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 Summer programme (June – September 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.


______________________________________________________________________

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

______________________________________________________________________

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

______________________________________________________________________

Sunday 9 June

HIDDEN GARDENS OF THE CITY AND RIVERSIDE  

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 riverside plantings and then back into the narrow City streets where we will visit a recently replanted garden in the shell of a Wren church and finish in a new garden on the site of Samuel Pepys’ house in Seething Lane.  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. ***Roof top garden originally billed for this walk is currently closed weekends***

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

Ends nr. Tower Hill Tube

______________________________________________________________________

Sunday 16 June

THE BISHOP’S PALACE AND WALLED GARDEN FULHAM – PRECEDED BY THAMES-SIDE  WALK FROM HAMMERSMITH   ***New***

Starting at Hammersmith we will walk for 2miles (1 ½ hrs approx) along the river past the new Riverside Studios and  River Café, to the recently restored Fulham Palace, once the summer residence of the Bishops of London.  It is a hidden gem, with its Tudor courtyard, great hall and restored Georgian wing.  It has been the residence of 133 Bishops of London, and has a history spanning 1,300 years. Its grade II* listed garden is the second oldest botanical garden in London, predating Kew and houses a 500 year old holm oak, various ‘exotics’ imported from the ‘colonies’ by certain Bishops and a 3.5acre walled garden which has also been extensively restored.  We will spend about 1+  hour looking round the house and garden where I will end the walk, giving those who want more time to explore on their own and have a cup of tea in the café overlooking the garden.  Nearest tube is Putney Bridge a 10 min walk.

STARTS 1.00 pm – Hammersmith Tube Station.  Meet at Costa Coffee (opp. Tesco) in Hammersmith Station (District/Piccadilly Line) shopping arcade

Ends 10 mins walk from Putney Bridge tube or buses back to Hammersmith

______________________________________________________________________

Sunday 7 July

KINGS CROSS UPDATE -  WITH A FOCUS ON THE LANDSCAPING

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.  Early July means the gardens should be at their best, so this walk will concentrate on the landscaping, walking along the canal to see the new planting and the Victorian gas holders converted into both a park and apartments, seeing the Dan Pearson ‘Handyside Garden’ by the new Waitrose, and the green wall hiding the major gas main.  However I will also show you new Heatherwick-designed shopping street in the old coal drops, and point out the new developments now underway including the Google UK ‘super headquarters’ taking shape. Throughout the area are beautifully informal gardens and open spaces. It will make for a pleasant summer afternoon’s walk…weather permitting!

STARTS 2.00pm – Customer Information Desk in concourse of Kings Cross mainline station

______________________________________________________________________

Sunday 28 July

ISLINGTON AND CANONBURY    ***Repeat by popular request***

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 other walks, including the New River and the 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.  Canonbury, with its grand 19c villas has generally a more recent history, but it does feature one of London’s few surviving Tudor buildings…Canonbury Tower.  This is a really pleasant walk, with many elegant terraces, parks, and squares to enjoy,(see where champagne socialism was born…!) but there are also traces of its less affluent past with some reminders of how recently it was one of London’s worst slums.  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 2.00pm – Angel Tube

Ends Highbury & Islington

______________________________________________________________________

***I am taking more of the summer off this year both to travel and to enjoy Britain in the summer. So apologies to my regulars…but I need a bit of a break.  ‘Normal service’ will resume mid/late September***

______________________________________________________________________