A leisurely circular walk of 75/90 minutes around beautiful Christ Church Meadow with local historian and author Mark Davies, the only Oxford guide endorsed by the Lewis Carroll Society. The route will follow waterside paths familiar to the real Alice (daughter of the Dean of Christ Church) and Lewis Carroll to highlight in particular the all-important role of the River Thames in the creation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and as the inspiration for some of the episodes and characters.
With reference to relevant local history and geography, as well as other classics of fantasty literature, the route includes the place where Carroll hired rowing boats for their many outings on the River Thames, descriptions of some of the real Oxford people who inspired some of the characters, and depictions of important locations which are farther away: the 'Treacle Well', for instance, and 'The Pool of Tears'. The walk does NOT include entrance to the college of Christ Church itself.
Please note that as this walk is designed primarily for adults and older children there is no charge for primary-age children. Places limited to 24 persons. Wheelchair users are welcome with prior notice.
"Begin at the beginning ... and go on till you come to the end. Then stop." [said the White King.]
“It doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. " – so long as I get somewhere," said Alice ... "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Private tours - on this topic or other aspects of Oxford history - are also available at other times. Please see www.oxfordwaterwalks.co.uk.
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When & Where
Alice's Shop Oxford
83 Saint Aldate's
OX1 1RA Oxford
Mark J Davies (Oxford Water Walks)
Mark Johnstone Davies is an Oxford local historian, writer, guide, & public speaker, who has lived on a residential narrowboat on the Oxford Canal since 1992. Unsurprisingly, therefore, his interest in Oxford's past began with the historical and current importance of Oxford's waterways, including the various ways in which the River Thames and Oxford Canal, and the adjacent suburbs, have influenced works of fiction.
His interests now also encompass Oxford Castle Gaol and Oxford's very own pioneer of flight, the 'King of all Balloons' James Sadler.
Mark is the author of seven local interest publications: Our Canal in Oxford (1999); A Towpath Walk in Oxford (2012); The Abingdon Waterturnpike Murder (2008); Stories of Oxford Castle (2006); Alice in Waterland (2012); Alice's Oxford on Foot (2015) and (comprising wider national interest) 'King of all Balloons' (2015). He also writes regularly for the Oxford Times monthly magazine, Limited Edition.
Mark gives illustrated talks and runs courses on various aspects of Oxford (mostly with an emphasis on non-University topics, the notable exception being Lewis Carroll's 'Alice'), leads walking tours through generally less-visited parts of the city, and provides commentaries on river cruises. Clients have included numerous Oxford colleges and historical & literary societies, including Oxford Civic Society, Oxford Preservation Trust, and Oxfordshire Artweeks, plus Inspector Morse Society, Samuel Johnson Society, Lewis Carroll Society, Royal Geographical Society, Oxford Castle Unlocked, VisitBritain, and Literature Wales.
"It was an amazing experience and it was the best tour I have ever been on, regardless of subject matter."
"I have been shown a whole new - and exciting - side of Oxford which I knew existed but had scarcely begun to appreciate."
"Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city, which was much appreciated by all who came on the walk.”
"I enjoyed every moment of it and was thrilled to see so much and hear so many great stories."
"I love stories and connections and I thought you weaved in and out of Oxford landmarks, Oxford people, all those privileged or hidden, with great skill and knowledge. Lovely stuff!"