T. S. Eliot – The Waste Land Tour

(7 customer reviews)

Blackfriars underground station, London

Guided by Rick Jones

Please note

You must reserve your place online for this walk. Select your date and time on the table below.

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Wednesday Weekly 11.30 am 1.30 pm Winter Summer Reserve Online

“Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold…”

T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. The most influential poetic work of the 20th century. Because its centenary is at hand, Rick Jones, a poet and musician* himself, has put together this tour of locations in the poem. Up Queen Victoria Street to where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours, down King William Street to St Magnus the Martyr. And of course London Bridge and “a public bar in Lower Thames Street.”

*”a poet and musician” hardly goes far enough. Rick guides his virtual tours in blank verse, he was the chief music critic for the Evening Standard for a decade, and he’s a top-flight Blue Badge guide.

The pic was taken at the Athenaeum Club. It hangs outside the gentlemen’s lavatory.

7 reviews for T. S. Eliot – The Waste Land Tour

  1. Seona Ford

    This was a simply excellent guided walk – my knowledge of The Waste Land poem and that part of the City was enhanced with skill and humour. Rick really “knows his stuff” and to my mind it was two hours very well spent – we managed to ignore the rain and the wind! It would not have mattered if you were not an Eliot fan – there was so much else to learn and enjoy.

  2. Jessica

    In 20 years of London Walks, I think this is the best one I have ever been on. Rick is simply marvelous. I studied the Waste Land extensively at university but I never understood it the way I did after this tour. The stops are thoughtfully chosen to illustrate certain passages and Rick peppers in sprinklings of music and literature and history – he also sings beautifully and tells stories beautifully – it gives the Waste Land a new depth and humor. He recites long passages of the poem so that you can hear the music in them and speaks in the voices of the characters – all at once you recognize them as people, the kind of people who weave in and out of the streets all around you. It’s a beautiful homage to the City, to London, to Eliot, and to thousands of years of history that swirl around in the Waste Land. (But to be clear, even if you don’t care about this poem, this is still a WONDERFUL walk – the poem just serves as the anchor and you bob in and out of the poem and the history).

  3. Johannah

    Hugely informative and entertaining! Rick’s own knowledge and enthusiasm really ignited my curiosity about the poem and the poet! And my knowledge of the city and its landmarks is also considerably enhanced! Thank you, Rick, for an excellent experience. I will be recommending!

  4. Derek Fawell

    I thoroughly recommend the Waste Land walking tour with Rick. He provided an entertaining and well-researched commentary including quoting many pieces from the poem as we walked round. His enthusiasm was catching and I ended wanting to spend time studying a lot more of the poem when I returned home. This is also a great tour of unexpected parts of the City.

  5. Simon C

    Rick was the ideal guide, mixing recital of relevant passages with as much interpretation and context as anyone could wish for, whether a literary scholar or newcomer to The Wasteland. I never really ‘got it’ as an A level student in the 1970s but many resonant lines were lodged in my memory and bounced back with greater meaning across the decades. If you haven’t read the poem you might be inspired to after this walk and Rick also has plenty to say on many of the incidental sights and City history.

  6. Owen Fortunato Brakspear

    What a truly wonderful day myself and Sienna had being shown around Eliot’s old London haunts, hollows and hallows (among them the key loci of The Wasteland), learning of the myriad interconnections between man, poem, and city, from such a wonderful tour guide in the form of Rick, our very own Tiresias remembering and foreseeing all, and who we cannot recommend enough.
    Thank you Rick, we hope to see you again soon (with Eliot-avid grandparents and friends in tow) 🙂

  7. Alex

    This was an excellent tour from a top notch guide. I was only somewhat familiar with the Waste Land poem, having only recently read it in anticipation of this tour that I was attending with my son who is an has studied the poem at Uni and loves it. It’s a credit to Rick that both of us were fascinated and thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
    Rick brings the poem to life, and weaves the history of the City of London into his discussion of the poem as well sharing his deep knowledge of London and its history. The tour takes place the in City and it is fascinating to learn about TS Eliot’s career there as well as to learn about the rich history of this financial heart of London. Whether you are a TS Eliot fan, or know little of him and his poems, this a great tour.

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