Walk 118 / 118: The City of London (1): The Eastern part

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 7.25 miles (11.67km)

Time to walk: Roughly 3 hours, but this is London, so there’s many places to stop & explore

Difficulty: Flat & all on hard surfaces

Parking: Don’t even think about taking a car in…this is central London so just get public transport

Public toilets: Cafes, pubs etc on the route

Map of the route: 

This is another route we’ve taken from the excellent series of books ” London’s Hidden Walks”. Although we’ve followed the route & there will be some of the same sights along the way, we always find additional points of interest & information & put our own slant on things, going into much more detail than the books

The walk starts & ends outside Tower Hill Underground Station & covers the eastern side of the City of London. We did this walk on a wet October morning & in the afternoon got even wetter doing the western part. There are, however plenty of places to go inside & dry off a bit

Shall we go & explore?

Let’s Walk!

1. Tower Hill Underground is always busy at it serves The Tower of London which is to the left as you come out

The Tower of London is officially ‘Her Majesty’s Royal Palace’ & is also known as the ‘Fortress of the Tower of London’. It was founded towards the end of 1066 after the Norman Conquest. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 & was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite

The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, when the last people to be held there were the Kray twins, although that was not its primary purpose. The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history, having been besieged several times, & serving as an armoury, treasury, menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office & the home of the Crown Jewels of England

In the First & Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison & witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions & is protected as a World Heritage Site

2. As you climb up the steps to view the Tower, have a look at the huge sundial. As well as telling the time, the circle of the dial tells the history of London & London transport. It covers the period from the Roman city of Londinium in AD 43, through to the building of the Thames Barrier between 1975 & 1982. Carved illustrations help tell the story. Look out for the pictures of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, & of an early omnibus. There’s even a mischievously carved ‘Maggie’ with a handbag (reference to Margaret Thatcher), set between the Peasants’ Revolt & the Black Death

3. There’s further signs of the Roman occupation of London within the station grounds, close to the steps leading to the entrance – a section of the old city wall, built in the second century AD. The length & size of the wall made it one of the biggest construction projects in Roman Britain, running for over 2 miles & enclosing an area of 330 acres. The ditch in front of the outer wall was 6 ft 7 in deep & up to 16 ft wide

Most people look at this piece of the wall, but there’s an even better piece just behind you! Walk round the back of the station past the hotel to see it…

4. Walk back to where we exited the station & straight ahead into Trinity Gardens, which has so much history attached to it…

It’s a park with memorials to the 24,000 Merchant Seamen who lost their lives in wartime. Walk round to the left where’s a lovely one to those from the Falkland Islands War

Walk through & spend in few moments taking in all the names on the Sir Edward Lutyens Memorial. Then pass down into the larger area…

5. This small park has an even more sombre past. Keep heading towards the opposite exit looking for a small square surrounded by a chain…

This was the site of the Tower Hill scaffold, plus beheadings of prisoners from the nearby Tower of London. 125 people were put to death here & some of their names are recorded on plaques including Sir Thomas More & Thomas Cromwell

6. This is what we love about London. We’ve probably only walked 100 yards & have already been transported from the Romans, into the Normans, through the executions & numerous marine battles

Exit the gardens through the gate near the execution site & walk to the imposing spire of ‘All Hallows by the Tower‘ which we tried to visit on our ‘Circle Line‘ walk

7. Carefully cross the busy road to the courtyard in front of the church where we find another gem…the Maltese George Cross Memorial

The Malta George Cross Memorial, also known as the Maltese Memorial, is a war memorial built to commemorate the Siege of Malta in World War II which led to the island being collectively awarded the George Cross in April 1942. This lovely memorial was unveiled in 2005 & is constructed from a large rectangular block of limestone from the Maltese island of Gozo. The main panel to the southeast recounts the Siege of Malta from 1940 to 1943, & the consequent loss of 7,000 lives of Maltese civilians & Allied & Commonwealth service personnel. Further details of the siege are inscribed on a second panel on the northwest face of the memorial. The panel to the northeast gives details of the award of the George Cross, & the panel to the southwest has a map illustrating the Allied operations in the Mediterranean Sea

8. All Hallows by the Tower was first established in 675AD & was built on the site of a former Roman building, traces of which have been discovered in the crypt. It was rebuilt several times between the 11th 7 15th centuries & its proximity to the Tower of London meant that it acquired royal connections making one of its chapels a royal chantry where the beheaded victims of Tower executions being sent for temporary burial

It narrowly survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 & Samuel Pepys climbed the church’s spire to watch the progress of the blaze & described what he saw as “the saddest sight of desolation.” John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the USA, was married in All Hallows in 1797

9. Let’s go inside…it’s simple…yet beautiful

Walk up the left side & look at the cabinet on the left. The casket containing the Toc H lamp, given to the movement in 1922 by Edward, Prince of Wales, also contains stained glass shields depicting the arms of places where branches of the Toc H were founded between 1919 & 1929.

