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Pioneering Women - Free Art Tour

Pioneering Women - Free Art Tour

Pioneering Women - Free Art Tour

Discover the fascinating and surprising stories of women who have shaped British history.

Explore London and the pioneering women who lived and worked here on one of our free walking tours around St James’s, Bloomsbury and Mayfair.

Pioneering Women is a free outdoor display on Villiers Street, London from 15 October 2021 and is part of Inside Out, a free festival, produced by Westminster City Council and partners, that brings art, entertainment, and culture outdoors to the streets of Westminster.

The Inside Out festival forms part of the wider Westminster Reveals campaign to encourage visitors to return to the city’s streets and enjoy London’s famed cultural scene, connecting celebrated talent and communities.

Find out more about Inside Out

© David Parry Photography

St James's Tour

Takes approx 1 hour 45 minutes

Starting from the National Portrait Gallery

Join us for a 19-stop tour with accompanying audio, text and images including portraits in our collection. Take a trip back in time as we discover the fascinating lives of inspirational women connected with St James’s. Starting at the National Portrait Gallery with First World War nurse Edith Cavell, we will discover the history of Pocahontas and her connection to the Court of James I, the computing pioneer Ada Lovelace, the suffragettes, Florence Nightingale, and the wax sculptor Patience Lovell Wright. All you need is your phone or mobile device.

Mayfair Tour

Takes approx 1 hour 50 minutes

Starting from Green Park

Walk the streets of Mayfair on this 19-stop tour and hear all about the phenomenal women who lived and worked here. Starting on Dover Street with society photographer Yvonne Gregory, the tour includes a trip to Elisabeth Frink’s ‘Horse and Rider’ sculpture on New Bond Street, a visit to the place where the first woman to study law at Oxford University had her portrait taken, and a stop by the Fine Art Society where trailblazing painter Gluck exhibited for the first time. All you need is your phone or mobile device and headphones.

Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia Tour

Takes approx 2 hours

Starting from Warren Street station

On this 21-stop tour, step into London’s literary, artistic and scientific past as we learn about pioneering women who lived and worked in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. We will begin in Fitzroy Street with the painter Gwen John, before a trip around Fitzroy Square to hear about key members of the Bloomsbury group, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. We will learn about Marie Stopes and the first birth control clinic, the secret agent Noor Inayat Khan, 19th century photographer Alice Hughes, and the first Briton in space. All you need is your phone or mobile device.

Please adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines when enjoying the tours. Find out more

Explore what's near you

Don't feel like following one of the curated tours? Why not explore our map below and learn more about what's near you.

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Let us know how you got on by sharing your tour with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using #NationalPortraitGallery #CHANELCultureFund


Kindly supported by:

Chanel Culture Fund


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