“Soho French secrets revealed”
I asked, Chris Rhodes, at Exploring London Tours to plan a walking tour of Soho for The Beaconsfield Twinning Association. We’re twinned with Langres, a town in France, so I wanted the tour to include as many French Connections with Soho that might amuse or inform our group. Chris took on the brief with enthusiasm and produced a walking tour that embraced the best that Soho has to offer and include many French connected sites, facts, and fascinating trivia. The route itself was logical and compact, so a great balance of ‘walk and talk’. Chris’s anecdotes were witty and well told and despite the fact that it was windy and rather chilly the mood of the group was very upbeat. Prior planning by Chris meant that we we’re able to enjoy coffee and patisseries at the oldest French bakery in London ‘Maison Bertaux’ and be entertained by the current owner (a relative of the founder) with stories of its colourful history. Chris also researched suitable French restuarants at which to conclude our tour and made the reservations for us. Feedback from the ‘Soho Walkers’ has been extremely postive both on the quality of the tour information and the locations visited. We’re looking to return to Soho next year for a similar tour to discover even more of its French connections … patisseries and bistro dining included.
Jan and Andy
We were given a very well prepared and interesting tour around the less well known London Legal District including barristers’ chambers and the truly stunning Middle Temple Hall. We were guided around Temple Church and told about some of the barristers and the famous cases they were involved in as well as the general historical background to the buildings and their famous architects. We were shown where Tony Blair had worked and rounded up the tour by a visit to another hugely impressive building, The Royal Courts of Justice. Chris recommended Middle Temple Hall for lunch which was a really good experience too. Chris’s presenting style was both extremely knowledgeable and humorous! A thoroughly enjoyable tour! Many thanks Jan and Andy
Chris and Rebecca
“Excellent legal tour of London”
Chris took us on a tour around the Inns of Court in London. Although I lived in London for 3 years and studied close by, it was an area that I did not know. Chris knew all the best places to visit and was a fountain of knowledge about the area. He had lots of stories to tell to bring what we were seeing to life. A fascinating couple of hours finished with a great lunch in the Middle Temple Hall, an amazing Elizabethan building in the heart of the legal district of London. I would thoroughly recommend Chris and this tour.
Chris took us around Whitechapel, and we explored the alleys and historical sites. Chris’ knowledge is very well researched and he has the ability to perfectly balance the talking with the walking. We learned a bit about the notorious Kray twins and the places they frequented. We also covered some history of Jack the Ripper and other notable residents of this part of London. It was an excellent tour and lasted about two hours and we finished at Spitalfields market in time for lunch. Highly recommended. Chris also does a special Jack the Ripper historical tour in this area.
The setting for this walk is a very welcome quiet and traffic free oasis where the passage of time seems to have passed unnoticed. Period buildings and beautifully planted green spaces provided the backdrop to Chris’s fascinating and well illustrated commentary on both the historical and contemporary significance of this area.
A leisurely lunch in the imposing Elizabethan Middle Temple Hall provided the perfect finish, and a number of us enjoyed retracing our steps afterwards. We much look forward to another walk.
My brother and his wife recently treated my wife and me plus some friends to Chris’ Tour of the Inns of Court or “Warrior Monks to Warring Barristers”, as he calls it. It was extremely informative and witty. This was also true of previous tours we have done with Chris: his East End Walk and highlights of the British Museum. All were hugely enjoyable. In addition to being incredibly knowledgeable – way beyond even the stringent blue badge requirements – Chris is also a consummate professional. For the walking tours, he checks out the route in advance on the day, to avoid any unexpected issues and to smooth the path for any buildings to be visited. I recommend Chris very highly indeed.
Chris has it all.. Knowledge, personality, kindness, and great story-telling to boot. He’s certainly the most engaging guide I’ve toured with.
I’ve been on a variety of tours before where it’s either been information overload or monotonous but Chris has managed to strike a perfect balance to leave the entire group buzzing..
I’m in my 20’s and don’t always feel guide are able to keep it current and topical, but Chris certainly does – by getting to know the personalities around the area & laddering up stories..
I’d certainly recommend booking up with him, whatever your age or group type!
A really, very enjoyable an interesting walk around Soho. We were shown interesting points that we would have just walked by,
We saw, churches, jazz clubs, famous old pubs, a French patisserie and even a couple of the “Clubs” that Soho has become famous for but only from the outside of course. The best thing I can say about this tour is that I can’t waite to go on another
Chris lead a really enjoyable tour of the Inns of Court. He took us into buildings I didn’t know we’re open to the public and mixed historic and contemporary information to make a very interesting couple of hours. As a Londoner, I was amazed how little I knew about the area. I recommend it for visitors and locals alike.
Started the tour with an excellent lunch at Middle Temple Hall followed by a fascinating tour of the area with excellent anecdotes by Chris. Follow the footsteps of Dickens or even Tony Blair! The Temple Church and the High Courts of Justice are not to be missed.
