Foyles is to host international literary tours as it continues to diversify ahead of its move into the “bookshop of the future”.
As part of the new Foyles Literary Tours International, the company will offer readers a trip to India with award-winning novelist and broadcaster Marcel Theroux in January 2015.
The 13-day trip will visit the Jaipur Literary Festival, delve deeper into the life and history of the region, and feature an elephant ride to the deserted city of Amber and the Amber Fort, all run in partnership with escorted tours specialist Arblaster & Clarke.
Foyles will also run domestic trips to UK literary destinations from July 2014 in partnership with Cambria Literary Tours.
The UK destinations include Haworth, the home of the Brontë family; Shakespeare’s Stratford; Great Missenden, the village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for much of his life; and various locations in South Wales where Dylan Thomas worked and wrote.
The UK tours will be for groups of 25 and a list of suggested reading will be provided for each tour.
To incentivise readers to invest back into the bookshop, each tour participant will receive a 30% discount voucher, valid for a purchase within any Foyles store, on the tour.
Running literary tours was one of the suggestions that arose from the workshops Foyles ran in conjunction with The Bookseller in February last year, to brainstorm ideas for what the “bookshop of the future” should comprise.
Christopher Foyle, chairman of Foyles bookshops and a member of The Explorers Club, said: “Travel writing is one of the oldest forms of literature, and many a reader has dreamed of visiting the places about which they have read in their favourite books. Now we are offering our customers the opportunity to make literary pilgrimages in the company of experienced tour guides and renowned writers, who will provide expert knowledge and insightful discussion along the way.”
The literary tours are being run as Foyles moves its flagship store to a new home on London’s Charing Cross Road, which will open next month.