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Reader Reviews

Over the years many readers have taken the trouble to write or email with their reactions to my books, or to post comments on Amazon. Here is a selection. Personally I find them fascinating. The majority relate to Favourite London Walks and Walking London, so they have their own sections. The rest follow after.

 

 

Favourite London Walks

Thanks for a  marvellous book. It has inspired us to get off our backsides and WALK!!

Dr David D, London

 

Andrew Duncan's Favourite London Walks has got to be the best walking book of London that I have ever used. Being an avid walker I have found this book invaluable! My friends and I have spent many a weekend walking around London, learning about the history of this great city, thanks to this book. It is a great way to spend a day and also very cheap as walking doesn't cost a thing! I recommend that anyone living in London should buy this book; they will get so much pleasure from it! Andrew Duncan does a fantastic job of leading you around some fabulous places in London that you would probably never find on your own. Not only that, but he also brings each place to life with really interesting historical facts which never cease to amaze us! This is by far the best walking book; the maps are easy to follow and the information is fascinating! I only wish that Mr Duncan would write another book soon as we have now done most of these walks!!! Buy it now!!!

Cath P, London

 

I bought the Favourite London Walks last year and did some of them. I quickly became addicted and soon made it my mission to complete every walk in the book. I logged the date I did them. I love the book its so informative and its easy to follow. And then.........I accidentally put it on the sofa with the Sunday papers and somehow it got lost amongst them and I put it out with the recycling. They came to empty the bins on Thursday. I am devastated that I lost my book, especially because I had logged the dates. Through your website I am going to buy the book again. I can't live without it. I have to do them all. I am sure I will buy some of your other books.

Ann M

 

I had to send this e-mail to you by way of thanking you for writing your book Favourite London Walks. My partner and I completed 'The City - west of St. Pauls' walk on Sunday and enjoyed it very much. The text was clear and easy to follow and the information given at specific points of interest was just right. I have lived in London for 10 years now and still delight in the fact that there is still so much more to discover. Your book is the ONLY one I have found (and there are many out there) that contains so many Central London and City of London walks. Perfect! Many thanks, once again.

Alex S

 

Just to say our dear daughter gave us your book for Christmas 2002. So far we have only managed nine of your walks, BUT they have been absolutely superb. They are easy to follow and the information you give to the walker is simply superlative. I am already planning my next walk in London by myself (just retired) when I can, having done the Covent Garden walk yesterday before going to the ballet with my daughter! Thank you so very, very much for giving both myself and my husband so much pleasure.

Bobbie R

 

I wanted to get to know the city in more than the typical touristy way, and this book made it possible. The walks were really the highlight of my four weeks of study in London; I met so many interesting, friendly people and saw so many things that might not have been destinations in and of themselves but were memorable as part of the walks. I was a college student (female) traveling alone when I used this book, and it gave me the confidence to explore many places that I wouldn't otherwise have ventured to, simply because I had some sense of what I could expect when I arrived. One of the most amusing moments was when I bumped into another walking tourist at the Portobello Road market...he also had a copy of the book and was following the Notting Hill tour on the same morning that I was.

A ‘mom & education professor', Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

Having bought your book some months ago, because it looked really interesting as a 'read', our group of four who regularly walk in Sussex, decided to give London a go. We have now done two of your walks, the east and west of St Paul's and this is to congratulate you and say thanks for making two memorable days for us. Full of interest, easy to follow and a real sense of having got to know a fascinating part of London. We look forward to lots more, 48 to go!

John C

 

 

Walking London

I had Walking London with me on a recent trip to London and found it extremely entertaining, well-researched, easy to follow and by far the best travel guide I have ever used.

Mary H, BC, Canada

 

A fantastic book containing interesting walks around various parts of London. All the walk routes are well planned and as well as taking in the larger tourist attractions they also point out smaller, interesting facts that you might otherwise miss. A real eye-opener from a Londoner's point of view. Also worth a look is Andrew Duncan's Secret London book which details more of the history and more facts about London.

A reader from London

 

A Christmas card from six ladies who have had some wonderful days out in London thanks to your wonderful book Walking London. We can't thank you enough.

Wendy D, Essex

 

I used Walking London while walking in London two years ago, and I'm taking it to London again this summer. The variety of walks is a joy. I did not see this book on sale while in London, and some English friends saw mine and wanted a copy for themselves. No wonder – it's that good. If you like to walk and do other exploring besides the usual London tourist things, then don't go to England without a copy of this book in your suitcase or backpack.

Sharon, South Carolina

 

Last Christmas my best friend gave me your book Walking London and last weekend I walked the last one. I've never written a fan letter before, but I wanted to tell you how much my friends and I had enjoyed your walks. The memorable experiences I would never had without your book are numerous... wading through waist-deep floods on Richmond towpath; crossing by Hammerton's Ferry to see Ham House again; sea food in Hay's Galleria, pints in the George or the Dove, cream teas in Kensington Palace Orangery, maids-of-honour cakes in Kew. And the delight of discovering woods, galleries, water, winding alleys, historic sites, nature reserves on our doorstep... and the time when my boyfriend met the stag near Hampton Court, the moorhens in the water garden, the wisteria in the Bishop's Palace and so on... Spring in the King's Road, Summer in Bloomsbury, Autumn in Kenwood, Christmas in Mayfair... I'd also like to say how much I appreciate the ethos of your book: encouraging a nearly free, environmentally friendly, spiritually enriching activity.

