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The 15 best walking tours in London

If you're planning a visit to London you'll most likely be thinking about ways to cut costs. Walking tours are a fantastic way to see large sections of the city without breaking the bank. 

Whether you’re going to spend a month, a week or a weekend in London, there’s a lot for you to see. That’s why it’s important to plan your time wisely and see as much as possible during your stay. 

Walking tours are a great way to experience and see a lot of the city over a short amount of time. They also allow you to learn more about the history and culture of London as part of an immersive and interactive experience.

People from all over the world use our accommodation and we often get asked about the best activities to fill their time. Visitors to London are usually interested in cutting costs where they can, and walking tours are a great low-cost activity to do when you’re staying in the capital.  

So, in this article, we list what we think are the best walking tours in London. There’s something for everyone: The historian, the foodie, the film buff – believe us, wherever your interests lie, there’s a London walking tour for you. 

Films

London has been the stage for hundreds of movies and television series over the years. So, if you’re a film fan, exploring London on foot can be a unique and fun way to experience some of your favourite films.

1. Bridget Jones 

Bridget Jones is the perfect example of a cult film that dictates British culture in a charming, albeit, exaggerated, way. This walking tour will guide you around more than 12 of the places where the movie was shot, with behind the scenes gossip and actor trivia included. 

You’ll also hear fascinating historical stories about the streets and areas where the movie was shot, such as Tower Bridge, London Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.

The tour is available from September through to April and costs just £12 per adult, and £10 per child. To find out more and to book your place, head here

2. Harry Potter 

As well as being home to fictional places such as Diagon Alley and Platform 9¾, many of London’s real monuments also feature in the Harry Potter film franchise. For Harry Potter fans, this walking tour is not to be missed.

You’ll get the chance to see parts of London where iconic Harry Potter scenes were filmed, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Borough and Leadenhall Markets as well as Monument. 

The tour runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm year round, or daily at 2pm from 1 June – 30 September. It costs £12 per adult and £10 per child. To find out more about this tour or to make a booking, click here

3. Mary Poppins 

This walking tour will please any Mary Poppins fan - young or old! Based on the recent Mary Poppins Returns movie, this tour will guide you through the city of London on foot, taking you to places such as the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The tours take place every Sunday at 1:30pm and cost £12 per adult, and £10 per child. Find out more about this walking tour here.

4. Downton Abbey 

London was a prominent backdrop for the award-winning series of Downton Abbey. For Anglophiles, this tour offers the exciting opportunity to combine a London walking tour while learning about one of the UK’s most successful television series.

During the tour, you’ll learn about the corners of London that featured in the TV series. You’ll also learn about all the places in the capital city that were actually used to represent places such as Liverpool, London and York – not London at all! 

From April through to December you can take part on this tour for £12 per person, or £10 per child. Head here for more information. 

 

london skyline busy city
Walk along the Thames

Affordable Accommodation

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History and crime

London’s history is full of gruesome and grisly stories. This collection of walking tours offers an immersive and entertaining way to explore the really dark side of London that’s no longer visible.

1. Grime and punishment

If you’re looking for a tour with the shock factor, then this is the walking tour for you. You’ll be guided through the city while being told tales of executions, criminals, pimps and murder. 

The tour focuses on West End of London, where you’ll experience the stark contrast between today’s lively street performers and gorgeous architecture, as well as the area’s gruesome and shocking past. 

The tour costs £15 per adult and £12 for students, and you can head here to book your place. But be warned, the tour isn’t suitable for children due to its adult content

 

2. Fire, plague and execution 

If the words fire, plague and execution spark your interest - then book yourself a place on this walking tour.

Your guide will take you through three former execution sites while also relaying stories of a plague invested London, and the horrors of the Great Fire of London. 

The tour costs £15 per adult and £12 for students. You can head here to book your place – but note that the tour isn’t suitable for children due to its adult content.

3. The Kray brothers 

Are you on the hunt for tales of gangsters, night clubs, shoot outs and murder? If so, this is the tour for you.

This tour will see you wander the streets of London’s East End while learning how the notorious and dangerous Kray twins rose to power in the 1960's. 

You’ll explore the areas where they worked, murdered, lived and fought, all while hearing the shocking stories about the power and influence they had in 1960’s London. 

For more information on the tour, you can check here, and book for just £10 per person. 

4. Jack the Ripper 

Explore one of London’s darkest and most chilling mysteries: Jack the Ripper. For anyone with an interest in London’s most notorious serial murder case, this walking tour is a must do.

