Staying at the Regency House Hotel on Gower Street, London, is a treat and even more so if you are a lover of classic English literature. In the heart of Bloomsbury, this area was the home of many renowned and notable personages in the literary world, particularly in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. There are numerous literary landmarks all across London and many are worth a visit – wither on a self-guided walking tour or by stepping further afield.
There is also quite an array of guided London Walks with a literary flavour. Are you looking for some inspiration? Here are some tour ideas as well as points of interest to visit from your hotels in Bloomsbury London…
London Guided Walks offers an array of strolls throughout the city. Just a few of these include:
• Charles Dickens’ London – departs every Friday from the Temple Tube Station at 2.30pm. See locations he made famous in his novels, via alleys, nooks, crannies, and other hidden parts of old London.
• In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes meets at the Embankment Tube on Fridays at 2pm. Prices as for the above tour; you will visit Charing Cross, The Strand, Covent Garden and Holmes’ study – area that surrounds hotels near Covent Garden
• Old Kensington – London’s Royal Village walk meets in the rotunda at High Kensington Tube (by the Perfumery) on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2pm. This is amongst the most popular London Walks. Visit Kensington Palace and Gardens, regal avenues and charming mews, cobbled lanes and picturesque squares, Europe’s largest rooftop garden, the flat of a certain American President, the home of London’s greatest citizen last century, and an astonishingly appealing small literary house.
• The London of Oscar Wilde walk meets on Saturdays at the north exit of the Green Park Tube at 11am. Walk in the footsteps of this Victorian author who rose so high and fell so far into infamy and delicious scandal.
There is no need to book for these walks – the tours take two hours and costs £ 10 for adults and £8 concession. Under 15’s accompanied by adults are free of charge.
The London Literary Pub Crawl takes you to the taverns and public houses where the likes of Charles Dickens, George Orwell, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, and Virginia Woolf ate, drank, and were inspired. The tour is a guided performance and it is a novel way to see some of these London landmarks. The tour begins just around the corner from London hotels near Soho, in Fitzrovia and ends in Soho. Tickets and details are available online at the London Literary Pub Crawl website.
Other must-see literary sights in London include:
✔The George Inn at 77 Borough High Street, Southwark – frequented by both Dickens and Shakespeare
✔ Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at 21 New Globe Walk – a modern recreation of the theatre that dated to 1599.
✔ Keats’ House on Hampstead Heath – where the poet lived for two years and is reputed to have written Ode to a Nightingale
✔ Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub at 145 Fleet Street was attended by Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, W.B. Yeats, Ben Johnson, Voltaire, and many more notable authors and poets.
✔ Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey – the final resting place of many, many literary personages, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, and many more.