This fascinating tour of two of the most loved areas of London, St James' and Mayfair, lasts for 3-3.5 hours. St James' developed around the Royals whereas Mayfair was built for the aristocrats so on this tour, you follow in the footsteps of both! The centrepiece of St James' is the majestic palace built by Henry VIII and as you meander the streets in the shadow of its great gate-tower, you will pass the gentlemen's clubs and elegant outfitters which have been a mecca to royals and gentlemen alike for centuries.
Walk a little further north and the tour takes you past the luxurious houses, beautiful gardens and exclusive shops of aristocratic Mayfair before arriving in Shepherd Market which used to be the home to Mayfair's thriving sex industry.
Admire the glamorous shops with their exquisite displays of china, glass and silverware and enjoy the delightful aromas of over 150 artisan cheeses in one of the oldest shops in the world.
Food/drink is not included in the cost of the tour.
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Pass By: Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER England
One of London's most sophisticated department stores, it's hard to believe it started life as a market stall! This is where picnic hampers were invented. We will take a quick turn of the ground floor after which you will definitely want to return for a more leisurely browse of the entire store!
Pass By: Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London W1J 0QJ England
the arcade has just celebrated its 200th anniversary. Built by one of the Earls of Burlington, George Cavendish, so his wife and her aristocratic friends would have somewhere to shop in privacy away from the prying eyes of the beggars, the Beadles still guard it to this day. the world's smallest police force, it's great to meet one as we saunter through doing a spot of window shopping.
Pass By: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House Piccadilly Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD England
Dating back to the 1700s, its summer exhibition is a firm favourite within London's 'Society' events.
Pass By: Berkeley Square Gardens, London W1J 5AR England
Most famous for its nightingales which probably never existed, this is one of London's most historically interesting squares. With a forgotten river flowing beneath it, the square is home to many plane trees which survive because they are unaffected by pollution. Whilst we stop here for 10 minutes or so, you can hear the story of the world famous Annabel's night club, the only such club the Queen is said to have visited, and the notorious Clermont Club with the murky tales which attach to it!
Pass By: Mount Street Gardens, Mount St Mayfair, London England
An oasis of peace and tranquility in the centre of London, it is hard to imagine you are only 5 minutes walk away from one of the busiest shopping streets in London. But life has not always been so calm here - in the 10 minutes we'll take to wander through these gardens, I'll tell you what lies beneath our feet and what gruesome secret one of the buildings at the side of the gardens holds.
Pass By: Shepherd Market, London W1J 7QU England
A leafy retreat nowadays but it used to be the centre of Mayfair's red light district where the aristocrats of old, with too much time and money on their hands, went for their entertainment. It was also the downfall of one MP - but which one?! I'll fill you in when we stop here for 10 minutes.
Pass By: Green Park, Piccadilly, London W1J 9EJ England
We move from the aristocrats to the royals as we move seamlessly from Mayfair to St James'. Hear the legend of how Green Park gets it name and get your brain in gear to try to take on board some of the Royals who will feature during this part of the walk.
Pass By: St. James's Palace, Marlborough Rd, St. James's, London SW1A 1BS England
Built by Henry VIII on the site of what used to be a woman's leper hospital, this was intended to be the palace for Henry's son promised to him by Anne Boleyn. But as the son turned out to be a daughter, Henry used the palace as a hunting lodge instead. The palace has been at the centre of many a Royal event so in the 20 minutes we'll take to wander around the outside of the palace, I'll fill you in on some of the most interesting stories from its past. If it's the right day, we might also see part of the ancient Changing of the Guard ceremony.
Pass By: Buckingham Palace, Spur Road, London SW1A 1AA England
Weekday home of the Queen, the palace balcony has been the focal point of many Royal celebrations including the Queen's 50th and 60th jubilees and William and Kate's wedding celebrations. In our 10 minute stop, I'll tell more about the Queen and her responsibilities. You'll be surprised at the amount she does!
Pass By: St. James's Park, Horse Guards Road The Storeyard, London SW1A 2BJ England
One of eight Royal parks in the capital, St James' is one of my favourites with its ornamental lake and wildlife frolicking in its waters. With luck we'll catch a glimpse of the resident pelicans, a pair of which were gifted to Charles II in 1664 by a Russian ambassador - there have been pelicans on the water ever since!"
Pass By: Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall, Horse Guards Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX England
Although best known for its ancient ceremonies of the Changing of the Guard and the Trooping of the Colour, Horse Guards was home to a gigantic sandpit during the 2012 London Olympics - the question is, though, which sport was it for?! I'll tell all as we stop here for about 10 minutes.
Pass By: St. James' Square, London SW1Y 4JU England
Built by Henry Jermyn as a reward for his loyalty to Charles II during the English Civil War, this was the place to live in the 17 and early 1800s. A pretty square, there are still remnants of the days of old with Nancy Astor's former home and one of Sir Christopher Wren's churches gracing its edge.
Pass By: Jermyn Street, London England
How better to end the tour than a wander along one of the oldest streets in London. With a cheese shop and a perfumery dating back to the 1700s, this is a fascinating street.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- When your booking is confirmed, you will receive contact details for me (Sandy) your guide for this tour. My aim is to give you the best experience you could possibly have so if you have any special requests, be sure to tell me what they are! If you need to go at a slower pace, or stop for a break midway through the tour, that will be fine with me.
- The tour will last between 3 - 3.5 hours depending on what walking pace you set and the number of questions you ask - the tour is flexible and allows you to customise your itinerary.
- The tour will cover roughly 2 - 3 miles in total.
- The tour will go ahead come rain or shine so please don't be put off by the weather. Do wear comfortable shoes and clothing and, if needs be, bring waterproofs and an umbrella.
- Due to the distances involved, and the speed with which we need to travel between events, this tour is not recommended for those with serious medical conditions including walking difficulties and back problems or for those who are in a wheelchair.
- Near public transportation
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Morning tours start at 9.45 under the Colonnade of the Ritz Hotel on Piccadilly.
- If you need directions from your hotel to the Ritz Hotel, do contact me on +44 7715 381712
- Most travelers can participate
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience
- I will guide family units only and will aim to keep 2 metres distant from the group. I will wash my hands before the tour and use hand sanitizer as appropriate throughout. Group members to bring their own hand sanitizer & paper towels to dry hands if a public toilet is used. No hand shaking allowed!
- A fun and experienced professional, local guide, accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and the University of Westminster. Sandy is a member of the City of Westminster Guide Lecturer's Association.
- Food and drinks
- Food sampling
- Gratuities - optional
- Transportation to/from the start and end points of the walk
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9BR, UK
180 to 210 minutes
Returns to original departure point
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Hobnob Tours in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.
This offer is not eligible for promo codes.