Bowl of Chalk…

It’s cockney rhymin’ innit, bruv?!

This is a London tour which strips itself of all the bells and whistles of other tours. No gimmicks, no scripts and most importantly –no huge price tag.

Meet Jonnie, of ‘Bowl of Chalk’ fame –a walking tour around different parts of London. Being a Southern amateur, it took me a while to realise the name is cockney rhyming slang for ‘Walk’.

The group convened near St Pauls station where Jonnie explained to us that the walk would take about three hours and that we could ask as many questions as we liked –related to London, but I threw the odd life question in there too, which he answered very well. Three hours?! I thought. Surely that’s a LONG time? Turns out, time flew whilst we had fun. I did a time check after twenty minutes and counted how many new facts I’d learnt and it came up to about thirty five. I’m not even joking. Facts are not something to joke about -I don’t take learning new facts lightly.

After that I didn’t once feel the need to clock-watch, I was too engrossed. Much to my delight, the tour started in a shopping centre! …In a way. We went to the roof of ‘One New Change’ near St Paul’s, where we were presented with a breathtaking view of the Cathedral and the stretch of London’s many landmarks. It’s a spot I will take visiting friends and family to in the future, for a beautiful, free city view.

This is one of many little touches which make this tour unique. Jonnie knows the city –and the knowledge to go with it –incredibly well. I came away knowing so much more about London and I discovered about eight new pubs I want to try as well as many other museums and attractions which we discovered along the way. I also came away having made new friends which is apparently not uncommon, as the time together is friendly, fun and chatty, so tour groups usually get to know each other and network.
It’s a pay what you want tour, which alleviates pressure and allows you to show as much gratitude as you can afford. Since the walk, I feel like I’ve had great exercise, I’m more knowledgeable and, more importantly, I’m now more a more valued member of my pub quiz team.