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The Blackfriar

The Blackfriar: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Historical Pub Walking Tour

1. London: Historical Pub Walking Tour

Enjoy an afternoon stroll through London's liquid history, pausing to quench your thirst in 4 of the city's most historic pubs. This tour of some of the city’s finest alehouses follows in the footsteps of legendary city chroniclers, such as Charles Dickens. Take a gentle 2-mile walk through some of London’s ancient streets, departing from St Paul's underground station and strolling along the "street of shame".  Throughout the tour, enjoy fine views, quirky history, and a drink or two along the way. Stop at no less than 4 different pubs to quench your thirst, with visits to taverns that date back as far as 1549. Your trip will finish close to the Strand and Covent Garden, where you'll be a short walk from the theaters, shops, and restaurants of London’s West End. Not to mention even more historic pubs if you want to carry on your liquid tour of London on your own.

Another Brick in the Wall: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

2. Another Brick in the Wall: A Self-Guided Audio Tour

Trace London’s ancient city wall as it grew from an enclosure around the Roman settlement of Londinium, to the large medieval structure that ringed the bustling city. On this walking tour, you’ll see parts of London Wall that still stand today. I’ll tell you about its origins, construction and, in some parts, its demise. I’ll show you the site of each of the seven gates that gave access to the city. You’ll also hear about some of the people that once lived in the shadow of the wall, and gain an insight into what life was like for these locals. Along with tracing the route of the wall from Emperor Trajan’s statue to the Blackfriar, a popular pub, I’ll show you some of the city’s other sites, including several historical churches. I’ll point out St Olave’s Church, Guild Church of St Katharine Cree, St Ann & St Agnes Church, and the site of the medieval chapel of St Mary & St Nicholas. You’ll hear about Aldgate Pump and its fatal connection to polluted water in 1860, the teenage skeleton found under ‘the Gherkin’, and the place where Jack the Ripper murdered a woman. On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to: • Find out why a seventeenth century diarist decided to bury a hunk of cheese in a hole in the ground • See the church where victims of the Great Plague are buried • Hear about the church that inspired Charles Dickens’ “St Ghastly Grim" in The Uncommercial Traveller • Listen to tales of robbery, violence and deception • Take in the oldest Synagogue in the UK • Walk through an area synonymous with law, order and incarceration Whether it’s your first time in London or you’re a curious local, you’ll gain a valuable introduction to the wall’s rich history. Give yourself two hours for this walk or go at your own pace to further explore the historical churches and pubs mentioned en route. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and food outlets if you need a short or lengthy break at any point. I’ve also highlighted the halfway point, in case you want to draw out the tour over a day or two.

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What people are saying about The Blackfriar

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 211 reviews

Highlight of our week in London! We booked this trip last minute after hearing someone rave about it on another tour. I'm so glad we did. We didn't just visit the pubs, which in themselves were fantastic, our tour guide Chris was very informative and provide a great historical setting for each location to make you feel like you were traveling back in time. He also added historical details as we traveled to each location.

Visited 4 very different and interesting pubs around St Paul's area. We had a good amount of time in each pub to have a gin/beer. Our guide was informative and entertaining which made for a great afternoon and evening.

We had a great time in this tour. It was laidback and fun, with lots of interesting facts and stories about the city and its liquid history. Highly recommend!

Absolutely loved our tour; our guide was extremely knowledgeable and gave us the best recommendations from pub to pub.

great day out, Chris the guide was most knowledgeable