Thursday, 6 October 2011

Mega Marathon Funraiser Pub Quiz 7pm Saturday 26th Nov

Run For Their Lives raised £2,500 for Centrepoint. Lets do it again with a good old fashioned Pub Quiz!

Good Morning London Fans,

London Detours has had a great couple of weeks exploring the streets of London, researching hidden gems and fantastic buildings. The Detours that have been run have also been fun and am looking forward to walking Detours this coming month.

However, London Detours would like to invite you all to a great event hosted by a brilliant funraiser, Sarah Wheeler. Sarah has just found out that she will be running the London Marathon for Centrepoint, It is a charity close to her heart, she recently hosted a fun run across the Capital's major bridges, starting at Vauxhall & finishing at Tower Bridge, she & the runners raised £2,500! But there is no stopping her....

Sarahs next project is to raise money by putting on the Mega Marathon Funraiser Pub Quiz! Its a good old fashion pub quiz but all the money raised goes straight to Centrepoint. We are lucky enough to have a private function room at the pub and our own quiz master host for free! So fun will be had by all.

Sarah and London Detours would like to invite you to the quiz, the more people, then the more fun and the more money raised. And remember, bring your best quiz team, there are great prizes to be won!

The quiz will be held at The Herne Tavern in East Dulwich on Saturday 26th Nov (put it in the diary now!), to enter the quiz it is £4.00 per person (pay on the night), we want to try and raise as much money as possible, not only will you get a great night out in a Sarf London pub but also included is....

* Pub Quiz hosted by All Round Top Entertainer Pietro Herrera!

* A chance to play 'Play Your Cards Right' and win a cool prize!

* Sit in the comfort of our own private room! Woooooo!

* Loads of wicked prizes to be won! Ahhhhhhhh!

* And having a brilliant night with new and old friends.

Remember guys its all for charity, So come along with your teams. The quiz starts at 7pm on the dot so get there before hand so you can eye up your opposition! Get swotting!

If you want anymore information then please do not heistate to get in touch. The more people there, then the more money raised.

Look below for details on how to get to the Herne Tavern.

The Herne Tavern, East Dulwich, where dreams are made & Pub Quizzes are won!

Plus if you want to donate to Sarah's justgiving page then please do. Have a look below.

Just give London Detours a ring or email to let us know your coming. 07843498733

Monday, 19 September 2011

Cross Bones Graveyard, Southwark

Cross Bones Graveyard Plaque, worth a visit. Read on my lovely followers.

A great day exploring London.

I'm always a regular walking around the Borough and Southwark area and although I new of the Cross Bones Graveyard I had never actually visited the site. The memorial will now play a big part in my London walking tours.

My morning started by taking a quick visit to Monmouth Coffee for a quick fix, interesting to see some early birds in the Market Porter pub having a swift pint. I walked down pasted Neals Yard Diary, spotting a Banksy stencil on my way. (However, not sure if its an original, its quite new, I think an imposter!)

Banksy Stencil at Borough Market. "Laugh now, but one day we will be in charge". Real or Fake?
I came to Red Cross Way and found the memorial 30 seconds down the road on the left.

The Cross Bones Graveyard is a unconsecrated burial ground that holds up to 15,000 bodies of "Single Women", or as we woud call them, prostitutes and known locally in the area as "Winchester Geese", this was a name given as the ladies were licensed to work within the Liberty of the Clink by the Bishop of Winchester. The Geese part of the term comes from the Geese Broth that the Bishops would regulary cook, hence the name and why the Brothels were called 'Stews'.

The Graveyard soon became a free for all for the poor of the area with not only prostitutes being buried there but also beggars and paupers. The age of the graveyard is unknown but there are references to it in the mid 16th Cent.

Today it is a memorial to the forgotten dead. The memorial (which is more of a shrine created by locals) is a disturbing reminder to our suffering past, the people that walked the London streets and the horrific lives they must of lived.

