Dickens London Tours and Walks
No writer is more thoroughly linked with a single location than Charles Dickens is with London. He knew its streets, buildings and hidden places intimately and, in turn, has left us with some wonderful insights into the capital that he knew.
Richard Jones is the author of the book Walking Dickensian London and thus is well qualified to introduce you to the magical world of Charles Dickens.
His Dickens London walks take you into places that Dickens knew well and which he wrote about often. Places such as the Inns of Court, parts of which have hardly changed, if at all, since he wrote of them “you can read on the gates who enters here leaves noise behind.” Places such as Staple Inn, a rare survivor from Shakespeare’s day, the turning into which Dickens wrote “…imparts to the relieved pedestrian the sensation of having put cotton in his ears and velvet soles on his boots.”
That description still holds true today and it makes for a wonderful start to our main Charles Dickens London Walk. Suddenly the noise of the traffic is little more than a distant murmur and you find yourself in a tranquil oasis where Richard will point out places associated with The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
From here you pass by a lovely little garden and cross Chancery Lane to step through a gatehouse where Dickens as a teenager received a black eye!
Then it’s in to Lincoln’s Inn a true time capsule to stand outside its old 15th century hall, inside which one of Dickens most evocative openings, that of Bleak House, took place.
Crossing Lincoln’s Inn Fields we arrive at the former home of John Forster, Dickens great friend. Dickens once came here to give a private reading from his Christmas Book The Chimes in its first floor room, and Richard will show you a sketch done of that reading by another of Dickens great friends, Daniel Maclise.
Our next location on the main Dickens London walk is The old Curiosity shop, which dates back to 1567. Although it probably isn’t the actual shop that Dickens wrote about in his novel of the same name, it is certainly a lovely and picturesque building, and it did have a connection Charles Dickens.
The other parts of Dickens London that you can explore on our walks include Southwark, where the Marshalsea Prison was located. It was here that Dickens’s father, John, was imprisoned when Dickens was a boy. It was a period of his life that traumatised the young Dickens, and one that stayed with him and haunted him to his dying day. One wall of the prison still survives and it is an incredibly eerie spot even today.
Not far from the remains of the Marshalsea you will find London’s only surviving galleried coaching inn, The George. It dates from the late seventeenth century and amongst its treasures it can boast Charles Dickens Life Assurance policy! So if you really want to explore London and want to get to know her secret and hidden places, Join Richard on one of his Dickens London walks and prepare to have the streets of Victorian London peopled by Dickens.