Grab a coffee and a trench coat and enter London’s most exclusive literary haven.
Writers, artists, philosophers, politicians and intellectuals have left their mark in London’s most chic neighbourhood. Bohemian coffee shops and a string of literary independents line trendy Marchmount Street whilst bars and boutiques give Lambs Conduit street that extra bit of charm. Heaven for book nerds and caffeine junkies, here are 5 things that make Bloomsbury the coolest neighbourhood in London.
Nowhere else will you find such an abundance of beautiful, pretty and peaceful squares. Bedford Square is the only complete Georgian Square left in Bloomsbury and is now home to some of the giants of the publishing world. Nearby Gordon and Tavistock Square were frequented by members of the Bloomsbury group and Russell Square is the perfect spot for a dose of people watching – if that’s not your thing, grab a blanket, a picnic basket and a good book and just watch the world go by -bliss!
For an academic, tourist or just someone who stumbles upon the area, the blue plaques are, for many, the staple of the neighbourhood. There are many guided walks here, most of them are free and lead by professional tour guides who will show you the former homes of George Orwell, Mahatma Ghandi, Virginia Woolf, Charles Darwin, Lenin and William Butler Yeats!
Literary royalty have walked Bloomsbury’s streets. From T.S. Eliot to Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens to Percy Shelley, Gertrude Stein to Oscar Wilde, you would have read at least one novel by one of these greats in English class.
World-famous for its mammoth collection of antiquities, the British Museum is at the top of every travel guide’s list and is still a must-visit when strolling through the cobbled streets of Bloomsbury. Whilst a little scary looking, dark and dreary on the outside, the great courtyard is a stunning exhibit in itself. Spend at least half a day here and wear a comfortable pair of shoes as you’ll be seeing a lot here including numerous exhibits from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone and countless Egyptian mummies.
If its quintessential English attire you are looking for you have come to the right place. Ferret on a hat? You will find it here. Plenty of independent boutiques operate in the area and sell everything from diamond encrusted umbrellas to quintessentially British top hats. For something a little more high street, stop at the Brunswick Centre, a prime example of Brutalist architecture and the perfect place for a little snack. In a posh mood? No problem, waltz down Lambs Conduit Street. Book lover? Look no further than Skoob Books – perfect for a bargain. You’ll also stumble on Gays the Word, a popular LGBT bookshop and a mammoth Waterstones on Gower Street.