You’ll walk through the same streets as the Ripper’s victims, exploring the same dark passages and alleys where they met their untimely death. You’ll also learn about the failed investigations, the list of suspects and all the gory details behind one of the biggest manhunts the UK has ever experienced.

The tour costs £12 per person (for those aged 12 and older), and you can book your place here

Ancient suit of armour on London wall
Soak in London history

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Food and drink

As a multicultural city, London is bursting with an array of tastes, textures and culinary sensations. For food lovers, a walking food tour in London offers the perfect way to explore the varied cuisine of the city while discovering some of the city’s most iconic monuments.

1. East End food 

London’s East End is a neighbourhood bursting with colour, culture and taste – and there’s no better way to explore it than with a walking food tour. 

This tour lasts for four whole hours, during which time you’ll try local food from markets, shops, bakeries, pubs and restaurants. You’ll meet the owners of some of the best local food haunts in the area, explore historical sites and hear captivating stories about the East End’s traditions and culture.

The tours run every day and cost £80 for adults, £64 for teenagers and £52 for children. To book the tour or find out more about it, head here.

2. Night-time food in Soho

Soho is one of London’s most vibrant, lively neighbourhoods. And for foodies, it’s a corner of London that needs to be tasted to be believed.

This four-hour food and drink tour takes place in the evening and will see you explore some of the exciting hidden gems the neighbourhood has to offer. 

You’ll experience the area’s international influences through delicious food and refreshing drinks, trying everything from Spanish to Chinese cuisine. You’ll end the evening with a full stomach, a smile on your face, and because the tour operates in small groups, a group of new friends!

You can do this tour from Tuesday through to Friday, and it costs £99 per person. Head here to find out more information. 

 3. Secret three hour British food tour 

For a more general overview of London’s more traditional culinary delights, this tour is perfect.

You’ll enjoy three hours of guided food stops around the London Bridge area, perfectly combining must see tourist sites with tasty pit stops. From typical British snacks and desserts to the best fish and chips in town - this culinary adventure is sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied.

The tour costs £77.29 per person and can be booked online. For more information about this walking tour, head here.

4. London’s oldest pubs 

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that pub culture is vital to lives of many Londoners. Therefore, a trip to the UK’s capital city wouldn’t be complete without exploring some of the best and most famous beer houses the city has to offer. 

This tour will take you through three of the oldest pubs in London while exploring the historic Bankside area of the city. For more information and to make your booking, head here.

London Bar and old pub scene

Self-catered Accommodation

Find out more about our self-catered accommodation situated in Georgian Buildings in zone 1

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Art and culture walking tours in London

 1. Black history 

This tour explores how hundreds of years of African presence in London has contributed to how the city has grown and evolved to how it is today.

Your guide will take you through the city, pointing out the buildings and alleyways that have strong connections to Africa and the Caribbean. You’ll also explore the links between racism, trade, religion, slavery and politics and learn how many of these themes are still evident in some of London’s oldest streets and buildings. 

The tour costs £10 for adults and £3 for children. To find out more about the tour and to make a booking, head here.

 2. London street art 

London is awash with street art, and this free walking tour will guide you through the city’s most famous, most secret and most innovative street murals.

From the beautiful to the downright shocking, this tour is a must do for any street art enthusiast.  

Focused on London’s East End, the tour will last 2 and half hours and explore the likes of Whitechapel, Liverpool Street, The Old Jewish Quarter, Shoreditch and Brick Lane. 

For more information about the tour, head here.

 3.  London architecture 

London is full to the brim with unique and varied architecture. From Modernism to Art Deco, Georgian style to Brutalism, the city is crawling with buildings that will inspire any architecture enthusiast. 

Led by the Architecture Foundation's expert guides, these walking tours will guide you through some of the city’s most impressive buildings, while sharing expert insights along the way.

The tours take place each month and are described as “lively and critical tours led by London's best architects and architectural writers.” For more information, check out the architecture foundations website here

Stay Central accommodation in London

At Stay Central, we want you to get the most out of your stay in London. That’s why we provide affordable accommodation in the centre of the city that costs significantly less than most hotels and apartments in the area. 

Based in the heart of London, our single bedrooms start from just £46 a night, doubles from £88, and entire apartments from only £100. Available for long and short-term stays, our guests are welcome for trips as short as a weekend to those lasting up to several months.  

For more information about our range of accommodation types, take a look at our availability and prices here.

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