London has a rich literary history with many famous literary sites scattered across the city.
What better way to explore that history than with a literary tour of the city?
The tours listed in this article cover various historic and literary sites in London, primarily in the Bloomsbury district but also in areas like Chelsea and Hampstead Heath.
The tours listed include self-guided walking tours, guided walking tours and guided pub crawls:
(Disclaimer: Purchases made through the links in this article help support the Virginia Woolf Blog)
London Bloomsbury Walking Tour:
The London Bloomsbury Walking Tour by Viator is a guided two-hour walking tour of the Bloomsbury District of London. Since Bloomsbury is considered the literary heart of London, the tour is ideal for literary fans and covers the history of famous authors like Virginia Woolf. T.S. Eliot and Charles Dickens.
Some of the sites included in the tour are the house of Lady Ottoline Morrell, the Faber and Faber publishing house where T.S. Eliot used to frequent, the homes of Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and E.M. Forster and the Senate House, which inspired George Orwell to write his Utopian novel 1984.
The tours are led in small groups of up to 15 people and a minimum of three people per booking is required.
Literary Pub Crawl and Tavern Tour in London:
The Literary Pub Crawl and Tavern Tour in London by Viator is a guided 2.5 hour walking tour of Soho and Fitzrovia. The tour stops at the various London pubs that have inspired writers, musicians and artists like Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Dylan Thomas, George Orwell, Brendan Behan, Anthony Burgess, Karl Marx, Paul McCartney and Damien Hirst.
The tour also provides reenactments of key moments in Britain’s literary history and stories about the incidents and mishaps that shaped some of British literature’s most famous works.
London Literary Walking Tour of Bloomsbury:
The London Literary Walking Tour of Bloomsbury by Ye Old England Tours is a 2.5 hour walking tour around the Bloomsbury District of London. The tour stops at the homes of notable writers and the locations they frequented.
Some of the stops include the homes of Virginia Woolf, the various locations where Charles Darwin, Gertrude Stein, Aleister Crowley, Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and WB Yeats used to frequent as well as the building that inspired George Orwell to write 1984.
Tours are or groups of 1-10 and may be booked by email email@example.com
Hampstead Heath and Chelsea Literary Walking Tours:
The Hampstead Heath tour takes about two to three hours to complete and includes stops at the homes of T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Aldous Huxley, Daphne du Maurier, Ian Fleming, John Keats, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Orwell, Katherine Mansfield and William Blake as well as other locations associated with writers such as Bram Stoker.
The Chelsea Tour takes about one and a half to two hours and includes stops at the homes of George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Bram Stoker, Arnold Bennett as well as other locations associated with writers such as Jane Austen.
Literary Bloomsbury walk by London Walks is a guided two-hour walking tour of the Bloomsbury district that includes stops at the homes and haunts of various writers such as Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Dickens, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath.
The tours don’t require reservations or booking and visitors are encouraged to just show up at the designated time and place. Private walking tours of Bloomsbury are also available and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bohemian Bloomsbury Audio Tour:
The Bohemian Bloomsbury Audio Tour is a self-guided 50-minute audio tour that you can purchase on iTunes and Google Play.
The tour includes stops at Fitzroy Square, Bedford Square, London University, British Museum and Russell Square and explores the locations associated with writers such as W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas and Virginia Woolf.
Sky Scanner: Literary London: www.skyscanner.net/news/inspiration/literary-london-9-great-walks/
The Guardian; Walking Tours of London’s Literary Pubs; Susanna Rustin; August 2012: www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/aug/07/literary-tour-central-london-pubs
The Balance; Historic Literary London Walking Tour; Ginny Wiehart; March 2017: