free guided walking tours of London neighbourhoods

 

Camden

Camden in north London offers an eclectic and legendary music scene and markets, offering a rich cultural mix of shows, theatres and galleries.

Choose from visits to Camden Market, the relaxed and tranquil villages of Hampstead and Primrose Hill or Bloomsbury where you will find the British Library, British Museum, Senate House Library and top educational institutions in a cluster. 

The markets and myriad retail outlets in Camden will keep the keenest shoppers busy, with everything from vintage to futuristic designs on offer.  You'll find many places to eat and drink in Camden with food from around the globe.

Stratford

Stratford is in East London and will be hosting the 2012 Olympics in the newly developed Olympic Park, a 500 acre site in the Lower Lea Valley in Stratford.

Olympic Park

Nine new venues have been built within the park allowing competitors and spectators to experience the unique atmosphere of an Olympic Games.

The main Olympic Stadium will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the Athletics events. The park also has a world-class Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome, Olympic Village and more.

Westfield Stratford City

 

Another new development in Stratford is the Westfield Stratford City, a new retail landmark and the largest urban shopping centre in Europe.  It will have a mixture of over 300 stores, a cinema, bowling alley and restaurants.

Stratford is also becoming one of London’s best connected districts.  A new station was opened in this area in November 2009, Stratford International. There are domestic high-speed services available and four new platforms for the Dockland Light Railway which has recently expanded into Stratford.

Greenwich

Old Royal Naval College

Greenwich is home to a World Heritage Site, Europe's most successful entertainment arena, Britain's first urban cable car, London's oldest Royal Park and the place where hemispheres meet.  It is a Royal Borough and it hosted some of the most exciting sports for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Greenwich is famous for its royalty and maritime history, bursting with world class visitor attractions.  But there are lesser-known neighbourhoods and small pockets that are off-the-beaten-track for the regular visitors. 

Greenwich is easy to get to from central London by riverboat, Dockland Light Railway, tube, rail and bus.  It has a village atmosphere with lots of open space yet so close to central London.

Epping Forest

Epping Forest has 6,000 acres of woodland stretching 12 miles from Manor Park in east London to Epping in Essex.  It is an area of natural beauty and conservation importance with a forest filled with ancient woodland, grassland, wetland and rare wildlife.

Explore the variety of bridleways, mountain bike trails and path threads.  There are also activities and festivals throughout the year for you to enjoy such as tree planting. 

Woolwich

Woolwich has fascinating waterfront architecture set on the banks of the River Thames in south-east London.  Its long history of military links dates back to 1512 when Henry VIII founded the Royal Dockyard in Woolwich.  To this day, Woolwich still has an army presence at the Royal Artillery Barracks.  Since February 2012 the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery took up residence here, which marks the area's military links dating back three centuries.   

Firepower - the Royal Artillery Museum and Greenwich Heritage Centre are worth visiting.

Expect aerial performers, life-sized puppets and firework displays as part of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

It also welcomed thousands of international athletes and spectators for the Shooting and Archery events of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Green Street

Green Street in Newham, east London is hugely popular for its diverse shops and food on offer. Mostly known for Asian shops selling exquisite sarees, salwar kameez, jewellery and exotic foods, it also boasts local restaurants offering authentic Asian cuisine.   

Nearby is the Queen's Market which holds 80 stalls and 60 local shops that sell even more exotic and multi-cultural products specialising in African, African-Caribbean and Asian foods.

Eltham

Just south of Woolwich lays ElthamPalace, a fascinating combination of a luxurious Art Deco home and a medieval royal palace. From 1305 to 1526ElthamPalacewas a popular country residence for the royals; it was King Henry VIII's boyhood home.

In 1936, textile magnates Stephen and Virginia Courtauld restored the Great Hall and built their glamorous Art Deco home, which is a stunning masterpiece of twentieth-centruy design.  It has beautiful gardens for visitors to explore.

Another place to visit in Eltham is Avery Hill Park, a large open parkland with many splendid trees.  It also has a Winter Garden containing tropical trees and plants from around the world.  Built by Colonel North, who used to own Avery Hill Park, it's just the place on a chilly winter day.  Look at the exoctic plants as you move through the temperature area into the tropical house.

There is also a high street with several shops, restaurants and a leisure centre.

