Walks in Clerkenwell, Islington and the City of London.

I've listed the guided walks that I lead below, starting with my own researched walks followed by the standard walks that I can provide as a member of the Clerkenwell & islington Guides Association. All walks are approximately 90 minutes, unless noted otherwise.


I'd be more than happy to provide these walks to groups, please contact me to arrange the details.


There are photos from most of the walks on my Facebook page www.Facebook.com/guidetribe




Highbury - Grand houses and grander stadiums


See Islington's largest open space - Highbury Fields. Appreciate the grandeur of the beautiful Georgian houses and relive the romance of 4 Weddings & a Funeral. Then, learn the inside story on Arsenal's Highbury Stadium and end by comparing it with their new home at the Emirates (+ a visit to Gillespie Park, Islington's main Nature Reserve).


 Islington between the Wars


Take a walk along Upper Street and its immediate area to experience the hidden history of the era between the wars. There was no NHS, where did the poor go for treatment and where could they get free milk?  What were the shops like? What was showing at the cinemas? Where could you place a bet when betting was illegal? What is the “hole in the wall" and who used it? Philip Nelkon and Janet Foster follow the trail of Islington between the wars, this authentic walk is based on the recollections of Janet's mother who lived in the area throughout the period.


Up the Cally'


An amazingly varied walk on and around the Caledonian Road featuring visual treats like murals and clock towers amongst shops, estates, schools and a famous prison. We’ll learn about the Cally’s history covering political meetings, fashionable markets, arms caches, espionage and much more. Coming right up to date we’ll find out why it's such a popular place to live.


Elizabethan Clerkenwell


Treachery and Spectacle


A description that could be applied to Shakespeare's plays or the life of his patron - Queen Elizabeth I. Our knowledge of day to day existence in Elizabethan England is sporadic but it is rich in detail in 2 areas – theatre and royalty. On this tour we learn all about the upstart playwright's time in Clerkenwell, now a chic London neighbourhood but then 'a haunt of thieves and whores'. Included is a stop at the site of a theatre where his plays were performed and a pub he would have frequented. We also find out how dangerous life was for Good Queen Bess and inspect 3 outstanding historical buildings that she visited. Join us to discover the parishes, plays and plots of Elizabethan Clerkenwell. 


Fables, fashion and feasts - Caledonian Market to Camden Passage


200 years in 2 hours. A memorable and cultural tour de force, reviewing historic sites like the Caledonian Market, Pentonville Prison and the Islington Workhouse, visiting the chic squares of Barnsbury and checking out, metaphorically, the wide-ranging dining and entertainment currently to be had on and close to Upper Street.


Sculpture Walk- Broadgate


Broadgate is a large business estate in the City of London, built on the site of the old Broad Street Station. It has many impressive sculptures by some of the world's greatest artists including a 5 ton polished bronze, nude Venus and a wonderful Japanese inspired water feature.


Sculpture in the City 2018


The Corporation of London organise an annual exhibit of sculpture pieces on the streets in and around the City. This year the walk covers 15 substantial pieces on display from artists all around the world including Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas. Join me for a saunter around the City, we’ll be looking at all of the pieces and finding out a little more about them and their creators.


Radical Islington - Conflict, riot & murder


Plots to overthrow the Government, the first killing of a British policeman. This is the enthralling story of how events and individuals in Islington have shaped both British and world politics.


Islington's Sporting Heritage Part 1 - Moorgate Station to Moorfields Hospital (1 hour)


Learn about the earliest forms of sporting endeavour, visit the sites of the original venues and find out more about just how rural the area immediately outside the City was in the past. Find out which sport 14th century men were legally obliged to be proficient at, how long Londoners have been going to the Gym and who thought of the idea + which early sporting event caused a riot involving 10,000 people?


Islington's Sporting Heritage Part 2 - Islington Green to Pentonville (1 hour)


Now it's Arsenal and .....er, Arsenal but Islington has a rich sporting heritage. Find out more about sport through the ages. The walk covers the area around fashionable Islington Green, Upper Street and Pentonville. Find out which unlikely local sportsman used to regularly appear on TV before the Cup Final. Learn about the colourful 19th century characters that competed in 6 day walking events and discover where the first tennis rackets were manufactured. 


Finsbury and the Great War: Riots, Rationing and the Rifles


Who talked the lads into joining up? Why were there riots in Essex Road in May 1915? Who led the conscientious objectors and went on to found CND?Why did the Finsbury Rifles fight in Gaza and where is their memorial? Join me on this WW1 home-front walk to discuss the hidden history of Finsbury.






Canonbury Square, the Tower and the New River – a walk through Canonbury

Discover leafy Canonbury, walk along the New River and picture four centuries of much-needed fresh water for London; marvel at the buildings such as the Union Chapel in Gothic Revival style and Canonbury Tower, a hidden 16th century gem and once home to Thomas Cromwell and Oliver Goldsmith; hear about artists and writers.


Clerkenwell - Radicals, religion and rivers


See the ancient well and the village green; visit the sites of an infamous prison and two religious foundations; hear why Pepys, Shakespeare, Dickens and Lenin all came here.


Islington - The Angel’s delights


Follow the area’s history from Elizabethan village and Victorian centre of entertainment to one of London’s most fashionable addresses: a lively area of fringe theatres, gourmet restaurants, bars and shops.


Smithfield - Murders, monasteries and martyrs


Hear the violent history of the ‘smooth field’ –  including executions and a plague pit, plus body snatchers and notorious trials; Hogarth, Sir Thomas More, Wat Tyler and William Wallace all came here; see London’s oldest hospital, the UK’s oldest Roman Catholic church and the world's first flyover.


I can also lead walks around Pentonville.




Southgate Saunter


'Southgate, a gate through which royal parties rode on horseback for their day’s sport in the most beautiful of forests. All around the area was one of great natural beauty with undulating hills and green fertile valleys. Brooks and streams ran their pleasant courses through farmer’s fields and leafy woodland.’


Who was the contemporary of Keats, Shelley and Byron brought up in the area? What is its connection with Hampden Park, Old Trafford and Anfield? Which famous brewery was created by two prominent local families?


Find out about Old Southgate in a leisurely saunter around the area.





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