We recently published our London Summer Bucket List, to help us celebrate our remaining time living in London. What we didn’t mention are the logistics to completing such a bucket list.

We have fourteen weeks left in London. Removing most weekdays (when work schedules limit the ability to sightsee) and the weekends when one or both of us is out of town, we have eight weekends remaining to see and do everything. On our bucket list are seventeen restaurants, four cocktail bars, several walking tours, outdoor movies, etc.

You get the picture. Our blissfully blank calendar is now jam-packed.

The view of Tower Bridge from Bermondsey

We decided to get the bucket list party started by taking a walking tour hosted by the organization London Walks. We have been hearing about London Walks for years. One of our first dog sitters spent her week in London going on a tour every day. The topics and locations are diverse, the tour guides are amazing, and with 10+ tours per day to choose from, there is something for everyone.

On a dreary Sunday morning we arrived at the meeting point with over thirty other walkers. The topics of the tour, the Mayflower and Brunel’s Tunnel, are fairly specific, so the big turnout was a surprise to us. This tour takes place south of the river, in the Bermondsey neighborhood, which we haven’t explored much so we were looking forward to seeing some new corners of our fair city.

The Rotherhithe Overground Station on the edge of Bermondsey

Sculpture along the River Thames in Bermondsey

Unique building in Bermondsey, London

Fortunately, our guide, Tim, lives in the neighborhood and is an encyclopedia of knowledge. Given the specificity of the walking tour topics, we didn’t cover a ton of area over the course of two hours. Instead, we probably walked just over a mile, stopping regularly to hear stories of famous local doctors, royal trysts and the insanity that was old-time London when thousands of ships came into the docks every day.

Our knowledgable London Walks guide around Bermondsey

The official topics of the Mayflower and the famous engineer Marc Brunel were just a small part of the tour. We saw the actual pub, called The Mayflower, from which the eponymous ship left to eventually land in Plymouth, Massachusetts, back in 1620. Yes the pub is still there, and looks fantastic given its age.

Brunel, engineer du jour, was the guy who figured out how to make underwater tunnels, designing London’s first tunnel under the River Thames. The techniques he developed are still used today, even though the Brunel tunnel was never used for its original purpose. Today the tunnel is for trains, but our tour ended in the shaft that was the path into the tunnel back in the 1840s.

Only in London will you find the home dock of one of the world’s most famous ships and the entrance to the world’s first underwater tunnel within sight of each other.

The Mayflower pub, Bermondsey, London

The road leading to Brunel Museum near Bermondsey, London

Underground entrance to Brunel's tunnel, Bermondsey, London

I enjoyed learning about Princess Margaret, the Queen’s only sibling, who kept insisting on dating non-royals (a crime back in the day), and would meet her various lovers in the Bermondsey area because it was the only place she wasn’t hounded by press. We also passed by the longest street in London – Rotherhithe Street, which is reminiscent to the style of buildings 100+ years ago.

Former East India Factories, Bermondsey
 Beautiful Old Church, Bermondsey, London

Small park in Bermondsey, London

Side note: after our tour ended, we visited one of the seventeen bucket list restaurants, also in Bermondsey. Jose is home to traditional tapas, including one of the most delicious chorizo dishes ever (it was not beautiful, so we’re sparing you the photo). This fried goat cheese with honey drizzle was rich and bright and was not too sweet. Goat cheese and honey are a match made in food heaven.

Super delicious fried goat cheese at Jose in Bermondsey, London

We are well on our way with the bucket list, though today will be spent trying to nail down some plans on our more popular items that require bookings, tickets or reservations. In the meantime, I’m now hoping to do a few more London Walks this summer, hopefully one focusing on The Beatles and one on Harry Potter movie locations. Oh, and maybe one on Dickens. And Shakespeare!

We paid for our London Walk like the enthusiastic tourists we are. We love supporting this fantastic local organization, and are happy to contribute to its continued success.

A Walking Tour Through Bermondsey

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  • July 12, 2016

    This is just fabulous, what a great post! I loved seeing updates from great places like London, what a great experience for you. Well done!

    • July 12, 2016

      Thanks!

  • July 13, 2016

    Hii Drew !!!

    Its really nice to rad your article.I appreciate it.The picture you have posted in your artcile is beautiful.It can attract any one toward your city.Bermondsey had been host to London’s first railway, from Spa Road railway station, as part of the London Bridge to Greenwich line, and the junction of lines from Croydon and Kent at South Bermondsey, the Brunels Rotherhithe foot-tunnel was converted into part of the East London Railway with original connections from Liverpool Street Station via Whitechapel to New Cross and New Cross Gate.

    Thanks for posting such innovative article.
    keep posting
    Have a nice day
    Jennifer Dickie recently posted…How to: Write a Cover LetterMy Profile

    • July 14, 2016
      Julie

      Thanks Jennifer – we really enjoyed the neighborhood and all its incredible history! Cheers!