Literary Festival

Footprints of London LitFest wordcloud

While London’s streets may not be paved with gold, there is a wealth of literary history round practically every corner.

Throughout October 2016 we will be again be staging Literary Footprints, our fourth running of our annual literary walks festival.

Literary Footprints is a unique and London-centric literary festival; like a walking book club, it takes people out onto the streets of London on guided walks researched, written and led by our experienced, professional guides.

You will get to see to where the novels and poems are set, where the authors’ inspiration was born and the avenues and alleyways, buildings and gardens their characters inhabit – places you might normally visit only in your imagination.

Building on the previous years’ successes Literary Footprints will feature at least one walk on each day of the month of October 2016:  Meet Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury, George Orwell in Soho, Mary Woolstencroft in St Pancras, Wilkie Collins in Marylebone and Samuel Pepys in the City. Hear from Dickens & Mrs Dalloway, Chaucer & Shakespeare, C J Sansom & H G Wells with T S Eliot, Sherlock Holmes and others along the way.

And as Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway said:

“I love walking in London,” said Mrs. Dalloway. “Really it’s better than walking in the country.”

We couldn’t agree more…

The full schedule is below, we look forward to meeting you on the walks!

Nineteen Eighty Four

The London of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four

ts eliot walkers

Tina’s T S Eliot walk  at St Dunstan in the East

Amber dressed as Jane Austen's Emma

Amber as Jane Austen’s Emma

Walks in October 2016

Literary Footprints Festival Season Ticket

Sat, 1 Oct

Description: Purchase of a Literary Footprints Festival festival season ticket entitles you to book a place FREE OF CHARGE on any of nearly 40 Literary Footprints walks between 1st October and 31st October 2016

Shakespeare in Shoreditch

Sat, 1 Oct

Your guide: David Brown
Description: Act 1 – The ruff guide to Shakespeare’s early life in edgy Elizabethan Shoreditch. See where he lived & worked

Martians, Miracles, and Time Machines': The London of HG Wells

Sun, 2 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: A walk around the London of H G Wells

Bethnal Green in So Many Words

Sun, 2 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: With readings from Iain Sinclair, George Orwell and others, this tour explores the rich story of Bethnal Green, one of crime and poverty, but also one of resilience and survival. Through their words we engage with the human currents of Bethnal Green and its unique flavour.

Print and the Press - Exploring Fleet Street

Mon, 3 Oct

Your guide: Jill Finch
Description: Explore Fleet street, with it’s alleys and courtyards, and hear about the people behind the printing industry

The Lives and Loves of the Bloomsbury Group

Tue, 4 Oct

Your guide: Jenni Bowley
Description: Explore the many literary connections of Bloomsbury where writers ‘lived in squares and loved in triangles’.

Bethnal Green in So Many Words

Tue, 4 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: With readings from Iain Sinclair, George Orwell and others, this tour explores the rich story of Bethnal Green, one of crime and poverty, but also one of resilience and survival. Through their words we engage with the human currents of Bethnal Green and its unique flavour.

Mrs Dalloway's Day

Wed, 5 Oct

Your guide: Rob Smith
Description: This walk follows the route Clarissa Dalloway takes on her journey to buy flowers for her evening party in Virginia Woolf’s classic London novel

I wish I'd said that

Wed, 5 Oct

Your guide: Stephen Cook
Description: A light hearted literary walk

Walk Wilkie's Way

Thu, 6 Oct

Your guide: Jen Pedler
Description: Wilkie Collins led a life that was as sensational as his novels. This walk explores Marylebone where he was born and spent most of his life – places he lived and worked, the women he loved and his close friendship with Charles Dickens.

London Destroyed

Thu, 6 Oct

Your guide: Rob Smith
Description: This walk looks at the London locations that have featured in dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction.

Literary St James's

Fri, 7 Oct

Your guide: Anthony Davis
Description: Discover some of the famous bibliophiles and literary personalities who have inhabited this fashionable part of London over the past 400 years. We hear stories of bibliomaniacs, writers, booksellers and publishers from Samuel Pepys to the Prince Regent, and see the buildings they lived in.

