Updated: 21 Mar 2017
It will be assumed that you have read and accepted these before making use of the tours or web site. The terms 'walk' and 'tour' are used interchangeably below.
The information given here is subject to change.
Tours are given in English.
I do not like to cancel walks. Scheduled walks could be cancelled if the forecast promises continuous or exceptionally heavy rain or a hurricane. Be prepared for a shower. Winter walks could be affected by snow or ice. Always check on the left of the page for last minute changes. Light rain is NOT normally a reason to cancel.
The weather forecasts in the UK have frequent recourse to the description "unsettled" which seems to mean some probability of showers, heavy or light, but can also include long periods when it is
dry and sunny. If these walks only took place on days "set fair" then I would forever be arranging postponements, mostly unnecessary - hence my weather policy.
Weather forecasts are usually provided by the media for 3 hour intervals over the coming 24 hours. But you can do better and make your own short term prediction by looking at the weather radar for incoming bands of rain.
It's Cold Out There (Sometimes)
These days when we step from home to car to office to car to shopping mall it is easy to forget about the weather. It will much enhance your enjoyment of these tours if you respect the weather and add another layer, or a hat or a scarf when appropriate, or bring a bottle of water when it's hot. 8C is cold, especially when there is a wind blowing and there is a layer of cloud.
Participants in scheduled walks will be invited to buy tickets using Eventbrite or similar web service, and these are charged at a rate similar to the cost of other London walking tours.
Correct as of 05 November 2016. These rates may change in the future.
When contacting me about a private tour please help me to help you by telling me the following. (Uncertainties increase costs!)
There are tours on my menu and it is also possible to have specially designed tours at extra cost. All tours involve special preparation.
No two tours are ever exactly the same and it may sometimes be possible to make minor modifications to the tours on my menu at no extra cost to take account of special interests if these are advised well in advance.
Small groups of friends/family/non-profit clubs and societies.
Typically £12 per person for a group of over 12 people for a 2 hour tour selected from my menu. Minimum charge £125. Add a few more people and the rate per person becomes less. A few less people and the rate will be a little higher. Tailor made tours also available.
Individuals and couples. A principle similar to a good quality restaurant applies where there are à la carte options or a cheaper ‘dish of the day’ option. Normally my minimum charge is £125 for a 2 hour tour selected from my menu (à la carte) but a set ‘dish of the day’ rate of £55 may be available for one person, or £75 for two people at certain times of the year if I am not busy, if I can repeat the tour in a short space of time, if I am developing a new tour, or for some other reason at my discretion. Tailor made tours also available.
Companies, conferences and institutions. Minimum charge £240 for a 2 hour tour selected from my menu. Part of this is payable in the form of a deposit. See cancellation section below.
Cemetery and Museum Supplement. A modest supplement will be charged for cemetery tours which will form a donation to the 'friends' of the cemetery for maintaining the graves and grounds. Similarly, many of London's museums are free to enter but still need an income to look after their extraordinary collections for posterity. So a donation is appropriate.
Tips/Gratuities. My tours are priced as low as possible for individuals in order to attract the widest range of interest - anyone from students and pensioners to billionaires. The cost therefore cannot reflect the love and effort that has gone into developing them. For these reasons tipping is never assumed or expected, but is always very much appreciated.
Routes and timings assume an average level of fitness and mobility. While London and the surrounding area is being made more accessible for the less mobile these walks have not been fully checked for step-free access - and building work etc may sometimes hamper access which is normally easy. People with particular needs are invited to get in touch well in advance of the walk.
With the exception of private tours I aim to cater for a group of 8 to 25 people. There is an upper limit to ensure that everyone can hear, enjoy a more personal experience and remain safe in congested streets. A scheduled walk may be cancelled if I have had too few expressions of interest a few days before the date.
Accompanied children are welcome (free of charge if carried, or in buggies, and very quiet - but see Accessibility above). These walks are not designed to be child-centred, but may well appeal to children with an interest in such things as history, science, adventure stories or architecture. I prefer any tour I give to be a conversation rather than a lecture and I think this helps in keeping all ages engaged.
The shortest walk is about 2.5 miles (4km) which we cover in about 2 hours.
I typically use Eventbrite or similar service to sell tickets for scheduled tours, or I can accept cash on the day. (But if I don't know you are coming then the tour can be cancelled at short notice due to insufficient bookings.)
For private tours I can accept payment in advance using Paypal but I need to make a charge to cover the additional cost to me of the transaction (3%, minimum £5). Use my contact email address.
If an invoice or receipt is required please let me know in advance.
In the event that a walk is cancelled by the organiser then tickets bought will be refunded, or any gift voucher used will remain valid for booking another walk. No other liability will be accepted.
Tickets will not normally be refunded to latecomers, or in the event of disinclination to take up a place already booked on the tour.
Scheduled tours may be cancelled if the number of bookings is very low 24-48 hours before the walk, or the weather forecast is exceptionally bad (see above).
For private tours a cancellation charge or loss of deposit may apply if the tour party making the booking subsequently decides not to take the tour. (These tours usually involve special preparation, and the guide may have had to decline other work when accepting the booking.)
