Today, the 27th January, is the 180th birthday of the great mathematician and writer Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll.
As a tutor at Christ College Oxford, Carroll befriended the daughters of the Dean, Henry Liddell, and made up stories to entertain them. These grew into the now famous and cult book, Alice in Wonderland.
For those who don't already know: The story is of a little girl who falls asleep by the riverbank and disappears into a fantastical world. She falls down a rabbit hole to a place peppered with extraordinary animals: the White Rabbit, the Dodo, the Mock Turtle, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Queen of Hearts. Brimming with strange creatures, nonsense games without rules, rhymes and songs, logic and illogic, death, madness, drugs and dreams.
Why not celebrate with a walk along the Thames at Godstow, where Carroll and Alice used to row up stream to picnic on the riverbank and tell stories. Take a rug and make up silly rhymes, run Caucus races, look for rabbit holes, collect swan feathers, feed the ducks and geese, spot herons and the occasional kingfisher and watch boats floating serenely up and down the river.
For details of our Alice in Wonderland walk that takes you to all the key Alice places, a couple of excellent pubs, the nice tea shops, the shop where Alice used to buy her barley sugars and where to hire a boat, turn to Chapter 18 of Adventure Walks for Families, In and Around London, by Becky Jones and Clare Lewis. To buy a copy, click here.