Much Ado About Trading

Fri, 7 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: This tour explores aspects of trade in Shakespeare’s London and how it provided valuable material to him and to his fellow dramatists

Finding Bridget Jones

Fri, 7 Oct

Description: Fans of Helen Fielding’s chaotic and lovestruck leading lady will enjoy this romp around London. A fun walk that discusses the books and the films as well as talking about how the world of Bridget Jones can compare to real life and speculating how she would cope in today’s dating world.

Martians, Miracles, and Time Machines': The London of HG Wells

Sat, 8 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: A walk around the London of H G Wells

By Permission of Heaven

Sat, 8 Oct

Your guide: Jill Finch
Description: A walk based on Historian Adrian Tinniswood’s account of the Great Fire of London. Why did the City burn 350 years ago? Accident, treason, act of war? Or simply By Permission of Heaven? From St Paul’s to The Monument we’ll look at what happened on those fateful five days in September 1666.

1984 London

Sat, 8 Oct

Your guide: Steve Pratt
Description: Hear about the life of George Orwell, and explore the London he knew as expressed in his books – particularly 1984.

A Picture Tells a Thousand Stories

Sun, 9 Oct

Your guide: Jack Yeomanson
Description: A guided walk around the National Portrait Gallery looking at the writers featured within the collection.

Literary Soho

Sun, 9 Oct

Your guide: Alan Fortune
Description: Explore the lives of famous literary figures, like William Blake, Fanny Burney, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.

Shakespeare on Bankside

Sun, 9 Oct

Your guide: Neil Sinclair
Description: Act 2 – The Bard at his peak in Elizabethan London’s notorious red light district with coaching inns, bear-baiting pits, theatres and brothels.

Finding Bridget Jones

Sun, 9 Oct

Description: Fans of Helen Fielding’s chaotic and lovestruck leading lady will enjoy this romp around London. A fun walk that discusses the books and the films as well as talking about how the world of Bridget Jones can compare to real life and speculating how she would cope in today’s dating world.

Made in Chelsea

Sun, 9 Oct

Your guide: Stephen Benton
Description: Hear about Artists and Writers, people like Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Mark Twain

Life & Times of Jane Austen's Emma

Mon, 10 Oct

Description: Fans of Jane Austen’s Emma celebrate it’s 200th anniversary this year. This walk is a celebration of that book, the film and the Regency. A delightful walk in the Brunswick Square area, this walk will be delivered in costume and discuss the characters, way of life in the Regency and more.

Dickens After Dark:  In the Steps of the Night Walker

Tue, 11 Oct

Your guide: Mark Rowland
Description: Dickens said “But the streets of London, to be beheld in the very height of their glory, should be seen on a dark, dull, murky winter’s night…” Join me along the paths of his epic night walks to hear how his observations of the slumbering city inspired his legendary themes and characters.

Shakespeare - Take Him for All in All

Wed, 12 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: While Shakespeare is the stuff of legend, he was in so many ways a typical Londoner. In fact, to explore the story of Shakespeare in London is to appreciate an exciting time of social advancement and international development, with London at the centre of England’s coming of age.

T S Eliot - The Waste Land in the City

Thu, 13 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: A famous poem, a famous City. Explore its streets by reference to The Waste Land a poem written by T S Eliot, using streets and buildings. Poetry reading in atmospheric locations.

Tracing the Tudors: The real London of Wolf Hall

Thu, 13 Oct

Your guide: Mark Rowland
Description: Wolf Hall brought to life the personal and political machinations of this most turbulent period, but the Great Fire rendered physical traces of the Tudor age hard to find in today’s London. Unless, that is, you know where to look… Join me to discover the places that tell the stories behind the stories of Wolf Hall.

A Journal of the Plague Year

Thu, 13 Oct

Your guide: Rob Smith
Description: The stories of the quack doctors, brave neighbours and doom-mongers who filled London in the plague year of 1665 in Defoe’s classic account

Covent Garden Literary Heroes

Fri, 14 Oct

Your guide: Elaine Wein
Description: Covent Garden has always been associated writers – come and explore stories of Dickens, Pepys, Kipling, Johnson and Boswell

Sherlock Holmes and the Red-Headed League

Sat, 15 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: Follow in the Footsteps of the great Dectective as we wind our way through streets that Sherlock Holmes would have recognised

Shakespeare in the City

Sat, 15 Oct

Your guide: David Brown
Description: Act 3 – Follow Shakespeare and his King’s Men acting company as they transfer across the river to the wealthy City.

