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

From Thursday 5 November our walks are temporarily suspended. However, we are still running virtual tours 

 

Virtual Walks and Talks   

We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Temple Bar Trust.   You are invited to join us for series of live-broadcast, virtual walks around the City. The series includes the fascinating history of Temple Bar, Paternoster Square, St Pauls, the life, and work of Sir Christopher Wren and some of the wonderful but often overlooked statues and sculptures nearby.  Find out more and book here: https://templebartrust.org/walks  

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

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