Ancient City Ceremonies Walking Tour

This tour will guide you through the Pearly Kings & Queens’ Harvest Festival, Sheep-drive on London Bridge, and other ancient city ceremonies.

Join the Costermongers’ celebrations in Guildhall Yard before their harvest festival procession, then watch City Freemen exercising an ancient right, and learn about other ancient local traditions, customs and ceremonies.

Our ancient City of London has customs, pageantry, institutions and traditions stretching back through the proverbial ‘mists of time’. A much-loved association of Cockney charity-workers connected with the Costermongers – London’s historic greengrocers with their traditional handcarts – wear unique black and white ‘pearly ‘costumes. We’ll hear about their remarkable origins, enjoy their celebrations in Guildhall Yard, then accompany them as they set out on this year’s parade from Guildhall Yard to their harvest thanksgiving in St Mary-le-Bow.

Then we’re off to London Bridge to watch Freemen of the City of London exercising their ancient right to drive sheep across London Bridge. Not a sight you see every day!

Along the way, we’ll also discover other colourful ceremonies celebrating livery companies, deceased citizens or the City’s unique form of governance. 

Appreciate several less-known, yet important traditions underpinning City life.

Featuring Pearly Kings & Queen's gathering and processing from Guildhall Yard to their Harvest Festival service, and City of London Freemen exercising their ancient right to drive sheep over London Bridge.