Martians, Miracles, and Time Machines': The London of HG Wells

Sun, 16 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: A walk around the London of H G Wells

Life & Times of Jane Austen's Emma

Sun, 16 Oct

Description: Fans of Jane Austen’s Emma celebrate it’s 200th anniversary this year. This walk is a celebration of that book, the film and the Regency. A delightful walk in the Brunswick Square area, this walk will be delivered in costume and discuss the characters, way of life in the Regency and more.

Shardlake's London

Mon, 17 Oct

Your guide: Jill Finch
Description: Follow the footsteps of the characters in C J Sansom’s ‘Shardlake’ novels set in 16th Century London at the time of the reformation.

Finding Bridget Jones

Mon, 17 Oct

Description: Fans of Helen Fielding’s chaotic and lovestruck leading lady will enjoy this romp around London. A fun walk that discusses the books and the films as well as talking about how the world of Bridget Jones can compare to real life and speculating how she would cope in today’s dating world.

Samuel Pepys' Diary

Mon, 17 Oct

Your guide: Elaine Wein
Description: Pepys wrote about his family, friends and about the Great Fire. Visit places known to Pepys and hear about the events that shaped this unique social document.

Sherlock Holmes - the Return

Tue, 18 Oct

Your guide: Jen Pedler
Description: Explore the mews and backstreets of Marylebone following Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in The Adventure of the Empty House

I wish I'd said that

Wed, 19 Oct

Your guide: Stephen Cook
Description: A light hearted literary walk

Circles, Squares and Triangles - Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury

Wed, 19 Oct

Your guide: Stephen Benton
Description: A walk through the Bloomsbury of Virginia Woolf

The City by the Book

Thu, 20 Oct

Your guide: Jill Finch
Description: Charlotte Bronte loved it, Alexander Pope hated it. Known mainly as a place for money making and trade, the narrow alleyways of the City also gave birth to writers and poets. It either charmed or repelled its visitors and it has featured in and inspired books and poetry over the centuries. Jill’s walk from St Paul’s to Cornhill is awash with literary landmarks that might just surprise you.

Shakespeare - Take Him for All in All

Fri, 21 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: While Shakespeare is the stuff of legend, he was in so many ways a typical Londoner. In fact, to explore the story of Shakespeare in London is to appreciate an exciting time of social advancement and international development, with London at the centre of England’s coming of age.

Finding Bridget Jones

Fri, 21 Oct

Description: Fans of Helen Fielding’s chaotic and lovestruck leading lady will enjoy this romp around London. A fun walk that discusses the books and the films as well as talking about how the world of Bridget Jones can compare to real life and speculating how she would cope in today’s dating world.

Publish & Be Damned: A Fleet Street History

Sat, 22 Oct

Your guide: Andrea Vail
Description: Let’s take a walk down Fleet Street to hear about the monks, knights, and lawyers who made this area their home in the middle ages, the rise of mass market book publishing, and how Fleet Street went from having the City’s first printing press to becoming a 24-hour news operation.

1984 London

Sat, 22 Oct

Your guide: Steve Pratt
Description: Hear about the life of George Orwell, and explore the London he knew as expressed in his books – particularly 1984.

Chaucer - His Life & Times in the City

Sun, 23 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: Find out about the Canterbury Tales and what it tells us about the people who lived in the City of London and visit the places that Chaucer knew.

Shakespeare & Co in Clerkenwell

Sun, 23 Oct

Your guide: Neil Sinclair
Description: Tales of Shakespeare and his contemparies including visiting the site of the Fortune Theatre, hear about the Dark Lady and the brothels of Clerkenwell and end near Clerkenwell Green.

St. Pancras in Literature, Film and Drama

Sun, 23 Oct

Your guide: Alan Fortune
Description: Explore the St. Pancras lives of important figures like Mike Leigh, Mary Wollstonecraft, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Hardy and Paul Robeson.

Much Ado About Trading

Mon, 24 Oct

Your guide: David Charnick
Description: This tour explores aspects of trade in Shakespeare’s London and how it provided valuable material to him and to his fellow dramatists

Literary Covent Garden. Towards A New Sensibility

Mon, 24 Oct

Your guide: Sean Patterson
Description: Covent Garden Literature from the Restoration to the Napoleonic Wars. Pepys, Fielding, Austen, Gay, Voltaire, Evelyn, Steele and Lamb.

