The great London Tour
Whether or not it’s your first trip to London, England, it won’t be complete without a tour of the famous literary places that dot most of London’s streets. In this guide to London, we’ll check out the homes of some of the world’s most famous literary authors, recognizable by the English Heritage Blue Plaques affixed to the buildings where they lived, and some of their favorite haunts. There are some terrific literary tours that include visits to places mentioned in the British literature of Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Ian Fleming, to name a few.
Begin by visiting the home of T. S. Eliot who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 and lived at 3 Kensington Court Gardens where you’ll instantly recognize the famous English Heritage Blue Plaque. A couple of blocks away you’ll find the former home of his friend and colleague Ezra Pound who lived at 10 Kensington Church Walk. A couple of blocks over is the residence of Irish born author James Joyce who lived at 28 Campden Grove, Kensington, for a short time in 1931. Head over to the residence of the brilliant Victorian novelist Charles Dickens who lived at 48 Doughty Street, Camden. His home is now a museum displaying many of his greatest works. Next visit the illustrious creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, who lived in several places around London. For the better part of his young life he lived at 27 Green Street in Mayfair, later moving to 22 Ebury Street, Westminster, and then on to 16 Victoria Square in Belgravia where he began writing the James Bond series. There are virtually hundreds of English Heritage Blue Plaques commemorating Britain’s finest and would take several dedicated months to visit them all. lived at 3 Kensington
There are quite number of good tour picks
There are several structured tours worth pursuing, such as Wigs and Words Dickens London Literary Tour which takes you on a guided tour of Dickens’ London. You’ll visit several of the places mentioned in many of his novels, the Dickens House Museum, and several other of Dickens’ haunts. The Brief guide to Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond tour will take you on a guided tour of Ian Fleming’s London. The Virginia Woolf Literary Tour is a six day tour that lets you explore the world of Virginia Woolf. You’ll explore some of the places immortalized in her novels, as well as some of the major sites associated with Virginia and other members of the Bloomsbury Group, and visit her residence at Hogarth House, 34 Paradise Road, Richmond upon Thames. Don’t miss a tour to the masterful reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside to experience what it must have been like to watch the famous bard’s plays in the open-air theatre in the round. Next take a walk along the south bank and visit the church to which Shakespeare worshiped, Southwark Cathedral, London’s oldest Gothic church. Spend the day roaming the beautiful grounds and relax over a picnic lunch. The south bank is also home to some of the best shopping, restaurants, pubs, and hotels.
Bookworms are most welcome in the UK
If bookstores are your thing, visit Foyles Bookshop on historic 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London. A tourist attraction in its own right, Foyles was founded in 1906 by two brothers William and Gilbert Foyle. Regulars included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G. B. Shaw, and Walt Disney. Walk to 187 Piccadilly to visit Hatchards, London’s oldest bookstore.
Wind down your tour with a visit to Westminster Abbey. Inside, visit the South Transept, famously known as Poets’ Corner so named for the large number of writers and poets buried there. Poets’ Corner is the final resting place of 29 poets and authors with 54 more memorialized there.