Charles Dickens Walk

Charles Dickens Walk

Radical Stroud will be starting their Charles Dickens series of walks on Tuesday March 19th. We shall board the 8.31 iron horse and return on the 18.34 train to Stroud. Those who wish to meet us at Paddington, if travelling from elsewhere, please try to reach the terminus by about ten o’clock.

The walk will commence at Embankment underground station and proceed along Villiers Street, John Adam Street, Buckingham Street, George Court, the Strand, Bedford Street, Maiden Lane, Southampton Street, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, Russell Street, Bow Street, Wellington Street, the Aldwych, the Strand: with a coffee stop at Somerset House.

We shall then visit Surrey Street, before making our way to Kingsway (via the Strand and Aldwych again), then Portugal Street, Sheffield Street, Portsmouth Street, Lincoln Inn’s Fields, Serle Street, Carey Street, Chancery Lane, Fleet Street, Clifford Inn’s Passage, Fetter Lane, Hen and Chickens Court, Johnson’s Court, Wine Office Court and then Ye Old Cheshire Cheese Public House for victuals and whatever takes your fancy.

We then process through Shoe Lane and St Andrew’s Street up to Holborn Circus. We then make our way via New Fetter Lane and Fetter Lane past the site of Barnard’s Inn to Staple Inn Square. We cross High Holborn, Gray’s Inn Road, and then turn into Warwick Close and then Gray’s Inn. We then walk towards the site of Furnival’s Inn to cross Theobald’s Road, before finding John Street and then the Dickens House Museum in Doughty Street.


After our visit and study there, the Dickensian Pilgrims might wish to write up their thoughts and observations for Ye Radical Stroude Gazette or visit the Cittie of Yorke Public House or make their way to the River Thames before once more congregating at Paddington.


Here’s Dickens, From The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices.1857; it’s not about Paddington but it certainly captures the atmosphere of a busy railway station.


‘It was a Junction-Station, where the wooden razors … shaved the air very often, and where the sharp electric-telegraph bell was in a very restless condition. All manner of cross-lines came zig-zagging into it … and, a little way out of it, a pointsman in an elevated signal-box was constantly going through the motions of drawing immense quantities of beer at a public-house bar. In one direction, confused quantities of embankments and arches … in the other, the rails soon disentangled themselves into two tracks, and shot away under a bridge and curved round a corner. Sidings were there, in which empty luggage vans and cattle-boxes often butted against each other … and warehouses were there… Refreshment-rooms were there; one, for the hungry and thirsty Iron Locomotives where their coke and water were ready … the other, for the hungry and thirsty humans … who might take what they could get…’