The Time Trap Trails

Imagine reading a book, then visiting the very places where the story happened; it would almost be like going on a virtual-reality tour. With Time Trap, you can do just that, and see the London locations where this exciting adventure is set.

The Trails are an adventure, too: follow in Jamie's and Todd's footsteps as they were hurled back to 1862, when the streets of London were shrouded with smog, and danger lurked at every turn.

By following the Time Trap Trails, you will see a very different London - one that few may know. You'll visit the scenes of all the crimes that Jamie and Todd were involved in when they had to join the Holton Gang, and see where the gang's hideout were. You'll get to see magnificent St Paul's Cathedral - and many, many more locations featured in the book. Plus, there's an added guide to other attractions along the way.

 Also, by going on the Trails, it will give you a good sense of the layout of London; it did me, when I worked on them. 

Simply copy, paste and print.

Richard Smith


If you have not read the book, going on the Trail is pretty pointless, as I’ll be describing parts of the story connected to the locations.

You have the option to go on both trails. The first lasts around an hour and a half to complete, and the second, the Grand Trail – which is considerably longer - will take approximately five to five and half hours. You might want to do the Grand Trail over two days. Don’t overdo it; always take a break if you feel tired.

Now, let’s get started. At the end of the story, Simon asks Jamie and Todd to show them all the places they visited on their time trek. This Trail is what I think they would have shown him. I haven’t put the locations they went to in chronological order, otherwise you’d be crisscrossing London all day long.

+ Before you embark on either Trail, get permission to go from your parents.

+ Wear comfortable footwear, there’s quite a bit of walking to do.

+ Make sure you have plenty of water, even if it isn’t a very hot day. Keeping yourself hydrated will help you to concentrate.

+ You might want to take a small London A-Z, or have Google Maps at hand, just in case.

+ Carry a clipboard to hold the pages of the Trail, and a pen or pencil to fill in the answers in the Trail.

+ Go with at least one friend, it could become lonely on your own. But make sure that whoever goes with you, has read Time Trap.

+ And the most important thing of all, which I can’t stress enough, mind the roads! You will have to keep your wits about you, as London traffic comes from all directions.

1) Bedford Square

Jamie and Todd arrived in London from Canterbury at London Bridge Railway Station, and took the underground to Tottenham Court Road Station, which is on the Central Line. As a suggestion, start at the east-side exit of the station, by the Dominion Theatre, and head north along Tottenham Court Road, taking the third right, Bailey Street.

Entering Bedford Square, bear right, following the gardens round until you come to the main entrance to the gardens. Standing in front of the entrance, look diagonally to the right at number 45. That is the house where Hector once lived, and where Jamie’s uncle Simon, lived too.

At the end of the story, with the square bathed in moonlight, Jamie and Todd stood just inside the railings, having just eluded the policemen who were chasing them, but two caped policemen kept guard outside the house.

Eyeing a row of houses on the far side of the square, Jamie told Todd, ‘Hit one of those windows over there.’

Look at the houses to the right of you. Because of Jamie’s injured hand, Todd, who was useless with the catapult, had to fire a stone and hit one of the windows and lure the policemen away.

Here’s a tester to start with: Find the actor, Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson in the square and get the next directions to the British Museum.

2) British Museum

Ok, so now on to the British Museum. Looking at the gardens in the middle of the square and the plaque behind you, head left and cross at the traffic lights into Montague Place, passing Henry Cavendish’s house on the left. Walk about 50 yards and you’ll come to the back of the British Museum on the right. Take a few seconds to look at the sheer size of the building.

Whose name is above the entrance?……………………………................

Now you need to get to the front of the museum. Carry on to the end of Montague Place with Russell Square ahead of you and turn right into Montague Street and walk to the end. Once there, turn right again, into Great Russell Street, and you’ll soon reach the main entrance.

Jamie and Todd entered the grounds during a terrific thunderstorm, but it was a very different kind of day when they emerged from the building in 1862 - a bitterly cold day, with an acrid smog that hung in the air.

Look above the entrance to the pediment; what is the central figure holding in its right hand ………………………………..............................

3) St Giles in the Fields

Having got the keyword, cross the zebra crossing to your right, and take the second left, Coptic Street. Proceed to the end until you come to New Oxford Street. This is where Jamie and Todd stood, awestruck at the procession of horse-drawn carriages, and on the corner of Coptic Street the newspaper boy was selling his papers.