The shrine to the 'Outcast Dead'. Passers by and locals leave messages.

To book a Walking Tour with London Detours or to find out information then please contact us info@londondetours or check out our website

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Laura Merryweather - London Photographer

Hello London Lovers everywhere,
Welcome back to London Detours Blog. This is my first blog since I started up my new walking tours across the Capital and I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and London Detours. I’m passionate about showing a different side to London, from the hidden gems, history, communities and people. Which leads me on to our first interview......
London Detours is a big believer in supporting and promoting talent in London and the surrounding areas.
A few months ago London Detours went on a photo shoot with a young photographer called Laura Merryweather. Laura is a budding photographer who has racked up a great portfolio by working with many different projects, she is a passionate individual that London Detours thinks is worth mentioning in this months blog.
It was great to see her at work, while I pointed out Landmarks and side streets full of history and stories, Laura snapped away. I’m always interested in people taking photos on my tours and the stranger the angles, the better. From taking pictures of Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden to snapping at a pair of old boots and cigar shops. Laura was able to catch London and what it’s really about in a creative and unique way. Check out my favourite photos below as well as an interview with Laura.
I love this one. Hodge the Cat, City Detour.

When did you first pick up a camera?
When I was like 4 or 5 I'd go out with my Nan and she'd attempt to take photos of things or people and cut their heads off or miss the things she wanted to take so I suppose I just got into it from that I think. I spent a fortune on getting Polaroid film as well because I was an impatient child and always wanted to see how they turned out straight away. I want to get back into experimenting with Polaroid’s again because there’s a real sense of capturing the unique moment.

What makes you passionate about photography?

 I suppose it's the idea that you're capturing a moment that will never happen again or seeing something that will never be seen in the same way again. Every time you look at something it makes you think or it can inspire you so if you can capture it you can always be inspired or remember how it made you feel.

What is the best photograph you have ever taken and why?

 My favourite photos change all the time depending on the mood I'm in, but one of the ones taken on the tour, the fountain with sculptures around it by (I don't remember the blokes name) with a camera and water in the background because water is a perfect example of capturing something that won't been seen again.

You spent a day taking photos for London Detours; did you enjoy the sights of London?

 London is definitely a city that you could walk around on your own for weeks and never fully see it, it's also challenging to try and take photos of very well known areas and make them look different but it's also refreshing to find completely new places so close to areas you thought you knew.

 I don't think there are any parts of London that I don't like taking photos of because its ever changing but in particular Soho is one of my favourite areas because there's a massive variety of people and in general its very full of colour and there’s always something new to find.

What’s next with your photography, any new projects coming up?

 I'm working on a few ideas for collections one in particular is the idea of how old; otherwise useless things can be inspiring. 

If people wanted to find out more about you and your photography, how can they get in touch?

 Go to my website to see a selection of my photos and for contact details.

A fantastic Community Park in Soho. Westminster Detour.

Invader Street Art at Seven Dials. Again, a favourite. Westminster Detour.

To see Laura's full portfolio visit or visit

Thursday, 16 June 2011


I was first introduced to Invader Street Art when I first started tour guiding 2 years ago. Invader is a street artist from Paris who uses mosiac tiles to create small and large space invader creations. The idea is that he is invading cities with his art, and it works, with numerous pieces found all over the world. I myself have found many all over London including Soho, Old Street, Bloomsbury, Brick Lane and the surrounding areas. What makes it even more amazing is that the art work is put in a certain place for a reason. Once you have found one invader you can easily find the others as if you cross them off on a map it will show another invader on the map! Brilliant!

Please see below my collection of the Invaders I have found over the years. If you have any then please let me know as I've now become a bit of a geek and have started taking photos of them! Plus if you have never seen them before, then next time your out, look up, look down and look around and next time you might just find an Invader.

