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: Click on Walk to get more information

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’.

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

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.

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

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

Sat, 8 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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

Sat, 8 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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.

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

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.

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

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: Click on Walk to get more information

Shakespeare & The Age of Garrick

Sun, 16 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.

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

Sun, 16 Oct

Your guide: Robin Rowles
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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.

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

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.

Chaucer - His Life & Times in the City

Sun, 23 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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 at Sadlers Wells

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 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: Click on Walk to get more information

Chaucer - His Life & Times in the City

Thu, 27 Oct

Your guide: Tina Baxter
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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.

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.

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.

Constable's Hampstead

Sat, 29 Oct

Your guide: Marilyn Greene
Description: Click on Walk to get more information

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

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