This excursion will be back soon. In the meantime we’d be happy to organise a private tour for you. Please contact us on 020 7624 3978 | [email protected] to make a booking.

Mrs Dalloway’s London – the 100th Anniversary

(12 customer reviews)

Westminster Underground station, London (exit 4, opposite Big Ben)

Guided by David or Stephen

Meet the most recent group of Mrs Dalloway’s London walkers. That’s Andrea holding my copy of the novel. His review of the walk – you can read it down below – is a tour de force. And this setting for the photograph because… well, let’s remember how Virginia Woolf opens the novel. The first sentence reads: “Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”


Here’s what’s special about this walk

Ok, the 100th anniversary is now history. But what I say below about the walk on that June day is 99 percent applicable to every Mrs Dalloway’s London Walk we do. The only exception being that we’re not hearing that bell exactly – to the second – 100 years after Mrs Dalloway heard it on that June day in 1923. But unpacking that moment – especially with the 100-year-old materials I’ve unearthed – Exhibition A, Exhibition B, etc. – is a significant part of the fun and wonderment of the walk.

Podcast for the 100th Anniversary Walk

What larks.

What plunges.

What a walk.

What a moment: “a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause…before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air…what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.”

“This moment of June” – Clarissa Dalloway’s walk at exactly that moment 100 years on – was what we were after. Both those times are now past. But we can give pursuit. And, yes, still hear that plaintive anthem as it fades. And in any case, was it just for the sake of the nice round number of the centenary? No. That moment, that walk – at any time – is much more important than that. In literary terms Mrs. Dalloway’s walk is the pathfinder walk, the walk into modernity, the walk into depths of understanding of the human mind, of who we are – of what makes us tick – that hadn’t been previously plumbed. That morning in mid-June, 1923 Mrs. Dalloway crosses a bourne that hadn’t been crossed before.

What’s more, as adumbrated above, it’s delightfully convoluted. Unpacking all of that is part of the fun. Whatever the day, we get the hour right – we start the walk at 9.45 am so we can hear Big Ben when Mrs Dalloway heard* it, hear those leaden circles dissolve in the air.

But the date – well, it was either June 13th, 1923 or June 20th, 1923. The great Virginia Woolf scholar Elaine Showalter says June 13th. I – Guide David – favour June 20th (for reasons I’ll make clear on the walk). But in any case, in the centenary summer we covered both bases. We did the walk on both those dates. Well, those dates 100 years on. Though I’ll be able to get you back to 1923 in lots of ways. I’ll show you things – extraordinary things, things that have bearing on Virginia Woolf and the novel – that haven’t been seen, by anybody, in 100 years. Yes, I know, that’s an extraordinary claim but I’m able to make good on it. Hint: you’ll see some of the material the literary historian in me has unearthed.

*Can we be sure she heard it? It’s going to be fun to watch your reaction when I untie the string round my documents portfolio, take those 100-year-old documents out, and set them before your eyes.


Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is a tour de force. It is essentially a prose poem – arguably the most beautifully written novel of the last 100 years. Literary modernism reaches its peak of perfection in Mrs Dalloway – on that walk through London on that day in 1923. We walk with Mrs Dalloway. Walk her London. See it with her eyes.

The walk is guided by David or Stephen. David is a literary historian. Stephen is a Royal Shakespeare Company actor.

In situ David* and Steve** read relevant passages to us. The words, the delivery, the setting – everything comes together. Special walk, special couple of hours. More than special – unforgettable.

*The distinguished scholar and critic John Sutherland described David as “one of the liveliest PhD students I ever supervised.” David (with a one word assist from a former Editor) describes David as:  “the Seigneur of this favoured realm, David broods over words, breeds enthusiasms and is “unmanageable.”* A balterer, literary historian, university lecturer, journalist, and lifelong thanatophobe, he’s also the London Walks ‘pen’ – he writes ‘the famous white leaflet’, let alone the document you’re reading (this website).”

**Fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly talented, distinguished actor. Royal Shakespeare Company, West End shows, lots of films, Sir Peter Hall’s Shakespeare productions, etc. Best ear ever. His impersonation of John Lennon is a resurrection. Doesn’t just guide Shakespeare, performs him. Brilliantly (on his Sunday afternoon Shakespeare’s & Dickens’ City walk – but see for yourself, here’s the video).


The meeting point for the Mrs Dalloway’s London walk is just outside exit 4 of Westminster Tube. 


If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, Mrs Dalloway's London – the 100th Anniversary it can always be booked as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Mrs Dalloway's London – the 100th Anniversary walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they’re good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.


A private London Walk makes a fab gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.


Don’t just take it from us.


12 reviews for Mrs Dalloway’s London – the 100th Anniversary

  1. Grace

    The walk with David on the 13th of June was a wonderfully in depth exploration of the famous walk that Mrs Dalloway takes on the morning of her party. I appreciated David’s enthusiasm for the topic and the resources he brought along to evidence his ideas about the actual date of the events and locations of Mrs Dalloway. I thoroughly recommend this tour (the 100th anniversary only comes around once!). If you have read and enjoyed Mrs Dalloway this is a terrific way to revisit the story and deepen your knowledge of it. And if you haven’t… what better introduction?

  2. Phillip

    There are many walks and guides, today was my first with David, walking yesterday we discovered Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, somebody I knew little about her or the authoress but new walks and new subjects are always interesting. David came prepared with so much information about our walk and his booming voice sounded out together with illustrative documentation that made the walk that much more interesting. Loved the roads in Westminster as we reenacted the walk that Mrs Dalloway took from Big Ben to Bond Street (yes I was listening) – along the way I noted houses with snuffers (take the walks around Westminster), homes of T.E. Lawrence, Sir John Gielgud and others. The parks St. James and Green Park were teeming with people and we stopped for a group photo (11 of us) on the bridge in Green Park with iconic views of Buckingham Palace. David was most engaging and has a most interesting connection to WW1 (for that you must go on one of his walk’s). A wonderful morning in good company with a new subject of litereature.

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