Ian McDiarmidQualified City of London Tour Badge

Qualified City of London Tour Guide & Lecturer

Ian qualified as a City of London tour guide in 2017 and has a particular passion for Roman and Medieval history, having in an earlier incarnation studied history at Cambridge and London universities.

He began working life in the early 80s in the City, and has since written extensively on the share and bond markets as a journalist. He loves talking finance and taking people around the narrow alleys where today’s massive trading centre was born.

When not walking and talking, Ian enjoys pottering about in the garden. His expertise is such that he often spends several hours doing this.

Ian’s private walking tours explore hidden places which many guidebooks simply just don’t cover.

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Book your guided walks tickets:


Note: Great Fire of London and Victorian Covent Garden walk may be delivered by another tour guide.

Private tours with Ian:

Financial London Private Tour
Explore the heart of the capital's financial markets on our coffee, cash and commerce tour.
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Private Heretics and Horrors Tour
It's time to take your rose-tinted history specs off....and see the real history of London.
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Bespoke Tour
Tailor your London tour Looking for a more personal experience? Get what you really want from your London trip with a bespoke private tour.
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Full Day London Private Tour
This full day introductory tour is perfect for first-time visitors.
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Great Fire of London Private Tour
Time to step into your time machine and venture with us to the year of 1666.
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Greenwich Private Tour
Explore some of the finest and most important buildings in England on your private tour of Greenwich.
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Half Day London Highlights Private Tour
Make the most of your first visit to London! This introductory walk is perfect for first-time visitors.
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Kings Cross Private Tour
This is a private tour of contrasts; from the old to the right now. King's Cross is an area which is still a work in progress.
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Medieval London Private Tour
Discover Medieval London on a private walking tour in the City of London.
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Roman London Private Tour
Discover the history hidden beneath our feet and London’s origins on this tour through the heart of the Roman city.
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Wonders of Whitehall Private Tour
Uncover the lost Tudor palace of Whitehall and discover Medieval London to present day.
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Read Ian's Reviews

Coffee, Cash and Commerce Walk – Excellent

I think this is a new walk. As usual, it was informative, entertaining and well worth attending. Ian, the guide, is extremely knowledgeable about financial matters and was able to explain complex issues in a plain, straightforward way to a financial ignoramus like me. It also had a lot of human interest and social history aspects underlying the subject. Highly recommended.

Serious and fun

You always learn so much with these walks, with Ian who is good in transmitting his encyclopaedic knowledge.
I’ve been so many times in Greenwich, thought I knew everything about it. And yet, discovered plenty of places.
All tours are wonderful, and I’ve been in almost all of them. More than willing to returning…


Financial London

Ian, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and responded to all our questions. He far exceeded his allocated time and not one person left on time as we were all enthralled and gripped with the knowledge that he provided about cash, coffee and commerce. A must for all to have a greater understanding of financial services, the traders and how they are governed and how the success of London impacts on our everyday lives.


Kings Cross Walk

Ian’s stories illuminated more about the history of the area around Euston Station and Kings Cross than I was expecting and have inspired me to return to visit the locations again when the weather is a little warmer. It was nice to meet other people on the tour also, and there was time to chat as we strolled around. Although we didn’t cover a huge distance, I think a comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must.


All Change at Kings Cross

Ian, our guide, was very informative. I thought I knew the area quite well but there are hidden areas that are just delightful. He covered the history of the area. It’s amazing how you can walk around an area on your own and actually miss these ‘gems’. Well worth doing. Not a strenuous walk at all. Would recommend.

Wonders of Whitehall

Although the Wonders of Whitehall Guided Walk was down to be presented by its designer, Hazel, this particular outing was done by Ian McDiarmid. Despite this being Ian’s first gig guiding the Wonders of Whitehall it was immediately clear he was not only a very experienced guide but a highly qualified ‘domain’ expert on many aspects of English political and social history.
After the usual run-through of the standard dos and don’ts of an urban guided walk we were off. Ian set a sensible pace for the size of our group (about a dozen or so) and demographic. This was later proved when we completed our Tour of Whitehall’s Greatest Hits bang on time! 1000 years of selected history highlights in a mere 90 minutes is no small achievement. Not a minute was wasted.
His accompanying commentary was a well-judged mixture of facts (historic events, dates and leading personnel), anecdotes and (some) opinion. Fire featured a lot!

His delivery was clear and the content consistently engaging and focussed. Ian was also happy to chat (generally and specifically) to the various members of the group and answer questions (there weren’t many) as we walked.

I liked the way we sometimes had to use not just our eyes but our imagination. The sheer size and scale of the Palace of Whitehall took a great deal of imagination! Also, considering its unique significance, I’d have liked just a little bit more on the execution of Charles I, but, hey, maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, Hazel can relax. The Wonders of Whitehall Guided Walk is in safe additional hands with Ian.

May 6, 2022

Ian was very welcoming. The meeting point was easy to find, and we set off on time. Length of tour 1 1/2 hrs is perfect. Ian is extremely knowledgable and I learnt quite a bit about the area/history.