I realise that I have been planning this walk for years. Even before we moved back from London, I started reading fiction by the Nottingham-based authors that I knew about.
Having led guided walks in the capital for over a decade, I knew also that I wanted to explore guiding opportunities in Nottingham. A literature-themed walk was something I looked forward to working on.
And then Nottingham became a UNESCO City of Literature and it seemed that all the strands had pulled together to create the need for such a walk. After all, how could a self-respecting City of Literature not have a booklovers walk?
I have always been an avid reader, in a fairly eclectic and unstructured way. As an English graduate with a librarianship qualification, coupled with my guiding qualifications and experience, I felt that a booklovers walk was something that I was perfectly suited to. But I didn’t want it to be too serious, so lots more research was needed to delve into some interesting stories behind the literature.
There were new authors to discover too, more research and reading required; the list of Nottingham-connected writers began to seem endless. The prospect of creating a coherent walk out of all this literature was proving a challenge.
Eventually the reading had to stop and the exploring begin – to find the places and locations that would lend themselves to being included in the walk. This was an opportunity to be creative too – to make unexpected connections and links that were not always obvious, but around which I could relate the stories of the authors and their work.
Sandy and John at the City of Literature office were encouraging, as was Ross at Five Leaves and the various friends (thanks, Annie) and fellow Blue Badge Guides (thanks, Vicky) with whom I discussed it. The resulting walk is wide-ranging in content and just about one mile in distance; it showcases the city and celebrates the many writers, poets and authors associated with Nottingham.
I’ve had fun working on it and I hope that people will enjoy coming with me on the walk. My initial outing is on 3rd December, with further dates scheduled for spring and summer of 2018 and beyond. Booklist provided at the end of the walk!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place on a walk or to register your interest in future walks. £10 per person (£8 concessions); 2 hours duration, starting and finishing in the city centre.