Neal's Yard, Seven Dials

Charing Cross Road
Brick Lane, With also Banksy's Pink Car and D*Face Bomb Car

Friday, 13 May 2011


The Seven Noses of Soho

Hello everybody. London Detour is back. Have been busy at late but am now back with some great new finds and hidden gems of London Town. Remember to follow me on twitter for quick updates of my London Tour Guide Adventures @londondetour.

Today I had a tour cancelled, but it did not stop me exploring the city. I decided to go to Soho to do some research for an upcoming tour that I have booked. Soho is a fantastic place, a great mixture of cultures, people and history, from China Town to the famous sex shops and brothels (so I've been told).

But today I was looking for something else...... Last night I got talking to a friend about Soho and he was able to tell me about the Seven Noses of Soho. I knew about the Nose on Admiralty Arch but was unware of Noses placed around Soho. Apparently, a sculptor named Rick Buckley made casts of his own nose and scattered them round Soho. It is said that if you find all seven you will become wealthy forever more.

And so I started the find. Soho was busy today (like most days), and to the passers-by it must of been odd to see me looking up at the buildings and not looking where I was going! But on I went, determined to find them. I eventually entered Meard Street, a quaint little side street with 18th Century buildings and cobbled road. It may of been small but the street was full of life, with businessmen chatting and a waitress on a fag break. A guy was taking photos of an Invader street art piece that was placed on the top corner of a building and to my suprise, on a wall, high up, was my first Soho Nose! A great feeling passed through me, the camera came out and I snapped away. It was alot larger than I imagined but now I new what I was looking for.

However, my dear followers. This is where my adventure came to an end. I looked for a couple of hours more with no luck, and my neck was starting to hurt from looking up too much. So ladies and gents scroll down to see my one and lonely nose......

All that work for this! But wont stop me going out to find the others. The first Nose was put up in the mid 90's and Buckley put the last cast up in 2005. It is also said that other casts of body parts have been found including an ear and arms. Keep your eyes peeled.

Coming Soon........ INVADER STREET ART

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Cabman's Shelter
I came across the cabman's shelters in London a few months ago and feel they are worth mentioning on the blog. They are now part of the City of London tour that I lead and cant help but talking about them everytime I see them.

The cabman's shelter is a small green house shape structure that can be seen in parts of London. They are odd looking buildings that are usually populated with hearty taxi drivers drinking a brew or tucking into a cheese sandwich. They first hit the streets of London in the mid 1870's, the law in the old days ment that taxi drivers must not leave there vechicle at anytime, which made it difficult for them to use the toilet or to grab something to eat! However, the Earl of Shaftsbury came up with a charity (Cabmen's Shelter Fund) to build small structures that would house a place for poor taxi drivers to sit down for a cuppa or a bite to eat.

Being on the side of roads it ment that the shelters could be no bigger than a horse and carriage (hence the small size). However, within the shelter it is possible to fit a working kitchen with 2 staff and seating for 13 taxi drivers. The shelters are now grade listed buildings but are still in use. The cabmen are not allowed to swear, drink or gamble in the shelter and although the public are not allowed inside they can buy tea and bacon sarnies from the open window round the back.

So next time your in London look out for this fantastic hidden secret that is staring you in the face. There are only 13 left so look out for them. Plus its a fantastic and cheap place to buy lunch. I got a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie for under £2.00! But if you have more than 3 sugars in your tea they will charge an extra 5p for every spoonful!

Cabman's Shelter - Near Temple Tube Station

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Wooden Effigy and a Hidden Rose

I had a fantastic tour this weekend. Made even more fantastic by the new hidden gems and locals who were very welcoming and passionate about what they wanted to show and tell the group.

A trip to Southwark Catherdral introduced us to Richard, a volunteer for the Catherdral at the weekends. He was very knowledgable about the beautiful building and its surrounding area. He firstly introduced himself by asking us is we wanted to touched his wooden effigy, which was slightly strange. What made it stranger was that he wanted us to find it cold bits! What we didnt know was near the back of the catherdral was a wooden effigy of a Knights Templar, and as Richard had pointed out, a part of the effigy was stone cold. Very eerie until we were told why. But I wont spoil it too much, find out for yourself.....

