Vauxhall Society Guided Walks

Monthly Guided Walks

Our free monthly guided walks run from February to October each year. Our schedule is published as part of the Heritage Walks in South London leaflet.

There is no need to book Vauxhall Society walks – just turn up. For other societies’ walks, please follow the instructions given in the leaflet.

Made-to-Measure Guided Walks
The Vauxhall Society offers made-to-measure guided walks for Vauxhall employers as well as for other groups researching or wishing to tour the district. To discuss, please email



Monthly walk: Heyday of Vauxhall Gardens with David E Coke

23 people joined this month’s walk to hear David E Coke talk about the Heyday of Vauxhall Gardens (VG).

The walk started at Starbucks and went on to the slipway by MI6. From about 1660, this was where visitors to Vauxhall Gardens would arrive by boat. David showed a clay pipe found in the river which depicted the boatmen’s coat of arms. We were then taken to what would have been the main entrance to Vauxhall Gardens.
Entrance fee was kept relatively low at about 1 shilling (about £15 at today’s prices) to encourage more people to attend but food prices were extortionately high. It was said that slices of bacon were so thin you could see through them.

It was particularly interesting to hear how an event in far off Dutch East Indies in 1815 led to an almost crippling £3,000 loss in VG in 1816. The volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora led to the ‘year with no summer’ (1816) with devastating impact on agriculture and health.

David went on to talk about the role of Jonathan Tyers  in the development of the gardens, the grand walk, VG entertainment – music, artists and circus acts. The walk lasted nearly 2 hours and covered a lot of local history – too much to do it full justice here.

For further information read Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David E Coke and Alan Borg