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London, United Kingdom
July 17, 2005
After meeting outside the Holborn tube stop, we were led first to Gray's Inn, then to Lincoln Inn, Middle Temple, and Temple Church. Along the way, we explored beautiful courtyards, stood aside as frantic law students and lawyers rushed by, and soaked in the history all around us.
Visitors are not normally allowed inside the inns of court, since they are in daily use by the members of the bar. However, since our group was small and the hall was not in use at the time, Shaughan persuaded the guard to allow us to visit Middle Temple Hall. It was an amazing experience, to be in the same room where Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake, and other luminaries of the last four centuries have met for dining and entertainment.
Our guide pointed out the legal book store nearby, where old legal documents are available for sale. These make wonderful gifts for lawyers, and I bought a deed from 1743, which is now framed and hanging in my office.
Our walk ended outside the Royal Courts of Justice, across the street from Twinings Tea Shop and a couple of blocks from a great pub recommeded by Shaughan -- the Old Bank of England. It is a true gin palace and was a great place to rest up with a pint and eavesdrop on the lawyers who crowded around the bar.
This walk is not strenuous, and takes place during the daytime. If you are a Da Vinci Code fan, the Master of the Temple gives a Da Vinci Code talk and tour of Temple Church at 1pm on Fridays.
From journal The Original London Walks
December 5, 2001
From journal The sights of Legal London