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3 Jan 2024

Welcome to my walks and talks

The latest schedule is here – it includes Art Deco architecture, gas-lit streets, evocative alleyways and ghostsigns – an A-Z of my walks and talks is here.

Any requests? Please do make suggestions if there are specific tours you'd like to see added to the schedule (no obligation). 

This site views best via the web version  simply click the link at the bottom of the page

26 Oct 2023

Basic information



Whether in the West End, Willesden or Wapping, my walks and talks are about subjects that inspire and intrigue me personally, not merely lists of facts, figures and dates. I create and research all the content myself. My guiding style is friendly, sharing and unscripted, making every event completely unique – more here 

This site views best via the web version  please click the link at the bottom of the page
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CURRENT SCHEDULE – here 
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REVIEWS / FEEDBACK  TripAdvisor – more here
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SUBSCRIBE – occasional updates – more info here
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FOLLOW ME Eventbrite or Facebook 
and
 Instagram @janeslondonwalks 
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CONTACT – jane@janeslondon.com / +44(0)7941 475003 
If you do not get a response to your email within 24hrs, please text/call or try janepbr@hotmail.com
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PRICES (inc private tours, vouchers etc) – see here 
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YouTube – JLW's channel here
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24 Oct 2023

About me

Born in Barking, schooled in Romfordin 1988 I relocated to Holloway, London N7, because it ticked so many boxes and I haven't yet found good reason to leave. In addition to the area's diverse social and shopping facilities, this area of North Islington is layered in fascinating history, as well as being a convenient transport hub to connect with the City, the West End, and green spaces further afield
Having spent many years taking thousands of photos and writing up my London observations via my Jane's London blog, I made the decision, after encouragement from friends, that the next logical step would be to share my observations and findings via guided walks in the real world. 
I completed the  Clerkenwell and Islington guiding course in 2017 and since then have been sharing my knowledge and observations with other like-minded souls. 
My delivery style, like my personality, is inclusive, open and friendly, you could say chatty – this would be because I like to engage with my attendees and this leads to a marvellous knowledge exchange – people often refer to my infectious enthusiasm.
During the lockdown in 2020 I began to offer online talks and tours via Zoom and this has enabled me to connect and share with people all around the world. It's been a delight. 

The varied subjects I cover showcase the different facets of my personality and the things I am genuinely interested in, such as art and design, sculpture and architecture, pubs, parks, old signage and advertising. Every tour I offer, whether a walk along the streets, a presentation online, or a talk to a group in a school hall, is designed, researched and updated by me personally, having checked, cross-referenced and contradicted(!) the 'facts' available. As such, everything is a work in progress and I am always happy for attendees to correct me or add to the story. 

Suggestions and bespoke commissions are always welcome.
I hope to see you soon,
Jane

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This site views best via the web version  click the link at the bottom of the page

Also see Jane's London "the wonderful little details on, around and above London's streets" – though it's fair to say that I do have a have a few rants too(!)

23 Oct 2023

Feedback

It's lovely see customers coming back to me again and again as I offer new routes. Many people who have attended my walks have become good friends. Over 25% of online attendees have returned for more, with over half of those people attending at least three talks. Thank you for your loyalty – your repeat custom means a lot.

A selection of feedback is shown below
For more reviews, see my TripAdvisor page
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"Jane is a wonderful guide! She is very knowledgeable and has great humor. She had us laughing and surprised with fascinating facts about Agatha's life. Thank you, Jane!"

"I’m not one to leave reviews Jane but I hope you realise by our continued attendance that we thoroughly enjoy Jane’s Jaunts !!"

"Just to say how much I enjoyed your walk and talk yesterday. I do like your social historian approach and your complete lack of academic “talk down”. You were sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge with like minded people and it was great! Many thanks. I’m sure to be back!"
 
"I enjoyed the online tour of buildings by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and your enthusiasm is always so catching online or in person. Thanks!"
 
"This was a great walk [ArtDecoHolloway]... Now I feel I know the area on my doorstep much better, thanks to Jane. She weaves her own journey of discovery... and her enthusiasm and fascination rubs off on you!" 
 