A fascinating 2 hour guided walking trip around Soho. Chris had clearly done a lot of research because he was able to point out and describe many interesting places, people and events associated with Soho. As well as informative and interesting Chris made it good fun. We have also been on two other guided tours with Chris and would recommend him very highly
Chris took us on a small group (4) of the Legal sites of Temple and Courts of Justice, he was well informed, friendly and kept us all engaged showing the highlights of the Hall of Middle Temple and the Temple Church. We ended with a pleasant lunch in the hall after starting at Temple tube. All of the group thoroughly enjoyed the morning and Chris’s conversational style interspersed with linked anecdotes
On the hottest day since records began we took a tour of Soho with Chris Rhodes. It was a part of London we had not been to before and were pleasantly surprised at the interesting houses, famous companies, restaurants, pubs and green space we found. Chris had researched the area well and provided news cutting recordings etc. to add background and interest to the tour. Soho used to have a reputation for sex and sleeze but that has changed. It is definitely worth joining Chris for for an entertaining and very informative two and half hours in an area of London not normally visited. It has tempted us to explore further. Well done Chris.
Recently a group of ‘oldies’ went on a conducted tour by Chris Rhodes of the Soho area of London. We met at the junction of Dean St. & Oxford St for a tour lasting about 2.5 hours at a very acceptable walking pace for us. Through Chris’s guidance we learnt about Soho’s history & how it is now experiencing a modernisation programme. Once associated with sex & sleeze Soho is now more your trendy dining, art & fashion scene. From the offices of “Private Eye” to the HQ of Saatchi & Saatchi we walked via small alleyways & churches learning something new from a friendly, knowledgeable & question answering Chris Rhodes.
A thoroughly recommendable tour. Thank you
Commencing at Aldgate East underground station, 12 friends recently experienced an East End walking tour with Chris Rhodes. His tour was amusing and full of anecdotes. His research is thorough and his knowledge is extensive, from Jack the Ripper to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. He is happy to answer questions along the route and interacts well with the group.
If you feel you would like to extend your knowledge of London then I would definitely recommend Chris’ tours. An excellent way to explore London. I intend to do more..
Great tour. Chris is fun and full of fascinating facts. Makes you really appreciate what a cool city London is and all of the history! Will definitely do another one next time we have people staying
Jeff Kenyon: Ware Rotary Club
“Chris took a group of us from Ware Rotary on a walk round the City of London. We found it very informative and entertaining and hope to use Chris again for another tour in London. One member, who felt he knew the City reasonably well, found that Chris’s familiarity with the area and the stories he told increased his knowledge by leaps and bounds.”
You really are a mind of well remembered information, and you make it sound interesting to learn about through your enthusiasm! We thoroughly enjoyed your tour and would definitely recommend you to our friends.
Leonard Cheshire Home
Hi Chris, Well done on a very successful trip yesterday. I have had really good feedback from the whole party and I am glad it didn’t pour with rain.
Chris lead a group of 30 of us around a part of Docklands and the East End that has many famous and infamous associations, past and present, and that was previously unknown to all of us. He kept our attention and entertained us throughout, with a wealth of stories and insights about our surroundings – both ancient and modern. I could not recommend Chris too highly to anybody looking for an insightful and entertaining tour around London. Andy Hill
Chris organised a very interesting tour along the Thames through the former Docklands taking in a number of the historic pubs along the way. His commentary was well paced and entertaining. I came away having had both a thoroughly enjoyable day and also learning a lot about this important area of London and its history. Thank you Chris. I look forward to our next tour!
Trevor and I and our Tasmanian friends just wanted to thank you so much for your excellent tour of City of London. We had no idea so much was hidden behind corners in the heart of our capital. You made it so interesting with your wealth of knowledge, humour, and gauging just where we needed to have a shady extra sit on the hottest day of the year!! It was so illuminating and all most enjoyable. Postman’s Park, the Church ruins, and the snuffers on the wrought iron, just some of the things we would normally just pass by in ignorance.
Leonard Cheshire Home
Just a line to say a very big thank you to you for the trip to St Pauls yesterday. Sam, Sandra and Linda had a brilliant time and so did the escorts. Great success! Regards, Lynn
Chiltern Business Club
“Thank you so much for last night, we all had a wonderful evening. The meal at the Dickens Inn was excellent an members have already said we should be looking at doing more trips.I have already recommended you to a WI so they may be in touch. The pace of the walk was excellent, I was so surprised when you said we were at our last stop, I had to check my watch. the time had flown by.” Sandra
“Chris bravely took me and eight girlfriends on a tour around Westminster Abbey, inside and out. It was great not having to queue – one of the benefits of having an official guide. But best of all was having a guide who is not only knowledgeable and entertaining, but who clearly loves London and its rich history. His insider knowledge of ‘rest room’ facilities was also invaluable to us ladies-of-a-certain-age.”
“Thank You for guiding us so expertly through Westminster Abbey. Fascinating, we loved it.”
“we were very impressed with your knowledge, the amount of preparedness, effort and dedication you showed to your job. We also aoppreciated your responsiveness to our requirements”
“Your enthusiasm was inspring. You were a very personable and knowledgeable guide who left us wanting more. The time flew by”
“I have been on two of Chris’s tours, and he is very friendly, informative, professional and entertaining. I would highly recommend his tours, and hope to go on another one soon.”
” Chris went to considerable trouble to personalise the walk and to add humour amongst the depth of facts, so that everyone was able to enjoy and benefit. The walk was expertly planned and timed with sufficient time to see the main features, without becoming bored. Certainly hope to go on further walks with Chris.”
“Chris guided us through a great mix of paintings within the National Gallery providing an interesting narrative that served to bring paintings to life, whether it was Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh or one of the other greats. Chris’s tour has inspired my husband and myself to explore the gallery further.”