By Esin Huseyin
Some may think it’s strange for someone born and bred in this city to take a walking tour, but it’s a great way to not only get out of the house and meet new people, but also to learn new things that you can piss people off with later; “did you know…”
So, we decided to go with a Hidden London tour that would help uncover hidden stories and the characters within them, to help educate and inspire us.
We first came across Best LDN through Instagram, as they capture beautiful shots of London, and was even featured in one of our #maybeldner competitions; so we decided if their shots were great, then their tours must be even better.
So stupidly, I turned up to a 2 hour walking tour (on one of the hottest days of the summer, so far) in the thickest pair of jeans I had, with no
sunglasses. I did feel like a screw-facing sweaty mess, but we met our amazing tour guide, Charlotte, in the throngs of Trafalgar Square – finding her was made a little easier as she was holding up a “Best LDN Walks” sign and a few multicoloured balloons. Less party clown, more tour guide than you think.
It was a pretty big group, measuring in at a whopping 22 people (not to mention this was Charlotte’s third tour of the day), kudos to Charlotte for not only engaging us all but for keeping us all interested, with a lot of interaction from the group – which I tend to find is the hardest part, there is nothing more awkward than when you throw a joke out there, and you’re met with nothing but awkward silence.
Now, the whole fact of this tour was that it was “hidden”, so I have to tread a very thin line, and not give it all away. But the walk covered four main areas; Trafalgar Square, The Strand, Embankment, and Covent Garden (phew, didn’t give much away there).
We covered everything from how pavements were first introduced, all the way through to a directory for prostitutes – and talking with Charlotte more, we discovered that her expansive knowledge about London and it’s sordid history means that no two tours are the same. Even along the way we were given extra details and facts with stories about how words such as “hangover” and “off the wagon” came about.
Unlike most tours, it was Charlotte’s bubbly personality that won us over – yes, although the tour was informative and interesting, her friendly nature and ability to adapt her style to the various people in our group was what stood out the most. She could literally answer any question thrown at her, without seeming as if she’s reading off of a list. Albeit, we did have picture cards – but, we all love to pretend to be 5 year olds with pictures, right?
Like I said before, Charlotte was able to follow the characters of our group and engage with us – with a bit of smut. Who doesn’t love a bit of smut, I don’t want to give the game away too much; but a chair specifically built and designed for a menage a trois? I’m sold.
So all in all, the weather was great, the group was amazing (which rarely happens), the tour was super interesting with hidden stories I definitely didn’t know about, but the cherry and sprinkles on the top was Charlotte. Check her out, check out the company, and get involved.
We’re already booking ourselves on to their ghoulish Haunted London tour – boo!