I love the Hidden Walks books. Each walk includes so many interesting things to see and places to visit, and loads of fascinating, quirky historical facts - and this walk was no exception. I learned lots of new things about familiar places and discovered lots of new-to-me places as well.
Of course, you'll have to buy the book if you want to go on the walk yourself (as you may have gathered, I highly recommend them) but I wanted to share a couple of the delightfully old-fashioned places I discovered thanks to this walk which I will definitely be re-visiting (and which I can't believe I've never visited before!).
First there's Pollock's Toy Museum - I haven't even been into the museum yet and I already love this place!
It's just off the Tottenham Court Road and comprises a small museum of mostly Victorian toys and a very charming toy shop.
The shop is filled with things that would make great gifts for the kids (and not-entirely-grown-ups) in your life, I expect I will be doing lots of Christmas shopping here in future! I'm also really looking forward to exploring the museum itself.
Then there's James Smith & Sons Umbrella shop. Just look at this shop!
The Victorian shop front has apparently hardly been altered in 140 years, and the family business still makes and sells handmade umbrellas, sticks and canes.
How wonderful it would be to buy your umbrella from an actual umbrella shop??
You can read more about James Smith & Sons here. I also recommend their guide to umbrella care which concludes "It is inadvisable to lend your James Smith umbrella to even your closest friend. Give them our address instead."