Books About Town – Greenwich Trail


I have been aware of Books About Town for a while now and was extremely excited to learn that they were unveiled on 2nd July all across London and they are here for the summer! For those not aware, Books About Town is a co-partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, which both seek to promote reading and increase literacy levels across the UK. For one summer only, local and professional artists have come together to design individual BookBenches that have been scattered across the capital and will eventually be auctioned off to raise funds.

One of my aims before I move to Hong Kong is to explore each of the four BookBench trails in London – from the Greenwich Trail to Bloomsbury Trail to City Trail and Riverside Trail. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there is a specific Greenwich Trail and, as this is the closest place to where I live, I thought it was only fitting to start there. It is easy, when you have lived in a place for the majority of your life, to overlook the reasons why Greenwich is such a wonderful tourist hotspot. From its beautiful royal park and historic buildings to its rich maritime history and bustling indoor market situated on the River Thames, Greenwich village is always a busy little place any time of the year.

The Cutty Sark

Having had a look at the Book Trail Map, I thought the best route would be to start at Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Planet 42 BookBench, which is placed just outside of Greenwich Overground Station. That way, I could walk through the back streets – passing the Dr Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary BookBench – to reach Greenwich Park where several of the BookBenches are positioned. I could then head in the direction of the Royal Observatory, past the bandstand, to the enclosed flower gardens and then loop back down towards the sandpit across to The National Maritime Museum. From there I can walk to the university grounds and the Cutty Sark and then end up back in the direction of the station to see the last BookBench – Sue Townsend’s The Diary of Adrian Mole – near St Alfege’s Church.

Here are my pictures:

Greenwich Trail 1
Clockwise: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, Dr Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, On the Origin of Species – Charles Darwin and The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
Greenwich Trail 2
Clockwise: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen, Elmer the Elephant – David McKee, The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling, Captain Scott’s Autobiography
Greenwich Trail 3
Clockwise: The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer, The Railway Children – Edith Nesbit, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed) – Sue Townsend, Samuel Pepys’ Diary



15 Replies to “Books About Town – Greenwich Trail”

  1. I think the Books About Town initiative is such a good idea! I must try and get into London to see some of the benches before the end of summer. Glad you managed to do one of the trails, hopefully you’ll get a chance to do the others too!

    1. So do I! It’s a great way to promote reading! You should definitely try and see them before they are auctioned off. I particularly want to see the Bloomsbury and Riverside ones before I go!

  2. What a lovely post. I have some trips to London planned over the summer holidays and I think these will provide the perfect opportunity to explore one of the trials.

  3. Wow those benches are wonderful. I would love to do the Bloomsbury trail. I hope Edinburgh may do the same as our culture is rich with writers and there are quite a few literary walks already.

    1. I am hoping to squeeze the Bloomsbury trail in before I leave – particularly want to see Mrs Dalloway and 1984! Perhaps they will! It would be great if they did this in every major city.

  4. How wonderful that you get to see benches in person. Kid #1 and I looked at all the benches online and tried to guess which book each represents. We weren’t all that successful with our guesses, but she told me exactly which benches (plural!) I am to purchase for the backyard! 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness I had no idea this was a thing, thanks so much for posting about it! I’m going to do the Bloomsbury trail for sure – got to see Mrs Dalloway!

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