Bloomsbury in London
Bloomsbury is a district of central London.
This is a vibrant historic district made most famous by a group of turn-of-the-century writers that included Virgina Woolf and EM Forster (the Bloomsbury Set), economist John Maynard Keynes and the artist Roger Fry.
It is also the location of the British Museum, the British Library, the campus of University College London and numerous historic homes, parks, and buildings.
Bloomsbury forms the southernmost part of the London Borough of Camden.
Bloomsbury can be easily accessed from several convenient tube stations as follows:
- Euston Square (Circle, Metropolitan and District lines)
- Goodge Street (Northern line)
- Holborn (Central line)
- Russell Square (Piccadilly line)
- Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines)
- Warren Street (Victoria and Northern lines)
Within walking distance of King's Cross, Euston and St Pancras mainline rail stations.
Most of the sites are reachable by foot or a single stop on the tube.
Landmarks and parks
- Bedford Square (address: WC1) (directions: tube: Russell Square)
This wonderful square was built between 1775 and 1783 as an upper middle class residential area takes its name from the the Dukes of Bedford, who were the main landlords in Bloomsbury. Distinguished residents have included Lord Eldon, one of Britain's longest serving and most celebrated Lord Chancellors. This is one of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London and the majority of the buildings are grade I listed. The gardens are private and always remain locked.
- British Telecom Tower (address: Maple Street, W1T 4BG)
open: Not open to the public
540ft skyscraper can be seen from far away and is the second highest building in UK.
- Bloomsbury Square (address: Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2LS) (directions: tube: Holborn, Russell Square) +44 207974 1693
This garden square was established by Lord Southampton in 1665 and is the oldest square in London. It was opened to the public in the 1950s. The square is surrounded by a number of beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings and terraces.
- Coram's Fields (address: 93 Guilford St WC1N 1DN"
directions) +44 20 7833 2393
A park which is run specifically as children's play area. Facilities include a pet's corner, lawns, sports pitches and a nursery. No adults are allowed to enter the park unless they are accompanying children. All visitors are welcome to join the local kids.
- Russell Square (address: WC1B) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7974 1693
The largest square in London. It was established in 1806 by the 5th Duke of Bedford and his statue can still be seen in the square. There is also a café.
- St George's Gardens (address: Heathcote St, WC1N 1AB) (directions: tube: Russell Square) firstname.lastname@example.org
Peaceful gardens and interesting monuments including the daughter of Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell.
Museums and exhibitions
- British Museum (address: Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG) (directions: tube: Tottenham Court Rd) +44 20 7323 8000 email@example.com
open: Sa-W 10AM-5:30PM, Th-F 10AM-8:30PM; Central Great Court remains open Sa-W until 6PM, Th-F until 11PM
A vast repository of the world's cultures, with entire sections devoted to Egyptian, Greek, and Middle Eastern artifacts, as well as the piece which united them all, the Rosetta Stone. It also includes the largest collection of mummies outside Egypt and the Elgin Marbles. A definite highlight of a trip to London. Temporary exhibitions are invariably excellent and meticulously researched, but can be expensive.
- Cartoon Museum (address: 35 Little Russell St, WC1A 2HH) (directions: tube: Tottenham Court Rd) +44 20 7580 8155 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: £5.50, concessions £4, students £3, under-18s free
open: Tu-Sa 10:30AM-5:30PM, Su noon-5:30PM
A vast collection of cartoons and comics on display.
- Charles Dickens Museum (address: 48 Doughty St, WC1N 2LX) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7405 2127 email@example.com
price: £5, students and seniors £4, children £3, families £14 (two adults and up to five children), special group rates apply
open: M, W-Sa 10AM-5PM (last admission 4:30PM), Tu 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-5PM (last admission 4:30PM)
Museum at the former home of Dickens exhibiting writings, paintings, furniture and other items relating to the writer.
- Foundling Museum (address: 40 Brunswick Sq, WC1N 1AZ) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7841 3600 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: £5, concessions £4, children free
open: Tu-Su 10AM-5:30PM
A museum and a gallery telling the story of the Foundling Hospital, an orphanage for abandoned children founded in the eighteenth century. Massive art donations by British artists and the involvement of George Friederic Handel as a patron made this child care organization an early center of art and music.
- Fitzroy House (address: 35/37 Fitzroy St, W1T 6DX) (directions: tube: Warren St) +44 20 7255 2422 email@example.com
A historic house formerly inhabited by playwright George Bernard Shaw, it is where writer L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, worked in the 1950s. The building is reminiscent of the time, complete with Adler typewriters, Grundig tape recorders, and Western Union telefax. Tours by appointment.
- Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (address: Malet Pl, WC1E 6BT) (directions: tube: Euston Square. The museum can be hard to find. Whilst preparing for a move to new premises in 2012, it is housed inside the DMS Watson library down Malet Pl, a narrow lane. Find the large Blackwell's Bookstore on the corner of Malet St-Malet Pl continue over Torrington Pl. Venturing down the lane, the museum's banner should be prominent on the left hand side. Go through the doors and ask the porter for the museum) +44 20 7679 2884 firstname.lastname@example.org
open: Tu-F 1PM-5PM, Sa 11AM-2PM
Formerly the teaching collection of Sir Flinders Petrie, one of Britain's greatest archaeologists, now preserved by University College London and well worth a visit. Exhibits include beaded dresses, sculpture and wall reliefs, items of everyday use, papyri, cartonnage and pottery. Fascinating!
- Pollock's Toy Museum (address: 1 Scala St W1T 2HL) (directions: tube:Goodge Street) +44 020 7636 3452 email@example.com
open: M-Sa 10AM–5PM
A treasure trove of antique toys exhibited in a warren of 6 rooms above the toy shop of the same name. A very charming place indeed and well worth a visit
- [www.goodenough.ac.uk Goodenough College] (address: Mecklenburgh Square, WC1N 2AB) (directions: tube: Russell Square)
Goodenough College offers accommodation for international postgraduate students. The College's student community of approx 650 represents over 90 countries, offering a unique experience through stimulating intellectual debate, fostering cross-cultural activity and providing an exceptional social environment.
Tours around the College are offered every Friday at 1pm and every first Saturday of the month at 11am.
- University College London (address: Gower St, WC1E 6BT) (directions: tube: Euston Square, access from the northern end of Gower St) +44 20 7679 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Includes a small but beautiful quad and an interesting Neo-Classical facade. The core buildings of UCL were built after the university's foundation in 1826.
- Birkbeck Cinema (address: 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1H 0PD) +44 872 148 2992 email@example.com
- Bloomsbury Theatre (address: 15 Gordon Street, WC1H 0AH) (directions: tube: Euston Square)
Theatre owned by University College London staging both student and professional productions. Broad range of performances.
- Cochrane Theatre Bar (address: 48 Southampton Row, WC1B 4AP) (directions: tube: Holborn) +44 20 7269 1606
Established by Jeannetta Cochrane, now owned by the University of the Arts. Has servings throughout the performances.
- Dominion Theatre (address: 268-269 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7AQ) (directions: tube: Tottenham Court Rd)
A large London theatre that tends to show mainstream blockbuster-type musical productions
- Renoir (address: Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AW) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7837 8402
Cinema showing arthouse and foreign language films.
- Walks +44 20 7388 8822
Bloomsbury has a number of famous walks that cover the lives and works of the Bloomsbury Group.
Tottenham Court Road is the centre for electronics retailers in London. If you are visting the city and need to buy or replace an electronic item, you will not find a better selction nor better prices than here. Explore both sides of the street to the north of Tottenham Court Road station.
With University College London being a dominant presence in Bloomsbury, it is no surprise that there are a lot of bookshops. The area around Marchmont St and The Brunswick Centre (north of Russell Square) has claims to be the bookshop capital of London.
- Gay's the Word (address: 66 Marchmont St WC1N 1AB) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7278 7654 firstname.lastname@example.org
The leading gay-related bookshop in Britain. Been around since 1979. Fiction and a large academic stock.
- Judd Books (address: 82 Marchmont St WC1N 1AG) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7387 5333 email@example.com
open: M-Sa 11AM-7PM
Large stock of used, remaindered and academic books especially in the fields of architecture, history and philosophy.
- Marchmont Books (address: 39 Burton St WC1H 9AL) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7387 7989
- Persephone Books (address: 59 Lamb's Conduit St
WC1N 3NB) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7242 9292
Specialises in 20th century fiction by women writers.
- Photo Books International (address: 99 Judd St WC1H 9NE) firstname.lastname@example.org
open: W-F 11AM-5:30PM, Sa noon-4PM
Specialists in new and used photographic books
- Skoob (address: 66 The Brunswick WC1N 1AE) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7278 8760 email@example.com
Wide selection of secondhand academic books, philosophy, modern literature and classics. Very popular with students.
- Nomad Travel Store (address: 40 Bernard St WC1N 1LJ) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7833 4114 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stock a huge range of travel related items from camping gear to medical kits. As well as stocking leading brands, have their own label range which is very reasonably priced. Also have a travel health sevice.
This area is teeming with students so there is a wealth of cheap eating options. Charlotte Street near Goodge Street underground station, parallel to Tottenham Court Road (where the Fitzroy Tavern is found) has a number of nice restaurants, some of them very reasonable. Look for the cheap Korean restaurants under Centre Point at Tottenham Court Road. They are great value and very close to the British Museum.
