JK Rowling’s detailed and accurate use of real-life places in the Strike series gives us the wonderful opportunity to visit the locations and imagine the scenes of the books brought to life. To make things easier for anyone who has the chance to do this, we have grouped locations from the books (and some from the television series) into short walking tours. More tours will be added over time, so keep checking back.
Clicking on the purple book icons will give you the name of the location and some quotes from the relevant book or books. Purple TV icons are for locations used in the television series, and clicking on these will show you some screenshots of that location from the show.
The beginning of each walk is the orange star symbol. Clicking here will give you the address of the starting point and more useful details, for example the nearest tube stations.
If you feel like a longer walk, the first three maps can be followed consecutively, from Piccadilly Circus to Denmark Street, with a total distance of around 7km (around 4.5 miles). This would take around an hour and a half to walk, but of course it will take longer if you are stopping to take photos and read the excerpts from the books as you go. There are plenty of great pubs and restaurants to stop in along the way, so why not make a day of it?
St James’s – from Piccadilly Circus to the Ritz
Strike often finds himself in the exclusive surroundings of St James’s. Locations in this area feature in several of the books, with key chapters of both Lethal White and Troubled Blood set here, as well as the beginning of The Ink Black Heart and early chapters of The Running Grave. This tour starts, as does Robin’s story in the books, at the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus and finishes at the Ritz. We recommend popping into the Rivoli Bar for a cocktail if you are able to — it’s a really beautiful venue.
This route is around 3km in length and takes around 35 minutes to walk without stopping.
Mayfair – the Ritz to Liberty
This slightly longer walk starts at the Ritz and goes past the exclusive members-only clubs, the Arts Club and Annabel’s, before taking in several book and television locations on or near South Audley Street in Mayfair. The walk then takes us east to Conduit Street, site of the fictitious Vashti boutique, where Robin models the infamous green dress for Strike in The Cuckoo’s Calling. It ends with a visit to the perfume department in Liberty.
This walk is under 2.5km long and takes less than 30 minutes to walk without any stops.
Strike’s Soho – Liberty to Denmark Street
This route starts at the Shakespeare’s Head, where Robin meets Strike on her 30th birthday at the end of Troubled Blood. It takes in Liberty, Hazlitt’s Hotel, and various restaurants and pubs featured in the books. The end of the tour takes you to Denmark Street, site of both the office of the Strike & Ellacott Detective Agency in the books and the location used for filming the television show, before finishing up in Strike’s local, The Tottenham (now called the Flying Horse).
The route is under 2km in length, and takes less than half an hour to walk were you to do it without stopping.
Leicester Square to Westminster
This route starts at Leicester Square Tube station, and takes in some West End locations before taking us down to the Thames, through Whitehall Gardens and then to Westminster, which of course featured heavily in Lethal White. It finishes with three great pubs, including The Feathers.
This route is around 2.6 km (1.6 miles) in length, and would take around 40 minutes if you were to walk without stopping.
Margot’s route’ and Clerkenwell locations
This map largely follows the route that Strike and Robin take on 31st October 2013, in Chapter 13 of Troubled Blood. They trace the route that Margot would have taken from the surgery to the Three Kings, where she was due to meet Oonagh Kennedy. It also includes the telephone box in which the killer waited for Margot, and the Athorn residence.
This is a short route, around 600 metres long, and takes less than ten minutes of actual walking time.
Highgate, London – the locations of The Ink Black Heart
This tour takes you to the places in Highgate featured in The Ink Black Heart. It starts at Archway tube station, where there is the option of a walk along Junction Road to see the site of Zoe Haigh’s flat. Then it’s back to Archway and up Highgate Hill, to follow Strike and Zoe’s walk through Waterlow Park, then to Highgate Cemetery. It finishes with a look at the three pubs in which scenes from the novel are set.
You will need to buy a ticket to visit Highgate Cemetery. A map will be supplied with your ticket so you can find your own way around, but if you would rather take a guided tour, we recommend booking in advance as these often sell out. Highgate Cemetery’s website here has more information.
This walk covers a distance of a little under 4km (around 50 minutes actual walking time), which does not include any time taken or distance travelled touring Highgate Cemetery. You could shorten this walk by skipping the short detour to Zoe’s flat at the start of the route and catching a bus up (the very steep) Highgate Hill rather than walking, and catching a bus straight from the Red Lion & Sun back down the Hill to Archway rather than walking to Highgate Tube Station.
Cambridge – The Ink Black Heart
This is a short walk tracing the route that Robin and Strike took in The Ink Black Heart as they look for Vikas Bhardwaj. It also includes the location of the Stephen Hawking Building. The route is less than 600m long and would take less than ten minutes to walk without stopping.
Cornwall – Troubled Blood locations in St Mawes and Falmouth
This map pinpoints the Cornwall locations featured in Troubled Blood, both the original book and the television series. We have not included a blue walking route on this map, as most locations are very close together, some in the middle of St Mawes, and some in the centre of Falmouth. Two filming locations are further away; it is possible to walk to Tredynas Road in Falmouth, which is the location used for Anna and Kim’s house, but you will need a car to visit Port Navas, south west of Falmouth, which was used as the location for Joan & Ted’s house.
It is a drive of approximately 50 minutes around the estuary between Falmouth and St Mawes. The alternative is the passenger ferry, which of course features as a book and television location in its own right. If you are planning on using the ferry, please check the running times here. The timetable varies between seasons and does not run in adverse weather conditions.