London audio tour: Finding Fitzrovia: The Neighbourhood on the Fringe of Soho

Finding Fitzrovia: The Neighbourhood on the Fringe of Soho

Walking Tour

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75 mins
|
1.6mi

About the Tour

Fitzrovia is probably not on many people’s lists of top locations in London to visit. In fact, most people have never heard of it. On this walking tour, I’ll tell you all about its strange history, why it was viewed with suspicion by the neighbouring districts to the south, and the fact that it had no official name until the 1970s.

On this walk, we’ll venture off London’s well-worn tourist trail and see some of the city’s lesser-known corners. I’ll introduce you to Stan ‘the Spiv’ Setty, who met his end after a few too many dodgy dealings, a lustful murderer, a cowboy builder, denizens of the Bohemian set, and a legendary Victorian writer. Along the way, I’ll tell you tales about:

• The Beatles’ 1964 film ‘A Hard Days Night’ and where some of it was filmed
• The area’s artistic community
• The place that inspired the workhouse in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
• The forgotten explorer, Captain Matthew Flinders, who led the first inshore circumnavigation of Australia
• The former home of Francisco de Miranda, the Venezuelan military leader and revolutionary

This tour will give you a valuable introduction to this London neighbourhood’s rich history, whether you’re a curious local or a first-time visitor.

Allow approximately an hour for this walk if you plan on keeping strictly to the route. There are plenty of pubs, cafes, restaurants and food outlets if you feel the need to take some time out during the tour.

Tour Producer

avatar

Steve Matthews

I've been a guide since 2010 and I’m constantly doing research and exploring new possibilities in order to keep my tours fresh, interesting, and relevant. The tours take you to places that you possibly wouldn't visit if you were on your own, and I believe they give you the echoes of what has gone before us in this great Metropolis.

London's history is my passion, and these tours have grown from what started as a hobby to my desire to share the many wonderful stories, lives and facts with others.

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Major Landmarks

  • Fitzroy Square

  • BT Tower

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins at Goodge Street Underground Station which is about halfway up Tottenham Court Road. The station is on the Northern Line, so the easiest way to get there is to catch the tube and get off at Goodge Street, take the lift to the surface and then exit the building to be sure you're in the correct location.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Pollocks Toy Museum in Scala Street might be of interest. The area has many different types of food available through restaurants, Pubs and fast food outlets. The main areas for these are Charlotte Street and Goodge Street. The interior of the Fitzroy Tavern both in the basement and the upstairs rooms are worth visiting for the many photographs of the celebrities that once drank there.

Best time of day

From Dawn if you want the streets to yourself. By 8:30 there are many commuters about but it does quieten down around 10:00 am. In the evening is more atmospheric and the area will still be busy due to the number of bars and restaurants in the area.

Precautions

This is a busy residential area and there are always people on the streets during the day, it is a little quieter during the evenings but with Tottenham Court Road being a main route north it's never deserted. There are a number of one way streets on the tour, so please check in which direction the traffic is coming from before you cross the road.

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Finding Fitzrovia: The Neighbourhood on the Fringe of Soho