Southwark walking tours


The Making of Thoroughly Modern Medicine walking tour covers a 500 year period starting with an age when people thought they could become ill from breathing in a bad smell and when physicians were governed by the theories of Hippocrates and Galen, the ancient Greek physicians.  This tour will suit anyone who has a fascination with medical developments and who enjoys hearing about the often gory and pain-drenched treatments and cures of old. 


During the tour, we will look at some of the major discoveries which have given us the knowledge we have today and consider the courageousness of the pioneers behind those discoveries; we will look at a variety of surgical instruments used during the Middle Ages and talk about treatments and cures which were supposed to make you well but will make you squirm at the very thought of them!


The private walking tour starts at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on the southern edge of Regent’s Park and we spend an hour and a quarter looking at the College’s collections of surgical memorabilia, paintings and other bits and pieces which all fit into the story of medical development.  We then walk to the Wellcome Collection on the Euston Road stopping ‘en route’ to fill in some of the gaps in the story of the development of medicine.  Finally, if the RCP is not open for some reason, we will look around the Medicine Man exhibition at the Wellcome Collection which tells the tale of Henry Wellcome’s life and allows us to see some of his enormous collection of interesting medical artefacts.  If the RCP is open, the tour will end outside the Wellcome Collection but there is a café inside and after a reviving cuppa, you might well care to explore the Medicine Man exhibition on your own.  It is not to be missed!


I run this tour on behalf of Discover Medical London (DML) (  Do visit their website so you can see the full range of medical related tours they offer.  These cover topics from Royal Health, Harley Street Healers & Hoaxers and London’s Plagues to Women in Medicine and the ever changing role of the medic during the First World War.  There really is something for everyone.  If some of DML’s other tours appeal more than the Making of Thoroughly Modern Medicine with me, than do e-mail the DML team direct on  Please mention my name if you do!


A two and a half to three hour tour of the Making of Thoroughly Modern Medicine costs £12 per person with a minimum group charge of £175.  If there are more than 25 in the group, let me know so that I can liaise with DML about the possibility of scheduling more than one guide as 25 is the group maximum. 


For more information on tours and prices please click on the ‘Tour Prices’ tag.  If you are interested in booking a tour, please e-mail me using the contact form below to check my availability.  Payment can then be made by using the PayPal button 'Medical Tour Payments' in the ‘Tour Prices’ section of this website.  Alternatively, you can pay by bank transfer in which case contact me for my bank details.  The tour will not be confirmed until I have received payment in full.


The meeting place for the Making of Thoroughly Modern Medicine is outside the Royal College of Physicians at 11 St Andrew’s Place, London, NW1 4LE.  Nearest underground station is Regent’s Park on the Bakerloo line.

+44 (0)771 538 1712


+44 (0)20 8770 9601

© 2016 by Sandy Rhodes

Proudly created with