London Walking Tours
London Westminster Elizabeth Tower often known as Big Ben

London Walking Tours to Download

Discover the real London with Obelisk London Tours

Interactive and enlightening, these self-guided walking tours of London for Apple iOS and Android devices are the very best way to enjoy your travelling experience and discover a secret and intriguing side to London alongside the well known historic landmarks.
Download the free app and your sample tours without delay, and begin to see London with a difference.

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Historic London tours

Sample Free London Walking Tours

St Paul’s Precincts: Distance 0.75 miles (1.19km)
This free circular tour around London’s St Paul’s precincts includes some of the history of the Cathedral (although does not go inside), but its main focus is to explore the Cathedral precincts bringing to life statues, archways, gardens, buildings and hidden corners.

Emerging from the shadows of history are memorials to the Blitz, John Wesley, and Thomas Becket. We discover the founding of the YMCA, the home of the book burners, the extinction bell, and St Paul’s Cross. Other curiosities include an ancient misplaced archway, a vanished market and a 150 million year old statue!

St Paul's Cathedral dominates the City of London skyline

Whitehall Part One: Distance 0.5 mile (0.8km)
This free London walking tour sample is part one of a two part circular tour 1.4 miles (1.75km) in length around Whitehall: now the very heart of British Government.

This short yet intriguing tour takes in lost palaces, the home of the Bobby and the Ministry of Magic as prelude to the full tour that finds the obvious government buildings such as the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street, the Foreign Office, and Scotland Yard; but also discovers lesser known spots including hidden tunnels, Dover House, and Richmond Terrace.

Full Tour details are found below, where we learn about touching for the King’s evil, Maundy money, the Divine Right of Kings, a royal execution, the wheels of Fortune, an amazing wine cellar, tennis courts, cockpits and jousting.

We visit the death place of Sir Robert Peel, the busy home of Gertrude Barbara Rich Tennant, and where Charles Dickens, as a 12 year old boy, had his “Very best” glass of ale.


London's South Bank with views of Palace of Westminster

 

London Walking Tours to Download and Keep

London – Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square feels like the heart of London with constant traffic and hundreds of tourists.

This tour is a casual walk around the square which is brim full of stories. We discover why Geoffrey Chaucer worked here, how the National Gallery was founded, why there were continual protests here for 34 years (1960-1994), why the Fourth Plinth keeps changing, and what is the story behind all those statues?

We all know our inches and feet, but have you ever wondered what the length of a perch, a pole or a chain is – here on Trafalgar Square you can find out.
You get to stand in the point designated as the centre of London from which mileage is calculated which, of course, means you’ll be standing in the centre of the universe!

And we cannot leave the square without discussing the life, times and death of Nelson who surveys us all from the top of his column.

London – River Walk 1: Tower to Blackfriars
This is the first of a series of River Walks along the Thames Path. Our tour follows the northern banks of the River and stretches from Tower Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge.

Street names such as Sugar Quay, Three Quays, Oystergate, Hanseatic Walk, Three Cranes Walk, Vintners Place and Fruiterers Passage all provide clues of their days of former glory as the busy wharves of the City. We find old fish markets, vanished bridges, smuggled books, medieval forgers, and the Millennium Measure. We also explain ancient traditions of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge wager, and the annual Swan Upping.

London – River Walk 2: Blackfriars to Westminster
This is the second tour in our London River Walks following the Thames Path. This tour is based on sewage… literally. We will be walking on top of one of London’s greatest engineering feats – the Victoria Embankment which is in fact a huge sewer.

We wander from the putrid lost River Fleet to the majestic Westminster Bridge and find war Memorials for Submariners, and the Air Force, and a big ‘Thank You’ from Belgium. We pass a notable Titanic victim, a forgotten Royal Palace, a tram tunnel, “London’s Oldest Monument”, the beginning of the War of the Roses and the Year of the Great Stink.

Throw in some poetry from William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Rudyard Kipling and Alfred Tennyson and you have a perfect stroll along the river.

London – Parliament Square
Parliament Square is surrounded by some of the great British institutions: Parliament, The Church of England, The Supreme Court and HM Treasury. This tour goes back to the roots of this area and uncovers layers of history from the time when Edward the Confessor first built his Palace here and upgraded a little monastery of Benedictine monks.

This is a place of high drama: of assassination and executions, of Royal scandal and glory, of coronations and state funerals, of monarchy against parliament – all set against a backdrop of inspiring architecture, of Sanctuary and commemoration.

We cross the paths of historical favourites such as Guy Fawkes, Pirates, Richard the Lion heart, Unknown Warriors, and Winston Churchill.

London – Tower Hill
This circular walk explores the area around Tower Hill and around the outside of the Tower of London. We discover a 1,825 year old wall, a nearly 950 year old palace, and a 146 year old tunnel.

This area just oozes with history and features in just about every British conflict you can imagine including The War of the Roses, The Reformation, The English Civil War, and The Jacobites.

We also explore what most visitors just walk pass without realising what is right under their noses; and learn about Tubby Clayton, TocH, Execution sites, war memorials, escapes, sieges and ceremonies.

London – Whitehall
Part One of this tour is a free sample download, but combined with part two it becomes a thoroughly insightful journey through remarkable times.

Besides finding the obvious government buildings such as the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street, the Foreign Office, and Scotland Yard, we also discover lesser known spots including a vanished Palace, hidden tunnels, Dover House, and Richmond Terrace.