Southwark Catherdral is a beautiful building which is widely over looked. It stands next to the world famous Borough Market which is full of passers by looking for a healthy organic snack that can be snuffled quickly while sitting in the Catherdrals graveyard.

The Catherdral also has memorials to Shakespeare with a great stained glass window of his characters from his most famous plays. Shakespeare was a frequent visitor to the Catherdral, so much so that his brother, Edmund, is buried inside in an unmarked grave.
Southwark Catherdral - Welcoming people and a great way to see the history of Southwark.

After a trip to Southwark Catherdral I thought our day could'nt get any better. Until a visit to the hidden gem of The Rose Theatre. I had been to the Theatre before and is a great place to spend 10minutes to find out the history of the entertainment sector of Southwark in the Elizabethan era. However, this visit was different in so many ways and we spent a good time taking in the environment and talking to a wonderful, passionate lady who had great vision for a great theatre. The theatre itself is not so impressive, it is dark, damp and is taken up by a huge puddle. But once we started talking to one of the guides our eyes were open to the imagination of a theatre that was once more popular than the neighbouring Globe Theatre. The space and theatre is used for performances and plays (at the moment Christopher Marlowe) which are always sold out, but the volunteers are hoping for more. They have ideas and plans for the theatre to be just as appealing as the new Globe Theatre, but with no help from the government or any funding they only rely on public donations. This theatre needs help and support, but dont take my word for it. Take a visit. It may be small but it is a big part of history and hopefully the future.

The Rose Theatre - visit for more information of upcoming plays and events.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Had a great tour yesterday with a group of Italians. Went for Pie N Mash on Hoxton High Street and finished at Brick Lane. Best part of the tour was being interviewed by Jamie Oliver's PR team outside his Old Street restaurant 'Fifteen'. They were promoting Jamies charity work and wanted to chat with me about why I include Jamie and the restaurant on the East London tour. Its fantastic that Jamie Oliver gives opportunities to young disadvantged people by having them gain qualifications and experience in his restaurant.

Anyway, after the tour I walked around the East End taking snaps of some of the Street Art. East London is an outside art gallery, with some fantastic, vibrant, talented artists. Have a look at some of the work.

Some brilliant work by STIKS.
Just off Old Street and Brick Lane.

Work by ROA. The detail in the animals is amazing. They can take up to days to complete.
Brick Lane and Old Street

BEN EINE street art. He paints letters on shop shutters.
Petticoat Lane

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


So, this is my first post, one of many. Being a London Tour Guide there is alot to show and share so stay in touch people cause theres alot more on the way.

Had a fantastic tour the other day with people from my other job. They all came up to London and I gave them a tour of the City Of London. We walked down Fleet Street and took in the sites of The Royal Courts of Justice, The Temple Church and (one of my Favourites) the supposed site of Sweeny Todd.

The tour carried onto St Pauls, The Bank of England and Leadenhall Market. Being a London Tour Guide Im always coming across new stories and things to show people. One of the highlights was trying to find the smallest statue in london. It took about 15mins but we eventually found it. If you want to know where it is its on Philpot Lane, but thats as much info as Im giving. The looking for it is part of the fun!

Thank you again everyone. And enjoy the new blog. Its all about showing a different side to our fantastic capital. From the historic side streets to our quirky muesums. London has alot to offer. So stay in touch for some fantastic updates.

Taking the group to Temple Church via the quiet and quaint cobbled alleyways of the Inns of Court.

Hen and Chicken Passage. The supposed site of Sweeney Todd. The alleyway is dark and gloomy. A fantastic atomsphere for the famous story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The Royal Exchange in Bank. Go inside, a beautiful place.

The Smallest Statue in London. Philpot Lane. Good Luck finding it!