This walk now starts at the Elephant & Castle tube underground station because Lambeth North tube is closed for several months for lift repairs. And the end of the walk has also changed to Kennington tube or a nice nearby pub which may have Chaplin-related history. This doesn’t change the route much. The walk still shows you where Charlie Chaplin was born, lived and worked until he left for America in his twenties. You see many places where he lived as a boy, in this surprisingly unchanged area that still retains its lovely original Georgian charm, though in Charlie’s time, many of the houses had become slums. You see the workhouse, which his mother checked her and her family into, much of which still remains. You’ll hear of his poverty stricken upbringing, but also how his talent shone through from an early age. You’ll see where he used to mimic a funny little man who was perhaps the prototype for his little tramp character; the place where he was spotted by a man who gave him his first taste of show business; the pubs outside which he saw characters he based his brilliant comedy drunk routine on, which got him his big break in Hollywood; the park where his mother took him to escape the workhouse for a day; places he reproduced in his films later. And you’ll hear about his trips to America, his sudden great success, his role in the Great War, and his trip back to Lambeth when he returned to the country for the first time after becoming a star.
And you’ll be pleased to know that our guide dresses up as the great man!
Start Walk: Lambeth North underground station
Finish Walk: Kennington underground station or nearby pub
Shorter Walk alternative: Same start and finish points but a shorter route