Profile updated 16/04/21
+ 44 (0)7725 617883
Read more about me:
- BLOG - Tailors of the Unexpected
- BLOG - Churchill in Four Hats
- BLOG - Magical Myster Tour - Musical Adventures in the Heart of Bohemian London
- BLOG - A Walk On The Wildside In Search Of London's Dark Side
- BLOG - The Folly And The Ivy
- BLOG - Once In Royal London City
- BLOG - High Street Confidential
- BLOG - Happy New Year
- BLOG - Are We There Yet?
- BLOG - A Passion for Sustainable Fashion
- BLOG - Highbury Fields Forever
- BLOG - Tilbury Is The Place For Me
- BLOG - The London Nobody Knows
- BLOG - Best Foot Forward - The Shoes That Made London
- BLOG - Kind Hearts and Coronets
- BLOG - Finest House
- BLOG - Seven Fashion Secrets of the Cabinet War Rooms
- BLOG - The Writings on the Wall
- BLOG - Tales From the Riverbank: Mr Londoner Explores Chelsea Past and Present
- BLOG - Elephant Safari: Exploring One of London's Surprising but Unexplored Neighbourhoods ds
- BLOG - More Than a Market: Mr Londoner Heads East To Discover Secret Spitalfields
- BLOG - Tales from the Crypt: A Smithfield Ghost Hunt With Mr Londoner
- BLOG - Shop the Look: Mr Londoner's Guide to Dressing Like a Peaky Blinder
- BLOG - A Jamaican Odyssey Into the Heart of London
- BLOG - After the Fire
- BLOG - The UK Unexplained
- BLOG - Are You Experienced?: Re-discovering Jimi Hendrix's London
- BLOG - The Many and The Few: Remembering the 80th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain
- BLOG - Design City: Mr Londoner Takes a Sneaky Peek at the London Design Festival
- BLOG - Get Off To A Flying Start This September
- BLOG - #TourLocal: Exploring the Hidden Histories Of Our Own Neighbourhoods
- BLOG - From Houndsditch To Barking: The Dogs of London
- BLOG - The Princess and the Post Codes
This is what they said:
'I went on Mr Londoner's virtual tour of lockdown London and was genuinely impressed. Antony was exceptional and was able to show a different side of London that I didn’t think was possible through a camera. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wanted to see London from the comfort of their own home. I’m looking forward to going on more virtual trips around the world.' Jena, June 2020.
‘Antony Robbins is the coolest man on the planet.' David Grant MBE, BBC Radio London Saturday Breakfast Show, March 2021.
'I had such a wonderful time with Antony (an excellent guide in all respects).' Jim, Boston, Feb 2020.
'Antony was so engaging. He clearly loves his work and being a local lad there wasn't much he didn't know.' Frank, London, Jan 2020..
'The very best London tour guide.' Kim, Louisianna, Oct 2019.
'Antony Robbins - a tour guide who seemed to float through the city with a dazzling and contagious energy as if the music of the streets itself was pulling him along.'
Alison, Travel and Leisure magazine, USA.
Read full article about my Soho Music Month tour here (keep scrolling down). https:// http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/music/abbey-road-50th-anniversary-music-tour-of-london, July 2019.
'I want to thank you for the time, dedication and great radio you have helped produce over the last few years as a contributor on the Saturday Breakfast Show.' Jamie, BBC Radio London, June 2019.
'Thank you for a memorable day in London. I just finished a brief review of my trip and I praised you without reservation.' Richard, Texas. May 2019.
'You were our first guide and you were delightful. Thank you again for taking the time and interest in our students - tomorrow's future.' Gail, Florida State University, April 2019.
'Amusing, informative and accessible. Antony managed a mixed bag of Brits, Aussies, Germans and Italians. His good humour and energy were infectious. His knowledge of this city is equally infectious. Can't wait to go on another of his tours.' Richard, London, April 2019.
'The client just texted to say they had an amazing time - you set the bar high for the rest of the trip.' Alec, London tour operator, April 2019.
'Fabulous tour. Antony was superb, entertaining, full of knowledge and a great guide.' Caroline, London, March 2019.
'Antony's an amazing, knowledgeable and enthusiastic person, sharing astonishing stories. Unforgetable experience. Antony added a touch of brilliant London humour to the city's history.' Luiz, London.
