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 (May – August 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

I am one of the guides on the public tours in Parliament on Saturdays and during the recess, so if you book on any of dates and times below, you will get me as your guide.  The maximum group size is 25 so bigger than you are used to on my own walks.  The tour takes 1hr. 45mins.

Saturday 16 June                                10.00    12.20    15.00

Tuesday 31 July                                   10.00    12.40    15.00

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

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Monday 7 May – Bank Holiday

LONDON’S LOST RIVERS – THE WESTBOURNE.
Hampstead – Chelsea Embankment + Full day incl. pub lunch – approx 9 miles

For those enjoying a London ‘staycation’ over the bank holiday weekend join a full day walk across London from Hampstead  (Whitestone Pond) to Chelsea Embankment following the course of one of London’s lost rivers.   Rising in Hampstead the Westbourne flows down through Kilburn, Bayswater, Knightsbridge and Chelsea. It is a truly varied walk from elegant Hampstead through multi-cultural Kilburn, past council estates and  through mews and alleyways behind the stucco of Bayswater, across Hyde Park to weave through the back streets of Knightsbridge and Chelsea ending by the river on Chelsea Embankment nr. Chelsea Bridge.  Timing 9.30 – 1.45 incl 1/2 hr coffee stop. Afternoon 3.00 – 5.00pm.

STARTS 9.30am – Hampstead Tube

Ends approx 4.30 – 5.00pm Chelsea Embankment (bus to Sloane Square/Victoria)

Cost £25 – pub lunch extra

Minimum 8

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Sunday 13 May

DOING THE LAMBETH WALK! ***New***

Many of you will be familiar with the Imperial War Museum or Lambeth Palace, but now is your chance to explore behind the scenes Lambeth….and yes we will go along ‘Lambeth walk’ of musical fame.  It is a mixed area where elegant Georgian Squares rub shoulders with remains of Victorian ragged schools, workhouses and industry. One of London’s most flamboyant Victorian buildings – the Royal Doulton factory is on the route.  Famous names such as Charlie Chaplin, William Blake, William Bligh are associated with the area.  Like so many areas its fortunes are changing as it is squeezed between the massive redevelopments of Nine Elms and Elephant and Castle.

STARTS 2.00pm – Lambeth North station (Ends here)

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Sunday 20 May

NEW BUILDINGS OF THE CITY – THE POST BREXIT EFFECT ***Repeat by popular demand!***

If you are feeling worried and depressed about London’s future post Brexit, come on this walk and be encouraged.  I was an ardent ‘Remainer’, but as I guide round the City I am buoyed by the sheer scale of redevelopment and the confidence of the City and its foreign investors.  Despite the many cataclysmic events that have shaken the City to its foundations..sometimes literally..such as the Great Fire and the Blitz, sometimes economically such as the end of Empire, the City has always found a way to survive and succeed.  Brexit is yet another of these events.  In response the City has developed a new strategy that focuses on promoting London and the City in particular as a great place to live and work.  For the first time residential complexes are being developed, the City is planning a ‘Culture Mile’ bringing art, culture and creativity into the square mile, old medieval alleyways and courtyards are being opened up, and yet more skyscrapers are being built and planned.  This walk may be nearer 2.1/2 hrs and will cover more distance with shorter stops, to give you a real flavour of the ‘new city’ rising to the challenge of life post Brexit.

STARTS 2.00am – St Paul’s Tube – Exit 2 – outside Café Nero

Ends nr. Liverpool St. station

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Monday 28 May – Bank Holiday

RURAL HACKNEY. A full day’s leafy walk 11 miles from Finsbury Park to Hackney Wick/Stratford (bring picnic lunch)

