Bring Your Baby - 'BRING YOUR BABY' GUIDED LONDON WALK: 'Charles Dickens' & Dr Johnson's Fleet Street, Alleyways and the Ancient Inns of Court'

WINNER of 'Best Parent Activity' at the '2020 Bablands Awards'!

Friday    14:00–16:30

This activity is usually led by Lucy Madison, who is a trained walking guide and historian, and worked as Primary school teacher in London before having her son. She is mum to 3 year old Evan, and dreamt up the idea for 'Bring Your Baby' somewhere between breastfeeding and napping with her son. Lucy is also the founder of 'Bring Your Baby Pub Quiz', which started out as an alternative for walks in the winter, and exploded. ('Bring Your Baby Pub Quiz' will be back as soon we can be back in pubs.) Aside from 'Bring Your Baby', Lucy runs the blog 'Horrid Hackney' and works with the Hackney History group, supports Primary schools with their local history curriculum, and gives public talks. She is currently writing content for a book about significant Hackney women.

Outside 'The Blackfriar' pub, where the shaded benches are.  miles

174 Queen Victoria Street
London , Greater London
View directions

0 months - 2 years

Bring Your Baby Advance Booking

NB: This event MUST be booked in advance. No drop-ins.

Last verified on 15 Jan 2021. Request a Quick Check.


'Bring Your Baby' Guided London Walks are sensitively devised to suit parents and carers of even the tiniest babies to enjoy London’s history. We can stop whenever you like to feed and change - without the stress of feeling you are holding up the group. Because every participant brings their baby, patience and baby’s needs are at the forefront of each walk.

What you'll see on this walk:
- Site of the infamous 'Bridewell Prison' & Henry VIII’s 'Bridewell Palace', where he lived with Catherine of Aragon.
- 'Hanging Sword Alley', site of criminal’s drinking den 'Blood Bowl House', which Hogarth featured in 'The Idle Apprentice'.
- Remains of 13th century Whitefriars Monastery.
- Sir Christopher Wren's church of St. Bride's - inspiration for the wedding cake, and with a sinister connection to the founding of Virginia in America.
- Ancient alleyways once part of the notorious ‘Alsatia’, a violent no-go area where policemen feared to tread.
- Travel back in time to the ancient Inner Temple and Middle Temple courts and passages, and the 12th century Temple Church of the Knights Templar - atmospheric and otherworldly locations for Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations', 'Harry Potter', 'The Da Vinci Code', 'Harlots', 'Sherlock Holmes' and more. Here you will also hear tales of murder, ancient satantic rituals, and see the scene where Elizabeth I had the Earl of Essex arrested before his execution.
- 17th century pub 'Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese', local of Dickens, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Dr. Johnson.
- Alleyways, passageways and the house where Dr. Johnson lived, and where 'Sweeney Todd' kept his barber shop. You can also see where 'Mrs Lovett' made her famous ‘meat’ pies!

Covid-19 adaptations:
- The latest government advice is that events organised by businesses following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host larger groups in public outdoor spaces provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance.
- I am resuming guided walks in August 2020, but with a limited number of people. In order to take extra-precautionary steps, I will be limiting tickets to 10 adults (your children are included in my calculations), even though gatherings in an outdoor space *organised by businesses* may be allowed of up to 30 people. Please let me know if you intend to bring more than one child so I can account for them in my risk assessment.
- I will be speaking at a conversational volume, and will be following the guidelines provided by the 'Institute of Tour Guiding' (link at whereby, if requested, guides will consider wearing a mask or visor. If I think I won't be heard I will use a voice amplifier.
- Customers are not required to wear face masks, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
- We will be following routes and standing in places where we can at least stand 1 metre+ apart, but wherever possible 2 metres apart. I will be reminding people of this during the walk, as I know it is sometimes hard to concentrate when you are caring for a baby at the same time.
- Unfortunately we will not be able to stop indoors *as a group* to feed and change, go to the toilet or take refreshment as we would normally do. There will be occasions along the walk where we can sit down at a bench, square or green space etc. (e.g. within the pedestrian courts of the Temple Inns of Court, St. Bride's churchyard, Dr. Johnsons's traffic-free Gough Square), or you are also very welcome individually to visit a cafe to meet your needs, following normal social-distancing protocol. I will always try to remind people when I think there is a good chance to do this, but please understand opportunities may not always be immediate. As this may take longer than normal, everyone's patience is appreciated - and I certainly won't be impatient with you; it's what 'Bring Your Baby' is all about.
- I will maintain rigorous hygiene practices, and will use a personal hand sanitiser during the course of the tour. Please note, I will not be able to share hand sanitiser with members of the group and ask that you bring your own and use it should you touch any surfaces in the course of the tour.
- If on the day of the walk we are forecast to have very bad weather, I may have to postpone the walk if cannot guarantee there will be anywhere we can shelter while also adequately socially distancing. If it's a bit of light rain we will cope!
- If I feel unwell, I will cancel the tour. And if you or anyone in your household is unwell in the days or hours before the tour, it is imperative that you should not join us.

Every walk follows the usual health and safety guidelines, such as crossing at traffic lights where possible and having hazards pointed out to you at the start and along the route.

There may be times we have to stand in direct sunlight (although I will always choose shade where possible). Please bring all the necessary sun protection for yourself and your child.

As we are not able to stop collectively for refreshment, it is recommended you bring appropriate drinks and snacks. We do not anticipate being able to stop for food.

Please note: I will contact you with booking confirmation after you book. I will supply my mobile number in case of emergencies or in case you are running late. I will also ask you to provide me with a mobile number so you can be contacted before, during or after the walk, but this is *not for marketing purposes*. Your number will only be used for COVID-19 track and trace purposes (much like pubs and restaurants use when you first enter), and in case of lateness, walk postponement, cancellation or separation. Please note that if you are more than a few minutes late I may ask you to catch up with us.

I really appreciate the custom of anyone who books this walk - I know times are tough, and hope that we can get back to far more relaxed ways of doing things soon! I hope you enjoy this walk.

***If you like the look of any of my walks, but would prefer to book me privately, please make enquiries at [email protected] This may particularly be the case if you have people interested who do not have babies.***


Booking info

To browse and book visit


Siblings & Discounts

  • Single Session
  • £20.00

Spotted an error? Please help improve this listing.

Find baby classes. Meet other parents.

This site uses cookies to deliver a personalised service and improve performance. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more