I'm Antony, AKA Mr Londoner. I'm a writer, broadcaster and former director of the Museum of London.
I'm currently running a series of bespoke webinars and virtual tours. Subjects can range from fashion to architecture, from London at war to how the city will emerge post-pandemic. Call me on 00 44 (0)7725 617883 and we can shape an online tour to you exact needs.
As soon as lockdown lifts, I look forward to running my bicycle tours in a much calmer and more bike-friendly city. London has benefitted from a suite of new traffic-calming meaures in the past year. The air is fresher, the streets are safer and there are fewer people about. The perfect way to discover the secret city is on two wheels.
Since going freelance in 2017, I combine my love of guiding with my career as a writer and broadcaster. I provide guiding, PR, branding and research services. I also offer personal shopping services working with some of London's best stores and independent retailers. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @meetmrlondoner.
Here are a few of my recent blogs about my tours.
I also enjoy a regular slot on BBC Radio London to discuss the capital's latest cultural offerings. Click here to see the lastest show on BBC Sounds. Pull the slider to 1.43:45 if you want to hear my slot – and get a sense of my tone of voice: https:// http://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07t5syk
I'm often invited as a London and cultural spokesperson by other media outlets.
While director of communications at the Museum of London (from 2009 to 2017) I re-branded what was then a tired and overlooked visitor attraction into something more contemporary, connected and relevant to the lives of modern Londoners.
My top tours:
I love guiding in the major sites - the ones on many people's bucket list. I lead tours in London's top visitor attractions, including Westminster Abbey; Tower of London; St Paul's Cathedral and the British Museum. As a museum professional I'm uniquely placed to provide unique insights into the work of London's leading museums and galleries. My favourites includes: Cabinet War Rooms; Museum of London; Tate Galleries; Victoria and Albert Museum; Science Museum; Wallace Collection; Soane Museum; Pitzhanger Manor; Imperial War Museum; Maritime Museum; National Army Museum; Soane Museum; Jewish Museum and the RAF Museum.
Opening up secret London is my greatest passion and I'm also the one and only guide for Londonist.com, which explores lost London and the hidden city, showcasing the very best of the contemporary metropolis. My exclusive Londonist tours - see the reviews here: http://bit.ly/2GeXeTE - open doors and offer a sideways take on the capital. They explore the secret histories of Soho (in 'Sex, Death and Shopping') and Bankside (in 'the Liberty of the Clink').
My additional specialisms include:
- 'Secret history' tours of Mayfair and the West End, Soho and China Town, Bankside and the South Bank, Covent Garden and Seven Dials, Bloomsbury, the City of London; Shoreditch and Hoxton;
- 'Churchill in Four Hats' - Winston Churchill's London ... with a special sartorial focus as befits this most unlikely of style icons;
- 'Menswear and Making' (from tailoring and shoemaking to ceramics and jewellers);
- 'The Secret Shopper' - discover London's hidden shops from traditional tailors to skilled goldsmiths;
- 'London at War' - both world wars transformed London. Join me to find out exactly how;
- 'Greening the City' - the sustainable metropolis;
- 'Sounds and the City' - London in music - from Handel to Hendrix - from punk to rock and roll - from the Beatles to the Belle Stars;
- 'Transforming the Museum' - the role of a modern museum in a changing society;
- 'The Garden of England' - visits to the county of Kent to explore Canterbury and its glorious cathedral. Nearby is Winston Churchill's former home at Chartwell and the picture perfect moated stately home - Leeds Castle.
My current focus is on what I like to call London placemaking. As a senior communications consultant I help some of the capital’s most vibrant neighbourhoods promote their offer, sharpen their messages and drive footfall.
Current clients and partners:
BBC Radio London; National Theatre; Bankside Hotel; Native Hotels; University of the Arts London; Goldsmiths College; Better Bankside; Museum of Soho; Shaftesbury PLC; Sister PR; Cheaney Shoes; Hearst Publishing; China Exchange; Kaplan College; University of East London; Joy Everley jewellers; MC Overalls; Joseph; Peckham Rye Tailors; The Good Life (adult learning centre); and London Tailored Tours.
I run a series of free Soho Music Month tours for my client, Soho landlord Shaftesbury PLC. The tours celebrate Soho's musical heritage from Beethoven to Bowie.