"We would like to thank you for your amazing historical tour [Piccadilly Deco]. Your knowledge and the amazing buildings held our attention despite the rain. Well done for your hard work... thank you again for your excellent research."

"I took one of Jane's virtual tours (Ghostsigns - Pills, Plasters, Potions and Pick-me-ups) and it was fascinating. She is an excellent, engaging, interesting speaker and I will definitely be back for more."
 
"Wow, I can't believe how many of these you are still managing to come up with [Art Deco presentations via Zoom] and I am loving them all... very much enjoying these talks" 

[The Carreras Story, online presentation] "Quite an eye opener and you were a perfect guide. Clear and nicely paced dialogue which was a pleasure to listen to" / "Your presentation was fascinating – the hour flew by!" / "A really great talk, Jane – so much information"
 
"[Jane] points out all the things anyone would just walk by without noticing, and she is a lovely personality. She does walks on all different topics."

"Today was the first time I have heard one of your presentations and I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. The number of buildings you covered [on Alternative Art Deco Delights virtual tour] was just right and the information you provided, together with the photographs was excellent."

"I was really impressed... I learned so much about an area that I was born in many years ago [Arsenal/FinsburyPk Deco walk]... the history behind the football club and its impact on the local area was very interesting... it's easy to tell how passionate Jane is about her varied subjects... I can thoroughly recommend Jane's tours."

"This was a great walk [ArtDecoHolloway]... Now I feel I know the area on my doorstep much better, thanks to Jane. She weaves her own journey of discovery... and her enthusiasm and fascination rubs off on you!" 

"Another fascinating walk... around the Angel and the Regent's Canal area. Jane's walks are a fantastic insight into little known areas of London and she is a great gatekeeper of hidden history... she showed us a part of London we had never explored before. Ghost signs, lost light industries and the echoes of time past. Wonderful."

"Jane makes us look up and see what is around us. The ghost signs are a perfect example of this and the history of these old advertisements, painted or built onto the sides of buildings... an interesting insight into our social history. Our first walk with Jane was looking at Art Deco buildings in the City of London and we are looking forward to another ghost signs walk."

"[The Ladykillers] walk was both very enjoyable and informative. We were able to visit the locations used to make the film and compare with [stills from] the original film.... We departed wanting to again see the film to relive the walk. For those that saw [the film] all those years ago, the walk is a must."

"Enjoyed all the 6 Art Deco walks I have done so far and opened my eyes to the 30s style of architecture which more varied than I thought. Looking forward to doing more walks in the future."

"I have been on one of Jane's walks and her ascent of the Caledonian Market clock-tower. Both excellent in content and very entertaining."

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This site views best via the web version  click the link at the bottom of the page

22 Oct 2023

Overviews – A-Z by title/subject/area

Walks are designed to last just under 2 hrs (minimum 90 mins) unless otherwise stated.

Online presentations/talks via Zoom last 60 mins, followed by an opportunity for Q&A. These can also be in-person talks  

Customer feedback here. Over 25% of attendees have returned for more, with over half of those joining me for at least three walks or talks. Thank you!

This site views best via the web version – please use the click at the bottom

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Agatha Christie's London 

  • Online presentation via Zoom – a chronology of her life and works
  • A four and half hour guided walk from Notting Hill Gate to Chelsea (includes a refreshment stop mid-way (food not included in the price) – not for just Agatha fans as this route is delightful, taking us down leafy lanes and pretty backstreets  
  • A 2-hr guided walk in Central London from Bloomsbury to Piccadilly via London's West End and Theatreland

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The Angel's Ancient Taverns – Showmen, Strength and Speed
Angel tube station to St Mary's Church, Upper Street  

Back in 1630, this area, though still mostly rural, already boasted eleven public houses and, just like today, each establishment offered its own special kind of entertainment designed to tempt the passing punter or weary traveller. Hear about The Angel Islington, beer houses, theatre pubs, speedy coaches, specialist foods, spectacular feats of strength, and daredevils on horseback. Plus stories about boxing champions, unfeasibly old men, death and destruction, board games, and famous customers, including well-known writers and royalty. Please note, this is not a pub crawl. There'll be plenty of time for that after the walk (!!)

