“But the streets of London, to be beheld in the very height of their glory, should be seen on a dark, dull, murky winter's night, when there is just enough damp gently stealing down to make the pavement greasy, without cleansing it of any of its impurities; and when the heavy lazy mist, which hangs over every object, makes the gas-lamps look brighter, and the brilliantly-lighted shops more splendid, from the contrast they present to the darkness around…”
Charles Dickens: The Streets – Night, Sketches by Boz
Afflicted by bouts of “sleeplessness”, Dickens would take to epic night walks intended to create a self-afflicted state of “houselessness” in an attempt to share the experiences of some of his greatest characters and to turn his gimlet-eyed observation on the slumbering City in his search for inspiration.
While the gas lamps may have long gone, the City at night still has the same brooding character that fascinated Dickens so much. So wrap up warm and we’ll trace his steps along these night walks and explore the extent to which the ups and downs of life in the greatest city in the world inspired and appalled him in equal measure.
The walk commences at St Peter Cheap churchyard garden (on the junction of Wood Street/Cheapside, a short walk from St Paul's Underground station) and finishes back at St Paul’s underground station, walk duration is about 2 hours.
Please check travel options at the Transport for London Journey Planner.