Read all about it here.
|Secret and lost London; shopping; fashion; museums and galleries; photography; London at war; military history; architecture; art and street art; music; conference and incentives; food and drink.|
Fashion's a passion. I'm an expert on menswear and making and I particularly love to showcase quality products made in Britain. The three-piece suit, for example, was invented right here in London - developed from equestrian wear, which itself evolved from military uniform.
Let me talk you through that fascinating story as we tour round Savile Row, Piccadilly and Jermyn Street - once the spiritual home of Regency dandy Beau Brummell. The popularity of TV programmes like Peaky Blinders has increased interest in heritage clothing. I specialise in small and independent artisan brands, often located in unusual and off-the-beaten-track places. I can open the doors to bespoke family tailors (like Soho's Peckham Rye), specialist shoe makers (like Joseph Cheaney and Sons); heritage workwear brands (like M.C.Overalls or Private White VC) and fashion forward and international brands (like Ozwald Boeteng).
We also explore the influence on fashion of our royal family including Princess Diana, Meghan Markle - now the Duchess of Sussex - and of course Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. An unlikely fashion icon he may be, however Prince Charles represents a timeless style. Like generations of British Royals before him, Charles has championed a number of Savile Row's finest bespoke tailors.
There are some (relatively) new kids on the block, even in Savile Row. Oswald Boeteng brings and African twist to an age old craft. Shaun Gordon's exquistie hand-made ties are inspired by his dapper Jamaican uncle, who arrived in these shores in the 1960s to find a new life.
Making and craft is coming back to the capital. We could pay a visit to independent Soho jeweller Joy Everley and see the latest in gold and silver jewellery, much of which is made here in the capital. Or, instead, we could head to the Goodlife Centre in Bankside and see tradional skills like woodworking, framemaking, needlework being taught to a new generation.
Read all about my menswear tour here:
The more I do this job, the more I understand how much people love shops and shopping. London has some of the best retailers in the world. Keeping ahead of the game however is tough in a digital post-pandemic age. London is is also world-famous for its markets, that's where I do my weekly (sometimes Daily) shop. Our markets have been a life-line during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The capital's shopping offer can however be bewildering. I love the opportunity to share my passion for quality and luxury products and London craft. I can show you the very best shops in London. Join me in some of London's best cheese shops, wine merchants, bespoke tailors, hat makers, boot makers or vintage boutiques. My own specialism is menswear and making. The popularity of TV programmes like Peaky Blinders has increased interest in heritage clothing. I can talk you through that fascinating story as we tour round Savile Row, Piccadilly and Jermyn Street.
I love the big names like Gucci, Prada and Paul Smith. My true passion however is for small and independent artisan brands. I can open the doors to bespoke family tailors; specialist shoe makers (like Joseph Cheaney and Sons); heritage workwear brands (like M.C.Overalls, Private White VC or Thomas Farthing) and fashion forward brands (like Billionaire Boys Club). I have advised a number of private clients in my capacity as stylist and personal shopper.
Making and craft is coming back to the capital. We could pay a visit to independent Soho jeweller Joy Everley to see the latest in gold and silver jewellery, much of which is made here in the capital. One of my favourite shops is We Built This City - a new take on the tradional tourist shop. This one sells quality art and design from London makers.
If you want to commission a bespoke suit or dress, invest in a special piece of art or have your portrait painted or photographed, this shopping tour's just for you.
We could visit London's best department stores - my favourite's are Liberty and Selfridges. I am also an avid street art and watch collector. I can advise on the purchase of new and vintage watches. My favourite brands are Rolex, IWC and Patek Phillipe and I know all the best places to find rare time pieces.
If your passion is for vintage clothing, antiques or found objects I can help there too. I know all the best vintage shops and charity shops. I can can advise on styling an original outfit on a shoe-string or sourcing quirky and original objects for the home or garden.
Read all about my menswear tour here:
|London Areas in Depth||
I love the quirky, the hidden and the lost. My tours open up the closed doors of the secret city. Here's a list of them here.
Covid 19 has changed the country forever. And issues like climate change, sustainable living and the future of our cities are now further up the polotical agenda. But some things stay the same.
I can offer socialy-distanced tours focusssed on these themes or virtual tours broadcast live via Zoom Professional.
