I have long maintained that the best way to explore a city like London is on foot. Walking, you catch glimpses of things you'd never see whilst whizzing along a road on a bus or beneath the city in a Tube tunnel. You can change your route or your mind whenever you feel like it, taking an unexpected turning or heading down an alley you never noticed before. Frequently I come across things that cause me to stop and wonder: What happens in this building? Who lives in a house like this? What is this faded sign all about?
|Charlotte, imparting some grisly facts |
about Tudor London
Charlotte had invited me and several other London bloggers along to experience one of her most popular tours, 'Naughty London: Sex, drugs and sausage rolls', which takes attendees around Southwark to explore London's seedy past. Charlotte welcomed us all on Tuesday evening with prosecco and excellent Ginger Pig sausage rolls, before taking us back in time to Tudor London; a time when public executions were considered a great night out and maggot-y meat pies were regarded as an epicurean delicacy. Filled in with a brief history of the city, illustrated by vivid descriptions and quotes from early Londoners, we were whisked across to Borough Market. Here, still swigging our leftover prosecco (we're a classy lot, us bloggers) we learned all kinds of stomach-churning facts about Tudor diets as well as the origins of numerous phrases we still use today. As Charlotte was loudly explaining the origin of a certain, highly satisfying four-letter swearword a group of blokes sauntering past suddenly looked rather keen to join our tour!
|Ribbons tied to the fence around the |
Cross Bones Graveyard
Charlotte then led us away from the shadow of the monstrous Shard, down Southwark Street, to visit the Cross Bones Graveyard. Grubby ribbons decorate the fence around this sad-looking green space, bearing the names of the several thousand people, many of whom were prostitutes and paupers, tossed into an open grave on the small site several hundred years ago. It was a sobering place to consider. Quick to remedy this however, we were briskly ushered across the road to Boot & Flogger vintners, to top up our prosecco levels!
Heading back out on our tour, we made for the river next. London was looking pretty stunning under the dusky sky, so we all stopped for a compulsory photography session; which we then tweeted and Instagramed the hell out of, like the blogging pros we are. When we were all done, the extremely patient Charlotte led us down to Cardinal's Wharf. Despite a seemy heritage that Charlotte filled us in on, there is a very beautiful old house at Cardinal's Wharf, where the famed architect, Christopher Wren used to live. Telling us to swivel 180 degrees and look across the river, Charlotte showed us why he'd chosen this less than salubrious spot - it was directly opposite Wren's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral. Cue more photography...
|Just the London skyline, no big deal|
My tour was provided for free by Best LDN Walks, as part of a specified London blogger event. Any opinions expressed in the above post however are those of The Accidental Londoner alone. I do not endorse products or organisations that I don't or wouldn't use myself or recommend to a friend.