A short but sweet run of our Dicken's/Christmas carol themed tour around the street of Bank in Dec, thank you to everyone who braved the cold and joined us! Was lovely to team up with actors Kevin Davies and Gemma Jones and as of Course special thanks to everyone at the George & Vulture pub for putting up with us again!
Can't belive the Halloween madness is over for another year! Massive thanks to everyone who came and followed us into the darkness, we had so much fun showing you the spookier side of Highgate, meeting some new faces and of course catching up with all of our Halloween regulars - you guys are the best! Thanks for coming back each year and forcing us to keep creative. Hope to see you next October!
We are so happy to once again be starting this years Halloween tour at The Flask, Highgate.
(An old Peculiar favourite we also brought our customers here in 2019) The Flask is argueably one of the best pubs in North London combining 'olde worlde charm', with a well stocked bar and a Fantastic Food Menu (The sunday roast comes highly recommended, however it is understandably popular so best to book in advance - Especially if you are planning to eat here before joining us this Halloween!)
But we wouldn't be bringing you here if there weren't some ghostly goings on and 'The Flask' is said to be haunted by two very different spooks: The first is that of a Spanish barmaid who tragically hanged herself in a cellar, following a doomed affair with the married landlord. Affectionately known as Esmerelda she make her presecnce felt by flickering lights, strange cold spots and an eerie sensation of breath on the neck, she also apparently has a fondness for white wine!
The other ghost is said to be that of a 17th century cavelier who is sometimes spotted strolling through the bar area before mysteriously vanishing into a pillar. He is also seen looking out of the window although waiting for someone to join him for one final drink in the afterlife. But which one of these poor souls will be waiting for you on our Halloween tour....
Highgate to Hampstead Halloween Pub Tour
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
We are delighted to welcome the fabulous caberet talents of Ms Chloe Rose to this years Halloween tour....
Here she is, boys! Here she is, world! Here's Chloe Rose!
After moving to London in 2015 from the sleepy south coast, Chloe Rose began titillating the people of Camden with her one-woman Drag/Comedy/Burlesque shows (featuring Pizza Puppets, a fake hair body suit, and a Bette Midler cover or two). She made history as the first AFAB performer to win a Drag competition in London, and got picked up by ITV to play Mama Cass Elliot in a documentary about The Mamas And The Papas. From Murder Mysteries, to singing in Jazz Clubs, to voicing a very unhinged Vegetarian Butcher in a children's video game, Chloe Rose is a joyous and versatile performer who loves to make you laugh, make you cry, and even make you scream!
A new stop on our route this year is 'The Magdala Tavern' in South End Green ( Just opposite Hampstead Heath overground station.
The pub was built in 1868 and named after the battle of Magdala in Abyssinia that took place the same year.
However it was in the 1950's that this quiet Hampstead boozer gained noriety when nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis shot and killed her lover David Blakely during a drunken argument outside the pub on Easter sunday 1955.
During a short but sensantional trial, Ellis gained sympathy when details emerged of the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Blakely - He had once beaten her so badly she suffered a miscarriage. However when stood up in court and declared. 'when I shot him I intended to kill him' she was found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. Despite a huge public appeal she became the last woman in England to be given the death penalty in July 1955.
For many years after untill its closure in 2014 the Magdala traded on its connection with the Ruth Ellis murder, one publican even going so far as to drill fake bullet holes in wall outside!
However when the pub reopened in September 2021 it has since been gaining notoriety of a different kind - mainly for its massive selection of beers on tap and mouthwatering food menu.
Why not join us this October on our Halloween tour and discover this little Hampstead gem for yourself.
Hampstead to Highgate Haunted Halloween pub tour
13th - 31st October
Click HERE for booking info
We've been in hibernation for a very long time, but I'm pleased to report that we are back to bring you another fabulous Halloween tour. Returning to a format we havn't done since the pre covid days: This years tour will be going across from Highgate to Hampstead - But rest assured this is not the arduous hike through the mud that some of you may rembember, we have stream lined the journey for the sake of your aching limbs!
However great care has been taken to insure the best bits such as the night time visit to Parliament Hill have been preserved, and of course we have carefully selected the finest pubs that Ham and High have to offer. - Hope you can join us!
