The Inns of Court: London's Legal History Private Walking Tour

  • Instant Confirmation
  • Private Tour
  • 2 hr

Explore London's rich legal history on a private tour through the Inns of Court visiting places like the Staples Inn and Lincoln's Inn, as well as the Royal Courts of Justice, a Gothic masterpiece.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Travel Curious

Discover the hidden secrets and fascinating history of the buildings and courts that make up the Inns of Court in London while you learn from a knowledgeable guide about how this unique part of London’s legal history went from being home to barristers to becoming a marvellous sightseeing spot for tourists from all over the world.

On your private walking tour, you will:

  • Immerse yourself into Holborn, famous as a law quarter of London;
  • Explore the Inns of Court and discover the legacy of these ancient legal institutions in London;
  • View perfectly preserved courtyards, chapels and libraries – many unchanged since medieval times; 
  • Hear of gripping trials and the brilliant advocates who made them, figures such as Lord Mansfield, FE Smith, Edward Carson, and Marshall Hall;
  • Visit Staple Inn, one of the Inns Of Chancery lodgings for lawyers;
  • Discover Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four remaining Inns of Court;
  • Stroll down Carey Street, where lawyers go for a drink and admire one of London's most magnificent views;
  • See the Royal Courts of Justice, a Gothic Revival masterpiece and learn about its history and court structure;
  • Sneak into a secret passage and discover the Middle and Inner Temple, the structure of legal services in England and Wales between cobbled lanes, sparkling fountains and beautiful gardens;
  • End your tour at the Temple Church, which became very popular after being featured in the book and the film The Da Vinci Code.

The Inns of Court, also known as the “Inner Temple” and “Middle Temple,” are three historic legal institutions located in Central London. The Inns are privately run and have trained barristers since 1450. Along with Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn and the Inner Temple (Middle Temple), they are often referred to as “The Inns of Court.”

Built upon the legacy of the Crusades and shaped by the ancient traditions of the English common law, these cloistered precincts have witnessed generations of change and upheaval, while the nearby Royal Courts of Justice and Old Bailey have played host to the most gripping trials in English history. 

This tour will explore the ancient roots of England’s legal profession and their connection with the Knights Templars; revolution, wars and reform; and the changing face of crime, punishment and mercy through the ages.

Hear the stories of the first lawyers, who would meet in taverns to discuss legal cases, tour courtyards and learn how these locations became important in shaping British law and how they are still used today.

Tour duration
2 hours

Type of tour
Walking tour: no transportation is included

Tickets included
- English Speaking Guide

Other inclusions
- Gratuities optional
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off are not included
- Food & drinks are not included

Suitable for
Intellectually Curious

Attractions along this route:

The Royal Courts of Justice
Located on the Strand, this majestic building is just a few minutes away from London’s Theatreland. Founded in 1873, it was designed in the style of a cathedral and decorated with beautiful stained glass windows and mosaics marble floors leading to enchanting corridors for an exciting visit to one of London’s best-kept secrets.

Temple Church
The Temple Church is a historic church in London, England dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and sits adjacent to the Inner Temple.

The inns of Court
The Inns of Court are a group of institutions that have historically been responsible for legal education in London, England. They consist of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple (both housed within The Temple), Lincoln’s Inn, and Gray’s Inn—all of which are located in the general vicinity of The Royal Courts of Justice.
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