A Historical Urban Hike Through London! My “Hitch Hiking” Series #6! Alfred Hitchcock’s Thames River Swim To Promote The Provocative “Frenzy”!

Welcome To London!

I have been lucky enough to have been to London many times in my career, and have had the chance to explore many of its fun and fascinating corners…as part of my latest “Hitch Hiking” series, I want to take an urban hike through this incredible city before settling in for the most provocative film in Alfred Hitchcock’s career – filmed on the streets of London!

London is such a great mix of old and new, as shown here by the “Eye”, the newly iconic Ferris wheel on the Thames, with Big Ben in the background…any walk along London’s classic streets will lead you to these and the Tower of London as well – with their new “bullet” building in the background:

I have been to London for work many times – here is a shot at the Tower bridge with my terrific Host Alison Haislip from 2009:

On that trip, I walked a LOT of London…more than 15 miles in a single day, because I walked to Regents Park and then made my way back to Buckingham Palace:

The Hike Begins In Regent’s Park!

I walked north from my Hotel, which was located near Kensington Garden, up to Regent’s Park to begin my hike…I started early in the day when things were quiet on London’s side streets:

Originally a royal hunting ground, Regent’s Park offers an artificial lake, tennis courts, cricket ground, children’s playgrounds and the London Zoo, which lies on the north side. I looked around a bit then turned southwest for half a mile to my favorite restaurant in London:

Welcome To The Sea Shell Of Lisson Grove!

For over 60 years, The Sea Shell Restaurant has been serving the best traditional British fish and chips in London. And who was I to argue? Instead, I dug in!

A traditional filet of fish, tail on, was outstanding, and gave me the energy to take the 2-1/2 mile walk down to “The Buck” – arguably the most popular tourist destination in London!

I did work with someone who had an office inside Buckingham Palace, so I had the chance to go inside – more on that in another post!

There will always be crowds here, but it’s never really “crowded”, and it’s a great walk through the city streets – and then it was straight down the Thames to the Tower Bridge – except of course I bounced across both sides to capture this unique city!

It’s 3.5 miles from Buckingham Palace to the Tower Bridge – but I wanted to bounce around a bit to capture the essence of the city – when I shot here, my team wandered the streets as well, and I shot them doing it:

What did we see? Well, everything from the classic signs for London’s underground “tube”, with a classic British Pub always nearby:

London’s vibrant theater scene is near Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus:

One other unique landmark I passed was The Beatles shop, where I came across a couple of guys “singing” some Beatles songs – using puppets:

I jumped back across the Thames, going past the legendary Westminster Abbey and Big Ben:

I ended my hike at the famed Tower Bridge, which spans the Thames and offers an amazing picture opportunity:

There an overview of my many city hikes in London, and it leads me here:

From Urban “Hiking” To Classic “Hitch”cock!

After a walk around London, why not look back at what it was like to walk these streets in 1972?

In 1972, Alfred Hitchcock filmed his latest thriller, “Frenzy”, on the streets of London. There are a lot of pictures from that time showing the “Master of Suspense” in action:

“Frenzy” is much darker and overtly sexual than previous Hitchcock films, but critics responded very well to it. The film includes nudity, the only time I remember seeing any in a Hitchcock film – remember, Janet Leigh wasn’t shown nude in “Psycho”‘s notorious shower scene!

Here is how the film is described by Rotten Tomatoes:

Suspenseful, disturbing, and darkly humorous, Frenzy, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is the story of a rapist-murderer, whose distinctive murder weapon has led him to be labeled “The Necktie Murderer.” The film, typical of many of Hitchcock’s works, focuses on a man wrongly accused, who must now find the true killer to prove his innocence.

Hitchcock’s Thame River Promo Bath!

Yes, as usual Alfred Hitchcock has a deliciously clever way to promote the film – by floating in London’s Thames river!

Check out the trailer, which begins with Hitch himself floating along as he describes the film!

Here is how Rogert Ebert reviewed the film:

This is the kind of thriller Hitchcock was making in the 1940s, filled with macabre details, incongruous humor, and the desperation of a man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.

This is the sixth entry in this series, and you can search “Hitch hiking” to see more of them, but here are two examples of what I am doing in the series:

I did an urban hike through New York – 196 blocks in all – and shared amazing photos from Central Park – which you can see here:


My wife and I also love to hike in our country’s incredible parks, like Will Rogers State Park on the west side of Los Angeles – where you can see incredible views like this:

You can see more of this hike by clicking here:


Let me know what you think of this international edition of my “Hitch Hiking” Series!

Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Food, Great Films, Grindhouse, London, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Pop Culture, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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18 replies

  1. I am heading back to London for my 7th trip in Feb and I couldn’t be happier! I hope to one day live in London (probably many many years down the line haha), but in the meantime I occupy myself with similar treks while I am there. I find that London suits walking everywhere quite well, and there is always something to see. I will admit I’ve not watched any Hitchcock films though, I can’t do anything remotely scary!

  2. This is such a good (if long) walk. We often did similar loooong wanders when we lived in London. I like going from Regents Park, down to the river and then along the thames for a while. We always finish with a pub. 😉

  3. London is such a fabulous city, John. Big Ben was being repaired when we were there recently and was all covered up with scaffolding.

  4. Lovely to reminisce while I read this post, John…The bullet building is the gherkin and hosts a lovely restaurant with some spectacular views… I never tire of London and have always discovered something new on every visit many of my family are born and bred Londoners it is a most fascinating city 🙂

  5. My territory here, John. I lived in Albany Street, which runs against east side of Regent’s Park, for 12 years. The fish and chip shop in Lisson Grove is so popular, people drive great distances to buy food there. As for Buckingham Palace, I have worked in the Police Control Room there, in the Mews at the back, and the gardens behind are enormous! ‘Frenzy’ is one of my favourite Hitchcock films, precisely because of the use of so many great London locations.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  1. “Hitch Hiking!” Here Are 8 Great Hikes! 8 Classic Alfred Hitchcock Thrillers! – johnrieber
  2. The Annual “Bloggers Bash” 2019 Edition! A Surprising Nomination – And A Look At The Bloggers Group And London Too! – johnrieber
  3. “Hitch Hiking” #11! Our Rattlesnake Encounter In Beverly Hills – Hiking Shocks And Hitchcock’s “Psycho”! – johnrieber

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