Beyond the usual: Our Bloomsbury travel guide

In the heart of the city lies Bloomsbury, a treasure trove for explorers like you. Here, every street and square is brimming with secrets waiting to be discovered. 

Whether you’re a book lover eager to stroll through literary landmarks, a foodie in search of cosy cafes, or a traveller looking for hidden gems, Bloomsbury has something special just for you. This guide is your key to unlocking the best experiences the area offers. 

From must-visit spots to insider tips, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to immerse yourself in the charm and vibrancy of Bloomsbury, and make your London journey unforgettable! 

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Best time to go

The best time to visit Bloomsbury in London is during the spring (March to May) or early summer (June to July) when the weather is pleasantly mild and the area’s gardens and parks are in full bloom. 

Things to know

Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: British English

Calling Code: +44

How to get around 

  • Tube – The London Underground (Tube) is a convenient way to travel around Bloomsbury. Key stations in the area include Russell Square on the Piccadilly Line, Holborn on the Central and Piccadilly Lines, and Euston Square on the Metropolitan, Circle, and Hammersmith & City Lines.
  • Buses – There are numerous bus routes serving Bloomsbury, connecting it with other parts of London. The TfL website offers information on bus routes, live bus arrivals, and timetables, making it easy to plan your bus journeys.
  • Taxis –  For more direct or late-night travel, taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are readily available.
  • Oyster and Contactless Payment – For using public transport, an Oyster card or a contactless payment card is highly recommended. These options are one of the cheapest ways to get around London.

Where to stay in Bloomsbury

The Montague on the Gardens

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Location: 15 Montague St, London WC1B 5BJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7637 1001

Pricing: £££

Website

This hotel knows how to throw a party. Their seasonal pop-ups (like the winter Ski Lodge or the summer Beach Bar) are legendary. They transform the space into an immersive wonderland, making your stay not just comfortable but also incredibly fun.

The Montague also has a lovely private garden. It’s perfect for a peaceful afternoon tea or a quiet evening drink.

The Bloomsbury Hotel

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Location: 16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7347 1000

Pricing: £££

Website

Originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, The Bloomsbury Hotel is not just a place to sleep, it’s a piece of art. The building oozes character and elegance, a perfect blend of 1920s grandeur with contemporary chic. 

One reason to stay in this hotel is their striking bar called the Coral Room, with its vivid coral walls and Art Deco style. It’s the perfect place to sip a cocktail and feel like you’re in a 1920s Gatsby-esque soiree.

Holiday Inn London – Bloomsbury

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Location: Coram St, London WC1N 1HT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 371 942 9222

Pricing: ££

Website

This hotel is like a golden ticket to London’s most iconic landmarks. The British Museum? A hop, skip, and a jump away. Want to see a West End show? A brief tube ride, and you’re there. Shopping spree? Oxford Street calls your name. 

And after a day of exploring, those comfortable rooms are a haven. Clean, and equipped with all the essentials, perfect for recharging your batteries.

Bedford Hotel

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Location: 83- 95 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7636 7822

Pricing: £

Website

In a city known for its, shall we say, enthusiastic pricing, the Bedford Hotel offers great value. You get all the necessary amenities, a prime location, and a charming atmosphere without having to sell a kidney.

On a side note, the Bedford doesn’t disappoint with its afternoon tea either. Think scones, clotted cream, and a selection of teas that would make the royal family nod in approval.

Where to eat in Bloomsbury

Noble Rot

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Location: 51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7242 8963

Pricing: £££

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Website

At Noble Rot, the phrase “best-seller” comes alive in the form of their iconic “Burger Nirvana”. It’s a beef patty, cooked to juicy perfection, hugged by a glossy brioche bun, and crowned with crispy bacon, gooey cheese, and a secret sauce that’s, well, secret. 

Aside from food, they’re also well known for their wines. From rare vintages to undiscovered gems, their collection is a celestial journey for oenophiles.

Tarim

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Location: 35 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8SP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3620 6859

Pricing: ££

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Website

At Tarim, grilling is an art form. The succulent kebabs, whether you choose the classic Adana or the flavourful chicken options, are a testament to this. The meats are marinated to perfection and grilled to mouth-watering goodness.

