Just south of the three main London Railway stations along Euston Road stretches the areas of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. Alongside the British Museum, the area's most famous attraction, are a selection of outstanding Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia Museums including the Foundling Museum, the Charles Dickens Museum (based in Dickens' onetime home on Doughty Street and his only surviving London home) and the first class Cartoon Museum exploring the best of British Comic art featuring greats such as Cruickshank and more recently Carl Giles. Historic churches in the district include Hawksmoor's spectacular St George's on Bloomsbury Way which now has a multi-media exhibition exploring the history of Hawsmoor. » Find Bloomsbury Accommodation
Stunning luxury historic hotels in Bloomsbury feature around the Georgian Squares such as Russell Square. Visitors based in the Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia area can take their pick of fine restaurants and cafes to be found across the area, particularly around Russell Square and the British Museum. Several London Undergroud stations serve the Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia area including Russell Square, Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road. Visitors arriving by Eurostar to St Pancras International are well placed in Bloomsbury hotels which sit within easy walking distance of the station.
Charles Dickens' onetime home on Doughty Street is his only surviving dwelling in London. The celebrated Victorian author wrote many of his greatest works here where he lived between 1837 and 1839 including Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby. The house is also one of the earliest Dickens' Museums and was first opened in 1925 after being saved by the Dickens Fellowship. The house he moved to in 1839 on Devonshire Terrace around Regents Park, due to his increasing prosperity and expanding family, has not survived.
For Dickens fans the museum doesn't disappoint with a selection of manuscripts, paintings and rare editions of his books spread across 4 floors. Exhibits are drawn from the Museum's vast Dickens collection which includes over 100,000 artefacts pertaining to the author. Nearest Tube Russell Square/Piccadilly Line.
The Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury is both a social history museum tracing the story of The Foundling Hospital established adjacent to the museum in 1739 by the philanthropist Thomas Coram, artist William Hogarth and composer George Frideric Handel as well as an outstanding art gallery. Indeed Hogarth encouraged numerous artists of his day to donate works to the hospital and what evolved was Britain's first exhibition space. The accumulated collection led directly to the formation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. Fellow benefactor Handel undertook annual performances of The Messiah ensuring a vital part of the hospital's annual income. The museum is holder of the internationally acclaimed Gerald Coke Handel Collection which includes numerous printed books, music, manuscripts, art works and ephemera pertaining to the composer. Handel's house on Brook Street in Mayfair is also now a museum.
Coram's motivation for starting the Foundling Hospital was the dire circumstances of thousands of babies and children abandoned in London in the early 18th century. The hospital continued its work right up to its closure fairly recently in 1953. Displays of photography and artefacts dig deep into the daily lives of the children who once lived here. The museum also hold a vast social archive on the 27,000 children who spent time here between 1739 and 1953.
The art collection at The Foundling Museum includes many paintings by William Hogarth as well as Reynolds, Gainsborough and others. Exhibitions often feature on one of the three benefactors and the Foundling Museum sits adjacent to Coram, a present day centre working with vulnerable children. Not surprisingly this is a London Museum catering brilliantly for families and children with regular drop in sessions, talks, workshops and events all orientated towards children. Find out more via the Foundling Museum's website link right. Nearest Tube is Russell Square.
Just near the British Museum sits a lesser known London Museum gem on Little Russell Street - The Cartoon Museum. Here is a collection of the best of British cartoons including original drawings by some of the most famous of cartoonists such as George Cruickshank, Carl Giles and Bateman. Comic art dates from the early 18th century to the present with special past exhibitions including one on Carl Giles who was voted Britain's favourite cartoonist of the 20th century in a poll.
The on-site shop features an extensive collection of books on specific cartoonists and the history of comic art as well as posters, postcards and special books produced in conjunction with special exhibitions. Cartoon classes and regular events are on the menu. See The Cartoon Museum's website for details.
Across Tottenham Court Road into the Fitzrovia district, Pollock's Toy Museum sits within two adjoined houses, one dating from the 18th century, the other from the 19th. Absolutely crammed with toys ranging from Board Games to Teddy bears, doll's houses, heritage English dolls and toy models, the museum is a feast for adults and children alike. Pollock's Toyshop is also within on the ground floor. The museum first opened in Monmouth Street in Covent Garden in 1956 but moved here to Scala Street in Fitzrovia in 1969.
The Toy Museum's name is derived from the Victorian Toy Theatre printers Benjamin Pollock. Pollock's original shop was at 73 Hoxton Street in Shoreditch before being bombed in the Second World War. Nearest Tube is Googe Street/Northern Line.
Located within easy walking distance of Goodge Street Underground, the NLA centre for London's built environment is essential visiting for London architecture fans. Exhibitions here feature the latest architectural projects in London including exhibits on architecture for the London 2012 Olympics and Olympic Park, architectural projects in London boroughs and other permanent displays pertaining to major London issues relating to urban living.
The Building Centre Bookshop on-site is the UK's leading built environment bookshop stocking the very latest texts on architecture, construction, engineering and more.
Just south of the three main London Railway stations along Euston Road stretches the areas of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia. First an area developed specifically for the upper classes, they moved further west in the 19th century and during the 20th century Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia became closely associated with famous movements in British literature including Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group and writers such as Dylan Thomas who frequented the Fitzroy Tavern. The area boasts a spectacular selection of historic Georgian Squares including Russell Square, Bedford Square, Queens Square and Tavistock Square.
The best of the Georgian Squares is Bedford Square whilst a number of mighty Victorian Hotels include the beautiful Russell Hotel overlooking Russell Square. There is ample choice of luxury historic Bloomsbury hotels and Fitzrovia hotels listed here on iknow London all within easy reach of the British Museum. A superb choice of fine restaurants and cafes can be found in the area, particularly around Russell Square and the British Museum.
Fitzrovia is the area broadly situated between Great Portland Street (Portland stone features strongly as a building material) and Gower Street. It was first developed by Charles Fitzroy, Lord of Totterhall from around 1757. The central Fitzroy Square was designed by the great Robert Adam in 1794. Today the stunning east and south sides of the square survive as Adam designed them. Note the Blue Plaques on Fitzroy Square with homes previously owned by the likes of Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw. The artist John Constable lived at 76 Charlotte Street and today Charlotte Street is a hotspot for restaurants. South of Fitzroy Square the BT Tower, now Grade II listed and dating from 1961-64, still dominates the Fitzrovia skyline. Although the BT Tower's famous roof top restaurant is no longer open to the public, the tower is still in full operational order.
Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are well served by public transport. The three big London stations - St Pancras International (Eurostar), Euston Station and King's Cross station are all within easy walking distance and Underground stations serving the area include Russell Square (Piccadilly line), Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street (Northern Line) and Holborn (Piccadilly and Central Lines). The great thing about being based in the Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia areas is having many top London areas and attractions within easy reach, many of which can be walked to, including Covent Garden and West End Theatres, Leicester Square and Oxford Street.