Our St James’s Jaunt -- Where Mrs Dalloway bumps into James Bond 

On selected Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings


Situated between Piccadilly and Pall Mall, the district of St James’s is noted for exclusive gentlemen’s clubs, boutique art galleries and upmarket menswear, as well as one of the world’s best lending libraries. Over centuries, St James’s has drawn literally hundreds of writers into its midst, provided settings for novels, and hosted premieres of famous plays.

The St James’s Jaunt focuses on those writers who walked the streets of the district in the first half of the 20th century, and, alongside excerpts from their work, you’ll hear sensational stories from their lives.

Starting with the soldier poets of World War One and finishing with the spy fiction of the Cold War, this tour takes in the heady days of the fashionable 20s, the growing threat of fascism in the 30s, and the dark days of the Blitz.

Writers you’ll meet in St James’s:

Virginia Woolf

Wilfred Owen

Ian Fleming

Aldous Huxley
Edith Sitwell

Graham Greene

Siegfried Sassoon

Evelyn Waugh
Nancy Cunard

Robert Graves

Rose Macaulay

Noel Coward

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On our journey through time and place we see how some of the greatest names in literature responded to world events, scientific progress, and social and political change, and we meet women at the centre of London literary life who fearlessly experimented with form and style, and struggled to gain acceptance from the largely male literary establishment.

What emerges is a network of friends and rivals who survived the impact of wars, wrestled with religious faith, and rode the waves of turbulent love lives.

So, join us in St James’s to explore alleys, backstreets and squares, find lost buildings, secluded gardens and forgotten addresses, as we bring to life the novelists, poets and playwrights who frequented this unique part of the city in the first half of the last century.

The tour lasts approximately two and a half hours.  It takes place on selected Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and pre-booking is essential. To find available dates, please click on 'Book Tour'.

If you'd like to give a tour as a gift, you can buy a Gift Card for as many people as you like, and the recipients can get in touch with us to select a date. Please click 'Book Tour' and the Gift Card option box with emerge.

Private bookings are also available. Please contact us by email to arrange these. 

For the start of the tour, please meet behind the statues of George VI and Queen Elizabeth near 2 Carlton Gardens, SW1Y 1AA. The closest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus and Green Park.