Brief Guide To Bloomsbury

Updated: Jan 31

Bloomsbury has long been the most charming area to wind down and wander in central London. It is home to numerous prestigious cultural, intellectual and educational institutions. After grabbing a drink from us, why not take a pleasant stroll around this exquisite neighbourhood? We propose to you today a must-see list of lovely places that will undoubtedly impress you!





Parks and Squares


Bloomsbury features some of London's most iconic parks and squares. These include:


Russell Square, the largest garden square in Bloomsbury, first arranged by the landscape gardener, Humphry Repton. Russell Square Underground Station as well as the beautifully recently refurbished 19thcentury Kimpton Fitzroy London Hotel are just a stone’s throw away.


Bedford Square, built between 1776 and 1780, has long been associated with the arts, education and industry, is the current residence of the Architectural Association, one of the world’s leading architecture schools.


Queen Square, home to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.


Gordon Square, former home of John Maynard Keynes, one of Britain’s most influential economists of the 20th century.

Woburn Square and Torrington Square,owned by University of London.


Tavistock Square, has a number of memorial features including a planted tree for the victims of the Hiroshima bombings and a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Additionally, there is a bust of Bloomsbury’s most famous author and former resident, Virginia Woolf.

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Coram's Fields, a large recreational space, formerly home to the Foundling Hospital. The hospital has been demolished, but the historic Georgian colonnade serves today as a regal backdrop to a children’s playground and outdoor sports field. Coram’s Fields also keeps a small number of sheep and other farm animals!




Museums




Founding Museum


Website: https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/

Location: 40 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1AZ


Opening Times:

Mon closed

Tue – Sat, 10:00 – 17:00

Sun, 11:00 – 17:00


Admission:

Includes collections and exhibitions

Adults £13.20* / £12

Concessions** £9.90* / £9.00

FREE for 21 & under, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders


About:

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital for unwanted/ abandoned children in Georgian London.

The Foundling Hospital was established by the philanthropist, Thomas Coram in 1739. Back then, around a thousand babies a year were abandoned in London. After 17 years of tireless campaigning, Coram was finally granted a Royal Charter by King George II, enabling him to set up the UK's first children's charity.

From 1741 when the first babies were admitted to 1954 when the last pupil was arranged with foster care, the Foundling Hospital cared for and educated around 25,000 children. The Foundling Museum opened in 2004 in a building built in the 1930s on the site of the Foundling Hospital. The museum incorporates the same architectural features from the original hospital building.


Source: Wikipedia, The Foundling Museum Website


Photo by Grant Ritchie



British Museum


Website: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

Location: Great Russell Street, London, WC1


Opening times:

The museum is closed on 1 January, Good Friday and 24, 25 & 26 December, but open every other day of the year. Some galleries open late every Friday until 20:30. For more information please click here.


Admissions: Free (apart from special exhibitions), open daily between 10.00 –17.30


About:

The British Museum was founded in 1753. As the world’s oldest national museum open to the public, it houses a vast collection of 8 million objects. The oldest of which is a stone chopping tool that dates back nearly 2 million years. The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures.


Unmissable Treasures:

The Parthenon sculptures

Mummies

The Rosetta Stone

Renaissance and medieval objects

Source: Wikipedia, British Museum website




Charles Dickens Museum

Website: https://dickensmuseum.com/

Location:48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX


Opening times:

From January through to November the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays except for bank holidays. Last admission into the historic house is at 4pm.


In December, the museum is open seven days of the week from 10am until 5pm. Once a month it is open until 8pm, with last admission at 7pm. Please click here for a full list of dates:https://dickensmuseum.com/blogs/all-events/95347526-evening-opening-hours).


The museum is not open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day. The house will be open for a special ticketed event on Christmas Eve, but booking in advance is recommended. Tickets are available for purchase from 1st November 2019.

Admission:

Adult: £9.50

Concessions (Students and Seniors): £7.50

Child 6-16 years: £4.50

Children under 6 years: Free


About:

The Charles Dickens Museum occupies a Georgian terraced house which was Charles Dickens's home from 1837 to 1839.


