Emily’s Walking Book Club has been meeting for monthly walks on Hampstead Heath since 2012. It is an extremely friendly and relaxed group of people, bound together by a love of books, and of walking.

The idea behind it is that it’s much easier to talk while you’re walking – something about the rhythm of it loosens your thoughts and your tongue too. Perhaps it’s also easier because you’re looking around at beautiful landscape rather than making stressful eye-contact.

Here is a piece I wrote about it for the Spectator.

We were delighted to be recorded for Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding, first broadcast in 2013, for which we discussed Elizabeth Taylor’s Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont. You can listen again if you follow the link.

We set off at 11.30 sharp from Daunt Books Hampstead, and return there for 1pm. There’s a £5 suggested fee, but if you can’t afford this (plus the cost of travel and the book – I know, it adds up!) then just come along anyway and pay what you can. Fancy joining us? Great! Just turn up – details below – you never need to book a place (the Heath is always big enough to accommodate us), but please make sure you are suitably attired – there is usually a lot of mud, and it can be very wet and windy – and, of course, that you’ve read the book.

Here are details of our next meeting(s):

Sunday, 28th February 2021

11.30 – 12 noon

So Long, See You Tomorrow
by William Maxwell

On Zoom – book a place and find the link here.

Pay what you like.

In this evocative classic of American literature, the narrator – now an old man – looks back to his childhood, when a man was murdered on his farm in Illinois, and the narrator’s friendship with the murderer’s son comes to an abrupt end. Written in delicate, spare prose, this is a piercing testament of guilt and regret.

You can buy your book from Daunt Books here and get 10% off by using the code WBC at checkout.

Due to National Lockdown, we will be meeting on Zoom rather than in person.

Sunday, 28th March 2021

11.30 – 12 noon

The Pumpkin Eater
by Penelope Mortimer

On Zoom – book a place and find the link here

Pay what you like.

In this loosely autobiographical and very intense novel of the 1960s, the narrator – mother to countless young children, wife to a rich, unfaithful husband (her fourth) – suffers a nervous breakdown. In scalpel-sharp prose, with deadpan wit, Mortimer shows us the pain of a woman who is seen to have it all, but whose life, in fact, feels empty.

You can buy your book from Daunt books here and get 10% off using the code WBC at checkout.

Due to ongoing Coronavirus restrictions, this meeting will be on Zoom.

Emily’s Walking Book Club has also popped up across the UK at Literary Festivals, Writers’ Retreats, and even at a hen party. If you think it could be the right thing for your own special event – birthday / team away day / school outing / anything else then please get in touch. I love taking this idea onto new ground.

Drop me a line if you’d like to find out more.