Phoebe T, West Sussex

 

On a glorious sunny evening we have just completed your Greenwich walk from your book Walking London. This concludes the last walk. It feels rather like finishing a superb novel - rushing to enjoy all the book has to offer and yet disappointed it is over (at least for the first time). During the last two years in rain and shine you have led us to some marvellous places. I thought I knew London quite well until I started on your splendid walks. Then I realised I had not even started to scratch the surface…With the help of your book I now know London is the most superb town in the world. We are now on Secret London - the walk around St James's is one of your best.

Liz H, London

 

I am writing to say how much I enjoy your walks. My partner Carl and I regularly go on one of your walks as a hobby. We have so far completed 28 of them and we often bump into other people clutching the same book on the walks. Even on the walks where I know every street, such as central London, I still enjoy them and learn new things. When the area is new I enjoy them especially. My favourites are Notting Hill and Highgate to Hampstead. Please write some more!

Golan A, London

 

The only problem with this book is that one would have to live in London to have the time to do all 30 walks! The level of detail for the walks is just right - long enough to make it interesting, short enough that it can be read and followed while actually doing the walk. Each walk has a summary paragraph; the start and finish location with underground and bus information on how to reach that location; the length [distance] of the walk; the time required to do the walk; information on refreshments en route; and then the walk itself with a route map of the walk. For added flexibility, the map and commentary allow one to start/stop each walk at just about any point on the route. I teach an Insider's London class and recommend this book for both first-time and return visitors.

Marda B, Palo Alto, California

 

I have now completed many of Andrew Duncan's walks around London. The first one I tried was around Westminster and I enjoyed it so much I went again with my husband. We both enjoyed it, so we took two friends. They borrowed the book and took two of their friends. Each walk is fascinating and although you may be visiting areas which you have visited many times before, it's the interesting bits that Andrew points out which make the areas come alive, whether it's flamingos on a roof top in Kensington or the site of the water pump which spread cholera through London. I really would recommend this book to anyone, young or not so young, and everyone I've lent it to has gone on to buy one for themselves.

Mrs M H, Cambridge

 

My wife and I together with another couple have so far done six of the walks in your first book – which we only picked up recently. Each walk is proclaimed the best yet. Thank you so much for researching, writing and publishing the book. I'm sure we'll buy another one just as soon as we've done all that we can from the first one. Thought it would be nice to thank you for the joy and pleasure we are getting from your book.

Mark L, London

 

My favorite memories of six months spent working in London were of the walks I took from Walking London just about every weekend. Some of the walks are short enough that you can do two or three in a day, depending on what adventures arise. The best for me was Kew to Hammersmith, along the Thames, an all day walk, where I had tea in a church basement, a pint in a pub on Strand-on-the-Green, got caught in a rainstorm in a church graveyard, got lost in the woods on the grounds of Chiswick Manor...my workmates were very impressed, and started asking to come along! Highly recommended if you are planning an extended stay in London, or have been there a few times already and seen the major sites.

Margaret S, Brooklyn, New York

 

Though I'm an avid reader, you're the first author to whom I've ever written a note…but I had to take the time. My wife and I just returned from a wedding anniversary trip to London, and had the good fortune to have your book Walking London as a guide.  Every day was devoted to taking one or more of your walks, and we loved every minute. We couldn't believe how much of London we saw (and how many interesting little alleys we explored) that we would never have found on our own. We even had the pleasure of exploring Highgate Cemetery on Halloween! Your imaginative walks, meticulous directions, and interesting insight made it a wonderful trip for us. We had a couple of days to visit my sister in Paris after our time in London, and bought a couple of similar walking tour books to try to recreate the experience. It only made us appreciate how exceptional your publication was. Now that I see you have several other publications on London walks, I can't wait until our next trip back.

Malcolm M, USA

 

 

Walking London and Secret London

I am writing to congratulate you on your two London books, both of which my husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed. Despite living in this area all our lives, it is only since purchasing your Walking London that we have been able to explore. We have found the book to be well-written, and the routes extremely accurate and easy to follow. I have also received your Secret London as a gift – what a great pleasure and so easy to follow. The three river walks and the two around St Paul's have been most exciting, and we have learned much of the little-known facts of the City from the remainder of the book. Many thanks for making London so interesting.

Mary C, London

 

I am writing to say how much I enjoyed your books Walking London and Secret London. A friend and I go up to town once a month and take one of your walks. We have seen some delightful parts of London that but for your books we would never have known existed.