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Animals – see Elephants / Carreras (cats) / Green (farms and dogs)

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Arcades and Alleyways – walk and online talk
Pall Mall to Piccadilly via Regent Street and St James's 

Whether on foot or online, join me through the covered shopping streets and little back streets of this well-to-do shopping area. Find out about who these pedestrian only spaces evolved and see what's available there today. 

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ART DECO – Various – please click here for separate list

These walks and talks showcase a diverse range of Jazz Age gems and interwar innovations to illustrate the many different building styles of that era, today collectively known as 'Art Deco' 

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Art Nouveau – Soho/CoventGarden – coming soon

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Barnsbury – see Estates / Ghostsigns 

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Battersea Power station see 'The Power of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott'

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Caledonian Road and Park
Walks available around the old clocktower and market, and a linear walk from Caledonian Road Station to Kings Cross

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CAMDEN 
Please see – Art Deco / Bloomsbury Carreras / Fitzrovia / Ghostsigns / Gospel Oak / Kentish Town / Kings Cross / Mornington Crescent

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The Carreras Story 
The Black Cat Factory AKA Greater London House, Mornington Crescent

An online talk via Zoom about not only this Egyptian-style temple to manufacturing in Camden, but a chronology about the family and subsequent owners of this tobacco company. Find out how technology, clever marketing amd careful management helped to create one of the country's most profitable companies. 

If you fancy seeing this building in person, it is the last stop of my Art Deco Camden walking tour

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Christmas – see Xmas

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CLERKENWELL no set routes but it would be easy to pull together something on request – please enquire for more details

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Creative Islington – An Inspirational Tour 
St Mary's church, Upper Street to Angel tube station

As this sign around the old Angel tube station on City Road says, "Do what you love; love what you do". Would you like to try your hand at something new? Is there a budding actor, dancer or comedian in there? Have you always fancied joining an art class but just didn't know where to go? Would you like to make your own clothes, forge your own door number or carve your own memorial? Then this is the tour for you! We'll take inspiration from shops, businesses and schools in this area of Islington and I will do my best to point you in the right direction re courses and further information.

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Crouch End – it's all in the details 
Circular from the Town Hall, Crouch End Broadway 

This tour links some of the buildings I have photographed for my cards and prints. The Town Hall and its adjacent buildings are decorated with marvellous Art Deco reliefs by Arthur Ayres whose work features on some of my Art Deco walks in central London. We'll also look at the library, a couple of pubs, some ghostsigns of various kinds and, of course, the marvellous clocktower. I'll also talk about other well-known places that are close by such as The Dairy at Stroud Green and Ally Pally. Cards will be available on the day at a cheaper than advertised price.

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Daniel Defoe (The Fortunes and Misfortunes of)
Thinker, trader, hoaxer, spy 

Online presentation / walking tour from Bank to Bunhill Fields via Barbican. 

This amazingly prolific man effectively created the first novel, Robinson Crusoe. Daniel's colourful life is a fascinating story in itself – a tale of politics and intrigue, disguises and debtors' prisons. I'd love to be able to go back in time and meet him! 

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The Diary Of A Nobody – Mr Pooter's Holloway
Upper Holloway to Nag's Head shopping centre  

The Diary of a Nobody is a much-loved amusing work of fiction created in 1888 by the artistic brothers George and Weedon Grossmith. It originally appeared as a column in Punch magazine and, due to its popularity, the brothers added more chapters and a book was published in 1892. It is still in print today and has often been adapted as plays and TV productions.
This guided tour brings fiction to life to take you around the late-Victorian middle-class Upper Holloway that Mr Charles Pooter and co, had they been real people, might have experienced. Many buildings and hints of that era are still with us today. We'll look at real sites and, by comparing the street directories of that area, we'll get an idea where the Grossmiths' amusing characters might have purchased some of the items mentioned in the book. We'll consider where the Pooters could have lived, how they travelled, and what they ate and drank (and they seemed to drink quite a lot!).
Ang the way, I'll read some short excerpts from the book to highlight Charles's silly arguments with his wife, his maid, the ironmonger, the butter man, the shirt dresser and the stationer. I hope you'll also laugh (or groan and roll your eyes) at some of his clunky puns – I'll be adding a few more pun-tastic observations of my own.
You don't need to have already read the book to enjoy this tour, but I am sure you'll want to afterwards. 