After this walk you will see Hackney in a totally different light, as ¾ of the walk is through parks, wildlife reserves and along canal- or river-side. The walk starts in Finsbury Park, to reach a new bird sanctuary. This is part of Woodberry Down, once a notorious ‘sink estate’ but now one of London’s major housing regeneration projects. We will continue along the banks of ‘New River’ to Clissold Park.  Walking through Stoke Newington with a brief visit to the Victorian ‘necropolis’ -  Abney Park Cemetery, we then go through Stamford Hill (the home of orthodox Jews) to Springfield Park with its view of Walthamstow Marshes. (Lunch stop. There is a café where you can buy drinks). In the afternoon we walk 3m along the river Lea, diverting briefly to enter the Middlesex Filter Beds, now a nature reserve.  The final part of the walk will be alongside the canal by the Olympic Park. The end of the walk will be dependent on weather and group energy.  We will stop after 9m for a drink in one of the many new bars/restaurants on the canal in the new ‘artists’ quarter of Hackney Wick. (Overground station). Those with energy/enthusiasm can continue a further 2 miles along the river/or across the park to see the further development on the fringes of the Olympic Site. Bring a picnic lunch.

STARTS 9.30 am – Manor House Tube (Piccadilly Line EXIT 6 – Green Lanes N.W side.) Meet at Park View Café from 8.45am

Ends approx 5.00pm Stratford

Cost £25

Minimum 8

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Sunday 17 June

ROMAN LONDON REDISCOVERED – ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE + LONDON MITHRAEUM ***Sell out last time***

This is a new walk prompted by the opening – under the new Bloomberg building – of the London Mithraeum, the Roman Temple of Mithras returned to its original location and imaginatively restored and housed in a new viewing gallery.  The walk starts by the roman wall near the Museum of London and then continues – passing a couple of roman sites – to Guildhall yard to visit the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre under Guildhall Art Gallery. We will then walk to the ‘Bloomberg Space’ the new gallery housing the ‘London Mithraeum’ for a 3.30 entry. There is not only the temple itself to visit, but also an exhibition of the best of the 14,000 artefacts discovered during the construction of Bloombergs HQ. Viewing the temple – 7m below street level – is at 20min intervals.  So before descending to the temple itself, I will give you some background as I will only be able to point things out after a 5-7min.audio visual ‘experience’..(their words not mine!). The tour ends at the gallery, which closes at 5.00.  This will leave you plenty of time to look at the exhibits in your own time.

STARTS 1.45pm – Outside main entrance to Museum of London Barbican. Nearest tube St. Pauls – then follow signs to Museum (access via a high walk)

Ends nr. Cannon St.

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Sunday 24 June

DISCOVERING DEPTFORD  ***Sell out last time***

An area still in transition but with a colourful and varied history.  Originally a riverside village on the pilgrimage route to Canterbury, Deptford is mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales.  It really came into its own 400 years ago when Henry VIII made it his main shipbuilding dock.  Long associated with all things maritime, it declined in the 19th and 20th century into an area of poverty and slum dwellings.  Not many fine buildings or monuments survive, but there are a few gems which we will see, but it is nevertheless an area with many fascinating stories, the death of Christopher Marlowe, the visit of Peter the Great…the abject poverty of 19th century swept away by the planning ‘enthusiasm’ of the post war LCC (as featured in Secret Histories of our Streets).   It still however has retained its proud working class heritage, but it is worth a visit, before the ‘creeping gentrification’ alters the area.  As there is a lot to see and for some it may feel a long way to travel I plan to make it a longer than normal walk.

STARTS 1.00pm – Deptford Bridge DLR . (Meet by Travelodge Hotel – loo and coffee of sorts!)

Ends around 4.30pm

Cost £20

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Wednesday 27 June

Full day 8 – 9 miles THAMES PATH – SOUTHWARK TO THE CUTTY SARK (lunch in Mayflower Pub Rotherhithe) ***New***

A rare mid week walk, but since it is midsummer I have waived my ‘no more weekday walks’ in the hope that enough of you will be tempted out on a summer’s day to enjoy different vistas of London along the less frequented, but just as interesting south bank of the Thames.  We will start with coffee (for those early birds ) in Southwark Cathedral before setting out to head along the riverside path towards the mouth of the Thames through Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Greenland Dock, Deptford and ending at Greenwich by the Cutty Sark.  Lunch will be in the historic riverside pub – the Mayflower, weather and space permitting on the terrace overlooking the river.  Full details to follow once I have researched the walk fully.

