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The Tour

An illustration of a busy street scene, lot of menu unloading goods and produce from flat bed trucks into shops
Spitalfields Market by John Allin, 1973


JOIN US ON A WALKING TOUR OF SIGHTSEEING AND STORYTELLING, guided by a member of the local community and supplemented with archive photography and paintings.

Ramble through two thousand years of culture in the heart of London and encounter some of the people and places that make this ancient neighbourhood distinctive. Discover a rich and diverse history of resourcefulness driven by successive waves of migration from across the world – Huguenots, Jews, Irish and Bengalis among many others – telling the story of how modern Britain was created.

Follow in the footsteps of all who came before, with a keen eye and an open heart, to experience the manifold wonders of Spitalfields.

Our tours conclude in the drawing room of a three hundred year old house with complimentary tea and freshly baked cakes.

I am your loyal servant

The Gentle Author

Two china dogs with The Gentle Author's Tours below in italic text

Here are some comments by people who have been on my tours

What a winner! The Gentle Author’s Tour is in a category of its own, illustrated by the historic buildings of Spitalfields and illuminated by stories of its residents uniquely brought to life by their friend and biographer, The Gentle Author. Book immediately, to avoid disappointment.
The pace and places we stopped were perfect, with so many stories, both personal and historical, with the emphasis on the very humanity that has made this area what it is over so many centuries. It was such an antidote to the disconnection I’ve felt over the last eighteen months, thank you.
As an East Ender born and bred, I thoroughly enjoyed The Gentle Author’s Spitalfields walking tour. The tour is a magnificent counter-blast to those tours and stories of the East End focusing only on the Ripper horrors and statistics of poverty. The Gentle Author takes you on a journey into what the real East End has always been about – survival, defiance, community, change. Listen and marvel.
This is a must-do activity for London visitors and residents alike if you are keen to absorb the history of former generations as you walk around the cobbled streets of Spitalfields. From the Jewish soup kitchen to the site of the theatre where Chaplin trod the boards as a ten year old, The Gentle Author brings history to life over a very memorable two hours and I'm so glad that I experienced this.
This brilliant, incisive walking tour with The Gentle Author around Spitalfields was packed with fascinating detail and well woven narratives about some of the people who’ve given this area its rich and singular history over the centuries. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone with the faintest interest in the area on the basis that it revealed much I didn’t know while being a perfect length and sufficiently succinct to maintain one’s interest throughout.
What a privilege to take part in your wonderfully evocative tour of an area we thought we knew pretty well. The tour gave us something really precious – a personal connection with people whose stories might otherwise be forgotten in a part of London that is in danger of becoming a theme park. We are very touched, and will be recommending the tour far and wide. Thank you.
What makes your tour so special is the weaving in of the history of people with that of buildings and streets, named people whose stories you knew. I loved seeing their photos and hearing what happened to them. I think that helped bring the group together, looking at all the photos (which worked very well) and reflectively on the human dimension. I honestly haven’t got any suggestions for improvements.
The Gentle Author’s walks are highly recommended for their informative content about the characterful pocket of London’s Spitalfields which should never be allowed to be swept away by major corporate developments and ghastly facadism!