out!
The private walking tour of Southwark lasts for between 2.5 -3 hours and covers a distance of 3-4 miles. The tour starts at 10.00 a.m. outside Le Pain Quotidien opposite the exit to the Monument underground station which is on the Circle and District lines. The tour finishes outside the George pub built back in the 1670s, an ideal place for a drink and a bite to eat after a morning's exploration!
This two and a half to three hour tour costs £120.
I am currently only taking bookings from family units of up to 5 people meaning that the maximum group size is
6: 5 guests plus me.
If you would like to book a tour, please click the button below.