The many sides of London's West End

Course Dates: 24/09/24 - 29/10/24
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
Location: Off Site
A course of walking tours of London’s West End showing its development from the seventeenth century, how its profile has ebbed and flowed, looking at it through specific themes.
First meeting place: Covent Garden tube, outside exit on James Street.
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Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00

The many sides of London's West End
  • Course Code: HLW241
  • Dates: 24/09/24 - 29/10/24
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Richard Watkins

Course Code: HLW241

Tue, day, 24 Sep - 29 Oct '24

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

How London’s West End developed (and declined in places) mainly from the Restoration onwards. How we can see its development in the Squares, buildings and other sites today. How the development has been reflected in specific thematic areas.

What will we cover?

The history of London’s West End through themes such as land ownership, building and development, an historic market, the development of its theatres grand hotels, galleries, pubs, the migration at the heart of it, its slums and 1960s popular culture.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

-To make connections between the tours on how London’s West End has developed, its laying out and building up.
-To get a grasp of specific themes of its development, such as hotels, theatre, migration, modern pop culture and how they influenced its development.
-To get some in-depth knowledge of specific Squares, buildings, sites which have especially played a major role in the West End’s development.
-To be inspired to follow-up the knowledge acquired on the tour to explore certain museums, historic houses and other sites on their own initiative.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Some basic knowledge of British history would be helpful, with a great interest to learn more and follow up that knowledge in exploring its sites, museums, galleries further.
Ability to participate in a 2 hour moderately paced guided walk.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

By a series of six walking tours on Tuesday mornings from 11am – 1pm.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for London's weather in autumn.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Other London guided walks. Please see the City Lit website for details.

Richard Watkins

Richard has been a professional history tour guide for the last ten years. He qualified as a City of Westminster Guide in 2012. Since then, he has gained a wide range of experience in guiding and museums work: He has devised, researched and led a series of original walks around Westminster and further afield in London, adapting many into virtual tours. He leads tours around London on an open top Routemaster bus and coach tours out of town to Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor, around Kent and other places. He volunteered or worked in many museums including the Foundling Museum, the Royal College of Physicians and the Crystal Palace Museum – of which he is a trustee and tour guide for the Museum. And Richard has given several illustrated talks to University of the 3rd Age and other local history groups as well as being interviewed on Radio Berkshire and appeared on Walking Victorian Britain on Channel 5 Select among other media appearances. Richard is passionate about the history of London and sharing this on his tours- where history actually happened, the signs of every-day living and lesser known historic characters as well as broader historical shifts.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.