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City envy: we want an offbeat walking tour like Porto

By
James Manning
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Most London walking tours suck. You’d be hard pressed to find many that stray off well-trodden patches such as the West End, Camden Town and Brick Lane, or any that show a new side of the city to people who live there.

Not so in the northern Portuguese city of Porto, home to The Worst Tours: a series of ‘lame’ rambles through streets less travelled, led by local architects. They explain that ‘the guides aren’t even guides, the route is never set before the beginning of the walk and we mostly stay out of the monumental, shiny, super-nice city centre’.

Instead you wander through alleys, quiet squares and low-key restaurants, discussing the history you won’t find in guide books. Locals are as welcome as visitors and all tours are free (tipping optional) – because even if you are a tourist, who wants to feel like one?

Now here are London’s best (actually good) walks and tours.

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