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Walks

The history of humanism in the UK is rich and remarkable, and evidence of it is everywhere – if you know where to look. The presence and influence of humanists can be recalled through commemorative plaques, sites of birth and burial, historical spaces of radical activity, and monuments to great figures from history – even those whose humanism is often overlooked.

As part of the Humanist Heritage project, we are creating a series of local walks to highlight the rich humanist history to be found in towns and cities across the UK, and working with regional groups to draw on expert local knowledge about hometown humanist heroes. On this page, you will find direct links to walks created with walking app Go Jauntly, which you can preview and return to whether you plan to walk the walk or not.

The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll,1863 © National Portrait Gallery, London. Both Dante Gabriel Rossetti (left) and William Michael Rossetti (right) were avowed freethinkers

The Humanist Bloomsbury Tour

This walk begins at Red Lion Square, introducing the key humanist figures commemorated there, as well as others with clear links to radical and non-religious thought and action. At Conway Hall, the history of ethical societies is introduced, along with two of the most important figures in organised humanism: Moncure Conway and Stanton Coit. From here, the walk takes in sites associated with suffragism, pacifism, international influence, science, secular ceremony, academia, and literature.

Click here to view the walk on Go Jauntly.

Pioneering suffragists Emmeline Pankhurst and Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, 1908. LSE Library

The Humanist Manchester Tour

Manchester has a rich tradition of radicalism, freethinking, and humanism – historically home to leading suffragists, pioneering cooperators, and influential social reformers. Many of these were united in challenging orthodox religious ideas, and living by values we call ‘humanist’ today.

This walk explores the lives of figures including Robert Owen, George Jacob Holyoake, Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy, Lydia Becker, Dr. Louis Borchardt, Ford Madox Brown, and the Pankhursts, exploring their contributions to Manchester – and to the wider world.

Click here to view the walk on Go Jauntly.

Made by Heritage Creative