The City of London is over 2000 years old with Roman and medieval remains side by side with 21st century award winning architecture.
Starting at St Paul's Cathedral and finishing at Monument underground station WALK LONDON's self-guided City of London walking tour takes you inside the boundaries of the "Square Mile", which have remained little changed since medieval times.
Walk back in time through narrow alleys and cobbled streets to the most historic parts of the capital. See many famous landmarks from Christopher Wren's churches to markets that have been trading for 100's of years to environmentally sustainable sky-scrappers.
Leisure walker: 2 hours
Power walker: 45 minutes
START: St Paul's Underground: Central Line
St Paul's Cathedral
→ Guild Hall → Mansion House→ St Stephens Walbrook
→ London Stone → Bank of England
→ The Royal Exchange → Leaden Hall Market
→ Lloyds of London → No 1 St Mary's Axe, Gherkin
→ Monument, Great Fire of London
FINISH: Monument Underground: Northern , District and Circle Lines
CITY OF LONDON WALK
St Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was re-built between 1675 and 1710 after the Great Fire of London. As the Nation's church, services under the 3rd largest church dome in the world have included the funerals of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson and the Royal Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
Guildhall has been official headquarters of the Lord Mayor of London since the twelfth century. Built in the era when the Lord Mayor rivaled the monarch for influence and prestige, 600 years later on Guildhall's Medieval Hall and Crypts are still used as a magnificent setting for Royal ceremonies and grand banquets in honour of visiting Heads of State.
Mansion House is a
unique Georgian Town Palace in the City of London. With its magnificent interiors and elegant furniture, Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. Behind the grand six column portico is the 18th century Egyptian Hall and Ballroom which provide a high-profile venue for dinners and banquets.
In the 2nd century A.D. a temple of Mithras stood on the bank of the river Walbrook which now runs underneath the church of St Stephen Walbrook. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1672, the plain exterior of the church hides a Classical interior. A predecessor to St Paul’s Cathedral, architecturally it is one of the most important buildings in London.
The London Stone is the place from which the Romans measured all distances in Britain. The milestone was recognised as the symbolic authority and heart of the City of London, a place where deals were forged, official statements made and oaths were sworn. Discussed by Shakespeare and Dickens, London Stone was originally situated in the middle of Cannon Street.
The Bank of England, founded in 1694 as a private bank, provided King William III much needed finance and debt management. Now owned by the Government, the Bank of England is at the centre of the UK's financial system, issuing banknotes, setting interest rates and, deep underground, holds one of the world's largest stocks of gold bars. The Bank has its own museum.
The Royal Exchange, founded in 1566, was based on the ancient Bourse at Antwerp and became a principal European market-place. Given Royal status by Elizabeth I, traders, stockbrokers and London merchants met here on a daily basis putting the Exchange at the centre of the country's industry. The Royal Exchange is now a luxurious shopping centre.
Leadenhall Market dates back to the fourteenth century and stands on what was the centre of Roman London. Originally a meat, game and poultry market, the ornate roof structure and cobbled floors of the present 1881 market is a popular with local city workers and tourists. Leadenhall was used as Diagon Alley in 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone'.
Lloyd's of London is the world's most prominent insurance market. It was started in 1688 by a small group of shipowners and marine underwriters who met daily in Edwards Lloyds city coffee house. The Lloyds building, opened by the Queen in 1986, was designed by architect Sir Richard Rogers who also worked on the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
30 St Mary Axe, known as the Gherkin, was designed by Lord Foster and is the sixth tallest building in London. Opened in 2004, the environmentally sustainable sky-scrapper was voted the most admired new building in the world in a survey of leading architects.
At 180 meters tall there is only one piece of curved glass on the building — the lens-shaped cap at the top.
The Monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1671 on the orders of Charles II, was built to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City. The Monument at 61.5m is the tallest free-standing stone-column in the world. The viewing platform near the top is reached by climbing 311 spiral steps.
TOURIST AND SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTIONS
City of London Walk - Interactive Google Sightseeing Map
St PAUL'S CATHEDRAL to GUILDHALL
Our City of London Wall STARTS at St Paul's Underground Station. Come out of the station at EXIT 2. St
Paul's Cathedral will be behind you, walk down to ST PAULS CHURCH YARD EC4 turn right and walk around to the front of the Cathedral. Continue walking counter-clockwise around the Cathedral to the rear, then go straight across NEW CHANGE EC4 into WATLING STREET EC4.
Take the 2nd left into BOW LANE EC4. At the end walk straight across CHEAPSIDE EC4 into HONEY LANE EC4. Turn right into TRUMP STREET EC4 then left into KING STREET EC4, at the end cross GRESHAM STREET EC4 and entre GUILDHALL.
GUILDHALL to THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
From Guildhall turn left into GRESHAM STREET EC4 then 2nd right down OLD JEWRY EC4. At the end turn left into POULTRY EC4. Walk down to the junction with QUEEN VICTORIA STREET EC4 and cross the road, Mansion House, the Lord Mayor of London's Residence, is 50m on the right. Walk round behind Mansion House, down WALBROOK EC4 to the Church of St. Stephen Walbrook.
Continue down Walbrook, at the end turn left into CANNON STREET EC4. The London Stone is 50m on the left, behind a grill on the pavement. Continue up Cannon Street, take the next left ST SWITHINS LANE EC4, and walk up to the end. Turn left onto KING WILLIAM STREET EC3, which changes into LOMBARD STREET EC3. Continue up Lombard Street to the busy BANK junction and turn right into THREADNEEDLE STREET EC2. The Bank of England is 50m on the left, with the museum entrance on the right side of the building in Bartholomew Lane EC2.
The Royal Exchange is opposite the Bank of England, at the junction of CORNHILL EC2 and THREADNEEDLE STREET EC2.
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE to THE GHERKIN, ST MARY AXE
Continue up THREADNEEDLE STREET EC2 and take the 1st road on the right, ROYAL EXCHANGE BUILDINGS EC2 which is behind the Royal Exchange. At the end turn left into CORNHILL EC2 then right into GRACECHURCH STREET EC3.
Walk down Gracechurch Street and take the 1st left into Leadenhall Market.
Walk through Leadenhall Market to the end of LEADENHALL PLACE EC3. Turn left into LIME STREET EC3 and walk to the end of the road, passing the Lloyd's Building on the left and the Willis Building on the right, to LEADENHALL STREET EC3. Cross straight over Leadenhall Street into ST MARY'S AXE EC3. Walk up St Mary Axe to Number 30 - the Gherkin Tower.
THE GHERKIN, ST MARY AXE to MONUMENT
Turn-around and re-trace your steps back down LEADENHALL STREET EC3 and LIME STREET EC3 past the Lloyd's and Willis Buildings. Continue straight on past LEADENHALL PLACE EC3 to the end of Lime Street.
At the end of LIME STREET EC3 go straight across FENCHURCH STREET EC3 into PHILPOT LANE EC3. Take the 1st right into EASTCHEAP EC3, cross the road and then take the 1st left into PUDDING LANE EC3. At the end turn right into MONUMENT STREET EC3 and walk up to the Monument.