Discover Official Walks & Talks

London's Burning Walking Tour: Sundays & Mondays

A city transformed

Boudica’s Rebellion, The Great Fire of London and the Blitz. London has burned several time in its 2,000 years, and on this 2-hour walk you’ll learn about the 2 cataclysmic events of 1666 and 1940/41.

The Great Fire of 1666 famously started in a bakery  on Pudding Lane. 4 days later more than 13,000 homes and 87 churches had burned to the ground, along with famous buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exchange.

275 years later, during the Second World War, London sustained heavy bombardment for 7 months, from August 1940 to May 1941. More than 25,000 civilians died and hundreds of thousands were made homeless.

Join your City of London Guide as we walk those streets that witnessed such devastation, which will include: 

  • Firefighters’ Memorial: a fitting memorial to those brave men and women, including St Paul’s Watch who protected the Cathedral
  • St Paul’s Cathedral: learn about Old St Paul’s, a massive gothic cathedral, larger than the present Wren masterpiece
  • Paternoster Square: the centre of the book trade for centuries
  • Christ Church Greyfriars: an historic Wren church and now a beautiful garden
  • Noble Street: the Blitz uncovered some Roman remains, hidden for centuries
  • Guildhall Yard: Guildhall burned during the Great Fire and during the Blitz - but survived
  • Bank Junction: learn about the Underground’s role in keeping Londoners safe
  • Laurence Pountney Hill: a gem of an early 18th C house and a superb example of stricter post-Great Fire building regulations
  • The Monument: end your walk by climbing the 311 steps of a monument that commemorated the Great Fire and enjoy the spectacular view. 

Please note: children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Photos: courtesy of Niki Gorick

Nearly all the regular walks and tours offered on this website are just turn up and pay or free. For these walks no advanced booking is possible. There are only a few tours that need to be booked in advance (Smithfield Market, Leadenhall Market walks and Guildhall and the Roman Bath House tours) because of restricted numbers.

If you want a walk or lecture for a group of people, then please use our Find a Guide section.