London is a fabulous multicultural megacity with a long and varied history. The city can regale you with any number of tales, both modern and historic. There are so many things to do in London that sometimes, it can be bewildering thinking about what to see. One tip is to choose a theme, and then make that suit your tastes. This is why the theme of "Literary London" can be adapted for just about anyone.
The River Thames provided the backdrop to the start of the famous "Heart of Darkness" — Photo courtesy of Irene.
Perhaps you like biographies of places rather than people? Well, the River Thames has inspired numerous writers to get all creative in its image. Not least, the great Peter Ackroyd, who has written several fascinating books about London and its river.
Take a walk along the Thames, and you will see centuries of history from the place where the Great Fire of London started (in the city in Pudding Lane) to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, where kings, princes and nobles were executed and imprisoned. The Thames also provided the backdrop to the opening of Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, which takes the reader from the Thames to the Congo.
That same river Thames has brought so many influences in and out of London. If you don't want to dwell in the past, just use it as a starting point, walk along a bit east of Tower Bridge and London's Design Museum will project you forward to the future.
If detective novels are more up your street, then head to Baker Street, the home to Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes.
Baker Street was the setting for Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes mysteries — Photo courtesy of Douglas Neiner
Perhaps Virginia Woolf and other more modern literature takes your fancy. Then you can easily spend a happy half day wandering around Bloomsbury. Pick out houses that look like they could have housed characters in her novel, or even the great woman herself, when she was staying in London.
The Charles Dickens Museum is there, as is the Foundling Museum. The latter tells the sad tale of London's children who were abandoned to orphanages when their mothers weren't able to care for them. Specially designed tours tell you about this period of London's writing scene.
If Dickens is more your bag, then almost every area of London has streets and streets of Victorian housing, dark alleys and gloomy waterways, so that you can feel as if you are following in the great man's footsteps. You can walk from Whitechapel in the east, where Oliver Twist might have walked before you, or the old match factory in the Bow district. You'll walk right into the regency terraces in the center of London, home to Dickens' more affluent characters.
If museums, tours and walking don't cut it with you, perhaps you'd like to visit one of London's many book shops. The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill is one of the most famous, as it was featured in the film named after the area. Waterstones on Gower Street is a mecca for book buyers, as is Foyles on nearby Charing Cross Road.
And, if all you want to do is enjoy the capital's new eateries, then try and book yourself at the new Restaurant Story on Tooley Street, where each dish tells a tale. At the end of the evening, you can leave one of the books you've enjoyed for future diners to peruse and discover.
Just along from there, Shakespeare's globe stands tall as an example of perhaps the greatest literature of all time.
Bloomsbury leaves plenty of time for artistic contemplation — Photo courtesy of AESanfacon