STARTS 9.30am  – from Southwark Cathedral Refectory (meet 9.00am for coffee). Nrst tube London Bridge

Ends 4.30ish – Greenwich ( nr. Cutty Sark).  Maritime Greenwich DLR

Cost £25 – lunch extra

Minimum 8

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Sunday 1 July

EXPLORING THE ‘TOWER HAMLETS’ – STEPNEY AND LIMEHOUSE  ***New***

Part 3 (Part 1 Wapping, part 2  Poplar) of the series of walks exploring the hamlets east of the Tower…once small villages stretching along the river.  Stepney was the original parish – hence its imposing medieval parish church, and Limehouse was the heart of the docklands during 18 + 19c. and until 1960s London’s original Chinatown.  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, 1960s housing estates are all juxtaposed.  Like so much of the East End it is rapidly changing.  

STARTS 2.00pm – Stepney Green Tube

Ends Limehouse DLR

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Sunday 8 July

THAMES VILLAGES + PALACES 10 miles Riverside Walk Kew, Brentford, Syon Park, Richmond (lunch) return to Kew along tow-path (Half day option Kew – Richmond – 7 miles)

We will start on the South bank of the river at Kew, and having explored Kew village and green, we will cross to the north bank to walk through the villages of Brentford – now a mix of new developments and old riverside workshops and elegant houses, past Syon House, the London home of Duke of Northumberland and through Isleworth with its medieval church.  We then cross the river again to Richmond for a late lunch. (Pizza or pasta/or bring a picnic). After lunch we will see the remains of Henry VII’s Richmond Palace.  For those doing the full day we will then return to Kew with a I ½ hr brisker walk along the tow path on the south side of the river back to Kew.  This walk has everything, riverside, elegant Georgian houses glimpses of 2 royal palaces and a stately home, a marvel of Victorian engineering, and London’s first meridian. (half day 7 miles)

STARTS 9.30am – Kew Gardens Station (District and Overground)

Ends at Kew Gardens at 5.00pm

Cost £25 full day;  £20 half day to Richmond – lunch extra

Minimum 8

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Sunday 29 July

LONDON’S NEW ‘FAR EAST’ – THE ROYAL DOCKS

The Royal Docks still feel a long way away from 21c. London, but that is all changing with a major redevelopment programme stretching from Victoria Dock right down to Gallions Reach.  The main focus of the scheme is the £1.7bn Chinese-funded development to create a new ‘business heart’ in London, transforming it into a ‘third financial centre’.When the Royal Victoria Dock opened in 1855 it was the largest area of impounded water in the world,   Only by walking by the dock with its wide skies, towering cranes, and dramatic views back to the skyline of London can you really appreciate the sheer scale of London’s port at the height of Empire and the scale of planned redevelopment.  We will start at the Royal Victoria Dock and walk a stretch along the dock-side where I will explain the history of the area. We will take the DLR to the far extremity of the Docks to see where London’s new Chinese-funded business centre is planned.  Returning by DLR we then cross the docks by a high walkway (not good for vertigo sufferers or those who can’t do stairs. This  may be necessary if the lift is broken) to walk through Silvertown, site of the ruined Spillers Millennium Flour Mill, much loved by film-makers. Walk ends at Thames Barrier Park, famous for its sunken garden and views of the Barrier.  (NB 3hr.+ tour, but opportunity to peel off after 2hrs before the high walkway to Silvertown).

STARTS 1.00pm – Outside the café of the Crystal (www.thecrystal.org)  2mins from Royal Victoria DLR. (Becton branch of DLR)

Ends at Pontoon Dock DLR

Cost £20

Minimum 8

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Sunday 5 August

THE FLEET RIVER 11 miles Hampstead Heath to Blackfriars  ***New***

I am going to take a long break in August and September to recharge my batteries  I will resume my programme in mid/late September. (NB I will be available for private commissions during this time.)  So I thought my last walk before my ‘summer recess’ should be a much-requested one.  More details later once I have fully researched it.

STARTS 9.00am – Hampstead Tube

Ends approx 5.00pm Blackfriars Tube

Cost £25 – lunch extra

Minimum 8

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