The picturesque neighborhood of Bloomsbury is often associated with learning, literature, and the arts – and for good reason. The neighborhood is home to many London attractions: the world class British Museum, University of London and it was the home of many famous writers in the early 20th Century such as Virginia Woolf.
The area is best-known among visitors for housing the British Museum, which is a site not to be missed. Founded in 1753, it is the oldest public museum in the world. It famously (and controversially) holds the Elgin Marbles, the sculptures taken from the Parthenon in Athens. It also contains countless artifacts from almost any period in the history of human life on earth, from the Rosetta Stone to giant Egyptian sculptures and other priceless pieces of history.
But Bloomsbury is so much more than just the museum. All around the museum are small cafes and bookstores which are perfect for stopping by after visiting the exhibits.
The neighborhood’s literary connections are mostly associated with the Bloomsbury Group headed by Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forester, Robert Fry and John Maynard Keynes. The group would meet regularly in the neighborhood and discuss politics, art, and other issues in the early 20th century. The group would meet at 46 Gordon Square, which eventually became the home of Keynes.
But they weren’t the only writers around. The only remaining London home of Charles Dickens is located at 48 Doughty Street. It was his home from 1837-1839, and Dickens wrote “Oliver Twist” and “Nicholas Nickleby” here. The museum today holds the largest collection of Dickens-related artifacts, with over 10,000 items in its collection.
Perhaps the ultimate destination for literature lovers is the British Library, which is home to a collection of historical books including two Gutenberg Bibles, the Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, Anne Boleyn’s Bible, and the manuscript of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground.
The neighborhood is home to numerous squares besides Gordon Square, including Bloomsbury Square, which was developed in 1661; Russell Square, which is one of London’s largest garden squares with the beautiful Russell Hotel overlooking it; and Bedford Square, which is full of beautiful Georgian structures. These squares are all ideal places for some relaxation during a busy London day.
One of the most overlooked museums in all of London is the Foundling Museum. It tells the story of the Foundling Hospital: the first orphanage in London. Inside you will find objects relating to the history of the hospital, such as tokens given to the orphans by their mothers so they could possibly one day be reunited. Many were never claimed and remain in the collection of the museum. The museum also contains numerous pieces of artwork donated by some of London’s most famous painters. You can see art from William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, and Joshua Reynolds. The Foundling also contains the world’s largest private collection of work by composer George Frideric Handel.
Bloomsbury offers a quiet location near all the major tourist attractions, so it is a perfect place to stay on your vacation. We have many excellent Bloomsbury accommodations to make you feel at home.
Located in the heart of Bloomsbury, this incredible two bedroom vacation rental in Bloomsbury, London (LN-1067) features a fireplace, which is a great place to sit next to and read the works of some of the neighborhood’s famous writers.
This two bedroom vacation rental in Bloomsbury, London (LN-1017) is located in an Edwardian mansion block. The apartment offers modern amenities like a flat screen TV, a washer and dryer, and a rooftop terrace overlooking London.
What’s your favorite spot in Bloomsbury?
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