Walking the River Fleet series

London is a city of layers, from the buildings above ground, through the artificial surface of roads and pavements, down further through the buried strata of archaeological remains into the infrastructure of transport and communications.

But underlying everything is the pre-human topography of earth and rock and water. If we really want to understand this city’s physical development, we need to explore the complex relationship between its structures and surfaces, and what lies beneath.

This series of three walks loosely follows the subterranean course of the former River Fleet, from Hampstead to the Thames at Blackfriars, looking not only at the architecture that lies over the former river valley, but also the people and events that have brought this special environment into life. We only see the river at the very beginning of our walk, and perhaps at the very end (depending on the tide), but that’s not the point, which is rather to use the course of the Fleet as an excuse to navigate London in an unusual but illuminating manner.

Your guide Joe Kerr is an architectural historian who has written extensively on the history of London, a city that both excites and frustrates him. He lives in Camden Town, above the hidden course of the River Fleet.

PART I
will commence at the fringe of Hampstead Heath and proceed down the Fleet valley to Chalk Farm, through a landscape of radical buildings and radical people.
Meet: Hampstead Heath Overground Station, South End Road, NW3 2QD
Tour duration 2.5hrs. Cost £25.50.

PART II will follow a path from Chalk Farm through the rings of London that were built in the industrial age, before penetrating into the older fabric of Bloomsbury.
Meet: Chalk Farm Tube Station, Adelaide Rd, London NW3 2BP.
Tour duration 2.5hrs. £25.50.

PART III will navigate the lower and broader reaches of the Fleet through a streetscape that is simultaneously ancient and contemporary, arriving finally at Blackfriars where the Fleet meets the Thames.
Meet: Outside King's Cross station under the clock tower. Euston Road,N1 9AL.
Tour duration 2.5hrs. Cost £25.50.

A ticket for all 3 River Fleet walks with a discount can also be purchased.

This series will return in 2018.

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Feedback from Open City walking tour attendees

"I was curious about the new developments and seeing what had happened to King's Cross in the 26 years since I worked in the area. I loved how the new developments are so sensitive to the old"

"We were very interested to see how the King's Cross area is progressing, it's such an important development, taking place almost on our doorstep."

 

 


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