london

Cities Talking London for locals and tourists alike!

London is the capital, and most populous city of both England and the United Kingdom. Founded by the Romans, London has been a major settlement for over 2000 years. One of the world’s financial capitals, and with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion and tourism, London is the most-visited city in the world, has the largest city airport, the largest concentration of higher educations facilities, four World Heritage Sites and residents speaking over 300 different languages.

citiestalking london

citiestalking london

citiestalking london

History

The name London comes from the Roman ‘Londinium’, a commercial Roman centre established in the first century AD. Before this, London was most likely the site of scattered rural settlement. Roman London was small, roughly the size of Hyde Park, and was destroyed in 60AD by the Iceni people and their queen, Boudica. It was rapidly rebuilt, and continued to grow over the following decades. Londinium became the capital of Britannia in the second century, and by this time boasted a large basilica, temples, a fort and an amphitheatre. The Romans built a defensive wall around the city during the second century, and this wall would eventually come to define the perimeters of what is still known as the City of London.

The Anglo-Saxons settled around the 5th century, but disaster struck in the 9th century, when the Danes looted the town and later burned much of it to the ground. Eventually, the Londoners fought off the Danes, and by the Middle Ages, the city’s population had risen to 18 000, and the city was alive with sports including ice skating, archery and wrestling. By the 14th century, the population of London had reached 50 000 people, but a third died during the Black Death, although the city recovered quickly. London continued to grow, and by the 1600s, parks began to open to the public, and certain areas began to be defined as more upmarket than others, with the rich building estates in Battersea, Clapham, Brixton, Bayswater and Peckham by the 1800s. More and more suburbs had begun to spring up due to the presence of the railway allowing people to live further out of town, and by 1900, the population had reached 6 million. London became a centre of industry, and although the population fell after 1945, it has begun to grow rapidly again in the 21st century.

Climate

London enjoys warm summers, with temperatures averaging 19 degrees Celsius during the warmest month, July. Spring temperatures range from 10 to 17 degrees, and whilst low temperatures average 2 degrees during the winter, snow and frost are rare.

Things to do

citiestalking london Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The official London residence and the administrative headquarters of the British Monarchy, the Palace is also used for Royal Ceremonies, State visits and Investitures, however the state rooms are open to visitors every year.

citiestalking london Big Ben

Big Ben

The clock tower is one of the most well-known landmarks in London, housing the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world – Big Ben.

citiestalking london Hyde Park

Hyde Park

One of the largest parks in London, Hyde Park is perfect for a stroll in the sunshine, taking in the beauty of the water, wildlife and open spaces. The park is often plays host to a wide variety of concerts and demonstrations.

citiestalking london Tower of London

Tower of London

Take a tour through this historic castle on the North Bank of the River Thames, where you can view the Crown Jewels, and learn all about the history of the tower, dating back to the Normal Conquest.

citiestalking london Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, with a permanent collection of more than 4.5 million object. Entrance to the museum is free.

Yearly Events

JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUNE
  • London Marathon
  • Chelsea Flower Show
  • Trooping of the Colour
  • Wimbledon
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
  • The Proms
  • Notting Hill Carnival
  • Mayor’s Thames Festival
  • London Film Festival
  • Lord Mayor’s Show
  • Guy Fawkes Day

Trafalgar Square to St Pauls

This audio tour walk will give you scandal, gossip and outrage. You’ll take in a very public affair involving a certain column-bound admiral, a river so pungent that it brought parliament down and a dress so revealing it outraged the entire nation. And that’s before you learn of the most notorious prison in England, a haunted pub and the bigot who invented the dictionary.

Walk highlights include:

  • Trafalgar Square
  • Strand
  • Zimbabwe House
  • Nell Gwynne Tavern
  • The Coal Hole
  • Indian Club Bar
  • Aldwych Station
  • Fleet Street
  • St Bride and the Fanny Hill
  • High Court
  • Newgate Prison
  • St Pauls Cathedral
  • Charing Cross
  • Coutts
  • Somerset House
  • St Mary Le Strand Church
  • The Savoy
  • Kings College and St Marys
  • St Clements Danes
  • Prince Henrys Room
  • Ludgate Hill
  • Old Bailey
  • Paternoster Square
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citiestalking london Trafalgar Square to St. Paul's

Kings & Democracy

This walk will show you the centres of British power, old and new – the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street, but also St James’s Palace and Westminster Abbey. You’ll hear of how the British monarchy has tussled with democracy for centuries, in one case resulting in a king losing his head. Along the way we’ll hear of a man who sold honours from his flat, a scandalous bunch of aristocrats who made Queen Victoria blush and a certain cigar-smoking Prime Minister who told the Nazi where to get off.

Walk highlights include:

  • The Mall
  • Warwick House
  • Queens Chapel
  • Duke of York column
  • Bali Bombing memorial
  • Treasury and Bird Cage Walk
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Parliment Square
  • The Cenotaph
  • Downing Street
  • Lancaster House and Clarence House
  • St James Palace
  • Carlton House Terrace
  • National Police Memorial
  • Horse Guard Parade
  • Storeys Gate
  • Houses of Parliament
  • HMRC and Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Banqueting House
  • Trafalgar Square
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london Kings and Democracy

Power & Palaces

Taking in Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial and Hyde Park, this walk shows you London at its regal best. You’ll hear the story of Queen Victoria, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, and her romance with Prince Albert. In another tale of royal love, you’ll hear the tragic story of a king and queen who lived in Kensington Palace. But, this being London, there are also plenty of stories of beheadings and betrayals, an SAS embassy raid and a night time intruder at Buckingham Palace.