Canary Wharf and the Docklands

Canary Wharf is the UK's second finanancial centre after the City of London.  Situated in east London, the area is more than office blocks and a concrete jungle, it has 110 acres of docks that provides a stunning waterside setting for a thriving retail and leisure district offering shops, restaurants, bars, parks and open spaces as well an extensive arts and events programme.

Museum of London Docklands tells the fascinating story of the people, the port and the role the river Thames has had in shaping London.

Canary Wharf is easily reached on the Jubilee line or the Docklands Light Railway.

Hackney

Hackney central is in the heart of east London, and is known for its mixture of cultures and traditions.  It is also recognized for its historic parks and inland waterways. One of these waterways is Regent's Canal which offers a picturesque alternative to the bustling city streets.

In this area is the expanding Broadway market that provides a tremendous variety of goods and prices claiming to be well below those at other markets. The stalls sell organic food, health products, vintage clothing and much more.

In Hackney central is the Hackney Empire, this theatre continues to have a long list of great artists that have performed here. Recently it has become Britain's premiere black theatre, as well as a great venue for new theatre, variety shows, and music.

Another place to visit is London Fields Park.  It contains a wonderful heated lido, cricket pitch, two tennis courts, a children’s play area and a small BMX track. 

St Katharine's Dock and Wapping

St Katharine’s Dock is nestled in the heart of the City of London next to The Tower of London, and the beautiful Tower Bridge.

It is a tranquil marina housing up to 200 luxury yachts and historic barges. Visitors can enjoy the picturesque setting of St Katharine's, look at the stunning views of the River Thames, walk along the docks and enjoy the waterside restaurants, shops and cafe.

In Wapping, along Wapping High Street, there are many pubs and taverns providing food and drink.

Visitors can also go to Wapping Old Stairs to see where once the fishermen landed their catch from Ramsgate in Kent and the dugneons where convicts were kept before being transported to Australia.

St Katharine's Dock can be reached easily by rail, tube, Docklands Light Railway, road and by boat.

Other places of interest are the Wapping Project, a renovated hydraulic-power-station-cum-art-gallery-and-restaurant, King Edward VII Memorial Park and Wilton’s Music Hall.

Hoxton and Shoreditch

Hoxton and Shoreditch are in the East London borough of Hackney on the doorstep of the City. They are well known for having the hip and happening art and artists living and working there.  There are many galleries throughout the area where all types of art are displayed, The White Cube being one of the most recognisable because of its glass-roof.

In this area there are a variety of fashion boutiques, people can buy anything from designer clothes, furniture, textiles, ceramics and photography.

Hoxton and Shoreditch have many great bars and clubs for those in the know and happy to stay out all night.

One of the famous landmarks in Shoreditch is the Shoreditch Town Hall, it is used to host parties, fundraisers and award shows.

During the summer there are many places for people to visit, for example the gardens in the Geffrye Museum have Elizabethan, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian-style beds, and also an herb garden for people to explore.

Brick Lane and Spitalfields

Brick Lane houses a vibrant market where up and coming designers set up stalls selling unusual clothes, jewellery and handbags.  This area is known for being the heart of the Bangladeshi community in London, due to this there are many authentic curry houses and the Great London Mosque.

Christ Church is an important landmark in Spitalfields that is now used as a visual arts gallery and concert hall.

There are many trendy bars and clubs in Brick Lane and outdoor festivals throughout the year.

In this area there is a wonderful selection of unusual and small museums.  These include The Women's Library and the Whitechapel Gallery.

Lastly Brick Lane is known for the colourful street art that can be seen around the area.

Newham

 

The boroughof Newham was formed by joining together the old counties of East Ham and West Ham in 1965. It lies a few miles east of the City of London and is home to the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Walthamstow

Walthamstow can be found in the East London borough of Waltham Forest and at the end of the Victoria Line on the underground.

It is most famous for its colourful market which has over 400 stalls and due to its length has claimed to be the longest street market in Europe.  This market dates back to the 1850s and with a combination of stalls, restaurants and cafes it spans roughly a kilometre along Walthamstow High Street.

There are a variety of shops to visit along Walthamstow High Street and in the Selbourne Centre.

Walthamstow has lots of free visitor attractions that may be of interest.  They are the William Morris Gallery in Lloyd Park and the Vestry House Museum. The gallery has interesting exhibits and the museum provides information of history of Walthamstow and its people.