Walk to the right & stop in front of the cross…

The wood for the crucifix is said to have come from the Cutty Sark & the ivory for the figure from the Spanish Armada

10. When finished exploring the church, walk across the road passing the entrance to the former Mark Lane underground station

Mark Lane station was opened on 6 October 1884 to replace the short-lived Tower of London station, which was closed when the Metropolitan Railway & District Railway were connected to form the Circle Line & a larger station was required. The station was earmarked for closure due to overwhelming passenger numbers & little space available for expansion. It was closed on 4 February 1967 & Tower Hill was opened as its replacement

11. Walk up the left side of the building which is Seething Lane…

Have a look at Muscovy Street on the right which is named after the Muscovy Company that was the first company in the world to enjoy a trading relationship with Russia in 1555

Further along’s a small garden with a bust to Samuel Pepys – it was great to see a group of school children there being educated about Samuel & they also followed us into the church in a minute

It also marks the site of the Navy office where Pepys worked & lived in 1660 & also wrote most of his diary

12. Continue up the lane & look out for the skulls on the left – this is one of our favourite London churches, St Olave’s, which is also one of the smallest in the City. It’ s dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II of Norway who fought alongside the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge in 1014. He was canonised after his death & the church of St Olave’s was built apparently on the site of the battle

Walk into the garden & just chill for a while & reflect that the Norwegians, led by Olave fought alongside the Anglo Saxons against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge in 1014, an event that probably inspired the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down”

Look out for the tombstone of Mary Ramsey who is said to be the woman who is thought to have brought the Great Plague to London in 1664

13. Let’s have a look inside this lovely church….when we were there, there was an amazing small orchestra practicing – beautiful

Pepys & his wife’s memorial is on the right side…

14. Exit the church turn right up ‘Crutched Friars’…

Les Fratres Cruciferi were four main independent branches of ‘Fratres Cruciferi’, an Italian order, a Portuguese order, a Belgian order, & a Bohemian order. They were also known as Crutched Friars, Crossed Friars, Crouched Friars or Croziers because of the staff they carried with them was surmounted by a crucifix

Walk under the underpass…

…& follow the road round to the left as it becomes Jewry, also known as Old Jewry. William the Conqueror encouraged Jews to come to England shortly after the Norman Conquest. According to Reverend Moses Margoliouth, Old Jewry was a ghetto

As you turn the corner look down the street to the left for our first view of one of the City’s icons…

15. Keep walking along Jewry…

…but keep looking to the left to try & find the two figures in the wall – two friars representing the order

Pass David Game’s College on the right which was founded by it’s still current principal David Game in 1974. The college was originally started with five rooms in a basement, yet today is one of the largest independent colleges in the UK.

16. At the junction at the top of the street cross over to the right towards St Botolph’s Aldgate…

This is a church that’s surrounded by the City’s modern buildings & whose full name is ‘St Botolph without Aldgate & Holy Trinity Minories’

The church was one of four in medieval London dedicated to Saint Botolph or Botwulf, a 7th century East Anglian saint, each of which stood by one of the gates to the City. Before the legend of Saint Christopher became popular, Botolph was venerated as the patron Saint of Travellers, which is thought to be why churches at the City gates have this dedication

17. Continue past the church & Aldgate underground station to the traffic lights. Look over the road to see one of the City’s most famous pubs, & one that we’ve visited before. This is the Hoop & Grapes

It’s possibly the oldest pub in the City, thought to date back to the 13th century, but it’s famous because the Great Fire of London in 1666 stopped just 50 yards from its doors & therefore is one of the few timber-framed buildings to survive from this period. The original name was the ‘Hops & Grapes’ to show it sold both beer & wine

If you’ve never visited the Hoop & Grapes, then we can highly recommend it

18. Turn back & walk past the church again – look out for the police telephone box just past it…

This is a walk where you always need to keep looking up, especially ahead & with what’s coming shortly…

19. Shortly we come to the junction with Leadenhall & Fenchurch streets, where the road splits – be careful at the lights as it appears many drivers jump them!

