Chelsea is one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in London, so it comes as no surprise that many esteemed members of London’s literary royalty have graced SW3 and SW10. Find below a list of some of the places you can go to retrace the steps of some of Britain’s most heavyweight authors and poets.
Chelsea’s Blue Plaques
The blue plaques that you see on buildings throughout London are part of a project that started in 1866 with the aim of linking the buildings of the present with the people of the past. You can find out where people were born, lived, worked and died simply by looking up whenever you see a plaque.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Between 1900 and 1905 the Anglo-French poet, essayist and historian Hilaire Belloc used this riverside townhouse as his base as he became one of the most prolific writers in England for his time. President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford in 1906, Belloc’s poetry ranges from comic verses for children to religious poetry. Interestingly, he was very chummy with iconic English writer, G. K. Chesterton.
Cheyne Walk has been popular with writers over the years. So popular that it was where Mary Anne Evans, better known for her pen name George Eliot, chose for her London abode. Her novel Middlemarch is often touted as a contender for the best in the English language. Yet, as she might have purchased the house anticipating living there for years, she only managed three weeks, dying of flu just before Christmas in 1880.
Not to be confused with Alan Bennett who, in 2017, is still very much alive, Arnold Bennett is perhaps best known is some circles for the wrath he endured at the hands of Virgina Woolf. Woolf’s essay ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown’ famously criticised the author for what she thought of as lazy writing. Bennett was surprisingly more famous in his own time than Viriginia Woolf and write a successful novel every year for twenty years or so, propelling him to great wealth and industry success. He lived here from 1921 until shortly before his death, so it would have been from within this house that he withstood attack from Bloomsbury and Woolf.
The oldest inhabitant on this list, novelist Tobias Smollett lived on Lawrence Street from 1750 to 1762. A novelist specialising in the picaresque – think adventures and heroes – his work leads historically and influentially into the work of perhaps the greatest Scottish novelist of all time, Sir Walter Scott.
A. A. Milne
The quote ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think’ might well have been born in this house, alongside a whole universe of wonderful characters and stores that are synonymous with Milne’s work. He moved here in 1919 and owned the house until 1942.
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