This walk is predicated on two beliefs. The first, platitudinous if rarely put to the test, is that the centre of London is not so large that people of ordinary fitness couldn’t walk everywhere. The second is likely to be greeted with scepticism or incredulity: that one can traverse the capital from Hyde Park Corner to the Tower of London without walking along main roads for more than a couple of hundred yards.
This is London seen from parks, gardens, alleys, backstreets and pedestrian zones. As the crow flies, it is exactly 3⅓ miles, but as avoiding traffic requires some circuitous deviations – and the content is enhanced with a few choice digressions – the distance walked is nearly 9 miles.
The route – which is far from obvious, as may be understood – is laced with delights and surprises. Many famous buildings are passed or glimpsed, but largely the interest lies in unexpected clusters of pre-20th-century architecture, picturesque vistas and intriguing alleys, patches of parkland and well-tended gardens, recent architectural behemoths and medieval street patterns.
While Covid mitigation measures remain in place, we are avoiding the insides of buildings, and experience shows this scarcely to be a disadvantage. The main point of the day is to provide the satisfaction of accomplishing a unique journey through the heart of the most vibrant, varied and fascinating city in Europe.
For an insight into the London Days experience, view our video of The London Backstreet Walk, below.
A travel writer since 1991, Sophie has written for the Telegraph, Times, Guardian and Condé Nast Traveller among many others. She also lectures on travel writing and is a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Her book on the traditional events of the summer, The Season: A Summer Whirl Through the English Social Season was published in 2013. Twitter: @aguidetolondon | Instagram: @aguidetolondon | Website: sophiecampbell.london
9.00am, Hyde Park Corner.
c. 5.40pm, Tower Hill Station.
£195. This includes lunch and some refreshments (for a couple of refreshment stops it's quicker and easier for you to order and pay for yourselves).
Maximum 12 participants.
Walking: this is a serious hike, so please don’t attempt it unless you are able to walk at about 3 mph for at least an hour at a time and have the stamina for 9 miles. There are four refreshment breaks, and the terrain is fairly flat but there are steps (one flight has 57).
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.
'Carefully planned and always interesting.'
'The route chosen revealed parts of London completely unknown to us, and the unfamiliar vistas of familiar landmarks were a joy.'
'The walk leader again lived up to every high expectation: outstanding background knowledge combined with the love of the subject.'
'Impressively comprehensive, offering a cornucopia of delights even to a Londoner.'
'I found the walk full of interest and was introduced to parts of London that I’d never been to before. I would certainly recommend it to friends.'
'For me, it was perfect in every way and cannot be faulted. We were promised ‘delights and surprises’ and we were not disappointed.'