London audio tour: London's Alternative History Tour

London's Alternative History Tour

Walking Tour

|
60 mins
|
1mi

About the Tour

If you like humorous history, quirky facts and hidden surprises, this walk right in the centre of London is the tour for you.

We walk around some of London's most famous areas and familiar landmarks – but you’re not going to hear the stories kids learn at school.

Having lived in London all my life, I decided to dig out the wacky parts of London's history. I'm also an avid traveller and understand the importance of experiencing a city with a local guide. But more importantly, I love sharing the amazing history of this city!

You’ll find out about the secret behind the flowing of the River Thames, the origins of the name “Covent Garden” and the story of a drink most wouldn't associate with Britain.

Highlights include:

- How the Americans stole coffee from the British

- The only street in London that confuses taxi drivers

- London's most notorious 18th century brothel and the now-extinct police force that shut it down

- The last Victorian gas lamp in the city

- London's hidden Italian-style square

...and much more!

Whether it’s your first time in London or you’re a local curious about the alternative tales the city has to offer, this tour is a valuable introduction to London's alternative history.

Allow 1-1.5 hours for this walk. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars all along the route for a quick (or lengthy!) stop.

Due to COVID-19, Somerset House remains closed. On arriving there, please follow the map on a short detour to Waterloo Bridge where the tour will resume. Feel free to listen to the Somerset House portion as you go!"

Tour Producer

avatar

Joey Leskin

Joey is a born and bred Londoner, enjoying life in the big city as a tour guide, youth worker and a culture and travel journalist. He often goes travelling and understands the importance of having a local guide for a city, to really get the most out of it. He is 29 and has a Masters degree in International Relations.

Major Landmarks

  • Royal Opera House

  • Somerset House London

Directions to Starting Point

Head to Covent Garden tube station on the Piccadilly line. When you're at Covent Garden tube station, turn right down the pedestrian road James Street. Walk to the bottom, then turn right under the covered walkway. You'll be outside the Apple Store. Face away from the store – this is where we begin!

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

There are a huge number of cafes, restaurants and pubs all along the route. You'll also pass the Royal Opera House and the London Transport Museum. The Coal Hole pub, at the very end of the tour, is a great historical pub to enjoy a well deserved drink!

Best time of day

Any day, between 8am and 10pm.

Precautions

As always, just ensure you look the correct way when you're crossing the roads –especially if you're used to cars driving on the right!

Comments

As residents of London, we wanted to explore our city as tourists and were looking for something different. Joey did a fab job in doing exactly this. The tour was informative and entertaining as well as funny. A must-listen!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 9 months ago

I did this tour with my 16 year old son, who has an aversion to “regular tours”. He and I both loved it! Joey entertained us both with lesser known historical facts along an interesting route. The app worked perfectly, and Joey’s recording was very well done, with sound effects and an engaging voice. This was an excellent way to learn a little about an amazing city’s history, and we encourage you to produce more. Much thanks!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 2 years ago

Delightful tour of bits of London I wouldn't have explored otherwise - a lovely way to explore. The GPS doesn't always work perfectly so I occasionally had to pause and check that I was in the right place, but that's a small niggle. Really great way to spend a couple of hours.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 3 years ago

Fantastic. Found places I would of never thought of going too! Loved it

Posted by Katie McGregor , over 3 years ago

We were thoroughly captivated the entire way round and didn't want it to end! A fantastic and interesting tour, brilliantly narrated by Joey. An absolute must when visiting London!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 4 years ago

Great job, Joey! Very interesting tour and good company...

Posted by Kathleen , about 5 years ago

Great value for money, interesting and very clear and easy to follow! I learnt lots about London I didn't already know and I have lived here over 30 years. Highly recommend.

Posted by Caremella , about 5 years ago

A superb insight into the little pieces of London, hidden right under your nose! Joey is a brilliant and engaging guide and will leave you feeling quite the expert. Don't visit Covent Garden without his cheery voice in your ears!

Posted by Ella Rose Paskett , about 5 years ago

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow morning!

Posted by Kathleen , about 5 years ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
London's Alternative History Tour