Bloomsbury London

Bloomsbury London

  • Tube stations: Russell Square
  • Location: bordered by Euston Road in the north, Gray’s Inn Road in the east, Bloomsbury Way and Theobalds Road in the south and Gower Street in the west
  • Borough: Camden (www.camden.gov.uk)
  • Postcode: WC1
Landmarks:
Although the British Library has left Bloomsbury for the wilds of Euston, the neighbourhood is still high in London landmarks. There’s the University of London’s imperious art deco-inspired Senate House, and the enormous British Museum (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk), which looks like an ancient Greek temple.

Known for:
The Bloomsbury Group and its more famous members Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster. They were a group of artists and writers who were politically vocal, sexually uninhibited and Bohemian way before it was cool.

Who’s there?
The Bloomsbury of today is still as much a cultural centre as it was a hundred years ago. Although tourists abound, the area is still popular with students and various wealthy residents.

Making history:
Originally an ancient village called Lomesbury, Bloomsbury was mostly fields until the 17th century when manor houses were built in the area. During the 18th and 19th centuries, hospitals and universities dominated the scene, which helped Bloomsbury develop its cultural reputation.

Pub quiz facts:
Established in 1739, the Foundling Hospital was London’s first home for abandoned children. At the time of its construction, over 74% of London’s children died before they were 5. On the site today is a museum (www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk) and Coram Field’s, children’s park with a paddling pool, animal enclosure and playground.

Famous faces:
Ricky Gervais lives on Southampton Row and can often be seen in local pubs and Indian restaurants.

When it’s hot:
Bloomsbury is one of London’s best areas for green space, most of which have beautiful statues and gardens. When the temperature rises, head for Russell Square, Bloomsbury Square, Gordon Square or Tavistock Square.

When it’s not:
You could probably spend a week in the British Museum (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk) and not run out of stuff to look at. Some objects of immense archaeological importance include the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies and the Lewis chessmen. No Londoner should go without a visit, and best of all – it’s free.

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Content updated: 21/11/2018 12:06

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