Please see below the programme of off-the-peg walks and special events
Pre-booking essential as groups limited to 15 maximum – contact Diana to book or join the email list for regular updates.
  • Walks last approx. 2hrs. Small groups – Maximum size 15 but often around 10.
  • Price normally– £15/£20, of which 50p goes to a nominated charity* (payment on arrival at walk).
  • Walks go-ahead in all weathers, and however small group size (as long as you have booked by Friday evening for Sunday walks, or 24hrs before for Saturday + weekday walks). Late cancellations may have to be charged.
  • All walks led by Diana Kelsey.
  • See the Autumn programme (August – December 2018) 
  • *2018 Donations to Brain Tumour Research, in memory of Diana’s brother who died in 2015.  Charity No. 1153487. Also to SolarAid, who provide solar power to some of the remotest regions of the world. Charity No. 1115960.

Tours of the Houses of Parliament

Last chance to be guided by Diana on a tour of Parliament. From the end of September Parliament will no longer be using Blue Badge Guides but their own in-house guides. So hurry and book on any of dates and times below to get Diana as  your guide.  The maximum group size is 25 so bigger than you are used to on Diana’s own walks.  The tour takes 1hr. 45mins.

Tuesday 7 August                                10.20    13.00    15.20

Thursday 23 August                            10.20    13.00    15.20

To book go to the Houses of Parliament web-site www.parliament.uk and follow the links to visiting/guided tours.  Or you can book by phone 020 7219 4114.

NB You must book via Parliament and having booked, just let me know that you are coming and I will ensure you are put in my group as there are 2 guides for each time-slot.

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NEW – Weekday Walks – 2 Options

OPTION 1 - You chose the walk and date – click here for the full list of walks – and guarantee 5 participants (Cost £20 per head).  The walk will then be added to the programme of Upcoming Walks and additional walkers will be recruited.

OPTION 2 - Book a private walk – minimum 12 @ £20 per head (special rates available for registered charity groups).

Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss – DiaKelsey3@aol.com

***I WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM SEPT 10 FOR PRIVATE COMMISSIONS***
see options above

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Saturday/Sunday 22/23 September

LONDON OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND

www.openhouselondon.org.uk Over this weekend hundreds of buildings of both historic and architectural interest open to the public throughout all the London boroughs. Even those normally open to the public give access behind the scenes.  Access to buildings is difficult with a group, so you are best exploring on your own.  It also allows me to update my knowledge and take pictures, which I can then share with you on my walks.  Go to the web-site to pre-order the brochure.  Worth doing as many of the venues are pre-booking only.

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Sunday 30 September

SCULPTURE IN THE PARK (Regents Park Frieze Sculpture exhibition)

Frieze London Art Fair will be running from Oct.3-6, but all summer, as a precursor to this fair, a sculpture park has been set up in Regents Park, curated by Clare Lilley from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It features emerging artists and established names and works from 24 artists are displayed in the English Garden, which forms a perfect backdrop to some remarkable works.  I will spend the first half of the walk exploring the south part of the park and concentrating on its history.  Named after the Prince Regent, whose grandiose plan it was to develop a country estate in the city ‘Rus in Urbe’ with grand villas and terraces, designed by the Prince’s favourite architect John Nash. Then I will take you round the exhibition picking out some of the most notable sculptures and the ones that appeal to me the most. The walk will end in the sculpture park leaving you time to explore further on your own.

STARTS 2.00am – Baker St. Tube (Bakers St N.exit meet outside Tfl Lost property office)

Ends nr. Great Portland St. tube

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Sunday 7 October

THE UNSUNG ENGINEERS OF RIVERSIDE LONDON  From Bazalgette to the ‘London Super Sewer’

This walk originally developed for a group of retired engineers concentrates on the achievements of engineers from Victorian times to the present day.  We so often laud architects, but it is the engineers who make the building/infrastructure work.  This walk will start from Westminster and go along the river taking a closer look at the engineering feats beside and across the Thames.  In the course of the walk we will cross both new London footbridges – the Hungerford and Millennium bridges. We will also take a closer look at the Festival Hall and South Bank examples of post war engineering as well as the London Eye. Much of the walk will be above the greatest Victorian engineering achievements of them all – Bazalgette’s London sewers and the first underground railway in the world.  But there is a new massive engineering project taking place, which is now evident along the riverside – the Thames Tideway, dubbed ‘London’s super sewer’ which will a feature on this walk.

STARTS 2.00 pm – Westminster Tube – Exit 1  Westminster Pier (riverside)

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Wednesday 17 October

EXPLORING SPITALFIELDS + WHITECHAPEL (IMMIGRANT LONDON)

Spitalfields and Whitechapel are only a stone’s throw east of the glittering 21st century financial hub of the City, yet they feel a million miles distant with traces of the waves of immigrants, who for centuries settled here, hoping to make their fortunes.  The walk of about 2 ½ hrs will weave through the narrow streets seeing the remains of the medieval priory of St Mary Spital that gave the area its name, some of the best preserved Georgian houses in London built by the Huguenot silk weavers and traces of the original Jewish East End. We will then walk down Brick Lane, to the Whitechapel Road – the heart of Bangla town, ending for those who would like for a late lunch in a ‘local’ Bangladeshi Restaurant, not yet on the tourist trail.

