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25 August 2014

naughty london | sex, drugs + sausage rolls

a couple of weeks back i got an invite from katy to go with her to a blogger event. not just any old blogger event mind you, not one with fake smiles and goody bags, and networking up the wahzoo, no. not one of those. this one was with one-woman band best ldn walks, and the invite had my interest piqued; 

"london has had it's fair share of grime, debauch activities and down right filth; we don't know about you, but we love all the nastiness and grossosity (yes, we really made that word up) that london has kicked up over the last few decades. we talk prostitutes, henry viii, opiates, dodgy surgeons, naughty cardinals, bear fighting, the plague, getting naked and having sword fights, beer floods, shakespeare and of course, sausage rolls!"

i mean... who says no to something that awesome sounding? so after work on tuesday just gone, i met up with katy and the rest of the tour girls at the heel tap inn on borough high street, where we indulged in some ginger pig sausage rolls and some delicious bubbles, before the lovely owner/operator charlotte began our tour. not wanting to waste the bubbles, us classy birds brought the bottle along for the walk...

(l-r) floralisabeckyhaydynsuze, (front) ocean, me, katy

we wandered from the heel tap through to borough market and out onto southwark street, and chit chatted about the history of the area while we walked. from the origin of some modern-day lingo (the word f.u.c.k and why we say "hangover" were my personal faves)(if you want to know the answers, you should go on the tour yourself), to 'umble pie and the city's gates, we were half an hour in and already mind-blown with information about the seedy underbelly of my adopted city. with an hour and a bit in front of us still, i knew i was in for a good night.

we wandered down to the cross bones graveyard where the local prostitutes were buried back in medieval times. the memorial is still thriving to this day... weirdly. the names of the women buried beneath are written on ribbons and tied to the bars of the gates that keep them hidden away, and odd toys and trinkets are left in commemoration. charlotte was quick to point out that the tube runs right underneath that graveyard, and everytime you travel to southwark on the tube, you're traveling with the ghosts of 18th century slags. brilliant. 

we stopped at the boot and flogger opposite the graveyard for a quick drink and get-to-know-you session. it was there we named ourselves the first official "secret adventure society", and vowed to return with charlotte to indulge in another of her great tours. coming from a  touring background, her passion for history definitely shows. what was different about her walks though, is that she gets to the nitty gritty of the history, not the basically terrible audio guide version of history. it was freaking awesome.

we headed down to the river and got our heads filled with bridge facts. fact: did you know london bridge used to have houses, pubs and shops along it? fact: did you know that that after london bridge fell down, the money that was collected from commuters to use the bridge (medieval tolls, ha) was later reinvested in the city, and the interest earned funded the construction of southwark, blackfriars, westminster and waterloo bridges, and - to this day, still pays for any and all renovation requirements. medieval investments ftw!

we wandered back up through the back streets of southwark, past the clink, through borough market and past the globe - of bridget jones' diary fame. it was nearing 9:30 and we'd been walking for the best part of three hours. the hours flew past. charlotte was so entertaining, so clever, intelligent and passionate about the information she was delivering. she wasn't tyrannical when we went off-script and larked about like the tipsy fools we were. she laughed with us and encouraged the questions, and was happy to repeat things when we'd tell her "stop. shut up. no they didn't!" 

honestly, yeah - the tour was free, but is usually only a tenner, and i'd 100% go again. i mean, i definitely will be going to check out her instagram walking tour and also the tarts and tiaras walk, because... the name essentially sold it to me. so, if you're ever in london and want an incredible couple of hours discovering the real history of london, then please do get in touch with charlotte over at best ldn walks. you won't regret it.

Add your comment

  1. Totes gonna do dis one, haven't been on a walking tour for ages. Good photos of my work hood too, Vonders. X

  2. This sounds like a pretty awesome thing to do! x

  3. Lovely post, was great to meet you in real life the other week.

  4. This sounds fantastic! Definitely one for the next time I'm in London. Can't resist that many Facts for a mere tenner.

  5. That sounds immense! I also want to go on the Tarts and Tiaras walk for the name alone. I don't care what it is.


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