Come with me to explore both contemporary culture and discover how the Britain of Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare has changed, especially in the late 20th and early 21st century. From human relationships and conflict to the pill and the bomb ... through to climate change and #MeToo ...
Along the way we'll discuss queer histories and (LGBTQ) gay rights, immigration and diversity, pandemics, crime and security and - naturally - Brexit. What are the biggest challenges facing Britain and how is the metropolis responding? What is the future of the monarchy and the royal family? Does the birth of new royal baby Archie help bring the nation together? These are just some of the topics I lecture on at the University of East London; Goldsmiths College and University College London.
Read my recent blog about Winston Churchill, who did so much to shape Britain today. http://tomw43.sg-host.com/blogs/churchill-in-four-hats/
The American contribution to London life has been huge.Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Jimi Hendrix and Glenn Miller have all made their mark here. US visitors have shaped the way we eat, dress and dance. Join me on a one-day or half-day tour to explore the theme of Americans in London.
The Canging of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is something of a must-see for first-time visitors to the city. But there's much more to see besides if military history and tradition's your things
Join me on visits to the Cabinet War Rooms and Winston Churchill Museum, National Army Museum, RAF Museum and the Guards Museum. As we reflect on the the 80th anniversary of the start of WW2, I'm currently exploring Winston Churchill's London. Churchill was a brilliant wartime leader, a workaholic and an unlikely style icon.
My father was an army officer during WW2. That's why military history remains a special and personal interest for me. I'm also fascinated by how London endured the conflicts of WW1 and WW2, the scars of which can still be seen today if you know where to look.
I lead a special WW2 Blitz tour, where we discover the realities of civilian life in London in an era of total war. The blitz shaped the London we know today. This is very personal for me because it's the story of my own family. My mother, aunt and grandparents lived through the nightly bombing of London. See some of the last bomb sites in the capital - testament to a conflict that is now slipping out of living memory. And handle some unlikey artefacts from the blitz era!
More recently my tours have focussed on the American contribution to the UK's military history - especially the sacrifice of the 28,000 US service personal who died while based in the British isles.
Many visitors enjoy the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. We can get pole position to see the drama of this key historic event and. We'll also learn about the Royal Family and their own special place in British military history. Find out about life in the London Blitz. Perhaps you'd like to join me to visit the Beefeaters (Yeoman Warders) at the Tower of London. To become a Beefeater requires at least 20 years of military service - with an unblemished record.
Read my blog about Sir Winston Churchill, whose eventful life touched so many parts of our city and takes in some of our most vibrant neighbourhoods. http://tomw43.sg-host.com/blogs/churchill-in-four-hats/
Join me to explore London's industrial heritage. Bankside, just over the river at London Bridge, has it all. It was the chaotic home of various 'smelly industries' from railways and boiler-making to tanneries, breweries and vinegar works. The neighbourhood is home to the 'Low Line'. Inspired by New York's High Line, this is Bankside's own industrial trail of railway viaducts and engineering works The popularity of TV programmes like Peaky Blinders has increased interest both in heritage clothing and our Victorian industrial infrastucture, which is still all around us. The city was instrumental to the industrial revolution and the lives of our greatest engineers, including Bazalgette; Brunel; Telford and Greathead - the Victorian engineer who helped devise the cutting-edge technology to tunnel out the London Underground.
Alternatively, explore the story of the Crossrail railway line - the largest (if somewhat delayed) engineering project in Europe. The digging required has produced some astounding archaeology along the way.
Our industrial heritage often sits side by side with our latest street art. If Banksy; Ben Eine; Jimmy C; Fanakapan; SR.X; Stik Zabou; Artista or JXC is your thing ... come along and we'll discover their work in Shoreditch and Hoxton in East London. We can do this on foot or as part of a bicyle tour.
As a former museum director, I know our best museums and galleries inside out. They include the British Museum; Tate Modern; Tate Britain; Museum of London; Victoria and Albert Museum; Imperial War Museum; Cabinet War Rooms and Winston Churchill Museum. Join me to learn all about how museums are changing. No longer stuffy places with things in glass cases, London's modern museums think much more about the needs of their audiences. They are are now places to learn, dance, eat, drink, flirt ... or discover life drawing for the first time.
Come with me for an in-depth exploration of the museum world's immersive approach to both their content and their audiences. Modern museums are also exploring the potential of technologies like artificial and augmented reality. These are evolving technologies: they have the potential to re-define how we think of a museum.
