Blog

guided walks around the City of London

Behind the Blue Plaques

They are the hidden gems that provide the clues to so much of London’s rich history. Blue Plaques provide tantalising information of people, places and events that have contributed so much to the development of the City. For those on a LONDON FOOTSTEPS walk they offer an invitation to explore the stories behind them. It…
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Documents of Death

It will never be known how many died in the Great Plague of 1665. Some say it was less than 80,000; others put the figure at above 120,000. Yet a year later, the Great Fire of London which completely devastated the City only claimed the lives of around 20 people, an astonishingly low number. These…
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Letters From Arthur to Angela

When, in 1839, Britain’s much admired soldier-statesman, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, began to correspond with the richest woman in the land, Angela Burdett-Coutts, a unique friendship developed which was to impact on the lives of so many people throughout the 19th century. Their personal and trusting relationship is revealed in over 800 letters…
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Legacy of Octavia Hill

If the sun is shining and you have a Sainsbury sandwich in one hand and Costa coffee in the other, trying to find somewhere to enjoy a quiet bite outside isn’t always easy. City churchyards are favourite places to relax at lunchtime when the weather permits although finding a spare seat is a problem with…
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Wow Factor at the Walkie Talkie

You may know it as the Walkie-Talkie, a 35-storey office block designed by Rafael Vinoly, the 70-year-old Uruguayan architect who has created one of the most-talked about modern buildings in the City. Its unique shape is either loved or loathed depending on your views about the way London’s skyline is changing. There are, however, many…
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Sharing History in Shoreditch and Hoxton

Some areas on the fringes of the City of London provide rich pickings for those who like to discover the history of a place that can easily be overlooked. There are plenty of gems to find in the South Hackney Conservation area which is why the recent LONDON FOOTSTEPS walk proved so popular and rewarding.…
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Reaching Skywards

Lord Foster, Rafael Vinoly, Sir Terry Farrell, Lord Rogers, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and Renzo Piano have one thing in common. All have made significant contributions to the City skyline during their long and distinguished careers. These are the men whose architectural vision and ambitious design skills have re-shaped the City of London. They are…
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Soane’s Tomb Inspired Telephone Box Design

The link between those iconic red telephone boxes in cities, towns and villages throughout Britain and the reputation of the Georgian architect Sir John Soane is worth remembering on this day, 20th January 2015. It is the date of his death in 1837 but that was a long time before the telephone was invented. A…
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Estuary at Dusk

The River Thames is no longer the commercial life-line of London. The Docks have gone; towering office structures and apartment blocks have replaced the quayside buildings that once stored spices and cotton, spirits and sugar, timber and tobacco imported from distant parts of the Empire. This river has seen pageants, funerals and frost fairs. For…
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Red Bus Nostalgia

It’s a privilege to walk and explore the streets of this great capital but on these damp, dreary November days taking a bus can be an adventure. So my recent late afternoon journey from Fenchurch Street in the City to Barking Station on numbers 40, 115, 474 and 366 was an opportunity to share the…
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