There’s a large stone structure directly ahead on the corner, so cross & have a look. This is the Algate Pump which marks the start of the A11 towards Norwich. Distances to places in Middlesex, Essex & beyond were measured from here. The pump became known as the symbolic start of London’s East End. The metal wolf head on the spout is supposed to signify the last wolf shot in the City of London!

The pump was mentioned during the reign of King John &, as the City developed, is thought to have been taken down from where Fenchurch Street station now stands, & re-erected at its current location in 1876, as a drinking fountain, as streets were widened

The water later became contaminated with decaying organic matter from adjoining graveyards, & the leaching of calcium from the bones of the dead in many new cemeteries in north London through which the stream ran from HampsteadSeveral hundred people died during what became known as the Aldgate Pump Epidemic
20. Cross back over the junction & walk down the narrow Mitre Street beside the school – now that’s what they call a view of the Gherkin!

Pass through Mitre Square on the right, which was where prostitute, Catherine Eddowes was murdered by Jack the Ripper at 1.45am on 30th September 1888, shortly after the third victim, Elizabeth Stride, had been murdered in Whitechapel. She was the only murder victim found within the City boundaries

21. Walk through the square & join the wonderfully named street, Bevis Marks, mentioned several times in Charles Dickens’ ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ as the street where solicitor ‘Sampson Brass’ has his offices. We turn left towards some more glorious skyscrapers

Close to Mitre Square was once the oldest synagogue in the country, founded by some Jews & Portuguese in the mid 17th century. This synagogue has long gone, but look through the iron gates on the left…

Here, on the left’s the current incarnation

22. At the major junction, cross the road & turn right up Bishopsgate…

The large church is St Botolph without Bishopsgate, which is thought to date back to around 1212, however it may have Roman origins. The church survived the Great Fire in 1666 & was rebuilt in 1724–29. Around 1307, the Knight’s Templar were examined on the site by an inquisition on charges of corruption &, in 1413, a female hermit was recorded as living here, supported by a pension of forty shillings a year paid by the Sheriff!!

23. Ready to see something a bit special? Then walk down the path beside the church…

…first passing the former, & beautiful, 18th century charity school

What we’ve really come to see, slightly further on, is the ornate, former Turkish Bath. This extravagant domed, orientalist edifice topped by the crescent moon is what you see above ground, but it is the mere portal to a secret subterranean world beneath your feet. These Turkish Baths were built in 1895 by Henry & James Forde Neville, & clad with dazzling ceramic tiles worthy of the Alhambra that were manufactured in Egypt & shipped over. It’s now a corporate venue that can be hired out

24. Walk through the gap ahead & then turn left along past an amazing sandwich shop on the right to arrive at the major street know as ‘London Wall’

People say that the church on the right”s drab – it’s not! This is the church of All Hallows London Wall. The present church replaced an earlier one built sometime in the early 12th century on a bastion of the old Roman wall. It became renowned for hermits who lived in cells in the church

The Church was noted for its work in offering its services to the poor; many workers, including women in domestic service &, as of 2017, is the headquarters of the urban youth charity XLP which is focused on creating positive futures for young people in impoverished urban background areas, combating such issues as bullying & intimidation, weapons, boredom due to a lack of organised activities, absence of parents, gangs, & living in areas with high crime rate

25. Cross over the road & walk down between the arches, looking for the entrance into Throgmorton Avenue, named after Sir Nicholas Throckmorton who was ambassador to France at the time of Elizabeth I

This is a rather lovely street so spend a few moments looking along it

26. At the bottom, turn left into Austin Friars, (No….Friars not Powers!!)…

…which opens up into a small square containing the ‘Dutch Church of Austin Friars’ which is located on the site of the 13th century Augustinian friary. The present church was built between 1950 & 1954. It’s the oldest Dutch speaking Protestant church in the world, & as such, is known in The Netherlands as the mother church of all Dutch reformed churches

27. Walk down the quiet & stunning alley to the right of the church…

The building at the far end’s Drapers’ Hall, home to the Worshipful Company of Drapers, one of the 110 livery companies in the City of London. It has the formal name ‘The Master & Wardens & Brethren & Sisters of the Guild’ or ‘Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London’. It’s one of the historic Great Twelve Livery Companies & was founded during the Middle Ages

