Tour Guiding in Tower Hamlets

Tour guiding in Tower Hamlets is growing: increasingly people are discovering that this borough – the real East End – has so much to offer the visitor.

True, the bars, coffee shops and generally fashionable nature of the area are attracting visitors. However the area’s urban landscape and the real stories of communities growing and developing over centuries are finding new voices.

Tour Guiding in LBTH - One Canada Square

Tour Guiding in Tower Hamlets – the Courses

The following courses are offered via Idea Store Learning, Tower Hamlets Council’s adult education service. They constitute a venture designed to appeal both to aspiring AND experienced guides.

They give aspiring guides a low-level introduction to tour guiding, with particular reference to guiding in Tower Hamlets. To the experienced guide they give a thorough and immersive introduction to the original East End, as well as a chance to refresh guiding techniques.

PLEASE NOTE that the courses are subject to recruitment. If insufficient learners enrol, the courses will not go ahead. In that case, fees paid will be refunded.

The courses comprise two-hour sessions held on consecutive Wednesday evenings at 6:30 during term time (there is a half-term break). Classroom sessions take place at the Shadwell Centre, 455 The Highway, E1W 3HP – details HERE.

Tour Guiding in LBTH - Toynbee Hall

The Essentials

This ten-week course explores the basics of tour guiding and the story of the Tower Hamlets. It entails seven classroom sessions, one outdoor tour, one indoor tour, and a visit to a local archive.

In Session Five each learner gives a four-minute presentation in class on a preassigned local topic.
In Session Ten groups of learners present in class a rudimentary, locally-based tour they have devised.

The course outline is HERE

The Essentials will return in September 2022 – please check HERE nearer the time for enrolment details

Tour Guiding in LBTH - Limehouse Reach

Going Further

This ten-week course builds on The Essentials to develop the learner’s engagement with the practicalities of guiding within a specific area of Tower Hamlets. It entails classroom sessions and two outdoor sessions.

In Session Five each learner gives a report on the methodology of a hypothetical tour they have devised.
In Session Nine each gives a stop on an outdoor tour, demonstrating risk assessment, positioning, and the use of visual material.

The course outline is HERE

Going Further will return in 2023  – please check HERE nearer the time for enrolment details

Tour Guiding in LBTH - Christ Church Spitalfields

Workshop Techniques

This ten-week course applies previously-acquired guiding techniques to the development of an outdoor guided tour in a workshop context. It entails six classroom sessions and four outdoor sessions.

In Session Eight Group One give their outdoor tour, with Group Two providing peer assessment.
In Session Nine Group Two give their outdoor tour, with Group One providing peer assessment.

The course outline is HERE

Workshop Techniques begins again on 27 April 2022 – please check HERE nearer the time for enrolment details

Tour Guiding in LBTH - Stairway to Heaven Memorial


During the courses I offer learners discounted places on my scheduled tours. These are NOT part of the course, but will deepen learners’ experience of guiding. Discounts apply to learners and their companions. Please contact me for further details.


If you want to hear about developments as they happen, including future running of the course, please go to Facebook and ‘Like’ the newsletter page TH Walkshop (remember to activate notifications if necessary).

You can also CONTACT ME for any information.


Photographs of One Canada Square, Toynbee Hall, Limehouse Reach, Christ Church Spitalfields and the Stairway to Heaven memorial © David Charnick 2020

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