STARTS 11.30am – Liverpool St. Station Meet by the statue outside MacDonalds at top of escalators/steps opposite platforms 1+2

Cost £20 – lunch extra

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Sunday 21 October

STEPNEY AND LIMEHOUSE + end at famous Grapes riverside pub ***New***

A walk that captures the spirit of the East End through 2 contrasting districts. Stepney was the mother parish of the ‘hamlets’ East of the Tower – hence its imposing medieval parish church (pictured on the ‘upcoming walks’ page of my website). Despite heavy bombing in the 2nd World War a surprising  amount of the historic areas remain – Georgian homes for rich merchants, now valued in £m.s. Victorian terraces of small houses – once slums and now desirable properties -  imposing Victorian social housing, remnants of the Jewish East End and1960s housing estates are all juxtaposed.  Limehouse has a totally different feel and is steadfastly orientated towards the river and docks, being London’s 19-20c sailor town.  Highlights of the area are Hawksmoor’s monumental St Anne’s Limehouse, the Empire Memorial Hostel for Sailors, and the surviving 17c terrace of houses in Narrow St. The walk starts ½ hr. earlier than usual to give us time at the end of the walk (4.00 ish) for a drink in the historic Grapes Pub, frequented by Pepys, Dickens, and Oscar Wilde, and now leased by Sir Ian McKellan, Evegeny Lebedev and Sean Matthias who have preserved its original interior and atmosphere….no fruit machines, no music, no TV. It is then a short walk to Westferry DLR station.

STARTS 1.30pm – Stepney Green Tube

Ends Westferry DLR

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Sunday 25 November

A FIRST WORLD WAR WALK,  ARMISTICE AND REMEMBRANCE  ***Last chance***

At 11.00 on the morning of Nov.11 1918 the guns across Europe fell silent, bringing to a close what had been described as ‘war to end all wars’.  After over 4 years of conflict more than 16m had died worldwide. The aim of the walk from Hyde Park Corner through the parks and Horse Guards Parade to Whitehall is to recall the events not only of the war but those that lead up to it. There are scars still left and many poignant reminders of that cataclysmic event.  We will pass buildings and sites associated with events and characters involved, and we will take a closer look at the many memorials in and around the central London parks. Despite the war-time theme the walk is a peaceful one through the autumnal colours of the central London parks. The walk will end by the Cenotaph, where a couple of weeks’ ago the ceremony marking the centenary of the armistice took place.
This is the last time ever I will be featuring this on my programme

STARTS 2.00pm  – Hyde Park Corner Tube (Exit 1  Knightsbridge North. Meet nr. bus shelters)

NB There is a pleasant café just inside the park by Exit 1

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Sunday 2 December

KINGS CROSS UPDATE – SO MUCH HAS CHANGED !  ***New Route***

If you haven’t been to Kings Cross recently you will be amazed at how much has changed.  Come on this walk and see how London’s once  seediest area has been totally transformed and has become one of London’s most vibrant areas, with new restaurants and attractions opening all the time.  With the converted Granary home to UAL (University of the Arts Central St Martins) at its heart, the area now sports not only the Victorian gas holders converted into both a park and apartments, but by the time this walk goes ahead the new Heatherwick-designed shopping street in the old coal drops will be open, as will the Coal and Fish offices alongside the Regents Canal. Throughout the area are beautifully informal gardens and open spaces, mostly designed by Dan Pearson.  South of the canal the new Google UK ‘super headquarters are taking shape’.  

STARTS 2.00pm – Meeting point yet to be decided

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Sunday 9 December

CHARLES DICKENS LONDON

A walk through the Christmas streets of London that Dickens both frequented and immortalised in his novels.  I will both tell you more about Dickens life and times, conjuring up the London he knew and depicted, and take you past places featured in his novels.  The word ‘Dickensian’ conjures up both abject poverty and Victorian family Christmases by roaring log fires.  An advocate of Victorian family values learn how Dickens’ own life was hardly a role model for the values he depicted in his novels and writings.  We will start a little later than normal to enjoy London at dusk and to have time to stop for a festive mulled wine in Covent Garden.

STARTS 3.00pm – Embankment Tube – Villiers St. Exit

Ends near Chancery Lane

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Wednesday 12 December

THE TEMPLE AT TWILIGHT AND IN GASLIGHT  ***New***

An early evening walk through the Inns of Court and narrow streets off Fleet St.  The quiet courts and alleyways of the Temple and off Fleet St are particularly atmospheric on winter evenings, being in places still lit by gas-light. This walk will trace the history of legal London and Fleet St….a walk that I cannot do at weekends as the Inns of Court are closed.  I have not yet finalised the route, but the plan is to end up at a historic pub for a drink or possibly supper.

STARTS 5.00pm – Temple Tube (drink/supper @ around 7pm)

Cost £20

Minimum 8

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Sunday 16 December

SMITHFIELD AREA WALK + choral advent service with a difference – in ST. BARTHOLOMEW  THE GREAT

To get you into the Christmas spirit and to give you some uplifting relief from the commercialisation of Christmas a late afternoon walk around the Smithfield area.  But this shorter-than-normal walk is designed as a precursor to a very special and different advent service in St Bartholomew the Great.  St. Bartholomew is one of 2 surviving Norman churches in London. (The other is St Johns Chapel in the Tower of London). It was founded in AD1123 as part of a monastery of Augustinian Canons. And although the nave was destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries its chancel still exists virtually unchanged from the 12c.  It is especially atmospheric for evening services -  candlelight and incense are a heady mix!   The service we will attend links Advent with Christmas, and is based on the O Antiphons (responses) traditionally used in the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve.  If you enjoy acrostics and puzzles then this will surprise you! Two choirs are positioned at opposite ends of the church and some of the responses are in plainsong.  It culminates in the well-known hymn that unites the Antiphons in one text: O come, O come, Emmanuel.
Walk 4.00 – 5.30.  For those staying on to the service, there is time to grab a cup of tea before it starts at 6.30pm  www.greatstbarts.com click on services/advent etc.for more details.

STARTS 4.00pm – St. Pauls Tube (Exit 2 outside café Nero)

Cost £20

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