Greater London, United Kingdom
Just 300 years ago, Mayfair was no more than a muddy field. This walk charts its progress from its early days as a playground for the aristocracy to today's comfortable mix of luxurious mansions, exclusive shops and enchanting parks and squares. As you wander along some of London's most fashionable streets, passing houses occupied by Royalty and the aristocracy, you can marvel at the architecture and be amazed at the beautiful glass and china on display in one of Mayfair's most celebrated shops dating back to the mid-1800s. Discover how Mayfair used to be one of London's most notorious red light districts and find out its sordid secrets. This tour tells tales of Mayfair's highs and lows, of the characters who called it home and of the celebrities whose antics are enough to light up any tour.
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Pass By: Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER England
It's hard to believe looking at this sophisticated store nowadays but Fortnum and Mason's started life as a market stall! William Fortnum worked as a Footman for Queen Anne of 'Favourite' fame and took the half used Royal candles to sell on his house mates market stall and there began the entrepreneurial business - we'll do a quick turn around the ground floor of this magnificent store which will leave you wanting to return for certain!
Pass By: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House Piccadilly Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD England
If the original owners of this property, the Earls of Burlington, could see their home today, they wouldn't recognise it! Since it was built in the 1660s, at least 9 architects have worked on it to make it the glamorous home of the Royal Academy. We'll stop here for about 10 minutes whilst I fill you in on what happened to the buildings between then and now.
Pass By: Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London W1J 0QJ England
This arcade has just celebrated its 200 year anniversary - it was originally built by George Cavendish, one of the Earls of Burlington, so that his wife and her aristocratic friends would have somewhere to shop without being pestered by beggars! It also stopped all and sundry from tossing rubbish over his garden wall because, of course, he lived in Burlington House next door! A pleasant 10 minute stroll along the arcade gives you a chance to see the arcade's guardians, the Beadles, in action and enjoy a spot of window shopping as well.
Pass By: Bond Street, London England
The only road joining Piccadilly and Oxford Street, it is one of the most ex[pensive strips of real estate in the world. As you walk the pavements, the shops certainly read like a who's who of retail! As you absorb the well known names and marvel at the window displays, we'll saunter along Old Bond Street and a part of New Bond Street for about 10 minutes before turning off to see the home of Norman Hartnell, one of fashion's most famous designers from the 1950s and 60s..
Pass By: Berkeley Square Gardens, London W1J 5AR England
Most famous for its nightingale singing which is probably stuff of legend, this is a square full of historical interest. From the centuries old plane trees to the grade I listed buildings around its edges, this is one of the most beautiful squares in London - and who would have thought a river runs through it too. All will be revealed as we wander between the ancient trees.
Pass By: Mount Street Gardens, Mount St Mayfair, London W1K 2TH England
A tranquil oasis in the heart of a City that never stops. Its past is not quite so calm as today though - come on the tour and in the 10 minutes we'll stay in the gardens, you will find out what lies beneath your feet and what gruesome building used to grace the side of the gardens.
Pass By: Thomas Goode, 19 South Audley Street W1, London W1K 2BN England
One of my favourite Mayfair stores, opulence is in abundance as world class glass, china and silverware are on display. As our 5 minute stop will reveal, there are a couple of very expensive animals too although they're not for sale!
Pass By: Shepherd Market, London W1J 7QU England
Set up in James II's reign, the market he established gave Mayfair its name. For centuries, Shepherd Market was Mayfair's much visited red light district (what else was there for the aristocracy to do!). During our 10 minute stop here you will find out which MP lost his reputation here!