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Egyptian London – Walk Like An Egyptian
Two walking tours in Central London that include some Art Deco buildings

Are you aware of the many Egyptian-related buildings and motifs that overlook the streets of central London?

The pharaohs and their followers believed that the body dies twice; once when the mortal body ceases to function, and then again after the last person speaks your name for the final time. But, I wonder if they foresaw how their designs would also transcend time? Architects and artists have for centuries been plundering Egypt, cherry-picking from the wonderful mix of beauty, geometry, iconography and craftsmanship. Evidence of this can be seen on the streets above and around us, and in various art forms.

These two routes are usually scheduled on the same day with an hour between them:

Temples, Tombs and Travel
Embankment to Oxford Circus via Mayfair
Sphinxes, obelisks, pharaohs, curses, gods and more... hear about art and artists, travel and tourism, curses, mummification and long-lost museums. 

Mummies, Movies and Music
Oxford Circus to Bloomsbury via Soho
More of the above but with a bias towards artistes, artisans, antiques and the afterlife. You'll see temples, obelisks and pharaohs – and we might even dance like Egyptians(!).

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The Elephants Escape – Oh What a Circus!
Gospel Oak to Archway/TufnellPark 

In 1884 the circus came to north London. Many of the animals arrived by train and, during the unloading process, Ida and Palm, two of the four performing elephants, got spooked and ran through the nearby streets. Their journey ended in N19 where the pair became trapped in a basement space between two residential houses. Luckily, although there were some extraneous casualties along the way, the beasts were not harmed and, after being rescued, they made their way to the circus site and the show went on as planned, no doubt better-attended than previously expected. 

This walking tour follows the route to see the kind of obstacles the pair would have experienced along the way (note that we will be walking at a leisurely speed, not actually rampaging or running!). We'll trace their route from start to finish, along narrow little alleys and cobbled lanes and up and down the hilly streets of Dartmouth Park. I'll read from newspaper clippings of the period and you'll hear about one of the biggest circuses in the world run by the real "Greatest Showman" whose company was a favourite of Queen Victoria. You'll also see some lovely Georgian houses and I will be pointing out other things of interest along the way including ghostsigns and places used as film locations, all helping to make this a really diverse, entertaining and evocative tour.

One of these elephants also makes an appearance in 'Finsbury Park – a park for the people' – see below

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Essex Road – 'The Only Way Is Essex Road'
Islington Green to Ball's Pond 

I was rather pleased with this title when I came up with it!
This often overlooked thoroughfare is littered with wonderful historical gems, interesting buildings and intriguing stories. Join me to walk the full length of the road (just over one mile) stopping to look at historical sites to see how this important road has evolved throughought the centuries. You'll see a variety of interesting buildings and developments including theatrical and social housing, a swimming pool, a cloned church and an Egyptian Temple. And you'll hear about an innovative market, an early care home, various alcoholic beverages, Georgian floor coverings and amazing Tudor houses. It's a marvellous mixed bag... but then so is Islington.

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Estates and Social Housing – See 'Look at the Estate We're In'

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Females – See Women

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Finsbury Park – A Park For the People
A walk in the park, London N4 

A Victorian park in Harringay created for the people of Finsbury and Islington when this was part of Hornsey. We'll take a stroll inside the park to see how bandstands, roller skating, chrysanthemums and model villages have, over time, gradually been replaced to suit more modern interests. Find out about the plans that never happened, putting greens, swans and [another] rampaging elephant*. Also learn how the park was utilised during WWII and marvel at the  changes made in more recent years to rectify the neglect and vandalism of the late C20th. Starts near Finsbury Park station and ends near Manor House station.

