Crick in the neck?

Crick in the neck?

Look up London! – London is full of surprises. One of the biggest surprises is how much fascinating design, art and detail there is above our line of sight that we have never noticed.

On a Look Up London walk, you will see London’s Skyline in ‘close up’.  Every participant gets their hands on a pair of binoculars and is shown the best vantage points to view the roof tops and building facades of London’s iconic built heritage.

First trialled in the City in September 2011, this autumn brings new routes in the City on a High5 Twilight tour, and two tours in London’s West End led by charismatic Look Up London guide, nicknamed Soho Simon.

These walks last between 90 and 120 minutes and will include unusual views of vertical London, a flavour of London’s skyline, and some quirky things that are all too British. For most of the walk however, your feet will be firmly on the ground!  We will be handing out a field notebook and pencils and other resources, and we encourage you to bring your cameras.  We can lend you binoculars but if you have your own, please bring them.

£15 in advance, £20 on the day – £2 discount if you bring / introduce a friend (that’s £2 off for you and your friend). Students: £7 – £1 discount if you bring / introduce a friend (that’s £1 off for you and your friend) (NUS ID required at start of walk)

Soho Simon will lead walks from Leicester Square around the West End,  Soho and St James’ – Artful Andy in the City.

[email protected] 6.00pm Thursday 9 October, 2014

You may think you know the West End well, but prepare for some surprises, from a theatrical hatter to a cricket bat, and a Roman chariot to Art Deco. We end up on a tour of Soho before visiting one of its attractive pubs.
How often have you had the opportunity to spy on the upper-storey windows and who knows what you might find in modern day Soho. Join this walk for an eye opener or two!
Start: Leicester Square Tube Station. Meet outside Angus Steak House on corner of Charing X road and Cranbourn Street WC2H 7AA.

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High5 Twilight tour 6.00pm Thursday 16 October, 2014

On a High5 tour, we guarantee you will see London as you have never seen it before, from lots of different angles – this tour will change your perspective on London’s skyline.  Nicknamed the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ and described as “Brutally dominant” by English Heritage 20 Fenchurch Street is one of this tour’s High5.  Sky-scrapers vs. Sky-snatchers: Love them or hate them, they are here to stay.

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Edwardian Club land 6.00pm Thursday 23 October, 2014

In the inter-war years, St James’ was the centre of London’s Club land, and many of the buildings in the area are still occupied by iconic clubs.  Their building facades provide secret codes about the activities that take place within them.  Sometimes we get the chance to look into the windows of places we will never enter. The whole area is steeped in history and a touch of mythology, and still the lair of the super-rich and a profusion of their movable assets.  Start as [email protected] above.

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We spend so much time looking down as we race to & from places – what a change to take the time, the binoculars and to get the encouragement to look up. And what delights we found, sometimes according to plan, sometimes by serendipity!” Andrew M. RTPI

High5 Twilight tour 6.00pm Thursday 30 October, 2014

Richard Rogers has left his mark – back in the 80s he designed the Lloyds Building, turning the inside out, but his latest building in the City, nicknamed “The Cheesegrater” has no central core – so what on earth is holding it up? Is there a cocktail to be found at the base of the “Gherkin”? Never mind footprints, what about a ‘Watermark’ as you leave your signature on the City’s skyline?  In traditional London neighbourhoods, there’s a lot we miss by not looking up – weather vanes, building decorations, friezes and some intriguing roofs, but in 21st century London it is all lights, glass and glitter.
For both these walks start at Monument tube station (Fish Street Hill exit) EC4R 9AA

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After this walk, my head has regained its horizontal position, but my grin has remained.’ Pierre C

This article first appeared on the Rethinking Cities website