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London Walks...a rare criticism

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London Walks...a rare criticism

I have taken many London Walks with the original London Walks company and have always thought they were really very good. on March 21, however I took their explorer day to Salisbury and Stonehenge and it was terrible. When we showed up for the walk it was mobbed. They did not limit it to a decent amount of people. there were 96! I think they had planned on about 45...one bus...but did not cut it off. They guide tried her best, but what can one person do with 96 people. They called in another guide from London who was there for the Stonehenge part of the day. Obviously a stand in..willing, but not able! Three busses of people...it was so unwieldily that we even missed our train to London, thereby eating up most of the evening.

A bad way to spend a day a day when on holiday. An expensive waste of time.

Bay Shore, New York
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1. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

sorry to hear you had a bad experience! I've been researching London Walks - and was looking into that tour. Sounds like they were a bit overwhelmed, since I know so many people sing their praises.

Hope you at least got some good pics and a decent experience from the area itself!

London, United...
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2. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

I wouldn't say it's "...a rare criticism", it's just that many people here, for some reason, are total LW sycophants. I've never used them and from what I've discovered I never will.

Bay Shore, New York
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3. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

jdbri- is there anything in particular that you do not like about LW or have known in experiences from others? i'd love to hear your take on it.

West London
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4. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

jdbri recently pointed out some long-standing inaccuracies in their advertising. As I remember, one was a tour of the British Museum that included the British Library when in fact that was moved more than 12 years ago.

In general London Walks are OK, an depend on the skills of the guide. I've had a couple of abysmal ones with them but in general they've been excellent. However, it is important to remember that they are not the ONLY walks company - there's always a list in each weeks Time Out. A specialist Ghost Walks company does much better ghost walks; there are free guided walks by various companies and councils (see the thread for the financially challenged for info). The Museum of London does guided walks etc.

When we recommend walks, services, hotels on this site it's because these are the ones that we know of. And because our personal knowledge doesn't change, then we'll continue to recommend the same places repeatedly. That doesn't mean that there aren't equally good or better hotels, for example, in London than the ones we suggest but we don't know them. This isn't a scientific survey, just a collection of our random experiences.

Virginia, USA
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5. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

jeanhjerpe,

Sorry about our experience. Unfortunately, your point would be my main criticism with London Walks.

I am actually a fan of London Walks ... I've probably taken half a dozen explorer days and many, many walks. However, some of the walks just get too crowded for one guide. I actually took the Salisbury/Stonehenge Walk a number of years ago and it was quite good ... but I don't think we had more than 25 people. It really is too bad.

There are certain walks and certain times of year when I really think they should plan for multiple guides. They don't.

Walks on weekends and during holidays seem to be a problem.

West London
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6. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

And I also think that you should email a complaint directly to London Walks and ask for a refund, and let us know how they respond. All companies occasionally foul up, but the best ones make amends for that.

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7. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

I contacted london Walks and they replied with a lot of reasons why it happened and an apology, but the feeling implied was that i was in the minority in complaining. I agree that they are usually excellent. I guess that was just my bad luck on that day.

california
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792 posts
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8. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

I question the need to go on an organized walk or tour. You can use a map and plan your own. Go when and where you want.

Sorry you didn't enjoy your day out.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

Wow, you guys are all so understanding and nice. I would be choked,, most tours are not cheap, and when they try and spread two guides between almost 100 people that is LAME.

I think a company should limit how many customers go on a tour to one guide , by spreading themselves as thin as that you are NOT getting a great tour experiecne, even if guide is good, ( which apparently one was not) it is to hard to lead a group of 50 and make sure everyone has a chance to hear or see you properly.

Thanks for the heads up though, I will make a point of asking if a tour size is limited before I pay to go on any tour with any company. London walks got GREEDY, instead of saying, sorry we are full, they just had you all hand over your money and they only put another cup of water into the soup pot.

San Diego...
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10. Re: London Walks...a rare criticism

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I did that Explorer Day trip a few years ago - I think we had around 40 people. The walks that almost always is a mob scene is the Jack the Ripper walk especially if it is led by Donald Rumbalow. The only walk I know of that they put a limit on is Westminister Abbey. The guide is allowed to bring in only 26 people. Overalll London Walks does a pretty good job.