Discover Official Walks & Talks

Charles Dickens Walk: Tuesdays & Saturdays

Dickens from first to last

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) knew London well: he walked its streets and alleyways from a young age and drew much of his inspiration from London’s people and places. Dickens said: ‘A day in London sets me up again and starts me. But the toil and labour of writing day after day, without that magic lantern is immense’. 

On this walk, which lasts a little under 2 hours, you’ll learn about Dickens’ life and times, with your qualified City of London guide bringing to life 19th century London. Our route begins just south of St Paul’s Cathedral.

  • Learn about the Doctors’ Commons court, where Dickens went to obtain a marriage licence and where he once worked
  • See the Thames, which featured often in his novels; where Nancy’s overheard conversation in Oliver Twist sealed her fate
  • Discover the little-known garden of St Vedast and hear Dickens’ view on the church in Barnaby Rudge
  • Walk along Wood Street, where Pip found himself ‘in the ravel of traffic’ in Great Expectations
  • Learn about Dickens’ father’s imprisonment and shame and why debt and imprisonment features so much in his novels
  • Stop in the delightful Frederick’s Place, a quaint corner and the kind of square in which the Cheeryble brothers might have traded, in Nicholas Nickleby
  • Admire the Royal Exchange, which opened in 1844 and features in A Christmas Carol
  • Discover the hidden George & Vulture ‘chop-house’, which has strong connections with Charles Dickens
  • Admire St Michael’s and St Peter’s Cornhill, a pair of fine churches that feature in A Christmas Carol and Bleak House

Our tour ends at Leadenhall Market, which has a good selection of local pubs and cafes and is close to Monument Tube Station. Your City Guide will be able to help you with directions afterwards.

Photos: courtesy of Niki Gorick

Nearly all the regular walks and tours offered on this website are just turn up and pay. For these walks no advanced booking is possible. There are only two tours that need to be booked in advance (Smithfield Market walks and Guildhall tours) because of restricted numbers.

If you want a walk or lecture for a group of people, then please use our Find a Guide section.