Laurence's Walks in London
Laurence's Walks in London

Take an Unusual London Walking Tour

Laurence Scales, specialist London guide, interested in science

I offer scheduled and private tours featuring the curious history of discovery, invention, medicine and intelligence in London. I also write about the same.

Bored by kings and queens? Find a different sort of history in London.

  • Boffins in coffins at Brompton
  • Secret ink at Mayfair
  • Scientific fraud at Notting Hill
  • Dinosaur dung at Westminster
  • Weaponry at Woolwich
  • Peculiar pets at Chelsea

Do you have a special interest? Whether it is intelligence, microscopy, air conditioning, chemistry, lighting or something else it should be possible for me to devise you a tour.

My walking tours for small groups visit the homes and haunts of remarkable characters from history. But rather than the artists, nobles and politicians I bring you the ingenious, enlightened and eccentric, typically scientists, inventors, engineers and spies.


It's like a Hollywood Stars' Homes bus tour. But it's not in Hollywood, the stars are not from showbiz and there's no bus!


Aimed at the lay person these walking tours in central London or in one of London's 'villages' feature attractive architecture and quiet and pleasant stretches in back streets, parks or along the water. They cover social history and the often surprising evolution of London's infrastructure.


I can also cater for older school students and university students.

Recommend this page on:

Explore the History of Science in London

Timeline of Some Science Stories in London

Some of these may surprise you!


1641 Binary code, Holborn

1784 Air rage, West Brompton
1786 Surgery at10 Downing St
1797 Weighing the world, Clapham
1799 High speed data, Southwark
1852 Gauging beauty, Kensington
1892 Decorative electrics, Bayswater
1915 Gas masks, Pimlico
1940 Battling the beams, Richmond
1965 Sniffing out spies, Lambeth

Photo: Mike Gould

Some Recent Tours

Nine Boffins - A Westminster war walk

Woolwich - Military engineering heritage

London Secret Agents - Codes, deceipt, gadgets

Boffins in Coffins - Cemetery tours

Geeky Ladies - Engaging and practical ladies

On Woolwich Common


Other walks feature Local Heroes (and a few villains) in Mayfair, Kensington, Lambeth, Chelsea, Belgravia, Notting Hill, Bayswater, Holland Park, Richmond, Blackheath, Smithfield, Marylebone and Wimbledon.


These unusual London walking tours, mostly within zones 1-4 of the Travelcard area, last about 2 hours, but there are some longer walks which involve a rest stop.  Click here for a tour menu.  For mobility aspects see General Information.

Locations of Laurence's Walks

Science Tourism in London

This is not the history of science textbook-style, but I offer colourful stories of invention, experiment, discovery and adventure put into context and told in appropriate locations in a great city.


Local Heroes


'There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know.' - Ambrose Bierce


London is home to world famous institutions like the Royal Society (founded 1660), the Royal Institution (founded 1799), the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Many world famous scientists* and inventors have also lived here including Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Alexander Fleming, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Alan Turing and James Clerk Maxwell.


I have also taken upon myself a mission 'to make known the notable unknowns'. Literally hundreds of people with significant and enjoyable life stories have been forgotten. Outside my walking tours these are not easily accessible to visitors, even via the heritage blue plaques.


I cover all sorts with science or enlightenment in their story: explorers, pathologists, code breakers, cooks, camouflage artists, manufacturers etc.

Intended Audience

  • You like walking or exploring around town,
  • You have perhaps visited London's famous sites before and want something more unusual,
  • You are interested in social history, science & technology, or intrigue,
  • OR, like many of my customers, you do not think of yourself as a science tourist but you like to see and hear something new and interesting.
Laurence's Walks Word Cloud

London Curriculum (STEM)

School Teachers! I can talk about science, technology, engineering and maths in the context of London.

BBC Radio 4 Science Stories

If you enjoy this series you will surely also enjoy my tours.

*The term 'scientist' dates from 1834 and describes those who use the scientific method, although it took a century to catch on. Prior to that the term "natural philosopher" was used to describe those who sought to describe nature (space and matter) by any means available.

Next Walk

A Medically Miscellaneous Tour of Bloomsbury 13 Feb 2016. Book here.


Or contact me about a private tour

Last Minute Changes

<<Check here near the time.>>

Please check transport before travel - especially at weekends


Book Tickets via Eventbrite

For queries, please email.

Email me if you want to be on my list for occasional emails about tours

Gift Shop

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