London – Bowl of Chalk
At last, I’ve found a London tour that I can confidently recommend! I went on 2 thoroughly enjoyable tours, both given by Jonnie who owns a tour company called Bowl of Chalk (Cockney rhyming slang for ‘walk’).
Because London is so big, Jonnie has 3 different 3-hour weekend walks that break it into smaller pieces. There are 2 walks on Saturdays, the morning one is from Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s Cathedral. The afternoon walk is from St Pauls to Monument. The sunday tour takes place on the Eastern edge of the City, Old Street/Shoreditch area
The tours gave a great overview and were also packed with interesting details about London’s history. Jonnie’s style is not to lecture but is conversational, like being shown around by an informed, interesting and amusing friend who is attuned to your interests. As a tourist in London, the saturday walks are the best to start with as they cover the more known part of the city. The sunday walk is about the more ‘alternative’ side of London in an area with a lot of street art.
Jonnie started his tours, some 6 years ago, advertising in a local cafe and his first customers were Londoners who he coaxed out to learn more about their own city. He still offers these weekend walks like a ‘pay what you wish’ type of tour. You don’t just turn up at the start and it’s certainly not a big ‘free tour’ type of thing, his group size is usually in the region of 10 people. You do need to book a place on the tour which is done by email on his site. I suggest paying between 20 and 30 pounds per person if you enjoy the tour, which I am certain you will.
Jonnie also offers private tours on weekdays so you get him all to yourself and can tailor the tour to your tastes. These are arranged by e-mail too.
There is much more info on his website and a very detailed description of what the different tours cover. Click below…