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Established in AD50, the City of London is the oldest, most historic part of London. This one-day itinerary packs in City history, traditions and politics – all unique to this one square mile in the centre of London.  

Pick up a map before you start at the City Information Centre.

Morning: Politics and policing

  • On your way to Guildhall, walk past some of the City’s livery halls. Livery companies have shaped City history and 108 still exist today. You can see Saddlers Hall on Gutter Lane, Goldsmiths Hall on Foster Lane and Wax Chandler’s Hall on Gresham Street before arriving at Guildhall.
  • Guildhall has been the seat of government for the City of London Corporation since 1411. When the Great Hall is not being used for events, you can have a look inside, for free – just ask at reception.
  • Cross the yard and step inside the Guildhall Art Gallery, home to the Corporation’s art collection, to view a fascinating range of paintings documenting London's dramatic history.
  • Beneath the gallery are the ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre where crowds would have gathered to watch wild animal fights, public executions and gladiatorial combats. Out in the yard you can see the outline of the amphitheatre, marked with black tiles.
  • Just round the corner from Guildhall is the City of London Police Museum. The City of London has its own police force, specialising in financial and economic crime. From Jack the Ripper to Peter the Painter, learn more about the City’s criminal past and its villains.

Lunch

  • Have a picnic in Postman’s Park, where you can read stories of deceased London heroes on the Watts memorial, or grab a sandwich in the Museum of London café.

Afternoon: AD50 to the current day

  • Along Noble Street and London Wall you will see remains of the City’s Roman Wall. The City of London was established in around AD50, seven years after the Romans invaded Britain. Originally named Londinium, the City is the place from which modern-day London grew.
  • Walk along London Wall or get the number 100 bus from the Museum of London to Wormwood Street. Walk down Bishopsgate.
  • The City today is the world leader in international finance and business services and you are currently in the middle of it. Architectural innovation dominates this part of the City with buildings such as 30 St Mary Axe, also known as the Gherkin, the Heron Tower, Tower 42 and new additions the Leadenhall Building, also known as the Cheesegrater and 20 Fenchurch Street - see our modern architecture listings.
  • Continue South to Gracechurch Street.
  • The Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666 on Fish Street Hill stands at 202 feet with a golden orb at the very top. You can climb the 311 steps for panoramic views of the City and a certificate.
  • London Bridge is a great view point to see Tower Bridge in all its glory, and watch the sun set over London.
  • Finally, as you walk to the South side of London Bridge you will approach the back of a dragon, one of many guarding the entry routes to the City of London.

Top tips and other uniquely City things to see and do

Need ideas? Visit the City Information Centre for help planning your perfect day in the City of London and beyond.

Published:
26 November 2013
Last Modified:
05 December 2018

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