13 Best historical London walking tours to do when visiting the city. From Westminster to the Churchill War Rooms, Jack the Ripper, Changing of the Guards to East London street art. These historical walking tours in London will teach you something abut the city.
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London is an ancient city with a beautiful historic character. Tangible elements of the city’s past can be found around almost every corner and alleyway.
The best way to learn about the charming, historical side of the city is by taking a guided walking tour of London.
You’ll get an up-close perspective and discover the city in a fun and interactive way and with an expert. You can read more on London and London travel tips.
Each tour contains interesting London walking routes and historical facts that many Londoners, have long forgotten or as soon as they closed their history books and left high school.
You’ll travel by foot to popular sites, or hidden locations – depending on the type of tour you’re interested in.
Many of these tours are led by London historians who will leave you with a better understanding of the city and its history.
Hidden London Walking Tours
On this tour, you’ll follow your guide along the quiet side streets of the city. Journey off the beaten path to London’s most unusual sights.
Visit an old Cabman’s shelter. This was an area where cab drivers would go to seek shelter, food, or drinks during the second half of the 19th century.
Discover the Temple Church, built by the mysterious Knights Templar (Assassin’s Creed fans will love this).
See London’s ‘Roman Bath’ and the abandoned Aldwych tube station. Explore the location of the legendary barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd.
This walking tour is full of weird and wonderful stops. You’ll be entertained by stories of history and mystery the entire way.
To book a walking tour of London’s hidden sites, click here for ticket price.
East London Walking Tours
Discover the alternative sights of East London on this art-focused walking tour. You’ll explore the diverse creativity of the city’s most trendy areas. Admire London’s urban art and graffiti from around 40 artists.
If you are artsy and interested in the different graffiti, you’ll see dotted around the different areas in London.
This tour is for you, plus you’ll also get to see some of Banksy’s work in East London.
Meet your guide near the Old Spitalfields Market. Learn the history of the East End as you walk through streets covered in art.
Your guide will give you a unique insight into the urban art culture of London.
Travel to Brick Lane and the stylish Shoreditch area. Learn about the unconventional art of Banksy, ROA, Invader, and Shepherd Fairy.
East London is one of the city’s most vibrant areas. If you’re looking for a walking tour in London that explores the city’s edgy side, this tour is perfect for you.
City of London – Historic Pubs Walking Tours
This London walking historic pub tour will take you to four of the city’s most historic pubs, taverns, and alehouses.
This tour is definitely for the beer lovers and drinkers visiting London.
Learn about London’s proud beer culture – going back hundreds of years. Walk the ancient streets of London and visit a tavern that dates back to 1549.
Of course, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink or two along the way.
Quench your thirst and mingle with your fellow beer and history enthusiasts.
You’ll walk from historic Southwark to the bright lights of the West End – London’s theatre district.
The tour is kept small to provide a more personal experience. This is one of the most fun London walking tours.
British Museum & London Historical Guided Walking Tour
This walking tour is for the culture vultures and history buff visiting London. This walking tour combines a trip to the British Museum by exploring the historic sites in central London.
You’ll start at the British Museum where you’ll explore 6000 years of human history through artefacts.
Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you through this large museum and give you a more detailed understanding of the collections.
A few of the highlights include seeing Samurai armour, the Rosetta Stone, and the Mummy of Katebet.
You’ll leave the museum with a better understanding of what humans have achieved during our brief existence.
After the museum, you’ll head to the streets of London. Carry on with your walking tour by visiting the U.K’s most iconic sites.
See Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, and more. Of course, your tour guide will be filling you in on the history of these locations, and all different types of fun facts.
This tour lasts for approximately 5-5.5 hours (so, wear a comfortable walking shoe). If you’re a history buff looking for the best walking tours of London, you’ll gain a comprehensive historical overview of the city.
Historic Spaces – City of London Walking Tour
Travel to eight of London’s green, open spaces and receive a unique perspective of the city’s history.
You’ll start your tour at the rose gardens of St. Paul’s Cathedral. This church once held medieval royal burials. Next, visit a brutalist development built to reinvigorate the city following WWII.
Carry on and discover a fascinating area used as a mass gravesite during the 14th century.
This area of London is only newly discovered. It was used to bury those killed in public executions.
Finish up visiting the historic site of a 17th-century theatre and a cemetery where dissenters and radicals were buried.
You’ll see churches that lay in ruins, crumbling graveyards, and tranquil parks with many tales to tell.
This tour is an excellent guide to the non-touristy areas of London. It’s a great option for people wishing to see a unique side of the city.
Historic Shakespeare Pub and Theatre Walking Tour
Explore William Shakespeare’s life in London with a tour guide who is also a published author.
You’ll travel to iconic sites associated with the great playwright, including five pubs connected with Shakespear.
Visit the London theatres, where Shakespeare’s works have been performed. See the church where a member of his family is buried. Explore the sites of two of the most famous Elizabethan theatres.
Learn what the impact of Shakespeare’s success in London had on his family back in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Hear about his incredible life and career from your knowledgeable guide.