Walk highlights include:

  • Marble Arch
  • Tyburn Tree
  • Fields of Blood
  • Buckhill Lodge
  • Obelisk
  • Queen Victoria Statue
  • Albert Memorial
  • Princess Diana Memorial
  • 1 Hyde Park
  • Hyde Park Corner
  • Wellington Arch
  • Green Park
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Champs Elysées
  • Speakers Corner
  • Hyde Park
  • Pet Cemetery
  • Italian Gardens
  • Kensington Palace
  • King William III Statue
  • Geographical Society
  • Iranian Embassy
  • IRA Bombing memorial
  • Wellington Monument
  • Constitutional Hill
  • Canadian War memorial
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london Power and Palaces

Death and Rebirth

Death and destruction will accompany you on this audio tour around London. You will attend a public execution and sift through the rubble caused by Second World War bombs. But fear not – you can find sanctuary in the holy places designed by an architectural genius.

Walk highlights include:

  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Christ Church Greyfriars
  • Postmans Park
  • St Bart’s
  • Smithfield
  • Barbican
  • Museum of London
  • St Alban Church
  • Guildhall
  • Old Jewery Street
  • Royal Exchange
  • Temple of Mithras
  • Abchurch Lane
  • Paternoster Square
  • Poulters Hall plaque
  • Little Britain Road
  • Cloth Fair Road
  • City of London Emblem
  • London House
  • London Wall
  • St Mary Aldermanbury
  • St Lawrence Jewery
  • Bank of England
  • Mansion House
  • Cannon Street
  • Monument and Pudding Lane
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london Death and Rebirth

Art and Underworld

Stride along the South Bank and take in culture and killings’. Between the art powerhouses of the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre lurk murky murders and an Elizabethan lust for bloodsport. See where bishops bedded down next to brothels and hear about a train for corpses.

Walk highlights include:

  • Waterloo Station
  • The London Eye
  • Waterloo Bridge
  • Blackfriars Bridge
  • Millenium Bridge
  • Bear Gardens
  • Golden Hinde
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • The Shard
  • Hays Wharf
  • City Hall
  • TV Centre
  • County Hall
  • The Southbank Centre
  • Oxo Tower
  • Tate Modern
  • Globe Theatre
  • Clink Prison
  • Borough Market
  • London Bridge
  • Tooley Street
  • HMS Belfast
  • Tower Bridge
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london Art and the Underworld

West End Art Scene

London is a hotbed of cultural happenings; get an insider’s look into the exclusive gallery scene London is a hotbed of cultural happenings! Get an unparalleled insider’s look into the ins and outs of the gallery scene on this unique walk. Starting near Green Park, we will be taking you to all of London’s most exciting and influential galleries, giving you an insight into the instrumental owners and the stellar artists in their firmaments. As well visiting the very galleries where key artists like Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, de Kooning and Rauchenberg have exhibited their work!

Walk highlights include:

  • White Cube Gallery
  • Hauser Wirth
  • Pace Gallery
  • Stephen Friedman Gallery
  • Spruth Magers Gallery
  • Bischoff/Weiss Gallery
  • Simon Lee Gallery
  • Gagosian Gallery
  • Timothy Taylor Gallery
  • Michael Werner Gallery
  • Blain | Southern Gallery
  • Frith Street gallery
  • Riflemaker Gallery
  • Alison Jacqeues Gallery
  • Pilar Corrias Gallery
  • Hauser Wirth
  • Stephen Friedman Gallery
  • Bischoff/Weiss Gallery
  • Gagosian Gallery
  • Michael Werner Gallery
  • Frith Street gallery
  • Alison Jacqeues Gallery
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london The West End Art Scene

FREE Cities Talking taster walk

You can now download a FREE taster walk which is taken from the London ‘Kings and Democracy’ walk. We have included a section of the Cities Talking walk from Marlborough House to Bird Cage so you can explore the app, listen to the audio and if you’re in London actually walk a section of the ‘Kings and Democracy’ walk. This walk shows you the centres of British power, old and new. Starting at Marlborough House and ending at Birdcage Walk, so-named because James I kept an aviary you will visit many famous landmarks and learn about their secrets including tidbits from the royal bedchamber, royal executions and betrayals, the building where SS guards used to stand watch before Britain went to war with Germany and meet the Grand Old Duke of York and Robert Clive amongst many other fascinating stories from this historic part of London. During the walk you will visit.

Walk highlights include:

  • Malborough House
  • Duke of York Column
  • The Admiralty
  • Bali Bombing Memorial
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Birdcage Walk
  • Carlton House Terrace
  • National Police Memorial
  • Horse Guards Parade
  • Clive Steps and Monument
  • The Treasury
  • Birdcage Walk
citiestalking london
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citiestalking london Free Taster Walk