Joan G, Hampshire

 

 

Walking Notorious London

One soon tires of walking books; they point out statues, old buildings and perhaps political spots. Mr. Duncan's book gives you a real perspective into the seamy side of London's history; it's revealing and tawdry but true. Good for you, Mr. Duncan!

A reader from Helena, Montana

 

 

Andrew Duncan's London Walks Map

It is all too easy to take 'The Tube' when you are in London, and miss the real city. While the walks on this map are mostly circular, of 1-2 hours duration around some interesting district, you can also use the map to see if where you are going is close to one of the walks, and take that route instead. In that way you get where you are going by taking a pleasant and interesting route. The maps are detailed enough to see where you have to go, and include descriptive highlights of places to see en route. Essential for a London visit!

A reader from Amsterdam, 2001

 

 

Other reader reviews

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for providing me with books that satisfy my three passions of London, Walking and History. I have spent all my life living and working around London and I thought I knew most of it, but your books have provided a whole new city for me to explore! I really enjoy getting off the beaten track and discovering the mews and backstreets of our capital. It is fascinating for me to follow your walks and on a number of occasions they have led me to find other interesting facts and places. Having spent all my working life in construction around London, I understand the continuing changes that occur in the city, but your books seem to keep abreast of most of them. Thank you once again and keep up the good work.

Steve T, St Albans

 

I'm a student living in central London and discovered your books just over a year ago when my dad found Walking London in a bookshop in Lincoln. Since then my boyfriend and I have completed most of the walks, often finding that the best way of doing them is in the evening after all the tourists have gone home! Since then we've gone on to buy Walking Village London and Secret London and found the history in them fascinating. I bought Notorious London just last week and we are now looking forward to completing the walks in there – starting with the Jack the Ripper one we think! Thanks for all the enjoyment from your walks and keep up the good work!

Penny T, London

 

I bought Secret London by Andrew Duncan several years ago now. Through the book I discovered Gresham College and started going to the lectures there. Later I picked up his other books and began using them to explore London. They have had a big effect on me. I have followed many of the walks described in Walking London. The pages of the Notting Hill chapter are still wrinkled and I remember it rained very hard that day and I didn't have an umbrella. The pages detailing the Highgate to Hampstead walk are filthy from having been dropped face down in the mud on the Heath. I did this long walk twice, or rather it took two attempts to finish it. The first time I met former Guardian journalist John Horder by the ponds. We continue to be friends to this day and I doubt that I would have remained as a journalist without his encouragement. I remember with a mixture of fondness and regret the times when I explored a previously unknown part of the capital. I think about the first time I walked from Fenchurch Street station to Limehouse following the river, or when last year at the height of summer I climbed the steep Low Cross Wood Lane in Dulwich, collapsed in a sweaty heap in the pub at the top of the hill and two men at the bar joked about me winning the wet t-shirt competition. I recall the first time I walked around Hampstead – all the little winding streets with tall houses and overgrown front gardens. When it got dark there so were few street lamps that the place felt almost magical. And I remember walking around the Temple in the torrential rain before deciding that enough was enough and withdrawing to Ye Old Cheshire Cheese. Later that evening I walked east to St Andrews at Holborn Circus where the Bishop of Edinburgh was giving a lecture on behalf of Gresham College. Apart from the memories and the friends I have made during these walks, your books have helped provide me with a solid foundation for the fascination I have always felt for London. I am sure my interest in the city is something I will carry with me all my life. I am now halfway through Walking Village London. I try to come up every week and walk around a different part of the city.

Mark S, Southend-on-Sea

 

I have read some of your books and I am thrilled! I am going to London for the third time on August 5th, by myself for the first time. You (positively!) drove me crazy with all these walks and I only have two weeks. If you have a minute, please help me and tell me what I should not miss. Thank you so much!

Pierre T, Canada

 

Just a note to say I've read Secret London and am almost done with Notorious London and I've really enjoyed both. I like your style and sense of humor. I've been to your fair city on holiday a couple of times and loved it! I even considered moving there. Your books bring back a lot of very happy memories. I wish I had read them before I went. Some of the things that fascinate me about London are the age, history and all the famous events that occurred there. The subject of London is one of my favorites and I try to read all the books I can on it, which is one of the reasons I like your books so much – there's so much history and background information in them. I just thought I'd let you know your work is appreciated.

Jeff B

 

I am writing to thank you for many enjoyable days spent following the walks in your books. My husband and I walked together after we retired, and, now that I am alone after his sudden death in 2001, I am once again picking up the threads and your walks are a positive influence on my frame of mind and, I am sure, general health and well-being! I also walk in the countryside in Kent at weekends with one of my sons, and am gradually doing stretches of the Thames Path, but am very happy alone with your books during the week. Having been a Londoner all my life, I find it fascinating to learn more about the city and the places nearby. So far I've done just over 30 of the walks, and have plenty left before I have to start again! I have given the books as presents and recommended them to many of my friends, and have never before written this sort of letter. I just felt that you deserved a big thank you.

Hilary W, England

 

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