Finding myself in London on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to take a walk into espionage history.
London Walks’ Spies and Spycatchers Walk is a interesting, educational and entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The tour, which takes about 2 hours, includes a number of espionage landmarks, most of which are connected with the “Cambridge Five” case, in which the uppermost levels of British and American intelligence were penetrated by the Soviets (remember them?). The tour also includes the Itsu Sushi shop where the Russian secret services used Polonium to poison ex-KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. We did not stop for a snack. We also stopped at a number of buildings with espionage related pasts, including the location where the invasions of North Africa and Normandy were planned during World War II. The tour ends up with a lesson on spy to spy communications and a look at at dead drops.
While being in the actual locations where secret history happened is pretty neat, the real draw for this tour is the green carnation wearing guide, Alan. He really knows his material and is a wonderful story teller.
The tour starts at Piccadilly Circus on Saturday afternoons at 2:30 PM and costs a very reasonable 8 pounds. London Walks offers a plethora of themed tours and day trips – I was so impressed with this one that I plan on doing another one (or maybe 2) today.