Downloadable Walking Tours
Social justice-themed tours that help you dig into the history of Richmond. Take on your own time, by yourself or with a group!
Photo Courtesy of
The Valentine Museum
Elizabeth Van Lew Tour: Hear the story of this Civil War spy while you walk 2 miles of Church Hill (starting at St. John's Church).
Narrated by Rachel Pater, with music by local artists.
Church Hill Tunnel tour is coming Spring 2020!
Elizabeth Van Lew Audio Walking Tour
(Full Track: 70 minutes)
Music by Wells Hanley, Sarah Douthwaite, and Natasha Harris; narrated by Rachel Pater
Click here to download tour
Since some of the tour is along busy streets, it's best to use earbuds for listening.
This tour is 70 minutes long, covering roughly 2 miles with some stairs and a section of uneven trail. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring adequate water!
You will begin at St. John's Church gates, near the corner of 24th and Broad in Church Hill. The audio will instruct you on when and where to start walking.
A casual stroll is just fine! If you power-walk, you'll find yourself waiting for the audio to catch up with you (also fine).
You will want your phone handy, with the slideshow on this page accessible in a new tab if you'd like to see corresponding pictures.
If you have limited mobility or prefer to drive, you can follow the Google Map link below!
**One tour edit: the "open space" described at minute 28 along Main Street is now condos.
Van Lew Tour Testimonials
The incredible story of Elizabeth Van Lew is brought to life as you explore the neighborhoods of her past. You'll learn about Richmond's history in an engaging and thoughtful way, all while taking in some of the best views of the city! I highly recommend this well-researched tour.
"Elizabeth Van Lew is still standing!! In her grave at Shockoe Hill Cemetery, that is, and you should stand and walk around for an hour or so while listening to Rachel Pater's new audio tour all about her. Listen! Learn!
Richmond Story House’s EVL walking tour is fascinating for Richmond visitors and locals alike. Part Civil War narrative, part social history, and part environmental exploration, it will move all listeners to more deeply consider the stories and sites that resonate in their own lives.
Mayor Stoney toasts to the launch of our Van Lew tour