This was also the spot where the policeman grabbed Jamie and Todd, and Patterson, the bald man with the bushy beard, wanted to take them back to the museum. But Todd had other ideas, grabbing Jamie’s arm and sprinting across the road.

Taking much more care than Jamie and Todd, cross directly ahead at the traffic lights into Shaftsbury Avenue - which was called Plumb Street back in the days of Time Trap. Stay on the right hand side as the road bears to the right. As you continue, the tall, white spire of St Giles in the Fields church will come into view. Keep going until you see the white stone church. The large green, yellow and red buildings on your right are on the site of St Giles Rookery, a notorious area where criminals hid from the police, and where Jamie and Todd tried to escape from the policeman, but were frightened by a gangland feud taking place.

Taking extra care, follow Jamie and Todd’s footsteps and cross the road at the traffic lights to the entrance to the church with the spire in front of you. This is where Jamie and Todd, petrified by their alien environment, sought refuge. It was also the place they headed for when the burglary at Soho Square went wrong.

What object is at the top of the spire? ……………………………….......

4) The Holton Gang’s Hideout

Take the street next to the entrance to the church, Flitcroft Street, and follow it down a narrow alley, then go left at the stage door to the Phoenix Theatre and on to the end. At the Odeon cinema, turn left into Shaftsbury Avenue (which used to be Dudley Street here) and cross at the zebra crossing for the road straight ahead, Mercer Street - which was called Great White Lion Street in 1862. Take the short walk to one of my favourites places in London, Seven Dials. The centre column was removed in 1773 and put back in place in 1989 to the original design. Imagine all the traffic converging here, it must have been chaos.

The area was described by Charles Dickens in his collection Sketches by Boz, which includes the quote:

“The stranger who finds himself in the Dials for the first time…at the entrance of Seven obscure passages, uncertain to take, will see enough around him to keep his curiosity awake for no inconsiderable time…”

Once a fashionable area, but in Time Trap’s day, it was one of the most notorious slums in London.

Outside the pub was where the fight took place, when Cornelius beat up three men.

What is the name of the pub? ……………………………….....................

Take Earlham Street (Little Earlham Street back then) opposite the pub and after a short walk, turn left into Tower Court. Look at the school, built in the 1880s, it’s the location of the of the Holton Gang’s hideout. They dwelt in the basement of a defunct business. Now follow the route Jamie and Todd took with Swiper and Patch to Soho Square, where they burgled the house.

5) Soho Square

Continuing along Tower Court, turn right onto Tower Street and go to the end, then left to the busy junction of Cambridge Circus. Cross the junction, heading for the Cambridge Theatre and take the short walk down Moor Street, which is second left past the theatre, then cross Old Compton Street into first right, Greek Street. Walk to the end and cut through Soho Square towards the north side. Cross the road and head for the houses on the right.
House number 15 was where Swiper jimmied the window.

Who once lived at number 14? ………………………………...................

6) Covent Garden Opera House

Turn around and go left of the gardens to Greek Street. After walking about 50 yards, stop at the Pillars of Hercules pub on the left and take the left, Manette Street, which starts under the pub. You will pass a church on the left, Barnabas in Soho.

At the end of Manette Street, turn left and cross at the first traffic lights and enter Denmark Street directly opposite. Go towards the red and yellow buildings and turn right at the end of the street, where you will pass the church you saw earlier, St Giles in the Fields, on your right. Keep on the right hand side of the road and cross at the first set of traffic lights and the second set, to stay on the right hand side of the road. After a short walk, take the first right, Endell Street. This is the poor area where Jamie and Todd were after their night in the lodging house paid for by Cornelius. Keep walking straight and when you come to the end, Bow Street is ahead to the left. Enter Bow Street on the right-hand side of the road and after a short walk, you will come to Covent Garden Opera House. This is where Jamie and Todd were looking for the soup kitchen in Covent Garden and
they asked the opera-goers the way to it.

How many columns are there? ………………………………...................

7) The Location of Temple Bar

Carry on down Bow Street, passing Russell Street on the right. It was in this area, as Jamie and Todd walked the smog-filled streets, that Jamie detected the unknown footsteps. The London Transport Museum is just around the corner in Covent Garden. It’s well worth a visit to see some of the vehicles that would have been on the streets in Time Trap’s day.

