A different World War and Cold War history tour exploring nearly forgotten marks of 20th century conflict in suburban London

In September 1939, Britain is at war with Nazi Germany. Soon, everyday life would become very different for the millions of people involved in it in the next few years. In the declaration of war announcement, the Prime Minister spoke of the British resolve to finish the war, with calmness and courage. And also about how essential public participation was, whether in the fighting services, civil defence, or toward the maintenance of the life of people : in factories, transport or supply. And the residents of London’s westernmost urban districts of Rusilip, Uxbridge and Hayes answered the call to “carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead” with dedication and grit.

My War in the Suburbia tour is about those wartime stories of courage and resolve, as we discover the ways the war unfolded in London’s quaint suburbia. We will visit historic locations : some obvious and celebrated, and others nearly forgotten and obscure. We will imagine the wartime spirit and everyday life in the neighbourhood, relating real stories and eyewitness accounts. And will see evidence of the local districts’ involvement in monumental events of World War 2 and beyond: the Battle of Britain, the Invasion of Normandy, or breaking the Enigma Code. In addition, we will relate the astonishing stories of Soviet and German spies, covert operatives, and double agents operating in the area throughout the war – and well into the Cold War years !!

London’s wartime era of secrecy, heroism, and bloody mindedness will come to life with an explosive narrative that’ll carry us through an astonishing sequence of locations. The event is further enhanced by audio visual materials, contemporary accounts, and original photography.

What we’ll visit

  • The abandoned ruins of an OSS Secret Agent Training facility in the woods
  • A hidden Flak Tower and a secret Machine Gun Bunker
  • The former site of a top-secret Enigma Decoding facility
  • The street where Soviet resident spies used to live
  • The huge underground RAF Command complex where the Battle of Britain was fought
  • A pub where RAF airmen used to hang out between sorties

and possibly more monuments and displays.

What’s included in the tour 

  • All tickets and entrance fees
  • A passionate, knowledgeable and fun local guide (that’s me)

What’s NOT included in the tour 

  • Transport. This is a self drive tour, and you’ll be expected to turn up in your own vehicle with adequate petrol for a 15 mile trip
  • Meals or drinks
  • Tips

Price : £40 per person (20% discount for under 18s and Hillingdon First Card Holders)

Booking Conditions : You will receive a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of booking, or up to 7 calendar days prior to departure. A 50% charge will apply in all other cases (no-shows, cancellations, amendments) to cover for supplier and admin fees. The organiser reserves the right to cancel an event as a result of low turnout, and notify guests no less than 7 days prior to departure. In case of a cancelled event, the guests may chose between a full refund or any other alternative arrangements that may be offered.

Duration : between 4 and 5 hours

Meeting Point : Mad Bess Wood Car Park, Ducks Hill Road, Northwood HA6 2SS

Farewell Point : Battle of Britain Bunker, Wren Ave, Uxbridge UB10 0BE

Please Note : The tour includes a 15 minute trek in the woods, several steep steps, and uneven and muddy terrain. Guests with very young children, or mobility difficulties are welcome, but may not be able to visit some of the stops, or may be requested to follow alternative arrangements for certain locations  : please contact me for further information.  There will be an opportunitiy for a break at the Battle of Britain Bunker where snacks, drinks and WC facilities are available. It is important to understand and accept the fact that access to some of the sites in this tour is subject to changes in accessibility status. In case it is not possible to access any of the sites advertised on the day of the walk, a relevant alternative site will be offered instead.