I enjoy a regular live broadcast slot on BBC Radio London, where I discuss London's museums, galleries and cultural attractions.
London has given the world some of the most famous music of all time.
Fashion goes hand-in-hand with music. See where Jimi Hendrix bought his famous cavalry jacket and where Boy George dressed London's beautiful people in the New Romantic era of the 1980s. Join me to discover the stomping grounds of Siouxie Soux; Steve Strange; Spandau Ballet and Depeche Mode.
Read all about it here.
|Castles & Palaces||
Discover our brilliant castles, palaces and royal residences - and some of the dark history behind them. Learn about the role played by Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St James' Palace - today our most senior royal palace. Explore the grim history of the spooky Tower of London and learn about our lost palaces like Nonesuch and Richmond.
Discover the lives of our royals from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II. Find out exactly how that most ancient of institutions - the royal family - is changing with new blood. It began in our own times with the altogether more human approach of the then Lady Diana Spencer. Diana's legacy of course is her family. William and Harry and their wives and children. The former Catherine Middleton and Meghan Markle are now royal duchesses. They inject fresh new vigour, style and informality into British public life ... and are changing the face of the royals forever.
Join me in Blenheum Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Read my recent blog about our greatest PM of all time. http://tomw43.sg-host.com/blogs/churchill-in-four-hats/
We can also head out of London for the day, to visit Kent. It's here we can explore one of the most picture-perfect stately homes in England - Leeds Castle.
|Conferences & Incentives||
I often work with conference or corporate visitors. London's history is a rich seam to mine. And my specialist tours on topics inclding street art; food and drink; fashion; royalty and rock and roll.
I'm a regular speaker on the conference circuit and a senior commentator on culture. Topics I cover include the role in contemporary society of museums and galleries. I also explore the worlds of communications, public affairs and digital engagement.
This year - unknown to many - London was awarded national park status. I frequently speak on the the future of 'the green city'.
Discover the countryside in the heart of the city by bike. The delight of a cycle tour is that we can truly explore the environment and touch on several things.
We could see London's most celebrated sites like Big Ben and the Tower of London. We could watch the Guard Change at Buckingham Palace or exploring the heart of Westminster.
In the same trip we can travel along car-free routes and explore London's secret spaces - canals, reservoirs, nature reserves and lost rivers.
All are precious havens for wildlife - creatures both great and small. Join me for a tour on one of my Brompton fold-up cycles. These sturdy and well-designed little bikes are easy and fun to ride. They are made in London, of course.
My bikes are clean and regularly serviced and cycle helmets can be supplied. These tours give a chance to get off the beaten track and offer stark contrasts and how we look at the city.
On my bicycle tour,, we explore the greener options for city life post Covid-19 as we seek to tackle even bigger issues, like climate change.
I can show you what Londoners and London local authorities are trying to do to live greener lives. This includes greater provision for cycle use and the move away from petrol and diesel to electric cars. We can visit vegetable allotments and learn from Londonesr who 'grow their own'. You'd be surprised how many Londoners have a compost heap ... or keep chickens.
My Green City tours explore these options and examine some of the policy-thinking behind new concepts, such as the 15-minute city.
As soon as lockdown lifts, I look forward to running my bicycle tours in a much calmer and more bike-friendly city. London has benefitted from a suite of new traffic-calming meaures in the past year. The air is fresher, the streets are safer and there are fewer people about. The perfect way to discover the secret city is on two wheels.
Walking is the best way to get around. All of my tours can be delivered on foot, on a bike or in the comfort of a black cab.
But, to my mind, walking is by far the best way to get around. I love exploring Bankside; Soho; Notting Hill; the City; Shoreditch; Hoxton; Camden Town and Covent Garden on foot.
Film tours are especially popular. See where the Death Eaters attacked London in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Join me to find out where Bridget Jones lives. Alternatively, let's uncover some of the key locations used in the Crown and Downton Abbey.
Virtual tours in these days of Covid are increasingly popular. Using Zoom Professional, I can deliver a walking tour to private groups - from families and friends to companies and universities. Thes can all be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of your living room wherever it is in the world. And I can focus on a neighourhood of your choice.
