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 http://www.rosetheatre.org.uk/ 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!