With many budding writer’s living in the area, Bloomsbury provided the inspiration for some of the finest works of that era. Whether you are carrying out your own research, or simply want to retrace the steps of your favourite authors, the Writer’s Walk Tour is the perfect way to spend a leisurely morning or afternoon.
The starting point of this tour is at Tottenham Court Road Station, which isn’t too far away from the Crescent Hotel and can be reached on foot within 15-20 minutes. This walking tour should take around 2 hours to complete, and we recommend doing it during the hours of daylight to fully appreciate the sights.
This walking tour starts at Tottenham Court Road Station, walking along Tottenham Court Road before turning right onto Bayley Street and continuing towards Bedford Square Garden. It was here that the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood was founded in 1848, bringing together a group of forward-thinking creatives.
A little further along, at the junction of Bedford Square and Gower Street, you will find the house where Charles Darwin lived while he penned The Origin of Species.
Continue towards Byng Place via Malet Street and you will reach Gordon Square. Significant for a number of reasons but, for the purposes of this walk, as the home of Virginia Woolf, a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group who lived at number 46.
Virginia Woolf also lived at nearby Tavistock Square for a significant period of her life, with a statue being unveiled in her memory in 2004. Her sculpture joins that of another important figure in Tavistock Square Gardens – Mahatma Gandhi.
Tavistock Square was also home to Charles Dickens for a period of time, and it was here that he drafted Bleak House and A Tale Of Two Cities, among others.
Moving on from Tavistock Square towards Woburn Place and you will arrive at the next stop on this walking tour – Russell Square. This is an important stop on the tour, as Oscar Wilde spent the night on his release from prison at number 31 Russell Square, before leaving England for France.
Moving on to Great Ormond Street Hospital, and you may wonder why this is the next stop on a writer’s walk of Bloomsbury. The reason for its inclusion is due to the fact that Charles Dickens wrote about the hospital and its work at length (raising considerable funds in the process), and Scottish novelist James Matthew Barrie left the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, meaning that all royalties now go directly to the hospital.
As the tour progresses towards its next literary stop, it takes a slight detour along Guildford Place to take in Coram’s Fields. Although it is now a children-only play area, Coram’s Fields exists on the site of the former Foundling Hospital, which was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom to welcome orphans and unwanted children.
From there, you retrace your steps along Guildford Place until you reach Lamb’s Conduit Street, where the famous 18th-century pub, The Lamb, is situated. Boasting sympathetically restored interiors that include many of the original fixtures and fittings, The Lamb was once a popular meeting place for the Bloomsbury Group.
The final stage of this walking tour takes you to Bloomsbury Square, before finishing at the British Museum.
Created in 1665, the garden at Bloomsbury Square is the oldest in London. Many notable figures have resided there over the years, and in 1902, American writer and poet Gertrude Stein stayed with her brother at number 20 Bloomsbury Square, taking inspiration from the local area to create some of her best work.
The British Museum is the final stop of this writer’s tour. One of the most visited attractions in London, it was once home to the reading room, which has now been relocated to the British Library.