After a brief Christmas break, it was great to get back in to the metaphorical saddle and kick off the new year with a Sunday walk around the east end with a nice healthy sized group of nine. Simon and Sue had come along after a recommendation from someone who came on two walks last year, Fiona and her family were visiting London for the weekend and 'found me' just that morning after utilising the interweb powers of her new iPhone and Libby and her two friends Lucy and Jamie, had made a New Year's resolution to discover London a bit more in 2013.
Here they all are outside Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch in Spitalfields, and as you can probably tell, we stopped off at Columbia Road flower market on the way. Jamie didn't carry that olive tree for the entire walk.
Just before Christmas, I did a couple of private walks. The first was for Pauline, Anthony, Charlotte and John Harvey who were visiting London on a pre-Christmas trip. They were staying on Seething Lane, which if anyone interested in 17th Century London will know was home to Samuel Pepys, well know diarist, gossip and (wanna be) ladies man.
Here they are standing in the beautiful Leadenhall Market, a late Victorian structure, built by Horace Jones and is a little bit like stepping back in time to an old 19th Century street ... which is probably why it's been used as a back drop to numerous period films.
The final walk of 2012 was an all day extravaganza with a family from the USA that took in Victoria, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and we finished at St Katherine Docks next to the Tower of London. We even took a ride on one of the old route master buses via Fleet Street and St Paul's cathedral, as one of the boys was keen to sit on the top deck of an old bus.
If you're visiting the Tower, it's well worth wandering through Dead Man's Hole (if you dare) and taking a look at the dock as it's a bit of an oasis that you wouldn't necessarily expect to find there. You'll also find the Dickens Inn (where I took the below photo) one of the few pubs in London that Charles Dickens didn't supposedly drink, although it was formally opened in 1976 by one of the author's great grandsons, Cedric Charles Dickens.
Most interested in Louis Vuitton - John Harvey
Members of one family with names beginning with 'R' - Roy, Riannon & Rowan
Best moustache - No winners
Most helpful when official BOC photographer's camera broke - Simon
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.