Private Walking Tour: The Temple of Detection in the Heart of Power
Beginning over one thousand years ago, the Scottish Royals made themselves at home in London where the Great Scotland Yard Hotel now stands; it also served as the first home for the Metropolitan Police, with infamous criminals being held —including suspects of the Jack the Ripper crime spree — in what is now the hotel bar. Immerse yourself in the hotel’s history on a private walking tour of one of the world’s most famous and storied neighbourhoods. On your private tour you will:
- Learn about the hotel’s history through its artwork — including the role the curated art plays in prison rehabilitation programs today.
- Step out into the neighborhood and hear about the originals of the Met Police and Whitehall’s connection to the Sherlock Holmes saga.
- Enjoy centuries of tales of espionage including at Benjamin Franklin’s last home, where his mission was infiltrated by a British agent.
- See where the entrance to Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic is set – and maybe even experience some magic yourselves!
- Discuss the crosshairs between which power and the British monarchy are often found — and how the stories playing out today echo back through time.
- Along the route, enjoy the iconic sites of the city— the Horse Guards Parade, the Palace of Westminster, 10 Downing Street, and the Churchill War Rooms - all while delighting in the chronicled anecdotes of plots, scandals, secret passageways under the city, and war.
- Return to the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and venture to the 40 Elephants and enjoy a signature house cocktail.
- Your tour ends with a signature cocktail at the 40 Elephants Bar in the hotel, where you will be apprised of the illustrious history from which the bar has taken its name.
Located just blocks from Trafalgar Square to the north, the Palace of Westminster to the south, and Buckingham Palace to the west, it’s of little wonder that over a thousand years of England’s history has triangulated on The Great Scotland Yard Hotel. Your starts and ends at the hotel itself, medieval seat of royalty, then home to elite civil servants and in Victorian times the Central Office of the detective unit of the Metropolitan Police, where the beautiful artwork specially commissioned by Hyatt Hotels for this celebrates famous figures, police, criminals and even modern prisoners and politicians.
Within its walls, kings and queens have slept, criminals have been held, and spies have operated without detection. On its doorstep, the entire city of London has played out its history, as centuries of stewards have made use of the now-hotel. You will explore the creation of the modern police force, some of the heinous crimes (real and fictional) investigated on this site, and the local connections both Royal and Political here, the centre of power in the UK for many centuries. Join Travel Curious guides on a walk of world history as told through the peculiar and one-of-a-kind history of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.