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The South Bank: A Story of Pubs, Prisons, Prostitutes & Shakespeare's Plays
Want something a little deeper than the London popular culture tours? I'm a former teacher, economist, analyst and a lover of history, books and ideas. If you just want to take photos to put on social media and don’t really like walking, then PLEASE BOOK A DIFFERENT TOUR!!! If you are intellectually curious and like to think, then let me take you through the streets of London, from the City (the old Roman town of Londinium), to Southwark on the south bank of the River Thames and then to Covent Garden, Soho, Covent Garden, Mayfair & St James’s (5 different walks in total). I'll explain how London came from being a European backwater in the 1500s to the largest city in the world in the 1800s. Today, London surpasses New York in diversity and has become a playground for the rich. From clean money to dirty money, I'll tell you the back story behind London's rise, not just the official version! The good, the bad and the ugly: you'll hear about it all.
The South Bank: A Story of Pubs, Prisons, Prostitutes and Shakespeare's Plays
Welcome, I'm Justin. But some friendly advice! If you just want to take pretty pictures to put on social media (and don't really like walking much), I am the wrong tour guide for you! My tours attract people who like ideas, history and books. If that is not what interests you, book another tour :)
I have 4 walking tours on GuruWalk: 1) The City (Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon pm), 2) Soho (Sun/Mon am) 3) Covent Garden (Fri am) and 4) the South Bank (Sat am), which together have a total of around 500 reviews averaging 5 stars (the highest on GuruWalk).
My South Bank tour is especially liked by those interested in history and literature
The South Bank of the Thames at Southwark is one of the oldest parts of London. The wealthy and powerful traditionally lived and worked north of the Thames in the "City of London" and pushed the theatre, entertainers and lower classes across London Bridge into Southwark.
The area is fascinating and associated with the birth of English theatre. It is also the oldest part of London south of the river. Apart from Southwark Cathedral, it does not have big, impressive buildings like Westminster but it has so many different stories to tell!
Highlights of the tour include:
- The George Inn: Ancient galleried pub reputed to have staged Shakespeare's plays
- Crossbones Graveyard: Home to 15,000 bodies of paupers and prostitutes
- Borough Market: London's foodie mecca
- Southwark Cathedral: Rich in American associations, from the founder of Harvard University to a governor of England's first successful colony in North America, Virginia
- The Clink Prison: Used to imprison religious dissenters, the forerunners of America's Pilgrim Fathers
- The Golden Hind: The ship that opened the door to the English colonisation of America
- The Globe Theatre: Plays were popular entertainment in the late 1500s and early 1600s. Shakespeare was not high culture, but a fun night out for the masses!
What will we visit on this tour?
Meeting point:19A Borough High St, London SE1 9SF, UK19A Borough High St, London SE1 9SF, UK
I will be in front of London Bridge Post Office on Borough High Street (5 minutes walk from London Bridge Station on the Jubilee & Northern Lines) wearing a hat and carrying a yellow umbrella.
1Outside visitThe George Inn
2Outside visitBorough Market
3Outside visitSouthwark Cathedral
4Outside visitThe Golden Hinde
5Outside visitShakespeare's Globe
How much does this tour cost?
Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).