*see The Elephants Escape, above,

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Finsbury Parkgeneral area
Circular route around the streets that encircle the station  

This area of north London was, until the 1850s, just a rural area between The City and Hertfordshire. First, the railways came, followed swiftly by the Piccadilly tube line and then the park itself, which gave the area its name. within about ten years the area had became very popular, inundated with day-trippers as well as people wanting to move to this suburban district of clean air and open spaces with excellent transport connections. Developers quickly covered the previously empty fields with rows of respectable houses and its main roads became lined with businesses and places of entertainment. Find out more on a walk around the backstreets and through a bit of the park to look at the hints of history still visible today.

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French Soho – Cocteau, Bertaux, Huguenot
Soho Square to Leicester Square 

Find out how this famous village in central London has evolved through the past few centuries. Especially learn about its French community which was once much larger than today's Chinatown. Hear about specialist restaurants, café society, cakes, tarts, education and religion.

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Gas lamps – Three walking tours in central London 

• Victoria to Covent Garden via Buckingham Palace, The Mall and The Strand
• Pimlico to St James's Park via Westminster Abbey
• City of London to Temple via St Paul's and Fleet Street  

These walking tours are always scheduled to start just before dusk so as to be able to experience the soft light emitted by the gas-powered lanterns that still line some London streets, Royal Parks and secluded private streets. 
Find out about the history behind the lamps, discover evocative backstreets and learn how the is old form of street lighting is being managed today. Three routes, all designed to be two hours but they tend to overrun, so allow an extra half hour. And all end near a goo pub for an after-walk chat.

Customer feedback: "Jane's knowledge of such an obscure subject, backed up by extensive research, is incredible - all delivered with genuine enthusiasm. Highly recommended”

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GHOSTSIGNS Various – please click here for a separate list 

Definition: old signage that still clings onto today's streets telling us about bygone businesses and discontinued products and services; ghosted or faded signs of the past; faded hints of old advertising for products or companies that are no longer relevant at that site today. 

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Gospel Oak – see Elephants

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Green and Pleasant Islington – Open Spaces, Hidden Places
Highbury and Islington station to Holloway station

This is a tour about flora and fauna. Islington is one of the least green London boroughs by percentage size but the open spaces it does have are as diverse as its residents, offering outdoor facilities and hidden corners for all ages and all tastes. We start near the newly-revamped Highbury Corner junction (which is always cause for debate!) and then we make our way via a circuitous route up to Holloway Road tube station keeping as much as possible off the beaten track and away from the busy streets. We visit open fields, an award-winning park, a hidden garden, a community playground, farms old and new, a churchyard, sports fields and shady meadows. Plus renovation, reclamation, rejuvenation and recycling. Oh, and dogs too. I'll also point out some other tenuously-linked green things which should raise a smile. I have heard locals who have lived in the area for decades exclaim, "ooh... I had no idea this was here... how lovely; it's so peaceful".

Also available: Green and Pleasant Newington Green to Highbury Fields via Ball's Pond 
From Mary Woolstonecroft to Crufts Dog Show via gardens of various kinds. Includes some ghost signs, light industrial history, a couple of unusual churches and a river that isn't new.

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HIGHBURY
Please see: Islington / Arsenal / Green / Literary / Upper Street

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HOLLOWAY
Please see: Irish / Art Deco / 
Ghostsigns  / Green & Pleasant / Literary / The Diary of a Nobody / Inns & Taverns 

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Holloway – The Oxford Street Of The North
Holloway Road and the Nag's Head shopping area 

This is a time-travelling guided walk taking us back to a time when Holloway was a highly respectable neighbourhood for the upwardly-mobile middle classes – an era when the Nag’s Head shopping area of Holloway was affectionately known as “The Oxford Street Of The North” due to its excellent shopping and top-end entertainment.
We'll look back at an era of beautiful shop fronts with impressive displays behind curved glass, framed in polished brass with hand-painted signage. A time of courteous live-in staff wearing immaculate white starched aprons or uniforms. Hear about palatial variety theatres, gin palaces, trams and innovative transport, tea rooms, banqueting halls and the early labyrinthine department stores. Learn how one department store grew to be one of the best-known shops in North London, succeeding into the twentieth century. And find out about its Victorian rival just around the corner which was an even larger, more impressive and, possibly, more successful store at that time.
Today's Holloway may not be as visually impressive as it was back then but it’s still got plenty to offer – hints of the historical gems are hiding in plain view just waiting to be appreciated. 

