Guided Tours

Join us on a guided tour to explore the streets of Covent Garden and undercover the history of policing on Bow Street.

Of Mollies and Men – A Queer History of Bow Street and Beyond

Image: (C) Alamy. Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park, both in full drag, leave Bow Street Magistrates’ Court on 9 April 1870.

From the Molly Houses of the 18th century, to the arrest and trial of Oscar Wilde, to the laws protecting LGBTQ+ people today, explore the rich history of Covent Garden with this Bow Street Police Museum Walking Tour. Discover how law and order governed the lives of queer identifying people throughout history and hear the stories of the people who dared to be themselves. 

Duration: Approximately 90 minutes.

Dates: Saturday 13th August 2022.

Times: 11.30

Price: £15 / £14 Concession / £13.50 Friends of Bow Street Police Museum (Your ticket also includes a 10% discount on future admission to Bow Street Police Museum)

Conditions of entry: you must be 18 years or over to attend this tour. If you would like to book a ticket for anyone aged 16 – 17 years, you must contact the Museum in advance [email protected] 

Please Note

  • This tour is an outside walking tour.
  • Light rain or a moderate breeze will not cancel the tour.
  • There will be no access to public toilets once the tour begins.
  • There is no seating available along the tour route.
  • The tour follows a set route around the Covent Garden area along public pavements, via road crossings and through some pedestrianised spaces.
  • We aim to avoid steps and large curbs, however due to the ever-changing nature of London’s streets we cannot guarantee that the route will always remain entirely step-free.


The team at Bow Street Police Museum are committed to making this event as accessible as possible. Transcripts of the tour are available for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, and all of our guides know basic BSL (British Sign Language) greetings. For those with mobility needs, the guide can adapt the tour route if notified in advance. If you have any other additional needs, please contact the Museum directly to ensure we can accommodate you on your tour. 

Stages and Cells

In collaboration with The Royal Opera House

Bow Street was intended to be a quiet, wealthy residential area for the well-to-do, but the arrival of the theatres ushered in a new era of enlightened entertainment alongside a dark criminal underworld. 

Join Bow Street Police Museum and The Royal Opera House to discover the relationship between theatre and crime in Covent Garden. From scandalous theatrical characters, to murderous players and corrupt Magistrates, you’ll explore how the heart of London’s theatrical community impacted the way law and order was dispensed on London’s streets. 

Tours will be held on the last Sunday of every month, at 10.00am, starting from 29th May.

Your ticket also includes a 10% discount on future admission to Bow Street Police Museum and 10% off in the Royal Opera House Cafe.

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Dates: Current dates are SOLD OUT. Please check back for new dates soon!

Times: 10.00

Price: £16 / £14 Concession / £12 children

Please note this tour does not enter the Royal Opera House or the Bow Street Police Museum. The tour takes place outside in Covent Garden in all weathers. For more information, and terms and conditions of entry please visit the Royal Opera House website