Rendlesham

Book tickets for the Saturday 28 December 2019 trip now

The truth may never be known about the incidents that took place in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980. They have since begun to drift into the mists of folklore, and the mythological fog of war, and have been described as ‘Britain’s Roswell’.

But something truly unusual did happen. A large number of United States Air Force personnel from the nearby twin bases at RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters witnessed phenomena that none of them have ever been able to explain. The official memo spoke of ‘unexplained lights’ – UFOs being too emotive a term – but, as later emerged, there was much more to it than that.

We have created a new experience that takes you on a trip from London to the silent beauty of the Suffolk woods, from the present day to the height of the Cold War, from the everyday to the uncanny. Whether you want to believe, or you are resolutely sceptical, within the remarkable events we find a story of our own fears and compulsions.

We plan to run more dates dependent on demand, so send us a message if you have particular dates that you are interested in, or add yourself to the mailing list to hear about further dates as they are announced.

Pagan London

A twelve-part documentary film series exploring London’s historical, mythical and contemporary pagan connections, in collaboration with the award-winning film-maker Jeremiah Quinn. Click on each episode to watch on the Londonist YouTube channel, or watch all twelve.

  1. Old and new Pagans
  2. The Stanwell Cursus
  3. Shepperton Henge
  4. The Dagenham Idol
  5. Fenning’s Wharf
  6. Springhead
  7. The Temple of Diana
  8. The Maypole on the Strand
  9. Druid Street
  10. Primrose Hill (and accompanying essay on the curious story of Greenberry Hill)
  11. Cleopatra’s Needle
  12. A strong brown god

The map below shows each location, and you can also peruse a list of further reading.

London Baroque

Rich and Robert first began to write London Baroque in 2010, as a walk under the triumphal arches erected for the procession of King James I through the streets of London. Since then it has grown in a myriad of ways, encrusting itself with myth and fact, adorning itself with pieces of coral, silver, ivory, mahogany, marble, tortoiseshell, amber, and mother-of-pearl.

It has now coalesced into a full-length book. We are currently seeking a publisher.

We have printed a limited edition of 100 beautifully-bound hardback copies and are selling these for £20 + P&P. Contact us for payment details.

You can listen to selected excerpts as audiobooks here.

The Pantheon of Pancras

The Pantheon of Pancras is a guided walk around the old Parish of St Pancras. It is home to one of the earliest sites of Christian worship in London, and the largest single biomedical laboratory in Europe. It is the location of one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe; and it has had a long and notorious relationship with the oldest profession. It is the place where Eurostar passengers first breathe the London air, and it has been home to many other Europeans fleeing revolutions and wars.

St Pancras exists on what was the edge of London. It also has attracted those on the edge of society: outsiders who have disrupted time, and space, and the way we see the world. On this walk through Georgian squares, down secluded footpaths and along canal towpaths, you will hear about some of these people, together with the old and new gods that they have deemed worthy of worship.

Robert will be conducting an extract as a guided tour of St Pancras Old Churchyard on Sunday 26 October 2019 at 10:30 am, as part of Antique Beat’s wondrous London Month of the Dead festival. Tickets direct from the organiser.

‘A wonderfully fantastic journey’ – Reverend Mark Lawson-Jones

‘A tremendous flair for storytelling’ – Rachael Heaton-Armstrong

‘If you like your history hardcore, granular, absorbing, this is the one for you. Tour leader Robert is a complete natural’ – London Historians

‘If you want to find traces of the old gods in London – and offer a few pints as libation – I highly recommend a walk with Minimum Labyrinth’ – Sue Jones

​’Amazing new walk… I heartily recommend Minimum Labyrinth’s latest offering… nearly five hours (including pub stops) of esoteric layers and cross-references linking in odd but pleasing ways’ – Sophie Campbell

Sign up to our mailing list to hear first about upcoming dates for this walk or contact us for private bookings.

The Thin Veil of London

A very unusual walk around the lesser-known corners of Holborn and Bloomsbury, interwoven with mysteries from the stories of Arthur Machen (1863-1947), a foremost pioneer of ‘folk horror’.

Machen has an ever-growing fan base, including director Guillermo del Toro, writer Alan Moore and performer Stewart Lee. Machen’s stories teem with sinister ancient horrors – troglodyte races and malevolent fauns – that lurk just beneath the surface of modern life. Yet they also contain a positive theology that invite the visionary to step through the veil of illusion into another world; a magical world. Sometimes the lifting of the veil occurs on ancient tumuli in the Welsh countryside of his childhood; often it can be found in a back street of London.

The Thin Veil of London combines a history tour with theatrical elements, taking in the deeply atmospheric places off Theobalds Road – Coram’s Fields, Conway Hall, Great Ormond Street – to create a vivid journey into the worlds of Faery and science, madness and ecstasy, and what Machen called ‘the eternal beauty hidden beneath the crust of common and commonplace things; hidden and yet burning and glowing continually if you care to look with purged eyes’.

‘The best guided walk I’ve ever been on. A surprise round every corner’ – Matt Brown, Londonist

‘A daring, fascinating and witty exploration of the concepts of madness and childhood, a look at the pagan history of London, a brief debate about the philosophy of material objects and a piece of performance art. The narrative arc is probably better than most of the books I’ve ever read, and Robert is a brilliantly erudite and impish guide. I definitely recommend joining them on their adventures.’ – Mike Shallcross, journalist

‘On this fantastical dusk walk around Holborn and Bloomsbury, Rich Cochrane and Robert Kingham seamlessly entwine centuries of history, myth, philosophy and literature to weave a wholly engrossing journey (with a couple of pub stops) that will completely change how you see the city.’ ★★★★★ – James Drury, Londonist

‘I can heartily recommend the latest venture from Robert Kingham and Rich Cochrane … a cross between a literary walk, a pub crawl, a history lesson, a multi-media investigation of madness, a ghost story, and a psychogeographic voyage through Victorian and Edwardian London. It’s loosely based on the writings of Arthur Machen but even if, like me, you’ve never read anything by him, it’s still a tremendous and fascinating experience. Go book your tickets now.’ – John Lewis, journalist

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Our companion book expands upon the stories and personalities from the part of London we explore on the walk, and plunges into the deep well of philosophies, theories and wild beliefs that Machen draws on in his writing. The Thin Veil of London (paperback, 140pp) is available online from Lulu.com. We also have a handful of print copies left and are selling them for £10 + P&P. Contact us for details.

The Grey Soul of London

‘He who cannot find wonder, mystery, awe, the sense of a new world and an undiscovered realm in the places by the Gray’s Inn Road will never find those secrets elsewhere.’ – Arthur Machen

The Grey Soul of London was originally commissioned for the Museum of London’s Urban Myths season in 2011. Robert takes a walk across the worn and hollowed stones of London in search of history and beer. Robert has led this walk in several formats: from the five-hour, five-pub original for the Museum, to a 90-minute, two-pub version.

Read reviews from Ham Life and Londonist.

‘It is a district both devious and obscure, and I suppose that its twisting streets and unexpected squares of dusty trees will all come to ruin before they are intelligently explored.’ – Arthur Machen

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