28. Follow the lane & exit through the gap onto Old Broad Street. Cross straight over down the alley ahead into Adams Court…

We’re now entering a wonderful world of small Dickensian alleyways & lanes &, we have to confess, we got quite lost around here, but that’s all part of the fun of walking & there’s lots of alleyways, restaurants & bars to explore. If you want to walk straight through then climb the stairs through the gate…

…& then right along the tunnel with the lamps to emerge onto Threadneedle Street

29. Bear left along Bishopsgate. The gate in the city wall was called ‘Porta Episcopi’ in the Domesday Book, & was anglicised as Bishopsgate by the 12th century. It’s said that the name refers to Saint Erkenwald, who was Bishop of London for eleven years in the late seventh century

In 1993 a massive IRA truck bomb killed a freelance photographer & caused £350 million worth of damage when it exploded outside 99 Bishopsgate. This marked the culmination of a terrorist campaign against City targets, prompting the Corporation of London to create the so-called ‘ring of steel’ that reduced access to the central part of the City & placed police checkpoints on the remaining routes. Today it’s full of amazing, modern sky-scraper style buildings so just keep looking up…

30. Cross the road & turn right along Great St Helen’s, which had scaffolding across it when we visited

The familiar shape of the Gherkin is starting to loom large ahead of us &, in it’s shadow’s the church of St Helen’s Bishopgate which is the largest surviving parish church in the City of London & contains more monuments than any other church in Greater London apart from Westminster Abbey. It was the parish church of William Shakespeare when he lived in the area in the 1590s

The church dates from the 12th century & a priory of Benedictine nuns was founded there around 1210

St Helen’s was one of only a few City of London churches to survive both the Great Fire of London & the Blitz. In 1992 & 1993 however, it was badly damaged by the two IRA bombs set off nearby

31. Straight ahead now’s the building whose official name is 30 St Mary’s Axe. We all know it better as…The Gherkin

It was completed in December 2003 & opened in April 2004. With 41 floors, it’s 591 ft tall & stands on the former sites of the Baltic Exchange & Chamber of Shipping. 7,429 panes of glass were used in its construction, the equivalent to three football pitches – we love a fact!

It’s not just the Gherkin that impresses though – turn round & look up at what’s fast becoming one of the most impressive skylines in the world…we love it!

32. Time to visit another iconic City of London building, so turn right along St Mary Axe, first passing St Andrew’s Undershaft church. The first church on this site was recorded in 1147 & was rebuilt in the 14th century & again in 1532, which is the one we see today

The church’s curious name derives from the shaft of the maypole that was traditionally set up each year opposite the church, & continued each spring until 1517, when student riots put an end to it, but the maypole itself survived until 1547, when it was seized by a mob & destroyed as a “pagan idol”

33. Over the road’s the amazing Lloyds of London building, more commonly know as the “inside out building,”  which always fascinates us every time we see it…

The building is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which the services for the building, such as ducts & lifts are located on the exterior to maximise space in the interior. It was built between 1978 & 1986 &, like the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the building was highly influenced by the work of Archigram in the 1950s & 1960s

Its core is the large Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the Lutine Bell. The bell began life on the French naval frigate ‘La Lutine’, which was captured by the British at Toulon in 1793. The ship was consequently renamed HMS Lutine & sailed under the British flag for six years as a battle ship & then as a transport ship until its final voyage to Germany in 1799. On 9 October 1799, HMS Lutine was transporting a vast sum of gold & silver insured at Lloyd’s & bound for Hamburg, when the ship was blown onto Dutch sandbanks & wrecked. Of the 240-strong crew, only one survived, & the entirety of the ship’s cargo was lost

It was a huge blow for Lloyd’s financially, but it also cemented the company’s reputation for settling even the most incredible losses

34. Walk down Lime Street & turn right towards a real treat & somewhere we’ve never been before…the wonderful Leadenhall Market

Oh how we loved this place & will return again & again. The market dates from the 14th century & is said to derive its name from “Leather-hall”, though it’s disputable It’s normally open weekdays from 10 am until 6 pm. The ornate roof structure & cobbled floors of the current structure were designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones, who was also the architect of Billingsgate & Smithfield Markets

If you want to do a little exploring, walk down Bull’s Head Passage to No. 42. You may recognise it as the entrance to the ‘Leaky Cauldron’ in Diagon Alley in ‘Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone’

