Situated in the West End of London, Bloomsbury has long been an attractive area for the UK’s intelligentsia to settle in. Its home to some the country’s oldest cultural institutions, with several prestigious universities like UCL based within the district, as well as the nation’s most important cultural archives housed in the British Museum.
Bloomsbury may be considered something of a leafy throughway for tourists traversing the West End, but it’s a very popular area for those working in the creative industries, such as publishing, or academics working in one of nation’s key medical institutions like Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.
There are no official boundaries to Bloomsbury and the district is well known for its numerous square gardens, including Russell Square, Bloomsbury Square and Tavistock Square, among others. It’s largely agreed upon that its boundaries are roughly Fitzrovia to the south, Holborn to the east, Marylebone to the west and Euston to the north.
Warner Bros. Studios London may be based out in Leavesden, near Watford, but their UK headquarters is actually in Bloomsbury on Theobalds Road, just below Russell Square. Worldwide publishing house Bloomsbury Publishers have been located within the district for more than 30 years, currently occupying space just off Bedford Square.
Bloomsbury was brought within the In Holborn Business Improvement District (BID) in 2010 following a vote by local businesses with a rateable value in excess of £60,000.
In the area…
Dodging throngs of tourists soaking up London history might make a good spectator sport for some, but if you head east onto Marchmont Street you’ll discover a place that feels that it’s more for locals. Originally dubbed Bloomsbury’s “original high street”, The Brunswick Centre adjacent to Marchmont Street has all the amenities you’d see in any good provincial high street – from chemists and health food stores, to a New Look and beyond.
Lunch options included Burger and Shake – pulled pork buns and boozy milkshakes are a legitimate Friday lunch treat – while Yialousa Greek Taverna serves up top-notch souvlaki and ouzo. All the local pubs serve up good grub for both lunch and dinner, with The Marquis Cornwallis on Coram Street particularly good for bigger crowds, thanks to its free-to-hire function room upstairs. Other boozers that are good for whetting the whistle after work include the Rugby Tavern on Great James’ Street and The Lamb on Conduit Street.
As Bloomsbury is an important cultural hub, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the many cultural delights and artefacts the district is home to. From the quirks and natural wonders of the Grant Museum of Zoology to the comprehensive chronicling of the life and work of one of literatures greatest authors at the Charles Dickens Museum, there is plenty on offer to take advantage of, with much of it being free (or at the least, very cheap). And that’s without forgetting the grandeur of The British Museum.
If you’re wanting to impress clients, or even your colleagues, The Coral Room in The Bloomsbury Hotel is a gorgeous exhibit in art deco decadence – their cocktail list is as cultured as the museums in the vicinity. The adjoining Virginia Woolf-inspired Dalloway Terrace serves up a mixture of British and European classics for dinner. The Leopard Bar and Cigar Lounge on Montague Street channels Colonial Chic with its leopard-print-everything interiors, its extensive spirits offering and down-tempo jazz nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Disconnect, then connect at The Coral Room
The Coral Room – classic cocktails in art deco splendour
Al fresco lunches at Dalloway Terrace
Dalloway Terrace – an oasis of calm. Perfect for talking shop
Bloomsbury Square – a breath of fresh air
Need a break? Visit the Grant Museum of Zoology
Swap your work desk for Charles Dickens’
Your chair for his chaise longue
Your canteen for his kitchen
The district is well known for its numerous gardens
The home of London's intelligentsia
Bloomsbury – where ideas bloom
Walk in the footsteps of great thinkers
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Want to see what the wider neighbourhood has to offer? Why not read our guides for the nearby areas.