Weaving unexpected and alternative routes through the city and tackling big architectural stories in an authoritative, yet accessible way, the London Ambler brings to life the many episodes, sagas and adventures of built and unbuilt London. With all walks devised and led by Mike Althorpe, a London architectural historian, researcher and urban explorer with a passion for the greatest city on earth, The London Ambler is about mixing it up and exploring architecture with fresh eyes, more energy and new perspectives!
To find out about walks happening in 2017 including special LFA2017 events and walks throughout summer check out the links below, follow me online or talk to me direct.
‘The Marylebone and Mayfair walk was thoroughly captivating. Having lived and worked in the area for many years, I was interested to see if Mike could offer any new insights – and boy, did he! His expertise ranges across history, architecture, culture and social history, and his easy way with storytelling makes him an entertaining walking companion.’ – Katie Puckrik, London
‘Walking tours whatever the weather with #theLondonAmbler are the best. Enlightening, entertaining and all the insider info on architecture.’ – Phoebe Coulton, London via Facebook
‘The London Ambler will show places in London that you’ve never seen before and will tell you things you never knew before. Please check it out. It’s a great day out.’ – Janey de Nordwall, London via Facebook
In June The London Ambler is partnering with the LFA2017 on a special season of walks recalling London’s greatest and most potent architectural landscapes with guest contributions, cameos and pop-ups by authors, architects, artists and historians, including; Owen Hatherley, Sam Jacob, Sarah Gaventa, John Grindrod, John Boughton, Rosamund West, Holly Lewis and Max Colson. Full details and booking below.
A RADICAL RIVERSCAPE – Architecture and Revolution Down The Fleet
Saturday 03 June, 13.00 – 15.30
£15 SOLD OUT!
Weaving a route from Highgate to the Thames, The River Fleet has been both life source and life taker, carving out a landscape of hills, ditches, slums and warehouses that became the epicentre for speculators, railway pioneers, reformers and revolutionary agitators of the 19th and early 20th century city. From hidden viaducts and railway monuments to model dwellings, Grecian villas and modernism, this walk treads the quaggy banks and oozy wells of the Fleet to chart the architecture and stories along London’s most radical of arteries. With contributions from author and journalist Owen Hatherley, Municipal Dreams blogger John Boughton and art historian Rosamund West.
A VANISHING CITY – Modernism Lost and Found in The City of London
Saturday 10 June, 13.00 – 15.30
£15 BOOK HERE
After the Second World War London looked to the future. Recovering from the destruction of the blitz and seeking to banish the decrepit Victorian city, it embraced modernism and embarked on a great project of reinvention. Taking the best ideas from Europe and America, the Square Mile remade itself for a confident new age. From modernist icons and brutalist skyscrapers to aerial walkways, bogus roadways and curious underpasses, this walk pulls together the fragments of the City’s once bold future to chart the architecture of what was and what might’ve been. With contributions from author of ‘Concretopia’ John Grindrod and curator of ‘Out There: Our Postwar Public Art’ Sarah Gaventa and more names to be confirmed.
A DOCKLANDS ODYSSEY – The Reinvention and Rise of Canary Wharf
Saturday 17 June, 13.00 – 15.30
£15 BOOK HERE
In the 1980s London’s great opportunity was the East End. In Thatcher’s free market city, Docklands was full of possibilities. Over 30 years later what was once the hub of London’s 18th century port is one of the most important financial hubs in the world – a fragment of Wall Street with all the North American swagger and architectural chutzpah to match. From marine relics to beaux arts arcades, TV landmarks, post-modern icons and high-tech underworlds, this walk charts the making of this icon of urban planning, exploring the politics, business deals and various waves of boom and bust that have marked its creation. With contributions from architect and designer Sam Jacob, artist Max Colson and architect/urban geographer Holly Lewis co-founder of ‘We Made That’
WALKS IN JULY & AUGUST 2017
Scheduled walks on great London architectural themes will be available through July, August and beyond. Check back here soon for details or if you want to talk further contact me direct at email@example.com
THE GREAT ESTATES – High Life & Low Life Through Marylebone & Mayfair
Saturday 01 July, 10.30 – 12.30
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
Marylebone and Mayfair are among London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. Originally developed for England’s nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries, their smart terraces and squares are the outcome of waves of speculation and renewal by The Great Estates – the city’s aristocratic land owners. Yet beside these genteel enclaves once stood notorious hinterlands and slums. Retracing the landscape defined by the River Tyburn, this walk reveals the highs and lows of the West End’s smartest districts. From workhouses, tenements, burial grounds to batchelor flats, lost mansions, Lords and Ladies it revels in the contrasts and overlooked architectural stories along one of London’s great hidden riverscapes.
