Discover Official Walks & Talks

Dark Side of the City Guided Walk: Fridays

Crime and punishment

Are you ready to learn about London’s grim and gruesome past? Then join us on a tour that tells the tale of crime and punishment, executions and excess. 

Our tour starts south of the sedate St Paul’s Cathedral but did you know its churchyard was once a place for book burning, fiery sermons and hanging, drawing and quartering? On your walk, which takes about 1hr, 45 minutes, you’ll learn about:

  • Paul’s Churchyard, the medieval equivalent of Twitter
  • Paternoster Square and Temple Bar, where people were pilloried
  • The City of London Police: did you know they’re Olympic champions?!
  • Postman’s Park: a place for heroic self-sacrifice and many a sad tale
  • Greyfriars Church: a ruinous church, haunted by a wicked queen
  • Old Bailey: the former Newgate Gaol and a place for public executions - and a daring escapee
  • Smithfield: where martyrs were executed, by burning at the stake - even boiled alive - watched over, it is said, by a sadistic queen
  • Bartholomew Fair: a raucous festival the Victorians finally banned
  • Charterhouse: a peaceful part of London but where death lies underneath.

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

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

Photos: courtesy of Niki Gorick

Download a copy of our guided walks leaflet here

We've restarted our physical walks!

Our daily walks from the City Information Centre, just south of St Paul's are now running, and for the moment you'll still need to book your slot.

In addition, you can visit some of the City's delightful gardens, while in the evening take a stroll along the river to admire London's bridges, now beautifully lit thanks to the Illuminated River Project. 

Note: We try to make our walks as inclusive and accessible as possible.

If you would like to organise your own walk, lecture or a virtual tour, then please use our Find a Guide section. If you're a member of an Arts Society or a U3A group we'd love to take you on a tour of the City. And if you're a company based in the City who would like to organise a social event for your work colleagues, why not book an evening walk with us? As guides we know where all the good pubs are!