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 Spring programme (March – June 2019) 
  • *2019 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.


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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.
NEW in 2019: with sufficient notice I will also do these walks at weekends

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

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Sunday 10 March

KINGS CROSS UPDATE – SO MUCH HAS CHANGED!

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 – Meet Customer Information Desk in concourse of Kings Cross mainline station

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Sunday 17 March

THE LONDON BLITZ AND ITS EFFECT ON THE 21ST CENTURY CITY

79 years ago the worst devastation to hit London since the Great Fire of 1666 started – the destructive raids of the London Blitz. These devastating raids, which  occurred almost every night until May 1941, destroyed almost as much of the City of London as had been destroyed in the Great Fire. Whilst this walk will concentrate on the events, characters, and human stories of those terrifying months of the winter of 1940/41, I will show you exact places where the bombs were dropped and show many pictures to illustrate the walk.  I will also put these events in a contemporary context by showing how the effect of the Blitz is still influencing London today.

STARTS 2.00pm – Meet outside main entrance to Museum of London  Café and loos in Museum.  Nearest tube St. Pauls – 10 minutes walk up St. Martin le Grand. Access via escalator to high level walkway

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Sunday 24 March

ISLINGTON AND CANONBURY    ***New***

Many of you have mentioned you would be interested in a walk around Islington and Canonbury. Although parts of both areas feature on some of my walks, including my New River and my Wells’ Spas and Hidden Rivers walks, it is an area that deserves its own walk.  Islington is a historic settlement with many layers of history stretching back to Anglo Saxon times, whilst Canonbury with its grand 18c villas has a more recent history.  It is a really pleasant walk, with many elegant terraces, and squares to enjoy,(see where champagne socialism was born…!) but also traces of its less affluent past with some notable examples of modernist-inspired social housing .  Please note, to do this area justice the walk will be 2 ½ hrs + and will cover more ground than my normal Sunday afternoon strolls.

STARTS 2.00 pm – Meet outside Angel tube

Ends Highbury & Islington

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Saturday 6 April

BORN-AGAIN BRIXTON (early supper in Brixton Village)

The last 60 years of Brixton’s history, since the arrival of the Empire Windrush bringing hopeful migrants from the Caribbean, has been a turbulent and sometimes violent one.  However since the riots of 1981 Brixton has been the focus of community development and investment and is now a vibrant multicultural neighbourhood and after the East End, the ‘cool’ place for young people to live.  We will start with a walk round central Brixton, with its grand Victorian buildings, vibrant market and renovated  Windrush Square, where a new Black Cultural Archive has just opened. We will then walk through quiet residential areas passing Zaha Hadid’s Sterling Prize winning Academy, to reach the Angell Town Estate, a 1970’s ‘Brutalist’ council estate, it had been imaginatively transformed by a unique partnership between  architects, the tenants, the local authority and housing associations, yet was still plagued by gang violence.  It may be familiar to regular readers of the Evening Standard as the focus of the charity ‘The Estate we’re in’…It’s an uplifting story. We will end back at the market for an early supper (for those who want)  in Casa Sibilla www.casa-sibilla.com, a tiny, somewhat eccentric but fantastic Italian restaurant. (Walk 2 ½ hrs)

STARTS 3.15pm – Brixton Tube. Supper 6.00pm

Cost £20

Minimum 6 to go ahead, maximum 10 for supper

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Good Friday 19 April

THAMES-SIDE  WALK via FULHAM PALACE, PUTNEY and BARNES. Full Day – 8miles, 90% off road   ***New***

Starting at Hammersmith we will walk along the river, past the new Riverside Studios, River Café, and Super Sewer development, to Fulham Palace, once the summer residence of the Bishops of London, with its Hampton Court style tudor courtyard and newly regenerated and replanted walled garden. (coffee stop). We will cross the river to Putney, whose church was the site of the famous Putney Debates during the English Civil War. Continuing along the tow path, we will cut inland to follow the Beverley Brook across Barnes Common to Barnes village, where we will stop for a late lunch (6m).  For the energetic we will then return to Hammersmith along the river (2m), others can take a bus back to Hammersmith.  A great spring walk, 90% of which is off-road, with river views, tudor palace, medieval churches, birds from the Barnes wetlands and of course some history!