- [marywardcentre.ac.uk Mary Ward Cafe] (address: 42 Queen Square, WC1N 3AQ) (directions: tube: Holborn, Russell Square) +44 20 7269 6000
price: Under £5 for a heap of food
A selection of veggie and vegan dishes that changes daily. Cakes, pastries, and salad available as well. Busy, eat in or take away.
- Ravi Shankar (address: 133-5 Drummond Street, NW1 2HL) (directions: tube: Euston Square) +44 20 7388 6458
Indian restaurant named after the famous Indian sitarist and composer. A superb vegetarian Thali can be had for under £10. Wash it down with a Kingfisher and you are set for the night.
- Salaam Namaste (address: 68 Millman Street, WC1N 3EF) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7405 3697 email@example.com
price: Mains from £5.95
open: Mo-Sa 11:45AM-2:30PM, 5.30PM-11:30PM; Su 11:45AM-2:30PM, 5:30P-11PM
Indian restaurant with dishes from around the country.
- Back to Basics (address: 21A Foley St, W1W 6DS) +44 20 7436 2181 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: Menus from £25
open: M-Sa noon-3PM, 6PM-10:30PM
Seafood bistro serving some of the freshest seafood in town. Portions are large and tasty.
- The Court Restaurant (address: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG) (directions: tube: Tottenham Court Rd) +44 20 7323 8990 email@example.com
price: Main courses from £16.25
open: Sa-W noon-5:30PM, Th-F noon-9:30PM
Housed in the British Museum, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience. For history buffs, its the perfect setting to sit down and enjoy familiar favorites. Reservations recommended.
- Crazy Bear (address: 26-28 Whitfield Street, W1T 2RG) (directions: tube: Goodge St) +44 20 7631 0088 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: Small mains from £13, set menu from £39.50
open: Su-W noon-midnight, Th-Sa noon-1AM
Stylish Thai restaurant, also dishes from other Asian countries.
- Hakkasan (address: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD) (directions: Tottenham Court Rd) +44 844 858 0682 email@example.com
price: Small mains from £14
open: M-W noon-3:15PM, 6PM-11:30PM; Th-Fr noon-3:15PM, 6PM-12:30PM; Sa noon-4:30PM, 6PM-12:30PM; Su noon-4:30PM
Michelin stared kitchen based on Cantonese tradition but also experimenting in other areas.
- Pied a Terre (address: 34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH) (directions: tube: Goodge St) +44 20 7636 1178 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: Starter and main course £56.60
open: M-F 12:15PM-2:30PM, 6:15PM-10:30PM, Sa 6:15PM-10:30PM
French restaurant with two Michelins stars.
There are a number of pubs and winebars around the British Library and University College London campus.
- The College Arms (address: 18 Store St, WC1E 7DH) (directions: tube: Goodge St) +44 872 148 2469
Pub often frequented by students from nearby University College London and Birkbeck College.
- Fitzroy Tavern (address: 16 Charlotte St, W1T 2NA) (directions: tube: Goodge St) +44 20 7580 3714
Owned by the Samuel Smith brewery, the Fitzroy Tavern offers good, cheap beer. The pub, which took its name from a local aristocrat, the Earl of Fitzroy, in turn inspired the name of the surrounding area of Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia, and was a popular drinking place for BBC broadcasters (including George Orwell) following the Second World War. A very friendly pub, with nice outdoor seating in summer.
- The Jeremy Bentham (address: 31 University St, WC1E 6JL) (directions: tube: Warren St) +44 872 148 1528
Named after the prominant political philosopher and early supporter of University College London, and located very near the main entrance to the college, the pub tends to attract more senior academics than does the College Arms.
- The Lord John Russell (address: 91-93 Marchmont St, WC1N 1AL) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7388 0500
Authentic pub popular with University students.
- Match Bar (address: 37-38 Margaret St, W1G 0JF) (directions: tube: Oxford Circus) +44 20 7499 3443 email@example.com
price: Beers from £3.25
open: M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 4PM-midnight
Lounge in style sipping on a cocktail as the resident dj plays soulful tunes in the background.
- The Museum Tavern (address: 49 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3BA) (directions: tube: Tottenham Court Rd, opposite the British Museum) +44 20 7242 8987
open: M-Th 11AM-23PM, Fr-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su noon-11:30PM
A very good pub, offering a wide range of real ales, and some excellent food. Can get busy in the summer months.
- The Pint Pot (address: 183 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7PE)
A common drinking place for medical students from University College Hospital, who jostle alongside office workers. Gets exceptionally crowded after office hours.
Bloomsbury is a great choice of district to stay in as there is a large range of hostels, B&Bs, budget hotels and four star hotels in the area.
