Stalking George Smiley

For the first time, I am utterly unprepared for a visa application.

I have some idea of where I want to go but — aside from the one day I’ll be devoting to using my London Pass, probably on the same day I’m going to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London (for which I already have tickets), and aside from the day trip I intend to take to Oxford — I still haven’t beaten everything down to an actual itinerary yet, which I’ll need for a visa application.

One thing I’d really like to do, though, for both fan-girl and personal reasons, is go on a George Smiley tour of sorts.

(I actually said to myself, a few minutes ago: surely someone has thought of this before. And I found this — but I’m going to make my own.)

Off the top of my head:

  • Cambridge Circus — of course, and I’d like to take a look at the present-day MI6 as well. (There was a news story months ago about MI6 needing more females. Perhaps I shall apply. I am unobservant and unremarkable, and in the logic that it’s the most unlikely spy that makes the best spy, I’m sure I’ll be a shoo-in.)
  • Bywater Street — home to George and Ann, his “last illusion of an illusionless man.”
  • Hampstead Heath — I was always going to go anyway, but now I have another reason.
  • Oxford — where Smiley had studied, and where apparently he would have gone on to All Souls if he hadn’t detoured to the Circus.

I’d also like to go to Cornwall, but it doesn’t seem so feasible, time- and budget-wise. Though I wouldn’t have minded an excuse to go on the sleeper train to Penzance!

I’ll have to dust off my le Carrés to see where else I could go.

Stalking George Smiley” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

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