STARTS 9.00am – Hammersmith Tube Station.  Meet at Costa Coffee (opp. Tescos) in Hammersmith Station (District/Piccadilly Line)shopping arcade

Cost £25

Minimum 6

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Sunday 19 May

FROM GLADIATORS TO THE GLOBE – THE EVOLUTION OF ELIZABETHAN THEATRE. (Henry V is on at Shakespeare’s Globe @ 6.30pm)  ***New***

A walk weaving through the narrow streets of Bankside (Southwark) tracing the history and evolution of the theatre from public spectacle in Roman times, through the mystery plays of medieval England, culminating in the great flowering of Elizabethan theatre and entertainment based around the playhouses on Bankside. This area was also the red light district of Tudor London, so the walk is not as erudite as it may sound – bear baiting, bull fighting and ‘Winchester Geese’ were all features of this vibrant area.  The walk will end at around 4.30pm near the Globe, so you may like to take the opportunity to book tickets to see the production of Henry V which will be playing @ 6.30 that evening.

STARTS 2.30pm – Meeting point tba

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Monday 27 May (Bank Holiday)

THE FLEET RIVER 10m. Hampstead to Blackfriars

Like the Westbourne and Tyburn , the Fleet rises on Hampstead Heath. There are 2 main sources, Hampstead Brook and Highgate Brook both of which we will see. The main walk however follows the Highgate Brook to Camden (it’s a nicer route). We will start in Hampstead seeing the site of the 17c spa. before a shady 1 ½ hr. walk across Hampstead Heath along the brook, passing Kenwood House in the distance. There will be a coffee stop on leaving the Heath, then on through Dartmouth Park, Kentish Town to Camden where we will stop for a pasta/salad lunch having completed 2/3 of the route. The afternoon passes through Old St. Pancras Churchyard – some interesting tombs and quirky stories here – to Kings Cross, deviating a little from the Fleet to see the latest developments – a park and apartments in the old gas holders and the new Heatherwick-redesign of the old coal drops into a shopping arcade. The final stretch of the walk passes the new Postal Museum and continues through Clerkenwell, past the major Crossrail hub and under Holborn Viaduct – great Victorian ironwork – to finish at Blackfriars.  (Sadly the outlet is not visible at present)

STARTS 9.00am – Hampstead Tube

Ends approx 5pm Blackfriars Tube

Cost £25 – Lunch extra

Minimum 6

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Sunday 2 June

REGENTS PARK – THE EVOLUTION OF ENGLISH GARDEN DESIGN (+ WORLD-FAMOUS ROSES)  ***New***

In the early 19century the inner circle of Regents Park was home to the Royal Botanic Society.  The park has some of the best planted gardens in London, so this has inspired me to develop a new walk that traces the evolution of English garden design, as different elements of this evolution are featured in the park, from an early physic garden, to an Elizabethan knot garden, the aptly named English Garden,(an example of natural landscaping),  herbaceous borders and a colourful example of the Italianate formal plantings much loved by the Victorians.  We will also visit the hidden garden of a villa now owned by the Sultan of Brunei and of course the Queen Mary Rose Garden, with its world-famous collection of roses, which should be at their best…but no promises!!.   I will not be able to tell the story chronologically, as that would result in much retracing of steps, but I hope by the end of the walk you will see the park in a new light, and have an overview of the different designs that have made English gardens so admired world-wide. The park may be familiar to you from one of my previous walks…but I hope the commentary will bring a new perspective.

STARTS 2.00pm – Great Portland Street tube

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Sunday 9 June

HIDDEN GARDENS OF THE CITY AND RIVERSIDE  ***New Roof-top garden***

When many of the narrow streets of the pre-war City were destroyed in the Blitz, the City Corporation decided to take the opportunity of creating ‘breathing spaces’ in the City.   With more recent redevelopment of the riverside, the City has opened up more public access.  Now in the most unexpected places, nestling in old church yards and even derelict churches,  between the glass edifices of the 21st century city and in the new spaces created along the riverside are a range of small, but beautifully landscaped and planted gardens. We will start by exploring the new gardens round St. Pauls Cathedral, and then walk towards the East of the City, partly along the river to see the new riverside plantings and end visiting a new roof top garden recently opened near Fenchurch St.  By concentrating on exploring these gardens it allows me to show you views and talk about the history of the city from a different view-point.

STARTS 1.45 pm – St Pauls Tube – Exit 2  Opposite Café Nero

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