Jill Cook

An Elegant London Village – Marylebone Walk

Bordering the West End, with its shops and theatres, and adjoining Regent’s Park, this elegant area of London, known for having kept its village feel, has always attracted talented residents. Walk in the footsteps of the famous, from Lord Byron to the Beatles; see where Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens lived. You can try to spot celebrities as you peruse the chic independent boutiques and artisan food shops in Marylebone High Street. On this walk you will visit leafy squares and broad Georgian terraces and hear about Marylebone’s changing fortunes. Afternoon tea at the wonderful gallery of the Wallace Collection or a drink in the heart of the village will complete this tour.

 Tudor Palace and Baroque Splendour – Hampton Court

A visit to this royal palace offers you a chance to live like a king or queen. Put on your velvet cloak, step into a red-brick Tudor palace built over 500 years ago and see where King Henry VIII lived, ate and prayed. Look out for ghosts as you pass through the ancient corridors! Beyond the cobbled courtyards you will discover the magnificent Baroque palace designed by Sir Christopher Wren and added in 1700. Surrounded by beautiful and extensive gardens, you will have the chance to unwind and picnic in the calm parkland along the Thames. Add to this a viewing of the royal tennis courts and an attempt to outsmart the world-famous Maze and you have a day out for all the family.

Power and Glory – St Paul’s Cathedral

The stately dome of St Paul’s dominates the London skyline and has a place in the heart of every Londoner. Marvel at this masterpiece of the architect Sir Christopher Wren, who created the cathedral in a unique style and lived to witness its completion. Known as “the people’s church”, St Paul’s has always been a focus for national celebrations and has shared the country’s trials and glories. On this tour you will hear about royal weddings and jubilees; you will discover the treasures of the cathedral and experience this tranquil sacred space. Whisper across the expanse of the nave in the Whispering Gallery, learn the secret behind the design of the dome and climb the stairs to the very top to get an amazing view of the city. At over 300 years old and with a history that goes back to Saxon times, St Paul’s is the resting place of national heroes and remains the iconic symbol of London.

Like a Phoenix – The Rise and Rise of the City of London

This walk through the narrow alleyways and ancient thoroughfares of the Square Mile gives you a glimpse into a bygone world. Yet the glass skyscrapers which are going up next to Roman remains are also part of the cityscape. Listen to the stories which meld together the old and the new, creating a continuity through the vagaries of time. What is it that links the different strands of London’s history? What do Roman traders have in common with merchants of the Middle Ages or the brokers of the City today? Tales of dragons and fire await you in an exploration of a city within a city, one with its own rules, its own Lord Mayor and its own police force. Intriguing!

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