We learn about touching for the King’s evil, Maundy money, the Divine Right of Kings, a royal execution, the wheels of Fortune, an amazing wine cellar, tennis courts, cockpits and jousting.

We visit the death place of Sir Robert Peel, the busy home of Gertrude Barbara Rich Tennant, and where Charles Dickens, as a 12 year old boy, had his “Very best” glass of ale.


London – River Walk 3: Lambeth & Westminster
This circular tour starts and finishes at Big Ben and takes in the river walks on both Lambeth and Westminster sides of the Thames.

Both sides of the river have seen centuries of history flow before them and today we uncover MI5, Coade Stone, the Great Seal, riots, mutiny, astrologers and Marmite!

Meet Florence Nightingale, Robert Clayton, John Wycliffe, Charles Buxton, The Burghers of Calais, the Pankhursts and Spicers, and many other noteworthies who have left their mark on this area.

London – River Walk 4: Southbank
Distance: 2.25 miles (3.60 km) This Thames Path River Walk follows the South Bank of the River from Westminster Bridge to London Bridge with great views of Parliament, the City, St Paul’s, and the Globe. We explore some lesser known sites such as Jubilee Gardens, the Clink, and the blackness of ‘Ladies’ Bridge. We look out to the River to learn how Londoners reacted to a frozen Thames, and learn of the Golden Hinde, Winchester Geese and Oxo.

London's South Bank with views of Palace of Westminster

London – River Walk 5: Southwark
Distance: 0.71 miles (1.15 km) This River Walk covers the short distance between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The distance is short but the history is deep in our Tale of Two Bridges. We take an in-depth look at the famous London Bridge and learn about severed heads, drawbridges, waterwheels, driving on the left, celebrations, fires, tornadoes, and poor Nancy. We pass Hay’s Galleria, the Larder of London, and the final resting place of HMS Belfast. We finish by learning about the iconic Tower Bridge.

London – River Walk 6: Docklands
Distance: 2.5 miles (4.03 km) This is another tour in our series of Thames Path river walks. This tour focuses on the northern Docks. Our walk will pass warehouse after warehouse – all transformed from storehouses into very expensive and very desirable apartments. The working Docks have either been landfilled or changed for tourism, sports or relaxation. But…we will strip back the modern façade and reveal a very different world. Historically this would NOT have been a walk for the faint hearted. Using eye witness accounts we experience the hustle and bustle, the trading and thieving, Pirate hangings, transportation ships, frantic dockers, and daring explorers. We encounter Charles Dickens’ visit to an emigrant ship, Henry Mayhew’s shock at the Docker’s conditions, and the thoughts and horrors recorded by William Booth, Thomas Carlyle, Henry Fielding, Eleanor Marx and H.G. Wells.

London – River Walk 7: Rotherhithe
This Thames Path riverside tour begins in Rotherhithe, moves through Bermondsey and ends at Tower Bridge, bringing to life tunnels, captains, doctors, Dickens, manor houses, jubilees and bodysnatchers; and taking in some dramatic views along the river.

Having served a huge role in the development of London’s industry and transport, this area slipped into decay in the 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the area witnessed a marvellous period of regeneration, and this tour allows you to witness that stunning transformation.

London Tower Bridge from Butlers Wharf

 

Tours Within Easy Reach of London

Oxford – Noble and Great Ones: Part One
This tour winds its way through the southern part of Oxford, through stately colleges and grassy meadows, to discover some of the Noble and Great Ones. We strip history back to the beginnings of Oxford, to the time of the miraculous Frideswide, and then build layer upon layer of famous name after famous name including Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Lewis Caroll, C.S. Lewis, Dudley Moore, John Ruskin, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson and many more.

Among the great writers and scientists we find England’s Leonardo, and men who influenced America’s founding fathers for better and for worse. Mix in a plethora of Prime Ministers, a remarkable balloon flight, a penicillin breakthrough, a four minute mile, the King James Bible, and you have the beginnings of a splendid stroll through the city.

Oxford – Noble and Great Ones: Part Two
We continue our Oxford exploration in the eastern part of the city passing eight more Colleges and uncovering numerous more powerful and famous people. We learn of Boyle’s Law, Shelley’s atheism, Halley’s comet, Rhode’s Scholars and my Fair Lady.

From Mr Bean to caring Queen, from Monty Python to Harry Potter, from half warmed fish to Mr Toad – every corner turned brings more surprises. Where else could you pass through Hell’s Passage, discover the power of the “turds of foreign birds” and learn of a 267 year old man who continues to oversee his College?

Oxford – Noble and Great Ones: Part Three
Part Three of our Oxford jaunt provides a fresh parade of the Who’s Who of Britain from the heart of the City. We learn the history behind the iconic images of the Radcliffe Camera, the Divinity School, Bodleian Library, and the Ashmolean Museum and find the high adventure of Lawrence of Arabia, Agincourt, and the bizarre Mallard Song.

We discover the influential John Wycliffe and his nemesis Richard Fleming, the tragic ending of the Oxford Martyrs, the founding of Wesley’s Holy Club, the origin of the two minute silence, and why April 6 begins our tax year.

Throw in some Hobbits and Orcs, Lions and Wardrobes, Green Eggs and Ham, and tonnes of pilchards and you have another set of Noble and Great Ones.

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