The pocket-sized London’s Hidden Walks series is well researched and handy. The latest addition, subtitled Every Street Has a Story to Tell, is a genial and inspiring guide to some hidden London treasures.
Who knew that the Spanish Civil War memorial was right next to Fulham Palace? Or that the cabman’s shelter in Pimlico, a small green wooden hut serving refreshments, is one of the sole survivors of more than sixty such? History, architecture, art, literature and generally bizarre things all feature.
South London is especially well represented here, with Clapham, Peckham and Tooting all featuring. Even in areas I know very well, I’ve learnt to look for some surviving gems because of this book.
Nicely illustrated with quirky photos and useful maps, this is a pleasure to read before you set out, as well as providing suggestions for good restaurants, pubs, and shops on the routes. The inclusion of notable ghost signs is especially welcome (I used to like the Barlow and Roberts ghost sign on Southwark Street near here, but it seems to be gone now). This book encourages us to look up: there is often something interesting up there.