Discover Official Walks & Talks

Smithfield Market Tours: Monthly

This early morning tour of the City's Historic Smithfield Market usually takes place monthly on a Wednesday or Thursday at 6:45am. Extra early tours are occasionally offered on certain alternative days at 6am in order to view the market whilst trading is still very busy. There was to have been a special 0630 additional tour on Wednesday 15th April 2020, which would have enabled a little more of the Market to be seen whilst it is still trading. All of our tours are well worth the early start.

The tour is a great opportunity to experience the hustle and bustle of central London’s last surviving market first hand. It focuses on the workings of the famous Central Market but will also cover:

  • The fabric of the market which has evolved over a thousand years
  • The long and turbulent history of Smithfield
  • The growth of the notorious cattle market
  • The gaiety of Bartholomew Fair

The tour last an hour and a half and costs £12.50 per person, £10 for concessions. For safety reasons people attending this walk must be at least sixteen years and each tour is usually limited to twelve people.

Places on the tour must be booked. Sadly, although the Market is still operating, we have regretfully decided to suspend our tours during the current coronavirus-covid-19 crisis. Once tours resume, you will be able to book a place by visiting the Smithfield Market Walks bookings page which lists the walks that currently have spaces available.  Please note that because of the restriction on numbers your booking will only be valid when it is confirmed. This tour is very popular & books up quickly.

Note that it will be possible for group bookings to be made for specially arranged groups on other days & dates after the crisis is resolved. Please contact to discuss your requirements.

And if you want to learn more about Smithfield after things get back to normal, why not go on our popular St Bartholomew's Hospital Friday afternoon tour?

Photos: courtesy of Niki Gorick

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

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!