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The Inns & Taverns of Holloway Road (two tours)
Archway to Nags Head
Nags Head to Highbury Corner

This covers at least 30 pubs down the A1 through Holloway.  Available as two tours with a one-hour break between them. Each tour starts and ends at or near a pub and includes a brief 10-15 minute drink stop at another interesting pub along the route. Hear about the road's early history as a cattle route to Smithfield Market, find out about the delicacies available when Samuel Pepys visited, and learn why some streets were so-named. Depending on which section you attend, you'll hear about stuffed cats, cock-fighting, gin palaces, live music, local ales, billiards, politics, writers and mail coaches.

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The Irish In Islington 
Circular from Archway tube station, N19

Irish people have been settling in north London for centuries – a community that has become one of the largest this side of the Irish Sea. On this tour we look at how the Archway area has evolved thanks to these vibrant and hard-working people. We'll look at the places they have lived, worked, prayed, relaxed and partied, and along the way we'll consider poverty, politics, navvies and nurses.  

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ISLINGTON 
Please see title names: Angel / Arsenal / Art Deco / Barnsbury / Creative / 
Ghostsigns / Green & Pleasant / Highbury / Holloway / Irish / Newington Green / Regents Canal / Upper Street 

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KENSINGTON & CHELSEA – see Agatha Christie / Notting Hill 

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Kings Cross & The Ladykillers
Locations and comparisons with the 1955 Ealing comedy

Join me to compare locations used in the marvellous 1955 film with what we see today. Using film stills, maps and archive images I'll show you how things have changed (or not) in this area. We'll visit Mrs Wilberforce's street and other locations used in the film by tracing the movie's heist route past B&Bs and big brands up to the railway line used near the end of the film. We might even see a steam train if we are lucky. And we probably be singing music from the film along the way. The 21st century brought big changes to the area and the district has evolved from a filthy industrial transport hub populated by the working classes into a hub for the arts, entertainment and technology. Station canopies have been added, roads have been re-aligned, the gas holders have been dismantled and partially re-sited, shopping and art have replaced coal and grain. However, some of the nearby streets and junctions still look almost the same as in the movie and you'll be surprised how much is still discernible. 

Customer feedback: "Enjoyable and informative. We were able to visit the locations used to make the film and compare with lots of illustrations... We departed wanting to again see the original Ladykillers film to relive the walk"

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Literary Holloway Poets, Playwrights and Punks
Holloway tube station to Upper Holloway station

A mixed bag showcasing the diverse range of writers and innovative creatives who have lived and worked in the Holloway area across the centuries. Hear about publishers, inventors, artists, authors, musicians, diarists and thieves. Plus drinking, dancing, sufferance and nonsense.  

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London Is Lovely – Online talk about Greater London 

Alternative ideas for romantic spots, beautiful views, hidden spaces. This basically follows a route from The City to The West End with other ideas for places further afield such as Finchley and Denmark Hill. It's a celebration of lovely and lovely things following a trail of art, views, theatre, history, lovers lanes, sweet things, gardens and memorials. At the moment this is an online talk but I will soon be offering the City and Thames section as a physical walking tour

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Look at The Estate We're In Philanthropy and Social Housing
Essex Road to Highbury & Islington via Upper Street and Barnsbury

This architectural appreciation tour showcases different kinds of well-designed social housing in the London Borough of Islington. We'll visit an interesting cross-section of estates, from impressive Victorian, Edwardian and pre-WWII dwellings made possible by innovative benefactors and independent housing trusts to early London County Council developments and LBI's more recent schemes. Hear about the philanthropists and architects who helped to bring about a sense of pride and well-being. 

