This Month-Long Walking Tour Festival Leads You Through The London Of Woolf, Dickens And Sancho

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 14 months ago
This Month-Long Walking Tour Festival Leads You Through The London Of Woolf, Dickens And Sancho
Charles Dickens imposed over various pins in a London map
Unsurprisingly, this man makes a few appearances across the festival.

London has played muse, backdrop and home to innumerable great writers — and some of these literary links are celebrated in a walking tour festival spanning the entirety of March.

Literary Footprints 2023 is the brainchild of Footprints of London — a collective of some of the sharpest, most inquisitive and adventurous tour guides on the London circuit. (We often feature their walks in our Things To Do listings.)

Redoubtable scribes are well covered across the festival: there are a handful of tours based on Johnson, Dickens and Shakespeare; a Mrs Dalloway's Day walk following the route taken by Virginia Woolf's socialite as she prepares for a party (6 March); and a wander around the Mayfair of Bond author Ian Fleming (1 and 25 March).

A snazzy Mrs Dalloway book cover
One tour retraces the steps of Clarissa Dalloway in this seminal Virginia Woolf novel. Image: public domain

Other tours are more loosely themed: there's a look at London locations that've appeared in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction (16 March); a Thames-side meander, exploring how London's great river has informed great literature (26 March); and an exploration into how female flaneuring fed into pioneering novels, essays and poetry (15 March).

While the ilk of Conan Doyle and Peter Ackroyd inevitable get their dues, women — from crime author Dorothy L Sayers to Rose Macaulay, who penned the post-blitz book The World My Wilderness — are well-represented on this tour series. There's also a fascinating walk around the city known to Charles Ignatius Sancho — a BAME figure who's recently enjoyed much interest, following Paterson Joseph's debut novel The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho.

As well as in-person tours, some are virtual, and can be enjoyed without so much as having to slip on your trainers.

Literary Footprints 2023, 1-31 March 2023. Most full-priced tickets are £15 per in-person tour/£10 online, but if you plan on doing a few, it's better to purchase an all-in festival ticket for £75.

Last Updated 28 February 2023

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