Have a drink at the only property in London that can be identified as being owned by Shakespeare.
Visit the grounds of a medieval monastery where you’ll see the site of an indoor theatre that stood in Shakespeare’s time. Finish up with one last drink in a unique Art Deco pub nearby.
Downton Abbey Walking Tour
On the tour, you’ll explore the quaint historical sites where the TV series “Downton Abbey” was filmed. You’ll see how the better halves of London lived.
Visit charming and tranquil settings within London that have stood in for other UK cities like Liverpool and Manchester.
Learn how they were used as film locations. Hear fun facts and behind-the-scenes information about how this award-winning TV show was made.
You’ll be able to relive all your favourite moments from the show. Stand where Branson first confesses his love to Lady Sybil.
See the exterior of Grantham House where the character of Uncle Harold was introduced. Look into the restaurant where Edith dined with Gregson.
This is hands down the best London tour for fans of the hit TV show “Downton Abbey”.
Jack the Ripper Tour in London’s East End
Jack the Ripper is among England’s most notorious serial killers. He terrorised the citizens (mainly women) of London during the late 19th century and sent shock waves through the city.
On this walking tour of London, you’ll step back in time to 1888. Discover the world that the Ripper and his victims lived in.
Learn about the gruesome crimes that the Ripper committed as well as the social context of that period.
Hear about each of the murders as you visit the very sites where they took place.
Your guide will fill you in on the facts and rumours that surround these disturbing unsolved cases. This is hands-down one of the best tours of London for fans of true crime.
Westminster and the Churchill War Rooms
On this walking tour, you’ll explore the Westminster area and visit the fascinating Churchill’s Bunker.
Travel to 20 sites in the Westminster area as you discover some of Britain’s most iconic landmarks.
First, you’ll meet your group and start your tour in one of the Royal Parks of London – the beautiful Green Park.
Then, before heading to Westminster, you’ll stop to witness the famous Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. This is a traditional London experience you don’t want to miss.
Continue on to the stunning Westminster Abbey. See nearby sites, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Queen Victoria Fountain, and Trafalgar Square.
Next, visit the Churchill War Rooms. This was an underground nerve centre used by the British Prime Minister during WWII.
Discover the rich history of this fascinating place from which Churchill directed the Second World War.
Changing of the Guard Guided Walking Tour
The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a quintessential London experience. With a guided walking tour, you’ll get an in-depth look at this British tradition.
Follow your guide through the busy crowds as you’re led to the best vantage point to watch the ceremony take place.
See the iconic red tunics and bearskin hats as the Queen’s Foot Guard march to the palace.
You’ll be equipped with your own personal headset so your guide can entertain you with commentary about the ceremony.
Learn about the royal family and how this fascinating practice is carried out – from beginning to end.
London Old City Walking Tour
On this walking tour, you’ll travel back to the very beginning of London. Discover the original square mile – nestled beside the River Thames.
This area has seen some of the most significant events in British history. It also contains some of London’s oldest buildings.
Learn about these important events as you travel to different sites. Some highlights include visiting the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral, the site of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Hear stories of the great fire of London, the plague, and the Blitz during WWII.
You’ll also visit some of the city’s modern sites, like the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern Art Gallery, and the Tower Bridge.
This tour covers a lot of history and provides an excellent overview of the city.
London Ghastly Ghosts 2-Hour Walking Tour
On this walking tour, you’ll discover London’s intriguing haunted history. This tour only takes place after dusk, setting the mood for a spine-chilling experience.
You’ll start the tour at one of the oldest churches in London, All Hallows by the Tower. Your journey will take you from the Tower of London to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Along the way, you’ll hear stories of suffering, crime, and murder. That sounds like a really good night in my books – I’m a horror fan, so love all the gruesome details of ghost stories, murders and everything in-between.
London’s past is full of terrible tales and mysterious hauntings. Enjoy a spooky walk through this ancient city.
Wind through the dark streets and past desolate alleyways. Learn about the city’s ghosts, ghouls, and demons. If you’re into murder mystery and haunted history, this tour will captivate you.
Book Here | For a ghastly haunted history tour of London
London World War II Blitz Walk and Imperial War Museum
On this historic walking tour, you’ll learn about the impact of World War II on England.
In 1940, London was bombed by the Germans continuously for 57 days. Follow your guide through the city streets and learn about the events that left part of London in rubble during WWII.
See buildings where the scars of the attacks are still visible. Hear tales of heroism, including how ordinary men and women helped to save London’s beloved St Paul’s Cathedral from destruction.
This tour also includes a trip to the Imperial War Museum. Discover a vast collection of WWII related documents, photographs and videos, military vehicles, aircraft, and military weapons.
Conclusion of the Top Historic Walking Tours London Offers
That concludes my round-up of the best historical London walking tours. As you can tell, there are quite a few options to choose from.
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate learning new facts about this ancient city.
Whether you’re looking for a haunted history tour or a political walking tour, London has many exciting options to choose from.
The best way to discover a city is with a local guide, and each one of these tours allows you to do just that!
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