Subjects can also cover wider areas,cutting across geographic boundaries.This might include fashion; WW2 or the life of Winston Churchill. Increasingly, I'm asked to help people trace their UK ancestry. I can run a practical talk on that topic too.
Walking in the footsteps of your own ancestors is a brilliant way to better understand your own family tree.
Join me to discover the world of London's literary giants. Charles Dickens has associations across the City and a museum dedicated to his legacy in Bloomsbury - a district famous for its writers and thinkers. He's buried in Westminster Abbey.
Also buried in the Abbey is Aphra Benn, our first celebrated female poet and father of the English language Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales start their journey from the Tabard Inn in Southwark. Southwark's historic pubs and coaching inns retain their unique atmosphere to this day. We can also explore the world of doctor-turned-romantic-poet John Keats; Oscar Wilde; Graham Green; Joseph Conrad and many more ... including modern day writers like Lemn Sissay.
William Shakespeare found fortune and fame in London and we can explore the site of his former home and three of his theatres. Shakespeare's brother, Edmund, is buried in an elaborate tomb in Southwark Cathedral, probbaly funded by the Bard himself.
My guests are great fans of the Netflix hit 'The Crown'.
Come with me and see where the Buckingham Palace shots were filmed (spoiler alert: not in Buckingham Palace but almost next door to it).
We can visit HMS Belfast, which stood in for the Royal Yacht Britannia. Ely Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey in the production. The good news is that we can visit the real Westminster Abbey and see where Her Majesty was actually crowned in 1953.
Do join me on one of my Royal insider shopping trips to discover why we have Prince of Wales checks ... and why we keep the very bottom button of a waistcoat (vest) always undone. This is all about timeless style rather than fickle fashion.
I love all manner of quirky antiques and vintage ephemera.
I'm also an avid historic watch collector. London’s a great place for antique watches if you want to treat someone really special at Christmas (yourself, for example).
We all know about Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe. They are all great brands but I can help you track down something a little more unusual, like, perhaps, a London-made JW Benson pocket or wristwatch. There are some rare treats to be found in London's antique watch stores and this is good time to buy if you're purchasing in US dollars or euros.
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, I've teamed up with a new start-up called Virtual Trips. We deliver my 'secret city' adventures as virtual tours of London's neighbourhoods - to audiences around the world.
The tour is conducted in front of a live audience all enjoying the journey from the comfort and safet of living rooms around the globe.
Until we've found a vaccine against the Corona virus, I'll continue my virtual tours. This way people from across the globe can enjoy the capital's hidden histories and secret histories from a safe distance.
I also provide private virtual tours delivered on Zoom and Zoom Professional. I can cover all the topics, specialisms, attractions and geographic areas I'd cover in a normal tour. Recen talks have covered fashion and menswear; the Blitz and Battle of Britain; the Great Fire of London; Jim Hendrix in London and virtual tours of Soho; Chelsea; Islington, Bankside and Smithfield.
Call me on 00 44 (0)7725 617883 to find out more.
As a London guide, I'm qualified to run specialist tours in the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-on-Avon; Oxford; Canterbury; Stonehenge; Dover and the Cotswolds. Join me on a visit to Kent - 'the Garden of England.' Kent is home to the most picture-perfect stately home in England, Leeds Castle.
|Churches & Cathedrals||
I'm an expert on churches and cathedrals - as well as mosques; temples; synagogues and gurdwaras. Join me in London for a tour of St Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. Or we could head further afield and see the cathedrals at Salisbury or Canterbury. Both are unique, both are beautiful and both can be reached on an easy day trip from London.
Join me on my architectural tour of London. We can visit the tallest building in the UK, the Shard of glass, designed by Renzo Piano.
London is a truly world city. It has shaped the world and been shaped by it. The Black Lives Matter campaign has bought into focus the contributions of communities from across the globe.
|Art/Paintings & Sculpture||
Join me on a tour around the British Museum or National Gallery. I've been visiting these places since I was a small child. I love them now as much as I did then.
As a former museum director myself (I was communications director of the Museum of London for eight years) I know London's very best museums inside out.
I like some of the hidden gems best of all. These are the museums and galleries that mosy tourists tend to miss. They include the Sir John Soane Museum; the Wallace Collection and the Estoric Collection of Italian Futurist Art.