35. Exit the market on the west side & cross straight over down the narrow passage ahead…

We’re now entering a small area that’s full of narrow alleys that haven’t changed much since Dickens’ time & it’s fabulous. Dickens referred to the area in a Christmas Carol with Scrooge’s office being based here. The passage emerges besides the church of St Peter upon Cornhill

36. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 & rebuilt to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren. It’s famous as it stands on the highest point of the City of London

Walk past the front to arrive at a completely hidden gem…the Jamaica Winehouse

Jamaica Wine House is known locally as “the Jampot” & was the first coffee house in London

It has historic links to the sugar trade & slave plantations of the West Indies & Turkey

37. Exit the passage onto Cornhill, turn left & cross the road to see a wonderful old pump which marks the site of an old prison & medieval well

Look over the road at No.32 which used to be the offices of publishers Smith, Elder & Co, who in 1848 received a visit from three young sisters who they previously thought were men, as they’d corresponded under the names Acton, Currer & Ellis. Today we know them as Anne, Emily & Charlotte Bronte. The company published ‘Jane Eyre’ in 1847

38. Cross back over the road & walk up the narrow Ball Court to arrive at another treasure… Simpson’s Tavern which dates back to 1757 & is the oldest “Chop House” in London

We can’t believe that we didn’t know this amazing area existed. Be warned though Simpson’s is closed at weekends

39. Walk down St Michael’s Alley past the George & Vulture Chop House, another old pub that was built in 1748, however here has been an inn on the site since 1268. It was said to be a meeting place of the notorious Hellfire Club. Such clubs were rumoured to be the meeting places of “persons of quality” who wished to take part in socially perceived immoral acts, & the members were often involved in politics. Neither the activities nor membership of the club are easy to ascertain, as they were rumoured to have distant ties to an elite society known only as The Order of the Second Circle

It is mentioned at least 20 times in ‘The Pickwick Papers’ by Charles Dickens who frequently drank here. The George & Vulture has been the headquarters of the City Pickwick Club since its foundation. When it was threatened with demolition, Cedric Charles Dickens, the author’s great-grandson, campaigned to save it. Since 1950 it has been the home of his ‘Dickens Pickwick Club’ &, in the same year, became the venue for the Christmas Day Dickens family gathering, in the Dickens Room

What a fabulous fact!

40. Continue straight ahead through George Yard & then turn left into Lombard Street, which was the original banking centre of London & where Barclays & Lloyds used to have their headquarters

At the end of the street on the corner’s the church of St Mary Woolnoth, which is the only London Church that has an underground station occupying its crypt – Bank station! The church’s site has been used for worship for at least 2,000 years & traces of Roman & pagan religious buildings have been discovered under the foundations of the present church, along with the remains of an Anglo-Saxon wooden structure

The present building is at least the third church on the site. The Norman church survived until 1445, when it was rebuilt, with a spire being added in 1485. It was badly damaged in the Great Fire, but was repaired by Wren

41. Look to the right to see the Bank of England with no windows on the ground floor…

The Bank of England was established in 1694 to act as the Government’s Banker & is the world’s 8th oldest bank. The Bank is one of eight authorised to issue banknotes in the UK & has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England & Wales

The Mansion House, which was built between 1739 & 1752 on a site that had previously been occupied by the Stocks Market which, by the time of its closure, was mostly used for the sale of herbs. The construction was prompted by a wish to put an end to the inconvenient practice of lodging the Lord Mayor in one of the City Halls

Walk to the left down Mansion House Place…

42. At the bottom bear right down the narrow St Stephen’s Passage to arrive in the ultra modern Walbrook where we spent a few moments standing outside the modern office buildings watching the City’s workers coming & going, doing their everyday, highly paid jobs & buying their health-conscious lunch boxes

We wondered if they’d ever looked back across the square at what’s probably acknowledged as Sir Christopher Wren’s finest London church – St Stephen Walbrook, which also holds another secret as we’ll see shortly

This is one church we say you have to go inside (please give a small contribution) just to see the incredible dome that Wren created inside …

43. Walk back & look towards the left of the main door – there’s an old telephone inside a glass box

This was the original telephone used by Rector Dr Chad Varah in 1953  to provide a crisis helpline for suicide. It of course gave rise to the foundation known as the Samaritans – just stand in front of it for a moment & take in what a movement this small telephone started across the world…

