From Chaucer to Dickens, Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, London has provided inspiration (and a home) to some of the English language's greatest writers. Follow in their illustrious footsteps on this short walking tour.
Start: Tube to Euston or King's Cross.
1. British Library
The country's greatest book repository, where in the permanent collection you can view the original manuscripts of some of the country's finest writers, including Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and Keats.
Head west along Euston Road, and then south down Gordon Street for:
2. 50 Gordon Square
A blue plaque marks the headquarters of the Bloomsbury Group, a loose collection of writers, artists, and economists, including Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and John Maynard Keynes, who met here in the early 20th century.
Stroll southeastward through Bloomsbury's lovely garden squares to Doughty Street, and the:
3. Charles Dickens Museum
A display of Dickensiana in the great author's only surviving London house.
Head west into Fitzrovia for:
4. Take a Break — Fitzroy Tavern
Make some time for a reasonably priced pint in this quaint old pub, part of the Sam Smith's chain, where Dylan Thomas and George Orwell once hung out. It's at 16 Charlotte St., W1 (tel. 020/7580-3714).
Saunter south to:
5. Charing Cross Road
Long London's bookselling center, this is lined with secondhand stores and antiquarian dealers, as well as the mighty emporium of Foyles. Marks & Co., as immortalized in 84 Charing Cross Road, is gone, but its former location is marked by a brass plaque.
Continue south to the end of Charing Cross Road, through Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall to:
6. Westminster Abbey
Poets' Corner contains the grave of Geoffrey Chaucer as well as memorials to many of the country's most celebrated writers, including Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and John Milton.
In the evening, take the Tube to London Bridge for:
7. Shakespeare's Globe
Finish your day of literary delights with dinner and a show at the re-created theatre of England's most famous playwright.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.