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 Winter programme (December 2018 – March 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.

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 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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Saturday 15 December

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 11.00 am – Westminster Tube – Exit 1  Westminster Pier (riverside)

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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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Wednesday 2 January

Full day walk LONDON’S LOST RIVERS -  RIVER TYBURN.  Hampstead –  Millbank + lunch  (approx 8m.)

My traditional ‘New Year’ walk to recover from the excesses of the festive season. A full day’s walk across London following the course of one of London’s lost rivers – the River Tyburn. It rises in Hampstead (like the Westbourne and Fleet) and we will follow its route through Swiss Cottage and St John’s Wood, see it come briefly above ground in Regents Park. The walk continues through Marylebone and Mayfair and across Green Park. The Tyburn branched in front of Buckingham Palace and used to flow out into the Thames at Millbank but in 1600s it was diverted to Pimlico. We will follow its original course through St. James’s Park, past Westminster Abbey to finish along the river at Millbank (to be honest it is a more pleasant walk than through Pimlico).  Even if you have done the shorter version of this walk, it should still prove interesting as doing the whole route puts Marylebone and Mayfair in context. We will have a coffee stop after about an hour and lunch stop at Côte in St. Christopher’s Place ending with tea at Tate Britain.

STARTS 9.30am – Hampstead Tube

Ends approx 4.30pm Westminster/Pimlico

Cost £25 – lunch extra

Minimum 8

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An experiment for Sundays during January

However riveting my commentary (!) it is cold stopping for too long, so during January I will be doing ‘More walk less talk’ routes.  These will not be route marches, but we will be walking at a steady pace and will cover more distance, with fewer, shorter stops

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Sunday 6 January

RIVERSIDE VISTAS – ROTHERHITHE to SOUTHWARK

As a start to my 2019 Sunday programme, a 3+mile winter walk along the Thames to blow away ‘the January blues’. To avoid us getting cold I will keep the stops short as the idea of this walk is to enjoy the dramatic views you get upriver as you walk towards the City.  We will start with a brief walk round the old sailor town of Rotherhithe with its early 18C. church and almost villagey feel.  As we near Tower Bridge we go along the canyon-like streets of Shad Thames between the towering Victorian dock warehouses to pass under the approach to the bridge We then continue along the river past City Hall from where there is the best view in London of the Tower and the soaring skyscrapers of the City. We will end with tea at about 4.30pm (for those who want) in Southwark Cathedral Refectory.
(NB Mayflower Pub www.mayflowerpub.co.uk Rotherhithe riverside pub does good food, if you want an early lunch)

STARTS 2.00pm – Rotherhithe Tube (London Overground)

Ends nr. London Bridge Station

Minimum 6

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Sunday 13 January

GEORGIAN THAMES – HAMMERSMITH TO KEW BRIDGE incl. Chiswick House Gardens (4m.)

One of the most attractive stretches of the river, lined by grand Georgian houses with pretty riverside gardens.  The walk will pass where William Morris’s set up his Kelmscott press, we will continue past Chiswick medieval parish church with Hogarth’s grave. Cutting away from the river we will walk through the newly restored William Kent grounds of Chiswick House, Lord Burlington’s Palladian villa. We will stop for a cup of tea and cake in the Chiswick House Café. We will rejoin the river to stroll along the picturesque Strand-on-the-Green,ending in time for a early evening drink at one of the riverside pubs near Kew Bridge.

STARTS 1.30pm – Hammersmith Tube Station.  Meet at Costa Coffee (opp. Tescos) in Hammersmith Station (District/Piccadilly Line) shopping arcade

Ends 5.00pm nr. Kew Bridge, buses to Kew/Hammersmith stations

Cost £20

Minimum 6

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Sunday 20 January

WALK THE ROMAN WALL  – Tower Hill to Blackfriars  ***New*** (Tea/snack stop at Museum of London with time for a brief visit to the Roman Galleries)

Built more than 150 years after the first Roman settlement of London the 2mile length and size of the wall made it one of the major construction projects in Roman Britain. The completed wall, which had  gateways, towers and defensive ditches, was built from Kentish ragstone, which was brought by barge from quarries near Maidstone.  To walk the line of the wall gives you a sense of the size and importance of Roman London. Whilst only 2 main sections of the wall survive above ground (at Tower Hill and the Museum of London), its mark is still to be found on the street pattern and in later buildings.  We will start by the Tower of London and will then follow the route of the wall with minor deviations – to show you fragments of the wall used in later buildings, to update you on Roman finds unearthed during the Cross-rail construction, and to show you a garden recently constructed by the wall.  We will stop for a generous hour at the Museum of London for tea/snack and  time for a brief visit to the Roman Galleries (best done on your own).  We will then continue by looking at further sections of the wall and tracing its route past Newgate and down to Blackfriars where the main wall finished. Although in 350 AD the Romans built a defensive wall along the river, there are no traces left, so the walk will finish at Blackfriars.

STARTS 12.00pm* – Exit of Tower Hill tube

Ends around 4.30 at Blackfriars

Cost £20

Minimum 6

* (I have not yet fully researched  this walk so timings are provisional)

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Sunday 3 February

JEWISH LONDON incl. VISIT BEVIS MARKS SYNAGOGUE (+ curry in Brick Lane)

A walk tracing the history of the Jews in London, from their arrival with William the Conqueror, to the establishment of the Jewish East End.  Half way through the walk we will have a tour @11.00am  of Bevis Marks – the oldest synagogue still in use in with over 300 years of continuous Jewish worship. Hear stories of lives of Eastern European Jews fleeing the Russian pogroms, and see the fast disappearing traces of the Jewish East End.  For those who have time we will end with a curry in Brick Lane. Meet for coffee at Pret from 9.30am (opposite Tower ticket office ) or by tube for 10.15 start.

STARTS 10.15 am – Tower Hill Tube

Ends nr. Aldgate East

Cost £20 to incl. entry to Bevis Marks – Lunch extra

Minimum 6

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Sunday 3 March

HOW TEA AND COFFEE MADE LONDON RICH   ***New Improved***

Tea and now increasingly coffee drinking is so central to our 21century life-style, but in many ways has been for over 350 years since coffee first arrived in Britain in 1637.  Coffee houses were the business hothouses of the 17th and18th C. Tea drinking was evidence of a thriving empire and the resulting demand for sugar fuelled the slave trade.  This walk will weave through the City, crossing  London Bridge and ending in Southwark.  I will trace the history of these beverages, but more importantly their history allows me to trace the mercantile history of London from the foundation of the East India Company on the stroke of midnight 1600 to the height of empire in the 19c. and no we will NOT stop in a Starbucks….but we will end with a cup of tea or coffee in Southwark.

STARTS 2.00pm – Liverpool St. Station by Statue outside MacDonalds

Ends nr. London Bridge station

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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

CANONBURY AND ISLINGTON   ***New***

Many of you have mentioned you would be interested in a walk around Canonbury and Islington. Although parts of both areas feature on some of my walks, including my New River Walk, and my Wells’ Spas and Hidden Rivers 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.  I haven’t yet started to research this walk, but knowing the area a little already it is one that is very pleasant to explore.

STARTS 2.00pm – Meeting + Ending places tba

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