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Literary Walking Tours

1st January 2021

Literary Walking Tours

I was chatting with someone over on Twitter and it got me thinking about the variety and breadth of literary walking tours. When I have read a book that is really strong on location, that evokes locale so colourfully that you want to jump on the next plane or train and make a visit. It’s a trend that is still in its infancy but one that is bound to take off when people start to travel again and look at new ways of doing something that is just a little bit different. Here we have trawled the internet for possible for suggestions

Literary Walking Tours

Annette Henry leading a tour



The one that got me thinking about all the tours one could join was annettehenrytours in Guernsey, following in the footsteps ofThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Tour. The tours “are designed to bring the book to life. You will be visiting places described in the book, and your expert local guide will attempt to get you to understand a little more about the stories of heroism, tragedy and above all triumph over adversity.


It could be off to Sicily for the Commissario Montalbano tours, a character made famous by the Andrea Camilleri novels. Montalbano has almost become synonymous with the Italian island and many of his adventures have been turned into TV instalments. In fact TWO plane loads of tourists arrived every day. BEWARE, though, because the TV series has used the Eastern side of the island but the books were set on the Western side. You can read more in our article The Montalbano Books are set exactly where in Sicily? A full day with Sicily Life might just be the ticketLiterary Walking Tours


Ian Rankin has created the character of Inspector John Rebus. Perhaps hook up with Rebus Tours. Ian Rankin says of the tours: “I set out to write novels which would explore contemporary Edinburgh and take the reader into the City’s secret heart, where few tourists go. Colin Brown consolidates this with his entertaining and knowledgeable walking tours – and you’re never more than fifty yards from a pub, so Rebus himself would doubtless approve.” Fancy touring the location of the Rebus novels?


Imagine going to Barcelona. You pick up your guidebook, choose the ‘usual’ things you might want to see and then you decide on a Shadow of the Wind literary walking tour; “Turn fiction into reality during a walking tour of Barcelona that follows in the footsteps of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s worldwide bestseller, “The Shadow of the Wind.” Wander in the shadows of the main characters and settings, from Las Ramblas to the Ribera.” I gather from discussions on Social Media it is still very atmospheric sitting reading in the shady Plaza Neri, like Nuria. But in summer there are so many tourists they have taken the benches away. Also, the bookshop has gone now (its last incarnation was a l”Occitaine shop), although the pen shop can still be found.

Whilst in Barcelona you might also wish to explore more about The Spanish Civil War in the context of Homage to Catalonia by Ernest Hemingway, with Context Travel


“Immerse yourself in stories from Haworth, The Brontes and the Industrial history of the Worth Valley with a fascinating day out.” The Brontë experience offers you the chance to stand on the moors and imagine the sounds of Heathcliffe and Cathy on the wind…..


Naples is known to be a bit of a tricky city, so getting under the skin via a literary walking tour might be just the way to acclimatise. Looking for Lila tours offer a variety of shorter trips around the city and of course the focus has to be author Elena Ferrante’s series of novels. Perhaps choose a Literary & Food Walk: Meet the “My Brilliant Friend” community and discover the neighbourhood tour. That sounds brilliant!!!


Join Danielle on The Three Pines Tours, focussing on the novels of Louise Penny: …discover the charming villages and beautiful sights of the Eastern Townships that have inspired Louise Penny to write such great novels for us!


The Third Man was a novel penned by Graham Greene set in the 1940s. It was then transposed into an iconic film and Wien.Info offers walking tours. Visitors can retrace the steps of Harry Lime on The Third Man Sewer Tour, pop to the Riesenrad and explore The Third Man Museum. You are offered a feel of the times, with photos and music samples to enhance the experience.



This is the setting for Victoria Hislop’s iconic novel “The Island” (incidentally there is a sequel now, called One August Night) and Cities on 11 Volcanoes offers a tour that incorporates Spinalonga – there is a specific tour planned for 14-18 June 2021.

The history of the island is awe-inspiring. It has been a Venetian fortress, a center of salt production, a refuge for rebels, as well as a leper colony. The last part of Spinalonga’s history inspired the author Victoria Hislop to write a fascinating novel titled “The Island”, published in 2005.

Literary Walking ToursSTOCKHOLM

The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson is a series of internationally famed books, read by more than 60 million people. Visit Sweden offers a wonderful literary walk:

You start the 2 hour tour on the island of Södermalm, at Bellmansgatan 1 (map), the home of the main character, Mikael Blomqvist and you walk your way through key locations in the books; bars, cafés, and of course, past Lisbeth Salander’s apartment.


How about exploring Dublin by Pub? James Joyce knew the city (and its pubs) so well that he could write Ulysses whilst in exile, from memory. The James Joyce Pub Crawl

The Tour was originally compiled this crawl in conjunction with fundraising efforts that were being undertakne by Sweny’s Pharmacy – 172 year old premises with feature in Ulysses )and to this day remains mostly unchanged from the days when Joyce would have visited the conjured up the initial of Leopold Bloom stopping in for his wife’s face lotion and his lemon soap.


The Florence Inferno Tour will guide you around the locations of Dan Brown’s top selling novel Inferno, enabling access to: Boboli Gardens, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio with secret passages, Dante’s House, Dante’s Church, and Florence Baptistry. “You will feel as though you’re actually walking side-by-side with novel characters Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks, experiencing a striking adventure among secret passages, astonishing paintings, and lush gardens”. Sounds pretty amazing!


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was turned into a very successful film series. See where Outlander stars, such as Sam Heughan (Jamie) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire), shot their scenes at Outlander filming locations from season 1, season 2 and season 3 and visit Outlander book locations.

Along the way you’ll also explore historic attractions with real-life Jacobite connections, where you can delve into the true story of the Jacobite cause.

Visit Scotland offers a 12 day self-drive holiday touring Outlander


James Lee Burke

Experience the setting captured in the famed Detective Dave Robicheaux’ novels of New Iberia native and award-winning author James Lee Burke. Self-guided walking and driving tour maps available at the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. 





Who doesn’t love a bit of Paris. With The Original Paris Walks you can indulge your love of chocolate and/or fashion or perhaps take a guided tour of Versailles.


John Buntin’s L. A. Noir

This tour uncovers the secret criminal history of Los Angeles that inspired writers and filmmakers for generations and profoundly shaped the city of today. Get on the bus to see the whole filthy truth is spread out before you, as John Buntin’s acclaimed book comes to life. This is the link to find out more


Dickens’s London Walking Tours with Lucinda Dickens-Hawksley in association with the University of London



And that concludes our round-up of literary walking tours. We would love to hear about your experiences and any recommendations from you! Help us make a sound and good list of tours by adding your thoughts below!

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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  1. User: BookerTalk

    Posted on: 11/01/2021 at 5:21 pm

    You can sign me up for the Three Pines tour -providing I can get to eat in the Bistro


  2. User: Leah Tonna

    Posted on: 01/01/2021 at 10:31 am

    Loved this topic Tina, now a carer aged over 70 my walking will mostly be through the pages of books. Take Care, Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year!


    1 Comment

    • User: Tina Hartas

      Posted on: 01/01/2021 at 12:03 pm

      Oh, thank you so much. I was looking for something different and interesting and found a discussion on the FB page of First Edition (the Times book group) – and previously pulled together a post on following in the footsteps of Montalbano which was intriguing. Let’s hope 2021 is kinder and wishing you as good a year as it can be and looking forward to more bookish chat with you!!


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