London history and walks

From its Bronze Age beginnings to capital status, London has witnessed growth and destruction throughout its long history. Join us for lively classroom discussions and popular walks around the city and discover who and what has left their mark on the city.

Watch City Lit tutor Eleanor Jackson explore some of London's secret spaces:

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  1. The Old Father-River: the poetry of the Thames from 1500 to the present day

    Course Date: Tue 17 Jul 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Beginning with an idealised, semi-pastoral Thames, the course progresses via satirical 18th century evocations to the complex responses of Romantic and Modern poets, concluding with a meditation commissioned for the inauguration of the Millennium Bridge.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £22.00

  2. In and out the Angel: a guided walk

    Course Date: Wed 18 Jul 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    With its many watery, cinematic and theatrical associations, Angel is a delightful part of London to explore. Meander through its quiet backstreets and canal towpaths and hear stories of Starvation Farm, Disraeli's schooldays, Joe Orton, with his rather unusual visits to the local library, and London's first pub theatre. Meeting place: outside Angel tube.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £19.00
    Concession: £8.00

  3. The 'Wyldes' of Hampstead: discovering Hampstead's northern hillside (a guided walk)

    Course Date: Sun 29 Jul 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    Discover the rural north side of Hampstead by walking across the Heath Extension to the hamlet of Northend, learning about its famous residents, its hostelry and the 17th-century Wyldes farmhouse. We return via the enchanting Hill Garden and Golders Hill Park. Circular walk starts and ends outside the main entrance to Golders Green.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £10.00

  4. Discover Regent's Park: a guided walk

    Course Date: Thu 2 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    With a background briefing at City Lit in the morning and a guided walk in Regent's Park in the afternoon,you will discover the history, exuberant planting, sculptures and design of this fabulous Royal Park dating from the early 19th century. Special trees will be highlighted.
    Full fee: £49.00
    Senior fee: £39.00
    Concession: £22.00

  5. Sex and the city: medieval London

    Course Date: Fri 3 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Where were the red light districts? What was the going rate for a prostitute? Using the example of John Rykener, the cross-dressing sex worker who called himself ‘Eleanor’, we will explore attitudes to prostitution and how it was managed in the City before 1500 CE.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £17.00

  6. Arts and Crafts of Hampstead Garden Suburb: a guided walk

    Course Date: Sun 5 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    The walk traces the early history and developments of Hampstead Garden Suburb and includes the Heath Extension, Central Square, designed by Edwin Lutyens, and the original Artisans quarter, designed from 1907 by Parker and Unwin. Starts outside the main entrance to Golders Green Tube station and ends at Temple Fortune on the Finchley Road.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £10.00

  7. Brick Lane battleground 1970s: a guided walk

    Course Date: Mon 6 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    Tales of sweatshops and sweetshops, cultural change and conflict, housing struggles, racism and resistance, and the fight by young Bengalis for better lives. Meet just inside the entrance of Altab Ali Park (corner of Whitechapel Road/Whitechurch Lane, E1). Nearest tube Aldgate East.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £8.00

  8. Sex and the city: Tudor and Stuart London

    Course Date: Mon 6 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Bridewell Prison was founded in 1553 for ‘disorderly women’. Southwark, with its long-established brothels and bear and bull baiting, became increasingly inviting for illicit activities. With the Restoration in 1660, West End theatres with actresses emerged and Covent Garden became notorious.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £17.00

  9. Stoke Newington: a misty village (a guided walk)

    Course Date: Wed 8 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site


    This fascinating and tour showcases the dramatic transformation of Woodberry Down, Hackney's ground-breaking post-WWII housing estate built alongside the 17th century New River and its 19th century reservoirs. Meeting place: outside Manor House tube, exit 3 on Green Lanes.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £19.00
    Concession: £8.00

  10. Sex and the city: Georgian London

    Course Date: Wed 8 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    In 18th century London, one in five women were sex workers. All tastes were catered for, from street walkers offering a ' threepenny upright' to high-class courtesans. For gay men there were molly houses, including the short-lived Mother Clap’s establishment in Field Lane, Holborn.
    Full fee: £39.00
    Senior fee: £31.00
    Concession: £17.00

  11. Stream Form to Arts and Crafts: suburban architecture 1914-1939 (a guided walk)

    Course Date: Sun 12 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    Starting at the Modernist East Finchley station, this walk goes back in time, looking at architectural styles from between the wars on the north side of Hampstead Garden Suburb and finishing with Arts and Crafts cottages. Starts outside the main entrance to East Finchley Station and finishes at Market Place on the A1 ( a short bus ride from East Finchley or Golders Green).
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £10.00

  12. The East End’s Russian revolutionaries: a guided walk

    Course Date: Mon 13 Aug 2018
    Location on this date: OS - Off Site
    Explore the intriguing individuals and dramatic events: a bloody siege, clandestine meetings, acts of solidarity, conflict with government, and the rebels who returned in 1917. Meet outside the Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ. Nearest tube: Stepney Green.
    Full fee: £19.00
    Senior fee: £15.00
    Concession: £8.00

  13. In the footsteps of London's rebels

    Course Date: Tue 11 Sep 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore London's places of protest and discover the stories of radicals, agitators and campaigners who fought for social justice, equal rights and better lives for all from the 1830s to the 1930s. The initial lecture will be held at City Lit followed by 10 walks. The final session will be held at City Lit.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £88.00

  14. London at war

    Course Date: Tue 11 Sep 2018
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street


    London has been shaped by war, conflict and unrest. It's buildings, monuments and even street names reflect our embattled past. These walks examine London's wartime legacy from mediaeval fortifications to the War on Terror. First session will be a lecture at the City Lit.
    Full fee: £159.00
    Senior fee: £127.00
    Concession: £70.00

  15. The City of London: the square mile

    Course Date: Wed 12 Sep 2018 (and 1 other date)
    Location on this date: KS - Keeley Street
    Explore the City’s development from Roman and medieval times through to the Tudors and Stuarts. Initial lecture at City Lit. Entrance fees not included.
    Full fee: £199.00
    Senior fee: £159.00
    Concession: £88.00

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