A Road to Ruin Walk

- discover the relationship of Londoners and their alcohol

This is the perfect guided walk for those with a keen interest in history, London and alcohol. 

The walk ventures through Clerkenwell, historically an area of gin and beer production.

Delve into the past & investigate the relationship between different classes of society in London and what this meant for the alcohol they were able to drink.

You will also explore how the famous English past-time of drinking was interpreted by journalists and artists of the day, including local Georgian artist William Hogarth. It's fascinating to compare to the modern world.

Why a Road to Ruin? The tour will take you along an ancient Drover's Road in through Clerkenwell into Smithfields which was once full of pubs, breweries and distilleries. Many of those institutes may have gone but the buildings, history and stories of local characters remain. Visit interesting buildings including an 'in and out pub', a world famous inn, a brewery, two gin distilleries and even a licensed pawn broker!

Hazel will also share with you rare and interesting facts and tales and you'll leave the tour knowing the stories behind the expressions "one for the road", "a Mother's ruin" and "dead drunk".

  • Authentic different tour
  • Meet other adventurous souls
  • Discover an interesting aspect of historical London
  • Adults only
  • NB: Tea totallers very welcome. This is not a pub crawl.
  • Start: Angel Station
  • End: Farringdon Station
  • Duration: 90 mins
  • Step-free access: no

A Road to Ruin Walk - discover the relationship of Londoners and their alcohol
Green doorway A Road to Ruin Walk - discover the relationship of Londoners and their alcohol


Ilona Mosejeva   15-Sep-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarVery informative and adventurous.

Caryline Warner   1-Aug-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarWould thoroughly recommend. Hazel was an excellent guide and was able to answer all the questions she was asked so seemed very knowledgeable. She handed out photo sheets to further illustrate what she was talking about. The walk took just under 2 hours and I have to say we were very ready for a coffee by the end!

Diana Watt   30-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarA very enjoyable walk from the Angel to Farringdon Station. The Hogarth prints were well chosen to illustrate contemporary life and the evils of fecklessness and a fondness for gin. How unlike today!

Patricia Eaton   29-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarInformative, imaginative and fun. The Road to Ruin was a thoroughly enjoyable guided walk. It was well researched and brilliantly delivered. Thank you.

Julie Roe   29-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarA fascinating and amusing tour by the delightful Hazel who brings history to life. Perfectly pitched and a manageable walking distance covered. I am looking forward to going on another.

Lisa and Jason Sales   28-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarAnother excellent walk with Hazel full of interesting history and stories. We will definitely be booking to do one of Hazel's other walks.

Elizabeth Young   28-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarAbsolutely brilliant. I am so glad that I have discovered Hazel and the joy of guided walks. It was easy to identify Hazel at the tube station. Her tour was well planned and extremely informative; bringing the past alive. She even pointed out lovely local museums that I can come back to. I now know some great pubs to bring my American friends!

Joy Himsworth    27-Jul-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarLoved my second walk with Hazel - such an informative, friendly and interesting guide. Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Steven Cousins   23-Jun-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarReally enjoyable stroll through London. Hazel was very knowledgeable and brought the past to life. I would recommend this tour.

Louise Bacon   23-Jun-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarAn excellent walk conducted by Hazel down the road to ruin from the Angel to Farringdon. Full of information and anecdotes from the Angel station (and the street on the Monopoly board) being the only tube station named after a Pub. She was excellently prepared with images from Hogarth who depicted the Angel amongst other' roads to ruin', gin being the main culprit with beer being brought in as a better substitute! It ended at the Castle pub which is still also holds a pawn brokers licence thanks to Queen Victoria's son, the Prince of Wales. Do the walk to find out why.

Hannah Woodley   16-Apr-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarReally interesting walk, learnt lots about the history of the drinking establishments of the Islington area, and why certain areas and places are named as they are. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and gave us lots of interesting facts. Very funny too. Highly recommend.

Anonymous   7-Apr-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarReally enjoyed Hazel's walk she was so enthusiastic and cheerful very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend.

Amanda Mackie   3-Apr-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarThis walk is from Angel Tube Station to Farringdon Tube Station. Hazel is an excellent tour guide. She has really done her research and highlights aspects of her tour with very good interpretations of the Hogarth prints she shows us. She is very personable and a pleasure to spend an hour or so with. We would definitely take another of her tours.

Anonymous   1-Apr-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarWe spent an hour and a half walking around Islington, complete with the dissection of some Hogarth images. All in all this outing was definitely a strong encouragement to come back and explore some more.

Anonymous   31-Mar-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarExcellent walk. Hazel was very engaging and informative She had designed an interesting historical and produced copies of relevant Hogarth prints to bring it to life. I’d certainly go on further walks with her.

Anonymous   31-Mar-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarHazel is always an amazing and entertaining guide. She makes history come alive and even if you think you know a specific area of London - however many times you have walked down a particular street - you’ve definitely missed something! Hazel will encourage you to stop, look around and explore the history. Totally recommend.

Rae and Peter Lee   30-Mar-2019
Rated : StarStarStarStarStarA fascinating walk! Our guide was very knowledgeable and made it both informative and fun.

Anonymous   15-Jan-2018
Rated : StarStarStarStarI really enjoyed the 'Road to Ruin Walk' from the Angel to the Farringdon Tube Station. The guide Hazel was a cheerful, friendly person with very well researched knowledge who enjoyed sharing it with the group. Her illustration of certain points through pictures/ works of art were also very effective. I like guided walks through London very much as they take me through streets I have never been or make me look at familiar areas with new insight.

Anonymous   15-Jan-2018
RatedStarStarStarStarStar Fantastic walk! this was really interesting. the tour given was very detailed and informative and the tour guide obviously knew her stuff and made it engaging and fun! The walk was great and i will definitely look out for the other guided walks.

Anonymous   29-Feb-2016
Rated : StarStarStarStarIf you enjoy fascinating facts this walk is worth doing.

Anonymous   24-Jan-2016
Rated : StarStarStarStarAnother very informative and enjoyable walk with Hazel and her new microphone which was a great addition.

Road to Ruin Walk Review

St John's Gate - A Road to Ruin Walk - discover the relationship of Londoners and their alcohol
Bracket Clock A Road to Ruin Walk - discover the relationship of Londoners and their alcohol





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