DEPARTS – The portico of St Marylebone Paris Church, facing Marylebone road.
SCENES OF WONDER – The Architecture & Melodrama of Regent’s Park
Saturday 8 July, 10.30 – 12.30
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
The Regent’s Park is one of London’s finest public spaces. Created by John Nash in the early 19th Century it is credited as the city’s first garden suburb. In its creation, Nash obsessively reworked plans to conjure a landscape, where stately villas, palatial terraces, rolling hills and curious monuments all play a role in conjuring scenes of delight. Yet behind the stucco, it was a venture into the Regency housing market marked by bitter arguements, nepotism, fudge and compromise. From illusions of Versailles, to incarnations of ancient Greece and modernism, this walk explores the artfully spun fictions and show stoppers of the park through the story of its making, its best buildings and finest views.
DEPARTS – Regents Park Tube station.
ROOKERIES, RAILWAYS & RADICALS – Architecture Down The Fleet River
Saturday 22 July, 10.30 – 12.30
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
Weaving a route from Highgate to the Thames, The River Fleet is one of London’s most celebrated yet notorious water courses. Long buried in a network of sewers and pipes, the Fleet has been both life source and life taker carving out a landscape of urban hills, ditches, slums and warehouses that in the 19th century became the epicentre for commercial speculators, railway pioneers, reformers and the revolutionary political agitators of the 19th and early 20th century city. From hidden viaducts and railway monuments to model dwellings, Grecian villas and constructivism, this walk treads the quaggy banks and oozy wells of the Fleet Valley to chart the architecture and buildings of London’s most radical of arteries.
DEPARTS – Outside Kings Cross mainline station, under the clock.
WALL STREET ON WATER – The Architecture & Planning of Canary Wharf
Saturday 5 August, 10.30 – 12.30
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
In the 1980s London’s great new opportunity was the East End. In Thatcher’s free market city, Docklands was there for the taking. Over 30 years later what was once the centre of London’s mighty 19th century port is one of the most important financial hubs in the world – a quayside fragment of Wall Street with all the North American brashness and architectural chutzpah to match. From marine relics and wharves to beaux arts arcades, post-modern icons and high-tech underworlds, this walk charts the making of this icon of urban planning, exploring the politics, business deals and various waves of boom and bust that have marked its spectacular creation.
DEPARTS – Westferry Docklands Light Railway Station.
FRAGMENTS OF TOMORROW – Modernism Lost & Found in the City of London
Saturday 12 August, 10.30 – 12.30
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
After the Second World War, London looked to the future. Recovering from the destruction of the blitz and seeking to banish the decrepid Victorian city, in the 1950s and 60s it embraced modernism and embarked on a great project of architectural reinvention. Taking the best ideas from Europe and its native sons, while also trying to keep pace with America, the Square Mile remade itself through new landscapes for a confident new age. From modernist icons and brutalist skyscrapers to aerial walkways and bogus roadways and curious underpasses, this walk pulls together the fragments of the City’s once bold future to chart the architecture, buildings and remnants of what was and what might’ve been.
DEPARTS – Outside Blackfriars Underground Station.
NASH RAMBLAS – The Making & Remaking of Regent Street
Saturday 26 August, 10.00 – 12.00
£12-£10 BOOK HERE
Regent Street is the great showpiece thoroughfare of London. Cutting a swathe through the West End, it is one of the city’s most important urban developments and transformed the face of London. Carved out by the city’s great architect-planner John Nash, it was touted by George IV as the premier street of Europe. Lined with an array of stucco parades and colonnades, it was completely rebuilt in during the 1900s to match the scale and ambition of a new century – a project still underway in the 1920s. From pleasure palaces and Regency rendezvous to facades and arcades, this walk charts the making and REmaking of the street from its 19th century origins to its 21st century role in the life of the contemporary city.
DEPARTS – Foot of The Duke of York Steps, on the Mall at St James’s Park.
FIND OUT MORE & STAY IN TOUCH
To stay in touch with walks throughout 2017 check out the links below, follow me online or talk to me direct.