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London’s Secret Walks - 2nd Edition

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London's Secret Walks is a walking book with a difference, taking in many of London's lesser-known, but no less worthy sights. As Samuel Johnson said to his friend Boswell in the 18th century, on the occasion of the latter's arrival in London: "survey its innumerable little lanes and courts." By extension, wander off the beaten tourist track and you'll discover a world of fascinating sights and attractions that not many tourists - or even Londoners - get to see.

            Walking makes a lot of sense in London. Despite the introduction of a congestion charge to drive in the centre of the city, it remains traffic-choked. And London has some of the world’s most expensive (and crowded) public transport. So pounding the streets is quite often the quickest and least stressful way to get around. It’s also free and healthy. Although London has a reputation for its wet climate, the city’s reputation for rain is largely unfounded – it actually enjoys a lower annual rainfall than New York, Rome and Sydney – and is generally mild and rarely too hot or too cold to make walking uncomfortable.

            London has a somewhat ‘haphazard’ street pattern (to put it mildly), the result of having grown organically over 2,000 years rather than being planned logically, in the manner of say New York. As a result, many of the city’s attractions are slightly off the beaten track, neither on a major thoroughfare or near a public transport stop. This also favours walking as the best means of exploring them, as does the fact that London is a quirky, visually interesting city, with plenty of stimulating sights and distractions between destinations; you miss many of these if you pass in a cab or on a bus – and obviously if you’re cocooned in a claustrophobic tube train.

            The starting point for this book was Samuel Johnson’s advice to his friend Boswell in the 18th century, on the occasion of the latter’s arrival in London: “survey its innumerable little lanes and courts.” By extension, wander away from the obvious, because there’s much that’s hidden and interesting, as you would expect in a city as large, diverse and ancient as London.

            I’ve researched and walked much of central(ish) London to construct the 25 walks contained in this book, identifying the less well-known attractions in each of the areas covered (there are already plenty of walking books covering the more famous sights). The walks vary in length, but most can be done in half a day or less, depending, of course, on how quickly you walk and how long you spend at the highlighted sights (particularly in the pubs and restaurants!).

            The walks don’t always follow the most logical route from a to b, but that’s deliberate: the aim is to maximise the interest and enjoyment of the walk, rather than get from start to finish as fast as possible. Putting this book together has been fascinating, educational and enjoyable (as well as time-consuming). And the exercise involved has made me leaner, with thighs as taut as steel cable. I hope you find the walks as engaging, rewarding and flat-stomach-forming as I have.


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"I am very pleased with this book, even though l live in outer london there are places l had never been to, love it" - Pammymum (Amazon)

London's secret walks takes you on guide filled journey around one of the greatest cities in the world. With stunning photography and an eye catching cover, this is a must have book for anyone who wants to discover the true London. - ukphnx (Amazon)

Very useful book - lots of walks taking in many unusual sights/ sites. Divided up into manageable areas. Great little book. - Moxxy-girl

The book leads you on 25 walks around different parts of London. For each walk, we are first given a map with the walk drawn on, then basic info on the distance and broad approximate time it will take (generally half-day or full-day), as well as the nearest tube or train stations to the start and end points. Following this, there is a bit of general history about the area. Then the walk starts, with detailed information over several pages, explaining where to walk, what you will see, including information and history along the way, as well as suggestions for places to stop off. There are also several photographs for each walk, showing some of the sights along the way.

This book would be an excellent companion for anyone wanting to explore London by foot, either alone, or in a group. It would particularly suit those who enjoy learning a lot about what they are seeing. The hardest thing would be deciding which one of the 25 walks to pick first! The amount of information for each walk could be too much for some people as it does go into quite a lot of detail, but if that's the case, you could just follow the map at the start of each walk, and then refer to any points of interest in the text as and when you wanted to - they are numbered on the map, so you can easily find them within the text.

A definite recommendation for anyone wanting to explore London in a different, and very educational, way!
- Vanessa-Jane Chapman (Amazon)

I bought this on a whim as I had a few days to waste and didnt want to do the 'usual' touristy things again. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to do something a bit different at their own pace. Its full of great info on places you would normally just walk by without a second thought,its well written and the watering holes mentioned that I tried were just great.

Oh and it fits in your pocket... if you like walking and want to do something a bit different buy it you'll love it :)
- Baldrecordman (Amazon)

LSW 2nd Edition COVER
RRP: £10.99 Survival Books
Author: Graeme Chesters
ISBN-10: 1-909282-93-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-909282-93-3
Edition: 2nd
Published: 15th Sep 2017
Number of Pages: 320 Pages
Dimensions: 110mm W x 190mm H
Book Type: Paperback