Customer feedback: "Jane's passion for the subject matter shone throughs with humour, perception, humanity and fascinating detail. I'd highly recommend this walk"

Westminster and CovGdn/Soho routes coming soon 

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Markets – 'London's Street Markets' – central area – an online talk/presentation  

This talk covers more than eleven miles in just under an hour, visiting markets in Islington, Camden Clerkenwell, Soho, Waterloo and Westminster. It's devised as a tour, with suggestions of interesting walking routes between the stops, although you couldn't possibly do the lot in one day in the real world! Find out about the history of these costermonger grounds, see where the largest and most vibrant Victorian markets were located and see how, over time, they have adapted to today's needs.

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MORNINGTON CRESCENT
Please see Camden / Carreras / Art Deco / Ghostsigns 

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New River Path
Finsbury Park and Woodberry Down   

Starting at the northern end of Finsbury Park, we following the 400 year-old waterway's meandering course offering marvellous views along the way. Enjoy the feeling of being in the countryside, yet only a few miles from central London. This delightful section section meanders through beautiful natural zones and passes interesting light industrial zones and a great view of Ally Pally. Hear about the waterway, both as an amazing feat of engineering and as a recreational attraction. Learn about the nearby buildings and businesses as you enjoy the wonderful flora and fauna in the area. Ends near Finsbury Park station.   

Two more New River walks also available – Finsbury Park to Canonbury / Canonbury to Sadler's Wells – please enquire for more info

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NEWINGTON GREEN 
A walk to Highbury Fields via Balls Pond

Hear about subjects as diverse as orchids, feminism, pleasure gardens, Daniel Defoe, metal boxes, dog shows and telephones
 
Also see Islington / Green / Highbury

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NOTTING HILL GATE – see Agatha / Ghostsigns

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Olympia – cakes, cars and computers
A fascinating walk around the streets that encircle the exhibition centre (currently being regenerated).

There's so much more to see here than exhibitions. There are some delightful back streets here. Discover them and learn about manufacturing and museums, tea and technology, postal orders and parks, milk and movie stars, rivers and regeneration. We'll also talk about nearby Earls Court which is also covered in my Deco Demolished presentation – see 

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Parks – see Caledonian / Finsbury Park /  Gas Lamps / Green / New River / Regents Canal / Waterways
Many walks cut through green spaces and into pocket parks. Please enquire about walks through the Royal Parks in central London.  

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Parks, Pubs and Pianos
Caledonian Park to Kentish Town (or vice versa)

This lovely backstreet route keeps us as much as possible off the main roads. We'll start at the old market site where you'll hear about its history whilst taking in the marvellous view to the south. Then we'll walk through well-planned housing estates, down little alleys and into secluded gardens. We'll look at re-purposed Victorian public houses and see evidence of the large piano-making industry here. Hear about a haunted hostelry and a famous murder case. See ghosts of the past in old signage. Discover a street that will make you feel as if you have travelled back in time and, in other streets, you'll be enlightened by the multi-coloured houses.  

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PICCADILLY – see Art Deco / Arcades / Oscar Wilde / Agatha Christie

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Pimlico – see Gas lamps

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Portobello / Notting Hill – see the Ghostsigns section

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The Power of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott
Architect of Battersea and Bankside power stations 

An online presentation about this prolific man born into an architectural dynasty. A couple of his buildings have today achieved 'iconic' status. Hear about his busy life and achievements as we look at his ubiquitous utilitarian architectural style, and also discover some of his lesser known London works.   

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REGENTS CANAL  see Waterways / Ghostsigns 

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ST JAMES'S & PICCADILLY – see Arcades / Art Deco

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Sculpture
Female forms – see Women
Art Deco embellishments – Gill, Epstein, Copnall, Bayes, etc – many of these artists are visible on my Art Deco routes. A specific online presentation is planned for 2024 

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Shopping – see Arcades / Holloway / Markets / Piccadilly / Portobello / Upper Street

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Social Housing – Please see 'Look at the Estate We're In'

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SOHO – see Art Deco / Art Nouveau / French / Ghostsigns / Italian 

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The Strand's Sculptural Delights
Charing Cross to Aldwych

Architectural embellishments and marvellous memorials. Let me show you some of the sculptural delights adjacent to this ancient riverside street. Hear about banks and medicine, commerce and commemoration, nudity and topography. 

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Theatreland – online /walking tour

An Art Deco appreciation tour looking at 13 central London theatres that were revamped or newly-built in the Jazz Age era. See the separate Art Deco list

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Upper Street – Islington's Golden Mile
Highbury Corner to Islington Green

A wander down Islington's main thoroughfare hearing about Georgian gentility, Victorian emporiums, Edwardian establishments and Jazz Age jewellers still visible within the remnants of old shop fittings that line this street. We'll look at doorway mosaics, curved glass, painted signs and gilded signage. 
You might also be interested my Ghostsigns walk in this vicinity.

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Vouchers
Valid for one year from date of purchase – see here for more info

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Waterways, Wharves and Warehouses
Regent's Canal in Islington, circular from City Road Basin 

Today the canal is a linear park open to all, lined with colourful houseboats, waterside apartments and offices, complete with well-maintained paths for walkers, cyclists and joggers. It's a bit of calm and quiet away from the bustle of the shops and the beeps of the busy streets. But it wasn't always so lovely.
This 200 year old waterway from Paddington to Limehouse has a rich history. It was constructed to link the north of England to London's docklands on the River Thames therefore providing a low-impact distribution network for heavy goods. The businesses that lined the water's edge turned it into a dirty, noisy, dangerous hive of industry and manufacture. Find out about the various and unusual products that were made, stored and distributed from the wharves alongside this canal. And learn why these buildings and tow paths fell into disuse and how they were later regenerated and transformed into what we see and enjoy today.

You might also like my other Regents Canal walk looking at ghostsigns that are still visible above and adjacent to the towpath. See more here

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WEST END – see Covent Garden / Piccadilly / St James's / Soho / Strand / Theatreland / Wilde

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Wilde About Oscar
 
Wit, writer, raconteur,  

Online via Zoom or a walking tour in the Regent Street area. Hear about Oscar's life and the people who were close to him. See where his plays were staged, where life-changing events happened, and where he lived, shopped and socialised. We'll also look at how he is commemorated today. 

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Women 
Two presentations available via Zoom 
  • Memorials to Marvellous Women – about females who have been commemorated for the changes they have made to our lives such as in politics, suffrage, healthcare and the literary field.
  • Formed by Females (sculptures on the street) – about female artists who have created artworks that adorn the capital's streets, such as Hepworth, Hambling, Frink, Young, Emin and Whiteread.
Planning to offer walking tours in 2024 – these will be a mix of both talks. The routes,  Westminster and Southwark, Bloomsbury, and the City of London, need finer tuning.

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Work in Progress

Many more ideas are bubbling around in my head. Some of them are listed here.

Perhaps you have some ideas of your own? Do get in touch.

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Xmas – Christmas in Covent Garden – Magical Markets and Twinkling Trees

Strand to to Trafalgar Square via Covent Garden Piazza and Seven Dials 

At Christmas-time our shopping streets and squares become festooned with pretty Christmas lights and decorations – it makes everything look so gorgeous, warm and welcoming. But, have you ever wondered why we drag fir trees into our homes, eat mince pies or kiss under the mistletoe? Why is Father Christmas called 'Santa' and why does he wear red? Learn about about the origins of our Christmas traditions on a twinkly trail through little lanes, alluring avenues and sparkly squares. Hear about the streets of old as you marvel at today's fabulous displays. We'll look at hotels, shops and restaurants and there'll be lots of photo opportunities along the way. Our journey finishes in Trafalgar Square by the big Christmas tree and the Christmas market – perfect for a glass of mulled wine and a few seasonal treats.  

Customer feedback:"Fabulous walk. Jane is full of fascinating historical and current information. Wandering about the best bits of the West End all lit up for the festive holiday is fun and perfect for Christmas"

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