If on the other hand, if you fancy being outdoors, we can go on my London sculpture trail by foot or by bike. It's always an adventure!
|Decorative Arts/Arts & Crafts||
I can show you some of the very latest work of London-based designers. To see the best of international design and craft, we could visit the Conran Shop or perhaps arrange to see artists and makers at work in their own studios.
London is home to the largest design museum in the World - the V&A - otherwise known as the Victoria and Albert Museum. It's home to incredible textiles, beautiful furniture and a stunning collection of cast iron.
It's home to the incredible Cast Court, which comprises of facsimile casts of items from antiquity including Trajan's Column and Michelangelo's David.
The V&A also has the best and biggest fashion collection in the UK.
If you're inspired to have a London tailor recreate a 1940s suit or a 1950s dress, that you've seen in the V&A, I can help there too. I have an excellent little black book of specialist contacts.
|Business & Finance||
I'm the son of a London stockbroker so this is a personal journal for me..
London is a city on built on trade. Today our financial district, the Square Mile, occupies the original footprint of Roman London, or Londinium.
The Romans traded in everything from wine and furs to earthenware, glassware and weoponry. The City grew and grew. Its trades became represented by might guilds, which still exert power and influence today through their property portfolios (they own some of the planet's most desirable real estate).
Today the City's trade is rather different. London is the world's leading Forex (Foreign Exchange) trading market. Insurance too is a major employer in the City of London - the home of the Lloyds insurance market. Fin tech, which grows and grows, is also huge, with a rival centre on the City of London's eastern fringes.
Join me for a day exploring London's development as a businesses centre over the past 2,000 years. We'll look at the role the British navy played in developing an empire and trading worldwide. We'll discover the legacy of the mighty East India Company, leran about the 1980s Big Bang transformed the City and handle some Roman artefacts into the bargain.
|Birds & Animals||
London is full of wildlife. I've especially come to realise that during the lockdown. We have bird species as diverse as birds of prey to ring-necked parakeets. If you're really lucky, we might spot both.
I also run a tour called 'Dogs of London' that explores the capital's relationship with man's best friend.
We can explore the city with our very own wolf pack, in the company of a professional dog walker. If you don't fancy being quite so hands-on, we can explore London's dog-related history, from the hidden pets' cemetery in Hyde Park to the naming of districts like Houndsditch and the Isle of Dogs.
In the earlier part of my career I was a professional photographer and communications specialist for the UK government, taking pictures of high-profile figures including Princess Diana, celebrities and government ministers.
I still take photographs using Leica and Nikon equipment. I run photo tours (using bicycles to reach some little-known locations) to help you capture the light and take better photos, whether you use a film camera or a smart phone to produce compelling photographs you'll treasure for the rest of your life.
London is a city built on maritime trade, conquest, empire and indeed slavery.
This is a fascinating story but one not without its darker aspects.
The Museum of London Docklands in the city's east End tells the story of London's role promoting, profiting and later abolishing slavery. The statue of Steven Milligan - a slaver outside the museum - was recently (and legally) removed in light of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
London has some brilliant ships to visit. Join me on the WW2-era HMS Belfast, one of the first ships to take part in the Normandy Landings of 1944. Alternatively, we could head on board the Cutty Sark, a 19th century tea clipper, now berthed in Greenwich.
There are many great day trips we can do together from London comfortably in a day. They include visits to Canterbury and Salisbury Cathedrals; the Stratford of Willliam Shakespeare; Warwick and Leeds Castle; Blenheim Palace - the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and the wartime PM's home at Chartwell, in Kent.
Another great day out is a trip back in time to Bronze and Iron Age Britain, with a visit to Stonehenge, in Wiltshire.
I'm one of relatively few London guides who run bicycle tours around London.
My cycle tours take in London's lost rivers, hidden canals and the city's greener fringes of marshland and water meadows.
Join me on a hire bike or one of my own Brompton bicycles to explore the city in a green and sustainable way that few tourists ever get to enjoy.
London's street art is world famous. Join me to see the latest works in the city's most vibrant districts.
Edgy Shoreditch is in the heart of London's East and is as famous for its street art as it is for its resident hipsters. On the other side of the river are the Leake Street tunnels. Here young spray artists pursue their calling with an almost religious devotion
These formerly impoverished districts are now desirable places to live and also hot beds of creativity. It's here you'll find great street art alongside cutting-edge fashion and design, bustling markets and mouth-watering food.
