Greene’s Berkhamsted


indexOne of the highlights of the 2014 Graham Greene International Festival was actually the first event on the busy schedule – ‘Graham Greene’s Common’. It required those who took part to be active as it consisted of a three mile guided walk led by Brian Shepherd. It was huge success and was repeated during the 2016 Festival. It has now become an annual feature. A ‘Town Walk’ through Berkhamsted took place during the 2018 Festival and proved to be equally popular.

Berkhamsted Town Council has now incorporated details of the ‘Common’ walk on the ‘Town Guide’ page of its website. To access it, please follow this link:

If you are unable to visit Berkhamsted in person you can still listen to the commentary which was recorded by none other than David Pearce, one of the founder members of The Graham Greene Birthplace Trust. There is also a downloadable text of the commentary which includes some of Greene’s own writings about the place he grew up in and which featured in many of his works.


If you are visiting Berkhamsted itself you may simply want to follow the Graham Greene Trail which takes you through the town Greene knew so well. You can use the link below to download a map of the Trail, which has been specially prepared by Sylvia Hall, Bill Willett (Cartography) and Jenny Thomas (Illustration).

Graham Greene was born in the town in 1904 and lived there until he went to Balliol College, Oxford, in 1922. The map marks the main places in the centre of Berkhamsted with which he was associated and around which settings were created in several of his works, particularly The Human Factor and The Captain and the Enemy and the short stories The Innocent, and Doctor Crombie – though the town was sometimes given a different name.

Those who would venture beyond the town will find the beautiful countryside of Berkhamsted Common, Ashridge and Ivinghoe, for which Greene says he ‘began to develop a love…which never left [him]’ (A Sort of Life).

Click here to download the map as a PDF file