Dickens’ residence was supposed to be demolished in 1923, but was saved by the Dickens Fellowship, who purchased the freehold of this property. The house was renovated and the Dickens House Museum was opened in 1925.


Dickens famously wrote Oliver Twist, Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby here. Come and explore the author’s private life, his study, family bedchambers, and servants’ quarters.


Dickens’s desk, handwritten drafts of stories, and his wife’s engagement ring as well as his clothing are all part of the exhibition. Walk through rooms with historical furniture, table ware, portraits, marble busts, china ornaments and paintings.


Source: Wikipedia / Dickens Museum Website



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The Petrie Museum


Website: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/petrie-museum

Location: Malet Pl, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6BT


Opening times:

Open Tue - Sat 13:00–17:00

Closed around Easter and Christmas


Admission: Free


About:

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London is part of University College London museums and collections. The museum contains over 80,000 objects and ranks among some of the world's leading collections of Egyptian and Sudanese material.


William Matthew Flinders Petrie conducted many important excavations. In 1913 he sold his collections of Egyptian antiquities to University College. These amazing collections transformed the museum into one of the leading collections outside Egypt.

In the beginning, visitors were students and academics. It was not then open to the general public. Petrie retired from University College London in 1933, but his successors continued to contribute to the collections, excavating in other parts of Egypt and Sudan.


During the Second World War the collection was moved out of London to avoid bombing. In the early 1950s it was moved into a former stable, where it remains today, right next to UCL’s science library.


Source: Wikipedia, Petrie Museum Website






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· Charles Darwin (1809–1882), lived at Gower Street in 1839


· J. M. Barrie (1860–1937), playwright and novelist who wrote Peter Pan, lived in Guilford Street and 8 Grenville Street when he first moved to London. This is where Barrie situated the Darlings' house in Peter Pan


· Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), author, essayist, and diarist, resided at 29 Fitzroy Square

·John Maynard Keynes, (1883–1946), arguably the greatest economist of the 20thcentury, lived for 30 years at 46 Gordon Square.

· Sir Francis Ronalds (1788–1873), inventor of the electric telegraph, lived at 40 Queen Square in 1820–1822


· Vladimir Lenin, 1870–1924, Russian revolutionary and first head of the Soviet state, lived at 36 Tavistock Place in 1908


Source: Wikipedia



Streets and Shops


Source


Gower Street

Gower Street is an important route connecting Euston Station and Covent Garden. University College London, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as well as part of the University College Hospital are located along Gower Street.


The beautiful Waterstones bookstore at the corner of Gower Street and Torrington Place is Europe's largest new and second hand bookshop, with an enormous range of academic and specialist texts. It is home to an award-winning events programme, Dillon's coffee shop and a newly added vinyl store, Gower Records.

The hugely popular BBC crime drama Sherlock used 187 North Gower Street for the external shots of Sherlock Holmes' flat at 221B Baker Street. It is impossible to miss the flat due to its proximity to the instantly recognisable Speedy's Sandwich Bar & Café.

Source: Wikipedia and Waterstones



Photo credit : Courtesy of The Brunswick


Brunswick Centre

The Brunswick Centre is a grade II listed residential and shopping centre near Russell Square Tube Station.

The centre was designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s, with a modernist (if not brutalist) architectural style.

Now the area is a vibrant place to visit, often teeming with people visiting the numerous restaurants, cafes, several popular high street chain stores and, of course, Waitrose. Amazingly there is the delightful Curzon cinema on site too! At weekends there is a food market for any discerning foody.


Marchmont Street

Marchmont Street lies just alongside the Brunswick Centre. It is like an old-world village high street with many independent shops and all amenities close to hand.


There’s one of the best bookshops in London, Judd Books, a health food centre, hardware store, three newsagents and a post office. Felling peckish? There is an international array of places to eat: English pubs, a burger joint, Chinese, Greek, French and Lebanese cuisine.


The Observatory Photography Gallery-cum-speciality coffee shop is one of the street’s most recent attractions and was recently used as the film location for the British hit TV series, Killing Eve.