Angela Burdett Coutts, Eleaanor Marx, Elizabeth Garrett-Anderson, Florence Nightingale, Louisa Twining, Marie Stopes, Mary Shelley, Mrs Pankhurst, Noor Inayat Khan, Octavia Hill, Vera Brittain, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill
Here are 5 women’s history walking tours in London:
Great British Women Walk: This walk takes place in one of London’s prettiest areas, Bloomsbury, which is crammed with women’s history. And the cast list is impressive. It includes Louisa Twining, Vera Brittain, Angela Burdett-Coutts, Octavia Hill, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Florence Nightingale, Noor Inayat Khan, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Marie Stopes and many more.
Radical Women Walk: This tour starts at a Memorial to a brave woman who died for her beliefs. It’s then the Bow of the Suffragettes, and of two philanthropic sisters who set up an historic nursery school and a hall where their friend Gandhi stayed. You walk past a statue of Gladstone with blood on its hands, before carrying on to an infamous factory where a great woman reformer led a revolt against terrible conditions. You also see where a famous ex Suffragette fought tirelessly for the poor during the Great War. Victoria Park then beckons, where you walk to a huge fountain built by a woman who was our greatest ever philanthropist. And you also see where radical women such as Eleanor Marx made speeches to thousands.
Women & The Home Front in World War 1 Walk: You hear of the inequalities women suffered whilst doing jobs men had done in the past – from munitions workers to footballers! You see where huge recruitment, fund raising and propaganda stunts took place, including the building of a mock ruined French village. You also walk past different types of war hospital, hundred year old air raid shrapnel marks, and hear how things associated with the World War 2 Home Front had their roots in the Great War. It’s a nice walk through leafy Westminster but you hear how there wasn’t any greenery to be seen in the war, as women grew food to feed the nation. And you see plenty of memorials of course, but just as interesting are the commemorations that aren’t there – those to women. The finish includes Mrs Pankhurst, women gaining the vote and the Sexual Disqualification Act being passed. You’re also shown lots of great photos too, but are also told how some of them, such as the one above, were not quite as they seemed.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Walk: The walk starts at a Victorian Charity Hospital for Women, across from which lived a famous Crimean nurse. You then follow the story of Elizabeth Garrett-Anderson, seeing en-route the old hospital where she trained, the Hospital for Women which she founded and the amazing Victorian architecture of what was the London School of Medicine for Women, for which she worked. And in wonderful contrast, you walk past the 21st century Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing of University College Hospital. you also see a Macmillan Nurses centre, a fine memorial to another pioneering woman doctor and the spot where doctors saved lives after a terrorist attack. And you’ll also hear how a woman passed herself off as a man in order to become a doctor and was in fact the first woman doctor, long before Miss Garrett! You also see Marie Stopes centres, and we walk past the spot where a brave nurse became one of the few women to win the George Cross.
Suffragettes Walk: Much of the Suffragettes’ fight for “Votes for Women” took place in Central London. You see where it all happened, amidst some of London’s most famous landmarks including Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Whitehall & the Houses of Parliament. You also see a large number of photographs from the times, which bring the streets of Edwardian London to life. You hear all about the big events and major characters involved. Brave women, scheming politicians, great marches & speeches, violence, arson, prison, force feeding, the Pankhursts, Asquith, Churchill, it’s all here. And you hear a shocking, unknown story about Mr Churchill’s private views on women gaining the vote, and you find out how and why women finally won the vote.