Inaugural festival of guided walks comes to Islington

Islington walking guides on a tour of the Caledonian Clock Tower 

Islington walking guides on a tour of the Caledonian Clock Tower - Credit: Islington Guided Walks

Islington's inaugural Festival of Walks takes place next month, with tours covering Angel's riverside, the Spa Field riots and comedy.

There will be 24 walks led by Clerkenwell and Islington Guides over the space of a week from June 19.

An exploration of Clerkenwell’s monastic quarter will look into what attracted monks to the area just on the outskirts of the City of London, the influence of Henry VIII and how Clerkenwell got its name. 

Another walk along Upper Street will discuss maypoles, dairy maids, drovers and cream teas, and the popular road's rural and agricultural past.

Other topics include Black Islington, Sadlers Wells, Radical Islington and a discovery of the Hackney/Islington Border.

Islington walking guides on a tour of the Caledonian Clock Tower 

Islington walking guides on a tour of the Caledonian Clock Tower - Credit: Islington Guided Walks

Oonagh Gay, chair of Clerkenwell and Islington Guides which has been going for more than 30 years, said: "Our festival is a great opportunity to see a well known place in a different light, or simply to hear something completely new. 

"Islington has a diverse and rich history - medieval monasteries, agricultural past, black history, radical history, entertainment, alternative religions as well as the development of a charming 19th century suburb.

Most Read

"This festival provides a taster of the great opportunities our trained guides can provide at any time of the year."

Tour guide Hazel Phillips added: "We came up with the idea because we want to get back walking again post-pandemic, now that restrictions are easing.

"We are keen to get out and take people around, and hopefully the punters will be as well.

Guides undergo an eight-month training course, and are presented with badges and certificates by Islington's mayor, hence they are called the mayor's 'official guides'. 

"I wanted to train because I was finding walking around London very interesting and I became curious about wanting to understand what's behind what you see, and I just loved doing the course," said Hazel.

"It gives you the tools to try to work out a place's history and why it looks the way it does."

Walks are being conducted at a reduced rate of £5 or £6 rather than the normal rate of £15, and are either 1.5 hours or 45 minutes, with some scheduled for lunchtime. 

See islingtonguidedwalks.com.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus