Free walking tour of London is one of the activities offered at Clink78. It sounds like a great way to get a feel of London so I signed up for it.
The free walking tour is offered by SANDEMANs NEW Europe and there are three timings – 10am, 11am and 1pm. The tour is available in English and Spanish and the tour lasts 2-3 hours. Please register at the reception desk of Clink78 (or your hostel). You can find out more information about this tour and make your booking here.
You will be asked to assemble at the reception at 10am. A guide will bring you to Covent Garden using the metro (buy your own ticket).
This is the route map of the free walking tour of London. I have listed 10 points of interests in this map but there is much more to this tour than these points. Let’s go through what you can expect to get out of this free walking tour.
A – Apple Store in Covent Garden
No matter which hostel you are from, your guide will bring you to Covent Garden. The walking tour will start from in front of the Apple Store in Covent Garden. You will be separated into two groups depending which language guide you want, English or Spanish.
Our English guide was a young humerous London-bred guy called Alan, who is giving tours while he is studying for his Masters Degree in London. The tour is tip-based, give at your own discretion.
Alan starts the tour with some explanation on Covent Garden and Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.
B – The Salisbury, Covent Garden
Your guide will bring you down King Street, down New Row and make a left turn onto St Martin’s Lane. He/she will point out The Salisbury Pub to your right, which is a Grade II public-listed house.
C – Cecil Court
As you walk down St Martin’s Lane, your guide will point out Cecil Court to your right. Cecil Court is supposedly the inspiration behind Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. It is not difficult to see why as Cecil Court is filled with eccentric shops.
D – St Martin-in-the-Fields
Just before you reach the famous Trafalgar Square, your guide will point out to you St Martin-in-the-Fields. This English Anglican Church has been featured in films and dramas (Notting Hill, Enigma, Doctor Who, Sherlock).
E – Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is named as such to commentate the Battle of Trafalgar. Your guide will explain significance of the fountains and monuments such as Nelson’s Column.
F – Admiralty Arch
Admiralty Arch is a landmark building In London. It is a Grade I listed building and it is now a Waldolf Astoria luxury hotel, restaurant and apartments.
As you walk down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, your guide will point out Duke of York Column, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Memorial and Clarence House.
G – Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the British monarch. Your guide will tell the amusing story of a British man named Michael Fagan who broke into Buckingham Palace and entered Queen Elizabeth II’s bedroom in 1982.
H – St James Park
From Buckingham Palace, you will cut through St James Park. St James Park is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and this 57-acres park is perfect for bird (pelican)-watching, people-watching and flower-watching.
You will be given time to take pictures of Buckingham Palace and the famous flower beds.
I – Parliament Square
After exiting St James Park, your guide will walk you along Birdcage Walk. To your right side, you will see the Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, an excellent alternative to seeing the Changing of Guards at Buckingham Palace.
The walking tour will end at Parliament Square after your guide has explained to you the statues of 12 British, Commonwealth and foreign political figures.
The London free walking tour is roughly like this. Although each guide has his/her own style and knowledge, the content should be roughly the same. I thoroughly enjoyed this free walking tour. Our young guide, Alan, is very knowledgeable about London’s history. His humor and witty comments made the tour feel very relaxed and comfortable.
SANDEMANs NEW Europe free walking tour is also available in 19 other cities around Europe, please check it out here.
Besides the London free walking tour, SANDEMANs NEW Europe also have 7 other tours – Grim Reapers of London, Old City of London Tour, Pub Crawl, Harry Potter Tour, Street Art Tour, British Museum Small Group Tour and Oxford Tour.