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Historic Walks in London

London is a city of stupendous dimension and one of the best ways of discovering London's rich past is by embarking on a walking tour. London's streets have history written all over them. Be it the royal palaces, majestic churches and cathedrals, its historic pubs, London offers endless options to the discerning walker with a passion to explore this magnificent city on foot.

Discerning tourists and visitors to London are increasingly realizing the fact that a well thought out walking tour is a better option than undertaking a hurriedly done tour on Tube or coach.

And the pandemonium of London's streets are legendary by now. You can explore Dickensian London or even follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper. A historical walk of riverside pubs too can be an enchanting option. And for the connoisseurs, a London without the legendary romance of Sherlock Holmes is just not done.

The Execution Dock in particular is a must see site where Captain Kidd and many other pirates were executed in public. The legendary Mayflower Pub from where the Pilgrim Fathers launched their remarkable journey to the New World is also there.

As far as Shakespearian London is concerned, the London Bankside which was the land of Theatres in 16th century London is a place worth visiting. Here, apart from the vestiges of the palace of Winchester, you can actually sip your favorite tipple at London's one and only residual galleried inn. A visit to the final resting place of Shakespeare and late American actor Sam Wanamaker who was instrumental in building the New Globe Theatre should also be on your walking agenda.

As far as literary London is concerned, why not walk through the alleyways and ancient London courtyards. Be it a visit to the renowned Fleet Street, which is credited with the birth of journalism in UK along with a visit to Dr. Samuel Johnson's home, both of which can be a very rewarding experience for the intrepid walker. A walking tour of T.S.Eliot's office, the preferred pubs of Dylan Thomas as well as the residence of Charles Dickens makes for a heady concoction as far as literary London is concerned.

A much sought after walk is to go on the Bohemian trail of Chelsea district, regarded as one of the most beautiful in London. Ideally, try to combine the District of Belgravia with that of Chelsea. In the days of yore, this grand historical prescient had hosted icons of the stature of Mozart and Viven Leigh. You will bask in the glory of Chelsea's rich aristocratic tradition, its royal acquaintances and of course the graceful mansion of Thomas Moore along with the old Church of Chelsea.

The Docklands area with its historic warehouses, which have now been converted into luxury penthouses along with visits to the Royal Docks and a cluster of unusual sites, too can be a very rewarding walking option.

And then, there is the magnificent South Kensington and Holland Park where you are sure to fall in love with the vestiges of an 18th century Jacobean Mansion or for that matter the 19th century artist's quarters where renowned artists of the stature of Luke Fildes, William Hunt and Lord Leighton used to reside.

The contribution of Sir Christopher Wren in London's architectural landscape is immense. In the light of London's two most dreadful events - the Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666, this maverick architect provided a blue print to rebuild London from the ashes of The Great Fire and it is worth your while to undertake a walking tour, particularly in the periphery of The Monument and St. Paul's Cathedral and marvel at this maverick architect's vision.

London is not all grandeur and regalia. It has its sinister side as well. The Smithfield area is one of London's neighborhoods, which was a place for executions. A few haunted houses still survive.

There is a Venice in London as well - The Marylebone area which is where "Sherlock Holmes" was produced and is today replete with stylish villas, two gorgeous canals, dazzling barges and some of the finest Victorian pubs in the whole of London. It is a must visit site for people on the lookout for tranquil history.

To enlighten yourself with London's history, you need to find some time to visit some of London's quaint little museums or historic houses. The Aspley House, The Banqueting House, Eltham Palace, Kenwood House, Leighton House to name just a few, provide fascinating insights to the evolution of London as one of the greatest cities in the world.

All in all, historic walks in London are one of the most authentic ways of admiring the rich heritage of London's past.



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