Author Archives: IsobelTouristGuide

The Vikings Exhibition at the British Museum

The Vikings opens tomorrow. I have been lucky enough to go already, and I urge every London resident and visitor to go to. It is wonderful. The audioguide is excellent. I went round once without it, stopping at the things that caught me attention. Then I started again with the audioguide. It led me to […]


Not far from where I live is Clubland. No, I don’t mean the Ministry of Sound, but that is pretty close by too. Maybe the historians among you are already making connections. The church is where William Booth used to worship when he was working in a pawnbrokers on the Walworth Road. The same William […]

St Paul’s Cathedral, More Than a dome

Today the cameras are going to be trained on London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, and one building in particular will be in the limelight; St Paul’s, London’s cathedral, known especially for its iconic dome. I suspect attention will be more on those in the congregation than the building, but maybe some of those watching will […]

Walworth Old Town Hall Three Days After the Fire

When I hopped off the bus at lunch time on Thursday and dug my little Olympus out of my pocket to take some photos of the Old Town Hall I didn’t expect to cry, but that’s what I did. I was biting my lip, looking at the ruined roof, the sky visible through the shocked […]

The Cuming Collection

You never know what the day will bring. Just this morning I went past the newly stacked portacabins outside the soon to be demolished Heygate Estate and saw that the notices have gone up advertising the Charlie Chaplin Festival next month. Chaplin claimed that he was born in Walworth. It seems plausible, his parents were […]

Regenerating the Elephant

We were so lucky with the weather for the Elephant and Castle walk yesterday. And I was lucky to have such a nice group of people for the walk. Thanks everyone who came along. It’ll be on again later in the year, see for details. As some of you know, the Elephant is undergoing […]

Let It Be

If this piece of footage from 1969 makes your heart beat a little faster, you are probably of the same generation as me; children in the sixties, rather than of them. I grew up on the Beatles music. We sang their songs in the playground, played at being the Beatles, though sometimes it had to […]

From the Shard, With Love

We met at London Bridge station. It was just before ten. We had cameras, binoculars, lots of excited smiles and four complimentary tickets to go up the Shard. There are advantages to living in Southwark.

Architectural Royalty: the Gilbert Scotts

It’s instantly recognisable, a British icon. One of those things at the start of a fim to tell you where you are. One of them, though not this one, had a starring rôle in that most gently funny film, Local Hero. But what links it to another British icon, the Palace of Westminster?

Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1

Home and warm. I have led three London Walks this weekend; two from the main programme and one of my own from the repertory. I was early in Westminster yesterday morning so strolled and took some pictures. St John’s Smith Square is a well known well loved music venue. Originally a church, it was gutted […]