London audio tour: Not Avenues, but Alleyways: A Backstreet Guide Around Fleet Street

Not Avenues, but Alleyways: A Backstreet Guide Around Fleet Street

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

London was once a city filled with hundreds of labyrinthine alleys and courtyards, but sadly many have been lost to the developer’s axe. On this walking tour, we’ll track down the ancient thoroughfares that remain within the vicinity of Fleet Street while I share a few fascinating stories about the people that once trod these streets.

I’ll give you a peek into the history of Fleet Street, once the major entrance and exit to the city from the South West. You’ll learn about the area’s long association with the printing trade, its connection to several prominent writers and poets, and its ties to the legal profession.

Highlights along the way include:

• Dr Johnson’s House, the birthplace of the modern dictionary
• The place Shakespeare visited when in need of an Italian translation
• One of Twinings Tea’s first stores
• Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a charming pub where Dickens, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were locals
• A famous hangout of Tom Cox, known as the Handsome Highwayman

This tour takes you to some of the major historical landmarks in what was once the city’s outskirts. As you walk the streets that highwaymen, nobility, millionaires and everyday Londoners alike once called home, watch as this iconic part of the city comes to life.

Tour Producer


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

  • Fleet Street

  • Dr Johnson's House

  • Law Courts

  • Temple Bar

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins outside of Temple Underground station in Temple Place. Temple Underground station is located on the Circle and the District Lines and is only a short walk south from The Strand.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Fleet Street has many restaurants, takeaways and pubs. I would recommend a visit The Old Cheshire Cheese pub, which you will pass on the tour.

Best time of day

From dawn to dusk.


The area is safe but please be street smart and pay attention when crossing roads.


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Not Avenues, but Alleyways: A Backstreet Guide Around Fleet Street