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British Museum, Bloomsbury and Hidden Cafes

The heart of London, its artifacts and delicious treats
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This guide takes you on a walking tour through what was and remains one of the intellectual hearts of London. Along the way you will... more »

Tips:  There are many tube stops accessible to this area, making a taxi unnecessary. Your starting point largely depends on where you are... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Gordon Square

The houses of Gordon Square, many retaining their facades from the 1800s, are currently used by the many surrounding universities including Birkbeck College, the London School of Economics, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of London.

The famous economist John Maynard Keynes lived with his wife at No. 46... More

There is a nice cafe in the center of the square where you can get a cup of tea and watch students going to and from class at the nearby University of London.

The northeast corner of Russell Square hosts a green cabman shelter. These shelters were originally commissioned in 1875 by the Earl of Shaftesbury. It was illegal for the horse and... More

3. The Senate House (University of London)

It is worth taking a walk through the Senate House building on your way toward the British Museum.

Designed by Charles Holden in 1931 as part of the expansion for the University of London, it is considered one of the great surviving Art Deco buildings left in London. George Orwell used the imposing structure as the inspiration for the Ministry of... More

4. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, or LSHTM as it is known by its alumni, was founded in 1899 on a barge in the river Thames to treat the many diseases plaguing sailors returning from the colonies. Moving to its current location in 1921, the post-graduate school remains one of the leading institutions in global public health.

... More

5. Bedford Square

Bedford Square is considered one of the best preserved areas of Georgian architecture (late 1700s) in all of London. While the central park is technically private--keys are held only by the owners surrounding the square--if you ask nicely in one of the buildings you can usually be let in.

The buildings surrounding the square are primarily used... More

6. The Architectural Association of London

The oldest such school in the United Kingdom, the Architectural Association School of Architecture (established 1847) moved to 36 Bedford Square in 1917.

Keep your eye out for installation pieces by current students in the square and check out the revolving exhibits works inside.

Though it is not advertised, one of the better (and cheaper)... More

The British Museum houses some of the greatest archeological treasures not only in England, but in the world. It began as the private collection of Sir Hans Sloane, who is also famous for introducing what we now know as chocolate milk and hot chocolate to Europe.

To avoid crowds at the front, enter off of Montague Place. The rear entrance is... More

James Smith & Sons Umbrellas Ltd. is just as it sounds: a wonderful shop dedicated to craftsman umbrellas and canes. Established in 1830, it retains a Golden Age charm and is a great spot for gifts.

Monmouth serves arguably one of the best cups of coffee in all of London. While there is often a line out the door, it moves quickly and you will not be disappointed. Every cup is made to order and you can choose from any of a dozen or so daily roasts for a fresh drip (ask for it white if you prefer milk in your coffee). There are a few cute but... More

You will easily find Neal's Yard Dairy by the blue awning and large wheels of cheese stacked up out front. As you get closer you may even begin to catch the scent of cheese wafting out the front door. The staff is quite knowledgeable and is always happy to offer free samples or larger cuts should you have the urge for a snack.
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Whether you want to shop, eat or people watch, Covent Garden is a great place to pause and look around. As one of the more frequented tourist stops in London, it also can be quite crowded.

The square was designed in 1632 by Inigo Jones and quickly became a hub of life in London. The increased popularity and foot traffic drove richer residents... More