Step back in time to Roman, Medieval, Tudor and Victorian London, discover the best of Blackfriars on this walking tour of a much forgotten world.
90 mins linear walk
Individual tickets from £15
Follow in the footsteps of literary greats such as Victorian author Charles Dickens, famous diarist Samuel Pepys and actor and playwright William Shakespeare.
Marvel at modern innovations, award-winning architecture and medieval priory remains. Stand on the site once belonging to Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Learn about the lost palace once given to Katharine of Aragon as a wedding present by her new husband Henry VIII.
Walk where luxurious Roman villas and a temple to Mithras once stood. Learn how Victorian engineering connected Blackfriars to the continent and how their efforts are still of use today.
In the early part of the 13th century a group of black-robed friars attached to the Order of St Dominic settled in London. By 1276 they had become so prosperous they moved to the edge of the City of London, an area now known as Blackfriars. The thriving community built a church, cloisters and other priory buildings including their own quay.
Start: Blackfriars Station
End: St Paul’s Cathedral
“Very knowledgeable guide brightened up a wet weekend afternoon. I now know a a lot more about a part of London I have walked around for years.” Hilary
“This was a really interesting and enjoyable afternoon, even though the heavens opened and tried to spoil our fun! We were fine sheltering under our hoods/umbrellas and learned a lot about the Black Friars (Dominicans) and what they got up to, as well as the history of Blackfriars railway station, a gateway to the Continent and beyond in olden times. We also found out what happened to the River Fleet and many other interesting anecdotes. Hazel is a highly knowledgeable guide who was very willing to share her knowledge with us in an interesting and informative way. I would certainly go on another similar walk when possible.” Hazel M
“The Best of Blackfriars Walk was informative and interesting made all the better by a knowledgeable and engaging guide, Hazel. Hazel wore a microphone which meant that every word could be heard and any information given was not missed by anyone. The information imparted was great and we were taken to parts of Blackfriars which we did not know existed. The Kings Wardrobe and the building where St Pauls choristers resided and were educated were just 2 of the highlights. Would thoroughly recommend this walk with Hazel.” Jan and Andrew
“Hazel was engaging and knowledgeable. Her tour of Blackfriars was interesting and taught me things that I didn’t know about the area. Highly recommended!” Rosemary
“I have been on walks organised by Hazel before and this one was no exception in the wealth of information and little titbits of associated history she gives. Its so exciting to be taken off down side alleys and into mews which you would never have found on your own. I commute into Blackfriars regularly and never realised that the wall of gilded names was part of the original station and also I finally discovered how to get down onto the riverside of Thames Street. The layout of the old monastery of Blackfriars (we were shown the last remaining bit of ruin) with Baynards Castle on one side where Katherine of Aragon resided and Bridewell palace on the other side where King Henry VIII lived during their divorce; the proceedings being held in the monastery. Sadly nothing remains and over the top is the usual 60’s terrible architecture and the defunct Mermaid Theatre. It was raining on and off during the walk, but it was worth it.” Louise
“Hazel is a very friendly and knowledgable guide and always leads a very interesting walk. She pointed out things that you would normally walk past and not notice. We started at the station and learnt about the first railway lines then went outside to learn about the Black Friars and history of the area. We could all hear what was being said and Hazel made sure we were all together and safe when walking around. The walk was at a good pace and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend the walk and any other walks organised by London Guided Walks – particularly if you live in London.” Susan
“The predicted rain thankfully never emerged, so we had a fine and summery early afternoon exploring an area we previously knew nothing about. Although some sites no longer exist after the Great Fire of London, Hazel’s descriptions and the pictures she brings along helped us to understand more about the local history. For us the discovery of the King’s Wardrobe was a lovely surprise we would have otherwise hurried past on the way to a tube station. The walk ended at an old pub with a fascinating interior which has its own dining area. We will visit the pub again but feeling inspired by the walk we continued on our own City of London stroll.” Sarah and Tony
“I very much enjoyed the walk. Hazel is very good tour guide. Hazel promised to organise more tours after she returns from her holidays. I am hoping she will organise more of Whitehall and soho tours. Really looking forward it.” Evin
“The weather was good, the tour guide friendly, open and informative. With so much of interest to discover & to learn about I was left slightly deflated. As usual there was anecdotal information but little scandal or intrigue revealed. The tour did as advertised but required some spice to open the doors to the places visited.” Simon
“Hazel was very knowledgeable and informative. An enjoyable walk.” Kay
“Really enjoyed The Best of Blackfriars Walk. Despite living in London all my life and thinking I knew a good deal about it, this tour was informative and brilliantly conveyed to the group by Hazel. We look forward to future tours.” Susan
“Highly recommended. The guide is very knowledgeable and also entertaining. The 90 minutes flew by. I will definitely go on more of her walks.” Ruth
“A fascinating walk , entertainingly guided by Hazel. We will definitely be booking up some more walks with her in the future” Sarah
“A great tour of the Blackfriars area. It was the second time I was attending one of Hazel’s tours and I very much enjoyed it. Hazel knows a lot about the history of London and shared many stories. She makes her tour very lively, fun and interesting.” Veronique
“Blackfriars Walk Very inspiring Excellent walk a lot of interesting stories Learning a lot Small group of people Very good walk leader I will definitely go again!!” Yael
“Despite the weekend closure of the District Line, everybody on Hazel’s list turned up, and I am sure everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. Hazel is knowledgable and entertaining in equal measure and kept everyone interested and engaged. I will definitely book another of her walking tours and recommend them to anyone who might be interested.” Carola
“I enjoyed the tour. Hazel the guide was full of useful information and it was fun to walk with her. Highly recommended to try 1 of her many tours . I’m sure that I will book more with her during the warmer weather” Ulrich
“Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the area; very interesting tour. Makes you look more closely at the details of the buildings and bridges you pass every day.” Anon
“Fascinating insight into an area of London not so commonly visited by walking tours. Many anecdotes the guide told us were from her personal experience e.g. her own visits to buildings that were closed to us. Would have liked more information about the Dominican ‘Black friars’ when we visited the only remaining piece of the monastery but the guide was open to questions.” Mark
“Very entertaining and interesting- the guide had lots of information that i had never heard before.” Anon
“Easy place to find, meet and walk from, Hazel was friendly and very informative of Blackfriars area and local history. Most enjoyed the walk while learning new facts of old London.” Kenton
“A great way to get to know a less well known area of London. Interesting and informative.” Anon
“This Blackfriars walk is really interesting. Hazel really ‘knows her stuff’ and her enthusiasm and charm make it all the more interesting. I have lived in London most of my life but still learnt so much about this historically rich area.” June
“Thoroughly enjoyed the walk. Most interesting walking in an area I knew very little about. The guide, Hazel, was very personable and knowledgeable about the area. I’ll never look at Blackfriars bridge in quite the same way again. Certainly has encouraged me to take a closer look around the North side of the Thames. It was a friendly group and people soon got talking to each other on the walk between places of interest.” Catherine
“Who’d have thought Blackfriars could be so interesting. Hazel knows her stuff and always makes time to answer any questions you may have.” Gillian