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In the footsteps of… Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll, the legendary author of the Alice in Wonderland books made the city of Oxford his home. Be inspired by a fantastical adventure of your own — looking glass, optional

In the footsteps of… Lewis Carroll
Christ Church, Oxford. Image: Alamy

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This summer, it’s 150 years since the publication of Lewis Carroll’s absurdist tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The author lived in Oxford for all his adult life, writing most of his key works there, including the Alice books.

Start with a tour of his university college, Christ Church, a great place to soak up the atmosphere of Charles Dodgson’s early life as a writer, before he took up the pen name Lewis Carroll while working for the student paper. Pop across the road to the Alice Shop — the inspiration for the Sheep Shop in Through The Looking Glass — an olde worlde repository of Alice merchandise.

The best place, though, for slipping down the rabbit hole, is the River Thames, where Carroll first told his Alice stories to Harry, Alice, Lorina and Edith — the children of the then Dean of Christ Church. Hire a punt at Folly Bridge and boat along the river as it meanders past Christ Church Meadow, or book a tour with Oxford historian, Mark Davies, author of Alice in Waterland, which reveals the importance Oxford’s rivers and canals to the success of the Alice books. oxfordwaterwalks.co.uk

Alice in Wonderland events

Christ Church is holding a series of Mad Hatter-style afternoon teas at High Table in its grand Tudor Hall. (31 March and 21 May)

Alice’s Day is a yearly celebration of Alice In Wonderland, co-ordinated by The Story Museum and some 20 partner venues, including such Oxford institutions as the Bodleian Library, Ashmolean, Natural History and Pitt Rivers museums and the Botanic Garden. (4 July)


Published in the April 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)