Classic Tour

Are you looking for without doubt the best immersive introduction to the British intelligence services on the streets of London – the spy capital of the world?

The Classic tour is the most popular in-depth London spy tour since the ‘Trail launched back in 2009, and for good reason.

THE-INTELLIGENCE-TRAIL-CLASSIC-LONDON-SPY-TOUR-ASHRAF-MARWANJumping around the decades of the last century or so, it’s an excellent journey into the worlds of MI5 and MI6. Old, new, borrowed and not too blue (try the Sexpionage tour for the latter!) the Classic tour provides clients with insight into key episodes and personalities inhabiting the British intelligence world throughout the years.

Beginning across the road from the Old Admiralty Building (OAB) beside Admiralty Arch on The Mall, you’ll receive your initial briefing on the ‘cast and crew’ – Britain’s main intelligence services – as well as mentioning other agencies that will pop up along the way.

Once you know the difference between MI5, MI6, GCHQ, Defence Intelligence and the Joint Intelligence Committee, it’s straight into matters. And who better to begin with, than the wartime intelligence figure working in the OAB who not only made a name for himself in the allied intelligence community, but who subsequently created the world’s most famous spy – James Bond.

THE-INTELLIGENCE-TRAIL-CLASSIC-LONDON-SPY-TOUR-ANTHONY-BLUNTAfter hearing about Ian Fleming’s intelligence activities you’ll then learn about the Russian agent working in the same building in the second part of the 1950s – and the fallout from it.

Walking up the steps onto Carlton House Terrace and Pall Mall, you’ll be brought crashing into the Noughties with tales of Middle Eastern defenestration and rendition before just as quickly being whisked back in time to the height of treachery and betrayal as you’re introduced to the Cambridge Spy Ring and key members Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt.

THE-INTELLIGENCE-TRAIL-CLASSIC-LONDON-SPY-TOUR-CARLTON-GARDENSBritain’s dark spy treachery is further exposed with the first of two locations focusing on George Blake – arguably MI6’s worst ever traitor when considering the human cost of betrayal.

With a pleasant walk along The Mall heading into St. James’s Park, there’s a little time to ponder the effects of Britain’s intelligence failures. Alternatively why not take advantage of the time to ask renowned intelligence guide Brian Gray some questions of your own.

Having crossed the ‘Bridge of Spies’ there’s more intelligence exploits, triumphs and tragedies to be completely absorbed in. You’ll pass by the homes of MI6 (and the Chiefs) for four decades as well as learn more about MI6 traitor and Cambridge Spy Ring member Kim Philby. Having kept clients in suspense, there’s the conclusion of George Blake’s story to rue, before finishing at the unrivalled ‘spy hotel of spy hotels’ – The St. Ermin’s Hotel.

Of course, that’s just a brief taster of what you can expect when you book your own Classic tour. And don’t forget the secret passageways and an MI6 hero to occupy your mind as well! And perhaps a further doffing of the hat to Mr Smiley and Mr Bond along the way.

Given the sheer wealth of material available, the stories and locations selected on one day may vary from another. But you’ll be treated to a veritable mix of locations and tales recounted, and assured of an introduction to some of the worst spy traitors to damage the British intelligence services before and during the Cold War, as well as the odd hero or two. There may also be some Middle Eastern intrigue as well!

Duration: approx. 3 hours on foot
Rendezvous Point (RVP): Royal Marines Memorial, The Mall
(a Google map showing exact rendezvous point location will be emailed to you prior to the tour)
Nearest station (start): Charing Cross (Overground, and Underground – Northern, Bakerloo lines)
Nearest station (end): St. James’s Park (Underground – District line).

The route includes one set of upward steps and one set of downward steps.

Private tour slots (for up to 30 people) are priced according to booking period.

(£ UK Pounds Sterling)
Solo/Couple 1-2 people
(£ UK Pounds Sterling)
3-30 people
6 or more weeks£295.00£325.00
3 to 5 weeks£395.00£425.00
1 to 2 weeks£495.00£525.00
6 or less days£595.00£625.00


Important: As only private groups are run, please note that it is not possible to ‘join’ another group as this would mean the group ceasing to be exclusively for the original client.

You’ve read the briefing, you’ve seen the prices, you’ve got a date or two in mind…it’s time to check availabilty for your own private London spy tour! Complete the form below, with full details of preferred dates and any other relevant details.

I consent to the processing of my personal data and subsequent communication between myself and THE INTELLIGENCE TRAIL (under the lawful basis of 'contract') for the purposes of enquiring, confirming, paying for, and other tour-specific tour matters or service provision. [IMPORTANT: If this checkbox is not ticked then your message cannot be answered]

"OPTIONAL: I consent to receiving adhoc (i.e. RARE) messages from THE INTELLIGENCE TRAIL (under the lawful basis of 'legitimate interest') regarding particular messages (including tour dates and events) that are thought to be of special interest and relevance to me. You can opt out of this any time at a later date."]

That’s unsuprising given the other tours also on offer! Check out the Early Years, Cold War, Sexpionage, Mayfair & Mother Russia, and Westminster & Water alternatives. 

Chosen by members of the international intelligence, security, military and diplomatic communities.