Mark and I booked a walking tour with Ian Bevan who led us and a group of around ten other interested people around the alleyways of the City.
Mark works in the City and I work in the West End and we sort of pride ourselves on our knowledge of our adopted City. Ian Bevan proved today that we knew NOTHING.
The tour started at Cannon Street and we wound our way all around to come out at Monument.
Here are some photos we took during the day.
It genuinely was such a great day. The weather was gorgeous, we got to learn a tremendous amount about our City and its little alleyways. We got to listen to Ian who was unfailingly interesting and follow the group around and just “be”. Usually when we go to town, you just walk from A to B without much looking about. This time, because we were forced to slow down and take things in, we saw so much. The wonderful Wren churches, the gorgeous St Dunstan that reminded me of Lothlorien in Lord of the Rings. What made it even more beautiful was that it was never rebuilt after the bombings in the Second World War. It made it poignant and eerily beautiful.
We ended the 2 hour walk at the Walrus and Carpenter’s pub just down the road from Monument. Mark had a well-deserved pint of pale ale and a scrummy looking chicken and leek pie. I had scamp and chips and a pint of diet coke. We were smiling, knowing how we had fallen in love all over again with this remarkable city.
I had never been to Leadenhall Market and Ian took pains to point out the section they used in Harry Potter where he goes with Hagrid to Diagon Alley. It was not remarkable at all. However, walking through Leadenhall Market and seeing those wonderful dragons on their perches, I just knew that they had to come into play in either my current WIP or have something written for them exclusively.
Similarly, there is this odd building which currently house the Lloyds of London HQ which looks like it is straight out of BladeRunner.
We had a great time and towards the end of the month, when we have time off, Mark and I will be heading into the city again to walk around some more and take more photos. And, if anyone is ever interested in one of these walking tours, do check out Ian’s website here. The tours are never more than 25 people and at £6 a head, for a two hour personalised tour, I think you are in for a treat.