As you pass Russell Street, it becomes Wellington Street to the end. See if you can spot Charles Dickens’ office and private apartments. Just think, when Jamie and Todd were here in 1862, Dickens could have been in residence.
At the end of Wellington Street, with Waterloo Bridge facing you, you have to cross at the traffic lights and go left into the Strand. To make sure you’re on the right road, the white stone church of St Mary Le Strand should be facing you. Head towards the church and beyond, passing Somerset House on your right. You are now walking parallel with the River Thames which is on your right. Pass the second church, St Clement Dane’s, to continue along the Strand.

The monument in the centre of the road is where Temple Bar stood, which you will see later on the Trail. Temple Bar is a boundary marker, separating the City of London and Westminster.

What is the creature at the top of the monument? ……………………….

8) The Case Snatch at the Belle Sauvage

Passing the monument, you have now entered Fleet Street and the City of London. The first church you see on the left hand side is St Dunstan in the West, and the big clock sticking out from the wall is the first public clock to have a minute hand, back in 1671.

Continue on to the main junction, which is Ludgate Circus. On the right hand corner of Fleet Street is where Billy and his friends took the city gent’s money pouch and ran to the eating house.

Go straight over the junction on the right hand side, and stop at the Thames Link Train Station. Directly opposite is where the Belle Sauvage coaching inn once stood, and where Billy and Joe stole the case.

This is where you can either go on to the Grand Trail, or finish. To carry on with the Grand Trail, simply continue with number 9B. To finish, follow directions to number 9A, directly below.

9A) The real Temple Bar

Continue in the same direction towards the junction of Ludgate Hill, and there you will see the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the best sights in London. When you get to the cathedral, walk down the left side of it. When you come to St Paul’s café and shop, stop and look to your left and there is the arched, white, stone structure, Temple Bar.

Imagine the thousands upon thousands of horse-drawn vehicles which passed under the arch, including Jamie and Todd's, when they travelled along the Strand in the cab. It was also this stonework that Jamie and Todd’s arch enemy, Cornelius, smashed into whilst on the runaway coach.

Who designed Temple Bar? ………………………………........................

If you have time, take a look around the outside of the cathedral; it’s an amazing building.

Well done, you have completed the Trail!

The nearest tube station is St Paul’s, which is on the Central Line. To get there, go towards the Cathedral’s gardens with Temple Bar on your left, and at the end of the gardens, turn left and the station is there.

I hope you enjoyed the Trail.


9B) The Secret Operations Bureau HQ

Follow their getaway route by staying on the same side, taking the first right, Pageantmaster Court, then opposite left into Ludgate Broadway. Stop at Cater Lane and take a look down the street. Carter Lane gives you an idea of how it looked back then.

Carry on straight ahead and enter Blackfriars Lane with the train bridge on your right. Turn left at the end, onto Queen Victoria Street. After 50 yards, cross at the first set of traffic lights and stop at the mouth of Puddle Dock and take in the view of the river. Jamie, Todd and Joe ran to the river at this point, but it is not accessible from here, so continue along Queen Victoria Street with the river on your right, passing St Benet Church on the right and after a two-minute walk, turn right towards the Millennium Bridge. Descend down the steps on the left side of the bridge, and at the bottom, turn left and the first bridge you’ll see is Southwark Bridge

This part of the Trail needs your full concentration. Just take your time. Follow the sign left to Southwark Bridge, leaving the river for a short while and turn right onto a slip road, passing Gardner‘s Lane and Queen’s Quay. At the end of the slip road turn right, towards the river again. Take a look at the information board. It tells you all about this area. Look across the river, can you spot the white, wooden Shakespeare Globe Theatre? It’s not the original, but a replica. Continue on the Thames Path towards Southwark Bridge and walk under it. Look at the impressive tiled pictures on the walls. Back on the Thames Path, heading east again, the next Bridge is Cannon Street Bridge, which was not there in Time Trap’s day. Work started on the bridge a year after, in 1863. Listen out for the sound effects as you go under the bridge. At the end, turn right, then left and you’ll get a view of London Bridge. This bridge was opened in 1973, so it wasn’t the one Jamie and Todd travelled over with Catherine in the cab, to visit Hector, who was hiding somewhere in the suburbs of south London, about four miles away.

Go under the bridge, keeping to the Thames Path and after a short walk you will see a circular grass mound. You are now in the yard of the Secret Operations Bureau HQ. Here is a great place to have your lunch, but first, look around you, and try and work out where the building stood, which housed the huge iron arch. And where do you think the stables were? See the gardens? That’s where the Holton Gang dug up the cobbles to lay the dummy pipe. Take a look at the river wall, this was the one that Hector, Catherine, Jamie and Todd all stood on before leaping into the coal barge to make their escape.