Dates are 13th- 31st Oct
TICKETS ON SALE HERE
We have a very exciting piece of news for all you Dicken's fans! Peculiar London have teamed up with the lovely management at 'The George and Vulture', Bank: An ancient and exclusive city institution that dates back to 1142. That also happenes to have been one of Dicken's favourite pubs: It is mentione by name in several of his novels, and the decor remains pretty much unchanged since his day! Not only that but it is also where the surving memebers of Dicken's family gather every year for Xmas dinner!
The George and vulture management have very kindly agreeed to let our customers drop in in for a drink, and also to let us have a nosey around their facinating collection of Dickens memorabilia. - Who knows you might even find Scrooge lurking in the corner!
'What the Dicken's?'
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
A good friend of Charles Dickens was philanthropist Angela Burdett Coutts.
You may have heard of Coutt’s bank, a private bank for the sickeningly wealthy (prospective clients need at least half a million in disposable funds!) As the grand-daughter of the Banks founder (Thomas Coutts) Angela inherited a vast fortune when she was just 23 (In 1837), making her the second richest woman in the country after Queen Victoria.
She then devoted herself to a supporting a vast array of charitable causes- over the course of her life, it is estimated that she donated around £400 million (Imagine what that would be in today’s money!)
Most notably she founded the RSPCA, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and also the NSPCC, the The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, both still going strong.
She also worked with Dickens to build homes for the poor and establish schools for disadvantaged children in the East End.
In her personal life after scandalising Victorian society for many years turning up to events with her lady companion Hannah in tow. She set tounges wagging again when at the age of 67, she became engaged to her secretary, William, who was just 29 years old! Queen Victoria even paid a visit to her home in Highgate to try and talk her out of it – she was not amused! However, despite the 38 year age gap the marriage appeared have been a happy one and lasted until her death in 1906, aged 92.
Find out more, join us for
'What the Dicken's?'
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
A city of London landmark Simpson’s Tavern (Bank) has been forced to closed its doors after 265 years, following a dispute with its greedy landlords, who pushed the restaurant into unmanageable debt by insisting on charging them full rent during lockdown when the business was non operational.
Although Simpson’s has bounced back since the pandemic, Tavor Holdings LTD the dubious Bermuda based company that owns the freehold has refused to allow the tavern time to get its finances in order and insisted they must leave the premises.
Simpson’s Tavern has been at the heart of city life since 1757 and was a great favorite of Charles Dickens (he actually mentions it by name in several of his novels.)
From Simpson’s website …..‘We have sat on this site since 1757… before the U.S. A was born. For 265 years we have stood, undaunted by fire, flood, world wars, plague (or pandemic – you choose) and even Liz Truss’s premiership. Today though we have been forced into closure by the actions of a cynical landlord. Carelessly removing a city institution that has been a part of its DNA’…..
There is kick starter you can donate to help save this little corner of London’s heritage from going the same way as so many others
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 the middle child of a family of 8.
Although his father had a good job, he was absolutely hopeless with money and forever getting into debt, so much so that so that he was eventually sent to prison in 1824.
This meant 12 year old Charles had to leave school and get work to help support his family. He a got a job in a boot polish factory where he worked long hours for very little money. The harsh conditions made a lasting impression on him and later found their way into several of his books.
Fortunately for Dickens his father was eventually able to pay his debts meaning he was released from prison and young Charles was able to return to school and finish his education.
After leaving school he got a job as junior clerk for a news paper called the ‘Morning Chronicle’ and soon became a journalist in his own right. From journalism it was just a short hop to writing fiction, beginning with serialized stories in newspapers and magazines, his first novel the 'Pickwick papers' was published in 1836, from this point here was no looking back for Dickens, his books became hugely successful and he is still regarded as one of the best known writers in the English language.
However not everyone knows he also did a huge amount of charity work, having experienced poverty first hand he resolved to ...‘Strike a sledgehammer blow for the poor’...He set up schools for slum children, built homes for fallen women and raised funds for Great Ormond street hospital
Find out more, join us for
'What the Dickens?'
A fabulous immersive tour around the streets that inspired Dickens
4th- 14th December
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Interesting bits of London history and news of our tours and events