The Essex Serpent and other Colchester literary connections

A guided walk for all book lovers around the historic heart of Colchester, by Josie Watson, Blue Badge Tourist Guide, and Essex Days Out founder. Josie writes :

This walk combines two of my favourite subjects, literature, and the history of Colchester.

It’s a walk that’s been over twenty years in development, since I first trained as a guide, and building on my first career as a librarian for Essex Library Service, where I spent many years encouraging others to read for pleasure. I’ve led this walk on tours for the Colchester Visitor Information Centre, and The Essex Book Festival, and also for privately booked groups.

On the walk you’ll discover novels that have been set in Colchester, novels that mention Colchester, and characters who have spent time in the town. You will be surprised to find out just how often the town has appeard in all kinds of literature – from Asterix the Gaul, to George Orwell’s 1984, to the more recent The Essex Serpent.

You can download a book list here (PDF). On the walk I’ll mention many of the novels on the list, and maybe read some poems, but I probably won’t manage to mention them all, as that would lead to a very long walk.

The walk lasts approximately 1.5 hours, but can be shorter to suit the interests and ability of your group.

If you are interested in booking this walk for your book group, WEA group, U3A group, WI or any other group of friends then email me on or message us on facebook.