London's local authorities don't quite know what to do about street art. Should they prosecute those committing 'grafitti' with fines and banning orders? Or should they protect the works of established artists like Banksy and others behind sheets of protective perspex?
Our Victorian industrial heritage and street art frequently go together. My tours often feature railway viaducts or industrial sites. It's here we'll find the works of Banksy; Ben Eine; Jimmy C; Fanakapan; Stik, Zabou or JXC.
On the other side of the river are the Leake Street Tunnels. Running under Waterloo Station, this is where street art, far from being a forbidden actively, is positively encouraged. A visit here usually involves seeing artists at work with their stencils and their sprays.
Every year Leake Street hosts its very own 'Cans Festival'. This both showcases the work of upcoming artists and puts this gritty but fascinating area more conspicuously on the map.
|History & Prehistory||
I used to be a director of the Museum of London. This museum tells the story our city from 10,000 years BC to the present-day, and indeed beyond.
I can take you through the evolution of our country's history from pre-history to our very own times.
We can get to grips with the stone, bronze and iron ages at Stonehenge and I can show you the site of the very first human settlements in London.
If you're confused by the order of Romans, Vikings, Normans and Georgians I can help you there too. History tours can be delivered on foot or by bike. For larger groups or to head further afield we can use an electric cab or hire a coach for up to 36 people, depending on your needs.
|Food & Drink||
My food and drink tours are an introduction to the very best in artisan food and natural produce.
Borough Market attracts some of the best producers from about 60 miles around. We can visit some of the most forward-thinking businesses in the area to sample, cheeses, beer, wine, coffee, cured meats and much more besides.
There's much more of our focus on where our food comes from and how its produced, something that's had a spotlight shone on it by the pandemic.
We can escape the city for the day for the rolling English countryside. We can head to Kent, the 'Garden of England' famous for growing quality hops for brewing and producing fine fruit, including all the strawberries sold during the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. We can visit Kent's picture-perfect Leeds Castle, visit the White Cliffs of Dover or step in Winston Churchill's footsteps, at his former home at Chartwell. Canterbury Cathedral is beautiful and a tour of its usually calm and tranquil interior never disappoints. If you love Cathedrals we could also visit Salisbury, in Wiltshire. Nearby is the UK's most famous pre-historic monument the UNESCO-listed Stonehenge, set in acres of glorious English countryside.
|Ghosts, Murders & Mysteries||
Ghost stories have always walked among us and Smithfield is London's most haunted neighbourhood.
I love delving deep into family histories and helping visitors from across the planet connect with their British ancestors.
Family history and geneology is a growing area and now the subject of popular TV programmes like 'Who do you think you are?'
Discovering your family tree is a labour of love, but a deeply rewarding one. Working with genealogy sites - like Ancestry.com; the UK Public Records Office, based here in London, at Kew, I can help trace family histories. I have special access to the London Metropolitan Archives.
Perhaps your ancestors were based in Britain during WWII as part of the USAAF (Today known as the USAF). Maybe they flew bombers in the 8th Airforce - or perhaps they took part in the D-Day landings, the 6 June 1944 invasion of Normandy?
I can help you get to know what life was like for your ancestors before they left our shores. Many Londoners left for a new life far away from home. There are some brilliant stories to be unearthed. #Family History #Findmypast #Ancestry
Americans in London
Thousands of Americans and Canadians call London home. South Kensington is particularly popular with our US cousins. The American Ambassador's house in Regent's Park is one of the finest in London and the ambassadorial garden is the second-largest in the City. Only Buckingham Palace is larger.
We can discover the stomping grounds of founding father Benjamin Franklin; Moby Dick writer Herman Melville; President and wartime leader Eisenhower and 60s phenomenon Jimi Hendrix. All called London home at some point in their lives.
Join me in the American Chapel in St Paul's Cathedral. Here we remember the 285,000 souls who died on active duty, while based in Britain. Many of these were killed during United States Army Airforce raids over occupied Europe. Others died during the Normandy Landings and other operations.
Perhaps your family stop goes further back - to the Daughters of 1812, or earlier, to the Great Migration 1620-40 or even the Maylfower and the Founding Fathers?
I'm currently running a series of bespoke webinars and bespoke virtual tours. Subjects can range from fashion to architecture, from London at war to how the city will emerge post-pandemic.