Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Best LDN Walks, 5th March

Best LDN Walks was brought to my attention via Twitter – someone I know had been on one of their walks where they find all the seven noses of Soho and me and Charlotte, the girl who runs it, got chatting and lo and behold, we organized for my meetup group to go along to one of her walks. She has about 11 different routes, but the ones that stood out as most appropriate for my group were the Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls and Haunted Pubs tour. I went with the sex.

We met at London Bridge where the scene was set – North London in days gone by was the posh bit, and South London was where things got interesting – where the drinking and the partying and the fornicating happened. Then we wended our way through Southwark and Borough, with Charlotte telling us the more salubrious history of the places through which we travelled. I have been on a few tours in my time (Duck Tour, Ghost Bus Tour) not to mention being generally interested in London’s history and landmarks so expected that I would know a good chunk of what we covered already. And yes there was quite a lot that I had either visited already myself, or had heard of, but there was more than enough that I hadn’t to make it worth my while. Charlotte seems to be a sponge, continually researching and discovering the hidden histories of London. For example, we stopped off for a drink about halfway through at a lovely pub and she got us all ‘singing’ a Tudor drinking song she’d only just unearthed. We didn’t know the tune but we muddled along anyway.

We heard all about the wicked Bishop of Winchester and his poor Geese (prostitutes), and visited the famous Crossbones Graveyard where they were buried. We went through Borough Market and learned the origins of many a phrase such as ‘umble pie, being dirt poor and pulling your leg (that one particularly gruesome – it comes from when young urchins would be employed to ensure that someone just hanged was actually dead and not faking – by pulling on their leg). We passed the site of the original Globe and paused for thought by the wonderfully gruesome Clink and its ‘mascot’ hanging outside (the inside of the Clink is definitely worth a visit). There was a healthy dose of death as well as the fun stuff – we had started off being shown an old map of London which clearly marked all the decapitated heads put up on London Bridge as warnings.
Fittingly, for such a tour, we ended up near a lovely pub into which we all bundled for a nightcap. I know I speak for the whole group when I say Charlotte was a welcoming and entertaining hostess and we all had a brilliant time exploring the seedy side of London yore. 

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About Me

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.