Building on the success of the Hidden Pubs walk, we opted for another London Walks tour that included a few stops in historic hostelries.
First impressions of our guide on this walk were less positive as he seemed quite brusque, but we soon warmed to him thanks to the sheer breadth of his knowledge. We’ve done a fair bit of exploring in London and so – without wanting to sound boastful – oftentimes on guided walks we find we’re mostly being told things we already know. But here almost everything we were told in the first few stops was new – we were delighted!
We began by crossing the river, admiring London’s gorgeous skyline as we made our way over Blackfriars Bridge. Honestly, we’ll never tire of this view – if you’re ever feeling jaded by the London bustle, get yourself onto Westminster or Waterloo or Blackfriars Bridge, at night if you can, and just drink in the sights – you’ll fall in love with the city all over again.
The pubs were well spaced, with fascinating stories to hear between them. We admired the view from the riverside Founders Arms, people watched at the Bunch of Grapes in Borough Market, and finished at a favourite pub of Carlytwin’s: the gorgeous galleried coaching inn that is The George on Borough High Street.
On the way we saw the fragmentary footprint of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (a thrilling first for Carlytwin, who had thought it was entirely obscured by later buildings) and, as the sky darkened, prowled around the atmospheric ruins of the Bishop of Winchester’s palace, and the dock where the Golden Hinde – a full-size replica of Francis Drake’s celebrated globe-circling vessel – lives. Fascinating stuff.
Rainbow view of the Walkie Talkie Building from the Founders Arms, wine in Borough Market, and the Golden Hinde.