Dating back to the days of the Domesday Book, Bloomsbury is undoubtedly one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods; synonymous with culture, education, medicine and the arts.
Once home to the City’s favourable intelligentsia (Charles Dickens, Darwin and Virginia Woolf amongst many others), today Bloomsbury is flooded with an abundance of cultural institutions; The British Museum, UCL, RADA and the University of London to name just a few…
Despite its central location, Bloomsbury is home to some of the most beautiful parks and green spaces in all of London; making it the perfect location for those of you seeking a home from home, away from the madding crowd, who believe weekends are for soaking up every bit of culture this wonderful City has to offer.
Ahead of our upcoming launch, we’ve thoroughly investigated the area, and can confidently present you with our top ten picks of things to do whilst you’re in town.
Learn about life, health and art at The Wellcome Collection
Roughly a five minute walk from Euston station, The Wellcome Collection is a free museum for the ‘incurably curious’, with an incredible variety of exhibits surrounding the subjects of science, health, art and life.
Established in 1936, The Wellcome Trust was established as a global charitable foundation, supporting scientists, researchers, and the improvement of health. The museum features a well curated programme of temporary exhibitions, as well as more permanent displays exploring the history of medicine and sexology. Fascinating for adults and young’uns alike, The Wellcome Collection is well worth a potter on a lazy Sunday if you’re in the area and feeling curious.
Stock up on Art Supplies at L.Cornelisson & Son
An iconic staple in the heart of Bloomsbury, L.Cornelisson & Son has been trading since 1855, and sells a specialist array of paints, papers, printmaking supplies and more. Even if you’re not an artist, the shop alone is a sight to behold. Creaky old wooden floorboards, oak shelves and glass bottles gleaming with powder paint transport you back into time and add to the archaic charm. For any creative working in the area, the knowledgeable staff are friendly and easy to talk to, and will gladly advise you on which products work best for your craft.
Get lost for hours in the British Museum
In plain view of our brand new Bloomsbury apartments, lies the most iconic and recognisable museum in all of Britain. Dating back to the 1700s, the museum was originally set up by intellect Sir Hans Sloane to house his modest collection of 71,000 objects… Today the museum opens it’s doors to some 6 million visitors each year and is home to ten expansive curatorial and research departments including Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Middle East and Greece and Rome and even holds one of the most important archaeological finds of all time; The Rosetta Stone in it’s collection.
Have a picnic in Russell Square
Russell Square is a beautiful garden park in the heart of Bloomsbury, surrounded by a number of iconic British institutions. Taking a stroll amongst the sun dappled trees, you can understand why the park has become so favourable over it’s 200 year history. The park is so magnificent it even inspired writers such as Virgina Woolf, Thackeray, Hollinghurst and John Wyndham, who all feature the space in their renowned works of literature.
On the eastern side of the park you can spot the grandiose Hotel Russel; a historic five star hotel, dating back to 1898 and designed by one of the architects responsible for the creation of the Titanic. If curiosity takes hold and you’ve got a spare bit of cash to splash, we’d recommend heading inside for a spot to eat, and stand in awe of the magnificent interiors.
Connect with your inner child at Pollock’s Toy Museum
Pollock’s Toy Museum is a quaint and quirky establishment, nestled away on Scala Street. It is home to a beautiful collection of Victorian toys, spread over 6 small rooms, donated by the public over the years. As well as a charming display of trains, hand painted shop fronts, rocking horses, money boxes, marbles and more, the museum also owns the world’s oldest surviving teddy bear and a 4,000 year old mouse created from clay from the Nile.
Delve into a maze of second-hand books at Skoob Books
A thriving hot spot for those in the know, Skoob Books is home to some 55,000 titles, with subjects covering just about anything and everything. Lumped together by category, past foragers have reported finding rare and expensive gems amongst the jam packed bookshelves, so if curiosity hunting gets you hot under the collar, you’ve come to the right place.
Spot the beasts at St George’s Church
Dating back to 1730, St George’s Church was the starting point of inspiration for the interior designer behind our Bloomsbury apartments, Kelly Jackson. Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, the staggering tower was inspired by Pliny the Elder's description of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and features iconic statues of the ‘Bloomsbury Beasts’ - a Lion for England and Unicorn for Scotland, each standing over 10ft high. The tower is featured in William Hogarth’s infamous print ‘Gin Lane’, which takes pride of place in the Wellcome Collection.
Learn of London’s poignant past at the Foundling Museum
Head to Brunswick Square and you’ll find the Foundling Museum – home to the story of London’s sad history of abandoned children. The museum explores the history of The Foundling Hospital, where children at risk of abandonment, largely through poverty, were left – often without names or identities to be taken care of. Of the two major collections, the most poignant display features hundreds of ‘tokens’ – poems, jewellery, coins and buttons left by mothers with their child in the hope that one day they might be reunited.
Enjoy a boujie brunch at Café Babka
Just around the corner from our Bloomsbury homes, you can find Café Babka – a quaint and oh-so-stylish spot where you can grab coffee and a light bite to eat. This highly instagrammable spot features marble table tops, wooden floors and decadent gold features which add to the overall splendour of the site – reminiscent of the cafes famed Parisian artists once dined at in the 1930s. Head down after a visit to The British Museum and gorge on one of their life changing salted caramel brownies!
Get your fix of Brutalism at The Brunswick Centre
The Brunswick Centre is a Grade II listed residential and shopping centre in the heart of Russell Square. It’s divisive brutalist composition was once considered ugly by locals, in stark comparison to the surrounding architecture, but has since gained notoriety as one of the most profound examples of it’s kind in the UK. Pop down for a spot of shopping or take a stroll on a sunny day and admire the façade – in our opinion, it’s stunning.
Fancy booking a stay in Bloomsbury? You can check out some of our beautiful, design-led apartments here.