44. Facing the church, turn right & follow the street, turning left at the junction – ahead’s Cannon Street station

Walk left up the left side of Cannon Street, looking for a window at ground level containing a solid block. This is the London Stone whose origins seem to have been lost across the years. It’s an irregular block of limestone & the remnant of a once much larger object that had stood for many centuries on the south side of the street

The name “London Stone” was first recorded around the year 1100. The date & original purpose of the ‘Stone’ are unknown, although it is possibly of Roman origin, & there has been interest & speculation about it since at least the 16th century

45. After about 50 yards after the Stone, turn left into Abchurch Lane to see St Mary Abchurch which dates back to about 1198. It was destroyed in the Great Fire & then rebuilt by Wren’s architects

Walk back & continue along Cannon Street, turning right at the junction with King William Street…

Look straight ahead to see one of the City’s most recent additions..the ‘Walkie Talkie’, also know as ’20 Fenchurch Street’. It cost over £200 million & has a ‘sky garden’ that’s well worth a visit

46. Turn left into Monument Street, where straight ahead’s the towering Monument to the Great Fire of London. The Monument is a doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, designed by Christopher Wren & Robert Hooke. Its height marks its distance from the site of the shop of Thomas Farriner, the King’s baker, where the Great Fire began. The viewing platform near the top is reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. A mesh cage was added in the mid 19th century to prevent people jumping off, after six people had committed suicide between 1788 & 1842

Three sides of the base carry inscriptions in Latin. The one on the south side describes actions taken by King Charles II following the fire. The one on the east describes how the Monument was started & brought to perfection. Inscriptions on the north side describe how the fire started, how much damage it caused, & how it was eventually extinguished. Text on the east side originally falsely blamed Roman Catholics for the fire (“burning of this protestant city, begun & carried on by the treachery & malice of the popish faction”)

The west side of the base displays a sculpture, by Caius Gabriel Cibber, in alto & bas relief, of the destruction of the City

47. What we’d never seen before were the inscriptions on the stones of the poem ‘London’s Burning’ – at least with the weather today there was no need to “pour on water”

The site of the start of the fire on Pudding Lane’s marked by a plaque…

Farrier was questioned as part of the official investigation into the fire, but wasn’t charged & returned to work as a baker. The people weren’t happy & directed their wrath at a Frenchman called Robert Hubert, who confessed to starting the fire even though it was proved that he wasn’t in London at the start of it

He became a scapegoat & was executed at Tyburn where we’ve visited on several walks

48. Walk down the hill to reach Lower Thames Street, where on the other side of the road’s Custom House built in the 19th century. Beside it’s the old Billingsgate fish market

Want to go & explore somewhere a bit special?? Turn left up the narrow & steep Lovat Lane..

This really is incredible walking & we guarantee that you won’t meet many people coming down the hill. Towards the top’s another of Wren’s churches…St Mary at Hill which dates back to 1336. The Great Fire severely damaged the church & it was subsequently rebuilt with Sir Christopher doing the interior

You have to go inside because it is rather spectacular & John Betjeman said “This is the least spoiled & the most gorgeous interior in the City, all the more exciting by being hidden away among cobbled alleys, paved passages, brick walls, overhung by plane trees…”

49. Walk back out of the church & continue up the hill & then turn right & right again down the narrow street outside the back of the church. Look up at the magnificent clock…

50. Cross over again to reach St Dunstan’s Lane to visit one of London’s hidden secrets, the remains of St Dunstan in the East

The church was severely damaged in the Blitz & only Wren’s tower & steeple survived the bombs’ impact. Of the rest of the church only the north & south walls remained. It was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan’s &, in 1967, the City of London Corporation turned the ruins of the church into a public garden, which opened in 1971. A lawn & trees were planted in the ruins, with a low fountain in the middle of the nave. The tower now houses the All Hallows House Foundation. It’s just an amazing place…

If there’s one place in London we ask you to go & visit, this is it

51. Come out of the church & walk up to reach Great Tower Street & turn right retracing our steps to arrive back at the Tower of London where we started this walk

Wow! What a walk. London continues to be a City that fascinates us, because every time we think we know it, it stands up & says “No you don’t & here’s somewhere else to explore, some other fact you didn’t know”

Pick a sunny day to do this walk & we promise you’ll love it. It can also be combined with our walk looking at the western side of the City that starts from Blackfriars Bridge. Both are amazing so…

Go Walk!