Official Guides to the City of London

Lesley McAlpine

Languages:

English.

Themes:

Crime and punishment, Journalism and the press, Medieval London, Romans, Samuel Pepys, Livery companies, Accessible tours, Christopher Wren's London, City churches, General city tour, Financial Institutions, Women, Great Fire of London.

Biography

I have a particular interest in Roman and Medieval history, having studied the topics extensively for my degree in history and archaeology at York University.  But I'm also fascinated by the development of London as a global trading and financial centre, with cutting edge buildings buildings to match. 

I began my professional life as a local radio reporter, later working as an award winning producer in the BBC's current affairs department for many years.

Story telling is very important to me and I aim on my walks to highlight the fascinating history of the City, in an entertaining and informative way. 

As a former journalist - I do like historical gossip!

Qualifications

Qualified City of London Green Badge Guide. 

History Hons Degree, York University

Guided Tours

  • The Great Fire of London tour.  Find out how the 1666 blaze took hold and why early efforts to combat it proved disastrous. Hear stories about key players in the unfolding drama like King Charles 2nd and man-about-town diarist Samuel Pepys. Learn how buildings like the Old St Paul's Cathedral effectively became man made volcanoes, spewing out stones and molten lead at passers by, once the fire got out of control.

 

  • Dark Side of the Medieval City. Only the brave venture out on this tour. Hear stories of ghastly punishments, terrible crimes and revolting peasants! Take in key sites like historic Smithfield, the Old Bailey and its scary forebear,  Newgate Prison. Hear stories about an infamous royal, Isabella the She-Wolf of France, allegedly implicated in the death of her spouse. 

 

  • The City of London as a global trading and financial player.  From its early days as Roman Londinium, through steady expansion as the major port during the British Empire era, find out how London became a global player.  Come on a journey and take in ancient Roman remains, dark alleyways and emerge into the sunlight to view cutting edge skyscrapers that house major financial players.