- Astor Museum Inn Hostel (address: 27 Montague St WC1B 5BH) (directions: Tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7580 5360
For 18-35 year-olds.
- Generator (address: Compton Pl, (off 37 Tavistock Pl) WC1H 9SE) (directions: Tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7388 7666 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: Dormitory from £20, private single £60
Right in the heart of Bloomsbury. Communal showers and cold water, all-night parties and generally an architecture obviously designed exclusively with the easy clean-up of bodily fluids in mind. It is cheap, though, in London terms.
- London Central Youth Hostel (address: 104 Bolsover Street W1W 5NU) (directions: tube: Great Portland Street/Warren Street) +44 (0)845 371 9154 email@example.com
price: Dormitory from £24.50 excluding breakfast
The newest of the five London YHA hostels, with state of the art interiors, and a short walk from Regent's Park.
- St Pancras International Youth Hostel (address: 79-81 Euston Road NW1 2QE) (directions: tube: Kings Cross St Pancras/Euston) +44 (0)870 7706044 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: £26.50 per night (dorm); Breakfast £4.50
The largest of the five London YHA hostels, minutes walk from St Pancras International railway station.
- University College London (address: Bloomsbury and King's Cross)
Student halls of residence which are made available for rental during academic holiday periods.
Many of the budget hotels are located on Argyle St in the very northern part of the district, nearest tube station: King's Cross St Pancras.
- Alhambra Hotel (address: 17-19 Argyle St WC1H 8EJ) +44 20 7837 9575
price: Single from £50, basic double £60, excellent English breakfast included
Well known multi-lingual (Spanish, Portuguese, French) family hotel. Free wireless Internet.
- The Apollo Hotel (address: 60 Argyle St WC1H 8EP) (directions: tube: King's Cross St Pancras)
price: Single from £48, basic double £58, English breakfast included
Clean, but staff somewhat unhelpful. WiFi Internet.
- Avalon Hotel (address: 46-47 Cartwright Gardens WC1H 9EL) (directions: tube: King's Cross St Pancras)
price: From £59, breakfast included
Friendly staff, good rooms, and you get to take a spare key of both your room and the front door - of course very useful if you plan on staying out late.
- Excelsior Hotel (address: 42 Argyle Sq WC1H 8AL) (directions: tube: King's Cross St Pancras) +44 20 7837 0571 email@example.com
price: From £59
Budget hotel situated in a quiet, leafy square close to King's Cross Station. All rooms have high speed internet connection.
- Guilford House (address: 6 Guilford Street WC1N 1DR) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7430 2504 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: From £59
A little shabby but well located and fair value.
- Jesmond Dene Hotel (address: 27 Argyle St WC1H 8EP) (directions: tube: King's Cross St Pancras) +44 20 7837 4654 email@example.com
price: Basic single £50, basic double/twin £80
A budget hotel run on a bed & breakfast basis. Free WiFi Internet access.
- Ridgemount (address: 65-67 Gower St WC1E 6HJ) (directions: tube: Goodge Street) +44 20 7636 1141
price: Basic double £50
- Euston Square Hotel (address: 152-156 North Gower Street NW1 2LU) (directions: tube: Euston) +44 20 7388 0099
price: From £87
Completely renovated in 2008.
- George Hotel (address: 58-60 Cartwright Gardens WC1H 9EL) (directions: tube: King's Cross St Pancras) +44 20 7387 8777
price: Double room, ensuite £75
Historic building, full English breakfast.
- Jenkins Hotel (address: 45 Cartwright Gardens WC1H 9EH) (directions: tube: Euston or Russell Square) +44 20 7387 2067 firstname.lastname@example.org
price: From £95
A converted Victorian building. No lift.
- myhotel Bloomsbury (address: 11-13 Bayley St, Bedford Sq , WC1B 3HD) (directions: tube: Goodge St)
price: Doubles from £206
Funky and fashionable hotel with interiors by Conran and no surprise that it is listed in Hip Hotels.
- The Russell Hotel (address: 1-8 Russell Square WC1B 5BE) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7837 6470
This gothic building is a real landmark and dominates the eastern side of Russell Square. Not a cheap hotel by any means but good value for the location and standard. Popular with families. See the magnificent ballroom which was designed by the same people who created interiors for RMS Titanic.
- Sanderson Hotel (address: 50 Berners St W1T 3NG) (directions: tube: Oxford Circus)
Hotel features the Courtyard Garden, Jeffrey Chodorow’s Spoon restaurant, the Long Bar, the Purple Bar, Billiard Room, Agua Bathhouse, penthouse suites and multi-service meeting spaces.
- Rex Lounge (address: 30 Woburn Place WC1H 0JR) (directions: tube: Russell Square) +44 20 7637 4545
open: M-Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM
Internet cafe also with full business services.