I can provide by email a 'voucher' that may be given to a friend, colleague, partner, spouse or relative saying that you (identified in a space for your signature) will book them a place on Laurence's Walks in future. I do not charge for this, and it has no monetary worth, or exchange value except in personal relationships. But it may help you give a tangible gift. I do not sell gift vouchers because I have found that they are more complicated to administer than one might expect.
Read the joining instructions carefully with particular regard to the meeting point. Some stations have several exits.
Please assume that the walk will depart promptly at the advertised start time and not wait for latecomers. For the more far flung walks there may be train timetables to consider. Another common constraint is cafe closing times. There may be other factors which determine the start time. Waiting for latecomers usually impacts the enjoyment of others.
Walk participants may be refused admission to the event, or left behind, if they do not arrive by the advertised start time.
The duration of the walk depends on many factors and it is not possible to guarantee an exact finishing time.
These walks are at your own risk and you need to take responsibility for your own safety. The risks normally associated with walking and touring in London and the surrounding area apply to these walks and include hazard from: traffic, cycles, street crime, terrorism, animals, birds, rodents, insects, aircraft, trains, falling trees and branches, slippery ground, gradients, steps, uneven ground, open water, waterborne diseases, infectious diseases, solar radiation, meteorite impact, wind, flood, other extreme weather, falling objects, fires, escaping gas, electrical conductors, lightning, airborne particles, building materials andequipment, and construction work near public routes. A few walks involve visiting public parks and may include other risks due to golf or cricket balls etc. or related to the wildlife found there. Walks sometimes pause at a pub: see Pubs and Alcohol below. Tours may involve opportunities to obtain food: see Food below.
A walk of 2-3 hours may not involve a planned toilet stop. If there is a toilet near the start of the route this will usually be indicated in the tour joining instructions. Please make use of toilet facilities before the start.
I cannot give advice on parking. Please check this in advance and keep in mind that very few of my walks finish where they started. Consider using public transport but note that railway services can be interrupted or replaced by buses at weekends or bank holidays, extending journey times.
This web site includes links to other web sites. These may have their own terms and conditions and are used at your own risk. I am not responsible for any opinions or inaccuracies on those other web sites.
If you find a broken link on this web site please let me know.
Food, drink, transport, fares, insurance, souvenirs, purchases of a personal nature. These walks do not normally involve entrance to anywhere which charges admission. If there are any exceptions these will be explained in the joining instructions.
On private tours I understand that clients wish to go at their own pace, pause for refreshments, make additional visits to attractions, use taxis etc. The guide will not bear the expense of these extras without prior agreement.
No liability is accepted for the consequences of any inadvertent inaccuracy on my part. Details of walking tours on this web site are only indicative of the length, subject matter and scope. The exact content and length of the walk may vary as I attempt to improve them, take account of prevailing conditions or special events, and consider the wishes of the group.
I do strive to ensure that what is said on the walks is correct. I have consulted over 510 books to date and numerous other papers, periodicals, podcasts and broadcasts. I have had access on-line to the UK Dictionary of National Biography as well as the national biographical dictionaries of Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.
Laurence reserves the right to refuse people participation in walks/tours if in his reasonable opinion it might be a risk to the safety of the persons concerned and/or the audience, or it might affect the enjoyment of other members of the audience, or it might affect the running of the event. Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in termination of the tour without refund.
Walk participants are welcome to take still photographs and brief videos and films for personal use. Members of the tour group may therefore expect to appear in someone's camera shot, though children should be avoided.
Walk participants consent to still pictures, video or sound recording (as members of the audience) which Laurence may use for publicity purposes. The copyright is assigned to Laurence for any recordings of events produced by Laurence or those assisting him.
If you wish yourself or a member of your party not to be photographed then it is your responsibility to announce this at the outset, but please be considerate to those who do want to take photographs on the tour by moving out of camera shot. You may wish to bring a high visibility garment to help ensure that you are not photographed inadvertantly.
Walk participants are expected to obey the law and are asked not to affect the enjoyment of other participants by smoking inconsiderately.
The tours are not specifically pub tours, but for the comfort, and interest, of participants the tours may sometimes pause at pubs where shelter, refreshment and toilets may be found. In such cases participants may choose to consume alcohol at their own risk but are expected to drink responsibly and in moderation. See also Right to Refuse above.
Food is not included as part of the tour but opportunities to consume food may sometimes arise during the tour. Participants are expected to take responsibility for the risks involved such as relating to hygiene, choking, obesity, allergy, aversion or any other adverse reaction.
A walk may be curtailed by the organiser due to illness, emergency, bad weather or other circumstances outside the his control.
You are free to leave the tour at any time (but please make your intention known to the tour guide to avoid the tour guide instigating an unnecessary search). No refund will normally be given in such cases.
I am a sole trader with public liability insurance (annual, expires 20 Mar 2018).
Otherwise, this web site does not solicit personal data although external web sites, to which this web site contains links, may do so. Consult the relevant terms and conditions displayed on those web sites.
In developing this web site I have not employed any cookies. Biscuits on the other hand...
I use social media for the purposes of promoting the walks and associated written work, but posts may include material unrelated to the walks but of similar interest.
I have an association with a number of heritage and/or cultural organisations as indicated on this web site. But the opinions expressed on this web site, and the services offered on this web site are my own and not theirs. I do not intend to imply any official endorsement by them of my activities in cases where none exists.
Flat 8,14 Henfield Road
London SW19 3HU
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to public tours appear here.
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