Walking Tours

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

VOTES FOR WOMEN: Suffragettes at Bow Street and Beyond

In proud association with the Bow Street Police Museum, allow Herstorical Tours to transport you back to Edwardian London, and retrace the footsteps (quite literally!) of these incredible women as they marched, preached, fought, smashed, burned, and bombed their way to getting women the vote. 

From Westminster to Covent Garden, revisit the locations where the suffragettes held protests, rallies, and staged some more *ahem* ‘creative’ stunts.  See also where they were arrested and tried.

On this tour, you will see theatrical re-tellings of the stories of…​

  • Human smuggling involving a Music Hall star…
  • Vandalism in the National Gallery…
  • A disabled, working-class suffragette of the East End…
  • A refugee singer and actress who became an arsonist…
  • An Indian Princess who joined the cause…

…and many more!

Herstorical tours are guided walking tours with a difference. Created and led by Maria, a performer, and storyteller, the tours focus on women’s stories in London’s history and bring those stories to life using acting, comedy, and fun!  With a special focus on the dark and curious underbelly of London’s past along with the ‘forgotten’ women, exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the city whilst introducing you to the characters that created ‘herstory’ there.  Herstorical tours aim to educate on sensitive historical subjects with the right balance of respect and entertainment.

Duration: approximately 120 minutes.

Dates: 8th March, 20th April

Times: 11.00

Price: £18.50 / £14.80 Friends

Conditions of entry: This ticket does not include entry to Bow Street Police Museum. If you would like to visit the Museum after your tour, tour guests receive 50% off Admission tickets on the day.

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 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.

Accessibility

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. If you have any other additional needs, please contact the Museum directly to ensure we can accommodate you on your tour. 

Reform, Rebel, RIOT! – Civil Disobedience in Covent Garden

Image: St George’s Fields, Southwark: anti-Catholic rioters in the Gordon riots wielding sticks, displaying banners, and setting buildings on fire. Etching, 1780. Wellcome Collection

Bow Street has seen all sorts of protestors pass through its cells and courts, from xenophobic footmen of the 18th century descending on the magistrate’s house en masse, discontented theatre-goers drowning out performances every night for weeks and window-smashing suffragettes demanding votes for women.

But when does a protestor become a rioter? When does a crowd become a mob? And how does law enforcement know where to draw the line?

Follow in the footsteps of these historical events, as we explore the causes of the disaffected, how law enforcement reacted and ask, crucially, did they make any difference?

Duration: approximately 90 minutes.

Dates: Friday 29 March 2024, Friday 10 May 2024

Times: 11.00

Price: £15 / £14 Concession / £12 Friends of Bow Street Police Museum/ 2-4-1 Art Fund entry

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]. This ticket does not include entry to Bow Street Police Museum. If you would like to visit the Museum after your tour, tour guests receive 50% off Admission tickets on the day.

Private Tours: Reform, Rebel, RIOT! is also available to book as a private tour. To make an enquiry please email the team [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.

Accessibility

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. 

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: Friday 12 April 2024

Times: 11.00

Price: £15 / £14 Concession / £12 Friends of Bow Street Police Museum/ 2-4-1 Art Fund entry

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]. This ticket does not include entry to Bow Street Police Museum. If you would like to visit the Museum after your tour, tour guests receive 50% off Admission tickets on the day.

Private Tours: Of Mollies and Men is also available to book as a private tour. To make an enquiry please email the team [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.

Accessibility

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 of Covent Garden

In collaboration with The Royal Opera House

Join our walking tour through the historic streets of Covent Garden and uncover the stories of crime and theatre that made the area what it is today.

In the 17th century, Bow Street was a quiet, residential area for the well-to-do. However, the arrival of the theatres ushered in a new era of bustling crowds, pickpockets, highwaymen, murderers, sex workers, gin palaces and unbridled decadence, leading to the necessity of London’s first police force – the notorious Bow Street Runners.

Some of the stories you’ll discover on this tour include the tale of the infamous Charles Macklin, who used his acting skills to literally get away with murder, and the bizarre instance when Bow Street Police Officers tried to blend in with the chorus on the Royal Opera House stage to foil a diamond heist.  

Hear these stories and more on this co-production tour between Bow Street Police Museum and the Royal Opera House.

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. The meeting point for this tour is outside the Bow Street entrance of the Royal Opera House.

Your ticket also includes a 50% discount on future Admission to Bow Street Police Museum and 10% off in the Royal Opera House Cafe.

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Dates: 

25th February

17th, 24th March

Times: Vary, please follow link to Royal Opera House website for more details.

Price: £20 / £16.75 Concession

Please note this tour does not enter the Royal Opera House or the Bow Street Police Museum. If you would like to visit the Museum after your tour, tour guests receive 50% off Admission tickets on the day. 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