During Shakespeare's time, Bankside was lawless, dangerous, exciting and squalid, in addition to attracting those who wanted to escape the City's laws (like prostitutes, thieves, highwaymen and river pirates) the area drew people seeking different kinds on entertainment, which ranged from theatres to bear baiting and knuckle fighting - often sharing the same stage!
On the walk we visit the sites of these attractions and learn who actually controlled most of them, you might be slightly surprised!
The area has also been long associated with medical institutions, the eldest - St Thomas was founded here in the early 12th century and not its present site near Westminster Bridge. See a rare relic of the original London Bridge in the grounds of Guys Hospital and unusual graveyard.
Almost wherever you go in London you come across something connected to the great writer Charles Dickens and we start this walk with a visit to an site that played a major part of his life and was behind the story line of one of his well known books.