Moles, double agents and entrapments. Paranoia and coverups. Join London’s best Cold War spy tour to immerse yourself in Britain’s turbulent spy history spanning the 1940s to the 1980s and beyond on the streets of London!
For successive decades, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ pitted themselves against the Soviet Union and subsequently the rest of WARPAC. It’s a tale of tragedy, treachery, and eventual triumph.
While it would be questionable describing key Cold War spy incidents and episodes as ‘highlights’, you’ll nonetheless learn about some of the key defining moments in British intelligence history during those tension-filled decades. With acclaimed intelligence guide Brian Gray leading you through the streets of St. James’s and Westminster (and a park for good measure) you’ll be absorbed with the details – and locations – associated with shadowy spy antics during this period.
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 (friend and foe alike) who 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 a story of Russian entrapment and subsequent treachery from the young clerical officer working in the OAB who supplied key documents to his Russian handler. The subsequent Tribunal Report raises almost as many eyebrows as the crimes themselves.
Heading up towards Piccadilly Circus, you’ll not only pass the favoured private members club of one of Britain’s most notorious spy traitors, but also have the opportunity to take in the location of one of the most iconic spy television moments. You’ll learn about KGB training and the young MI5 officer attempting to betray his country to Mother Russia; not to mention the utility of London’s underground network as an invaluable agent-running tool.
Venturing into the heart of St. James’s you’ll pass the scene of another successful KGB recruitment, this time involving a cash-strapped former MI6 officer. There’s also the former Libyan People’s Bureau in St. James’s Square, scene of the controversial shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher. State sponsored terrorist act or shadowy false flag episode – you decide!
The Cold War saw both MI5 and MI6 suffer internally, both from outright confessions of treachery as well as paranoia and suspicion. Names such as Roger Hollis and George Blake have achieved notoriety in Britain’s intelligence history and you’ll become acquainted with the stories of both on this three hour walk. In doing so, you’ll also understand when and why the Cold War began and the ramifications for British counter-intelligence.
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’ and taken a stroll along Birdcage Walk, there’s a surprise in store as you not only learn about ‘dry cleaning’ but also comprehend how MI5 was able to turn the tables on the KGB.
Heading further into Westminster the Cold War tour culminates with the final chapters on MI6’s arch traitors Kim Philby and George Blake brought to fitting conclusions respectively.
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 two sets of upward steps and one set of downward steps.
Private tour slots (for up to 30 people) are priced according to booking period.
|BOOKING / PAYMENT||PRICE PER TOUR
(UK Pounds Sterling, London 1-30 people; Edinburgh 1-6 people)
|Special 1-2 person private tour (specified dates only) - 5 or more weeks||£185.00|
|6 or more weeks||£295.00|
|3 to 5 weeks||£395.00|
|1 to 2 weeks||£495.00|
|6 or less days||£595.00|
Want a tour for just yourself or with another person? A limited number of tour slots will be available at a special reduced price. Check here for full dates and details of these exclusive tours.
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.
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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.