Tracing the Tudors: The real London of Wolf Hall

Tue, 25 Oct

Your guide: Mark Rowland
Description: Wolf Hall brought to life the personal and political machinations of this most turbulent period, but the Great Fire rendered physical traces of the Tudor age hard to find in today’s London. Unless, that is, you know where to look… Join me to discover the places that tell the stories behind the stories of Wolf Hall.

Literary Soho

Tue, 25 Oct

Your guide: Alan Fortune
Description: Explore the lives of famous literary figures, like William Blake, Fanny Burney, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.

The Nether World: George Gissing's Clerkenwell

Wed, 26 Oct

Your guide: Jen Pedler
Description: Recapture the atmosphere of slum life in 1880s Clerkenwell by following in the footsteps of the characters vividly portrayed in George Gissing’s rather bleak novel The Nether World.

Chaucer - His Life & Times in the City

Thu, 27 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: Find out about the Canterbury Tales and what it tells us about the people who lived in the City of London and visit the places that Chaucer knew.

Dickens After Dark:  In the Steps of the Night Walker

Thu, 27 Oct

Your guide: Mark Rowland
Description: Dickens said “But the streets of London, to be beheld in the very height of their glory, should be seen on a dark, dull, murky winter’s night…” Join me along the paths of his epic night walks to hear how his observations of the slumbering city inspired his legendary themes and characters.

Around the Devil's Acre

Fri, 28 Oct

Your guide: Anthony Davis
Description: See two of London’s most beautiful early 18th-century squares and the site of one of London’s worst slums, memorably described by Charles Dickens; see through the windows (literally) of JS Mill and TE Lawrence, pass where John Milton and Siegfried Sassoon lived, look Queen Anne in the eye and hear about the effects of social housing and Nazi bombs

In the footsteps of Oliver Twist - Dickens' Clerkenwell

Fri, 28 Oct

Your guide: Jenni Bowley
Description: Find out about life in Clerkenwell in the nineteenth century as we follow the progress of Oliver Twist. We’ll visit the site of Fagin’s Den and hear about the terrible slums and how they were swept away by development. Join me to see some of the alleys and streets which feature in Dickens’ novels.

Finding Bridget Jones

Fri, 28 Oct

Description: Fans of Helen Fielding’s chaotic and lovestruck leading lady will enjoy this romp around London. A fun walk that discusses the books and the films as well as talking about how the world of Bridget Jones can compare to real life and speculating how she would cope in today’s dating world.

Shakespeare & The Age of Garrick

Fri, 28 Oct

Your guide: Jack Yeomanson
Description: In the 18th Century William Shakespeare was elevated to the position of a demi-god by cultural icons. This walk explains how.

T S Eliot - The Waste Land in the City

Sat, 29 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: A famous poem, a famous City. Explore its streets by reference to The Waste Land a poem written by T S Eliot, using streets and buildings. Poetry reading in atmospheric locations.

Literary St James's

Sat, 29 Oct

Your guide: Anthony Davis
Description: Discover some of the famous bibliophiles and literary personalities who have inhabited this fashionable part of London over the past 400 years. We hear stories of bibliomaniacs, writers, booksellers and publishers from Samuel Pepys to the Prince Regent, and see the buildings they lived in.

Constable's Hampstead

Sat, 29 Oct

Your guide: Marilyn Greene
Description: Discover where Constable lived, the houses and landscapes he painted, as well as his family tomb. This talk is illustrated with quotes from his letters about his art and feelings for Hampstead

Clerkenwell's Literary connections

Sat, 29 Oct

Your guide: Sean Patterson
Description: Explore Smithfield and Clerkenwell’s literary connections and hear readings from authors who wrote about this fascinating area.

Publish & Be Damned: A Fleet Street History

Sun, 30 Oct

Your guide: Andrea Vail
Description: Let’s take a walk down Fleet Street to hear about the monks, knights, and lawyers who made this area their home in the middle ages, the rise of mass market book publishing, and how Fleet Street went from having the City’s first printing press to becoming a 24-hour news operation.

Made in Chelsea

Mon, 31 Oct

Your guide: Stephen Benton
Description: Hear about Artists and Writers, people like Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Mark Twain

Share this page:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Get our latest updates

Social

Contacts

Back to Top