The church beside the gardens provided good cover for the sinister plot.

What is the name of the church? ……………………………….................

10) The Science Institute

Go back on yourself to the river and back to London Bridge. Take the steps up to street level, and turn right at the top, crossing Lower Thames Street below. As you proceed, keep your eyes to the right, and you’ll soon see the Monument. Take a closer look. Do you know what it stands for?

Continue on the trail and when you come to a set of traffic lights, bear right then cross the at the lights into Gracechurch Street. Cross at the first set of traffic lights and keep going. Before the second traffic lights, look out for Leadenhall Market on your right. It stands on what was the centre of Roman London. Cross at the traffic lights into Bishopsgate. Find a safe place to cross to the left hand side of the road and turn left into Wormword Street, at the third set of traffic lights. After a short walk, Wormword Street becomes London Wall.

Proceed along London Wall on the left hand side of the road and after 6 - 10 minute walk, you will see the road goes under a building, and further ahead the Museum of London. It is well worth a visit at a later date, but now cross at the traffic lights, into Wood Street, and follow it round - where it becomes Fore Street. You are about to take a combination of streets to Golden Lane. Pass under a footbridge, then left into Moor Street. After a short walk, take the left turn into Silk Street, following it round to the right as it passes the Barbican Centre. Keep going and Silk Street merges with Whitecross Street. After about 150 yards, take the first left into Fortune Street. Can you spot the plaque where the Fortune Playhouse once stood? It was founded about 1600, and was among the chief venues for drama in London.

Go to the end of the street and Golden Lane runs across. The Science Institute is no longer here, so you will have to use your imagination. When Jamie and Todd were turned away from the building by the man at the front desk, and told to get money so they could see Catherine, they headed left from where you’re standing. Go to the end of the road, but take a look at the library on the right, first.

What is the name of the library? ……………………………….................

11) Smithfield Meat Market

Once you get to the end of the road, turn right into Beech Street, walking under the Barbican Centre - which wasn’t there in 1862. When you get to the end of the road, cross and enter the road directly opposite, Long Lane. As you proceed, the huge enclosure, which is Smithfield Meat Market will come up on the right. When Jamie and Todd were here, this was under construction. It was here that they met Mr Wiggles and his monkey. Enter the open main entrance and take a look inside and read about its history.

In what year was the market completed? ………………………………....

12) Metropolitan Underground Railway

Carry on past the Market in the same direction, to the end where Farringdon Road runs across. Turn right and stop at the first set of traffic lights. From where you stand, look to the right, and there was the construction site of the Metropolitan Railway. Jamie and Todd climbed down the ladder escaping Billy and his gang, and sprinted into the tunnel. They emerged further up Farringdon Road, only to fall into the hands of Billy and the others.

13) Newgate Prison (now Old Bailey Law Courts)

Turn around and back-track towards Holborn Viaduct: the bridge ahead of you. It was the first flyover built in London. Turn left before it, taking the right fork, Snow Hill. Follow it up and round to the end of the street. Look ahead on the opposite corner to your left, at the huge, white, stone building, which is Old Bailey, the Law Courts, the site of Newgate Prison.

What is the figure above the dome holding in its left hand? ……………..

14) The real Temple Bar

Take the short walk to the traffic lights and cross into Old Bailey, passing the Law Courts as you go. Imagine the dark, fortress-like prison, and the notorious inmates who were sent there, many of them to be executed. At the end of Old Bailey is Ludgate Hill. If you look to the right, you will see Thames Link, where you were earlier on the Trail, opposite the coaching inn of Belle Sauvage. Turn left towards St Paul’s Cathedral and walk down the left side of it. When you come to St Paul’s café and shop, stop and look to your left and there is the arched, white, stone structure, Temple Bar.

Imagine the thousands upon thousands of horse-drawn vehicles which passed under the arch, including Jamie and Todd's, when they travelled along the Strand in the cab. It was also this stonework that Jamie and Todd’s arch enemy, Cornelius, smashed into whilst on the runaway coach.

Who designed Temple Bar? ………………………………........................

If you have time, take a look around the outside of the cathedral; it’s magnificent.

Well done, you have completed the GrandTrail!

The nearest tube station is St Paul’s, which is on the Central Line. To get there, go towards the Cathedral’s gardens with Temple Bar on your left, and at the end of the gardens, turn left and the station is there.

Please feel free to contact me with the thoughts on the Trail, or any questions you have.

I hope you enjoyed the Trail.


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