No meal at Tarim is complete without indulging in their desserts, by the way. Grab their baklava! You can even pair it with a traditional Turkish coffee or tea for a sweet ending to your meal.

Ciao Bella

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Location: 86-90 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7242 4119

Pricing: ££

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Website

Let’s get straight to the star of the show – the pasta! “Ciao Bella” boasts an array of pasta dishes that will make your heart sing. We’re big fans of the “Spaghetti Carbonara”.

Leave room for dessert because Ciao Bella’s dolci (that’s sweet in Italian) is pure poetry. The “Tiramisu” is a crowd-pleaser that deserves a standing ovation. Layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a dusting of cocoa create a dessert that’s creamy, dreamy, and molto delizioso.

The Fryer’s Delight

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Location: 19 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8SL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7405 4114

Pricing: £

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Website

Established in 1962, The Fryer’s Delight has been serving up mouthwatering fish and chips for over half a century. With its vintage decor, this spot transports you back to a simpler time when the food was hearty and the atmosphere was cosy. They also still sell jellied eels!

Still, their best seller is undoubtedly their fish and chips. The fish is fried to perfection, enveloped in a crisp, golden batter that crackles with every bite. The chips? Thick, fluffy on the inside, and delightfully crunchy on the outside.

Sardo Restaurant

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Location: 170 Blackstock Rd, London N5 1HA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7354 4500

Pricing: ££

Opening hours: 

  • Tuesday to Friday – 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Website

If you’re seeking a culinary voyage to Sardinia without leaving London, Sardo Restaurant is your one-way ticket. This cosy eatery brings the flavours of this enchanting Italian island right to your plate. 

The star of the show is the Linguine alla Bottarga. It’s an absolute knockout: delicate linguine pasta bathed in a rich, briny sauce made from salted, cured grey mullet roe.

What to do in Bloomsbury

Explore the British Museum

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Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7323 8299

Opening hours:

  • Friday – 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Saturday to Thursday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

Ever wanted to explore the wonders of the world in a day? The British Museum lets you do just that. From the colossal Moai statues of Easter Island to the intricate samurai armour of Japan, it’s like taking a world tour without jet lag.

Oh, and admission to the British Museum is free! That’s right, you can immerse yourself in millennia of history without spending a single penny. 

Stroll through Bloomsbury Square Gardens

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Location: 14 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2RJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7974 4444

Opening hours:

  • Friday to Sunday – 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Website

Designed in the 17th century by none other than the landscape genius, Humphry Repton, the gardens witnessed centuries of London life. Strolling here is like taking a step back in time – minus the DeLorean.

You don’t even need to be a professional photographer to capture the beauty here. From the picturesque fountains to the charming benches, every corner of these gardens is Instagram-worthy. 

Visit the Bloomsbury Farmers Market

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Location: Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7833 0338

Opening hours:

  • Thursday – 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Website

Ever wondered who’s behind those delicious goodies you consume? At the Bloomsbury Farmers Market, you can meet the producers face-to-face. Chat with the cheese maker, discuss the best cooking tips with the baker, and even swap recipes with fellow food enthusiasts.

Whether you’re into organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, exotic spices, or sweet treats, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the market’s offerings change with the seasons, so each visit can be a delightful surprise. 

Explore the Cartoon Museum

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Location:  63 Wells St, London W1A 3AE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7580 8155

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Website

The Cartoon Museum is where serious art meets uproarious humour. You’ll find everything from classic comic strips to cutting-edge graphic novels. It’s like a gallery of giggles, and every corner is a potential chuckle.

Ever wondered where beloved characters like Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, and Minnie the Minx hang out? Well, they reside right here in the Cartoon Museum. It’s a chance to reconnect with your childhood heroes and introduce them to a new generation.

Browse books at the London Review Bookshop

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Location: 14-16 Bury Pl, London WC1A 2JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7269 9030

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Website

This bookshop has a knack for hosting book launches, readings, and discussions featuring some of the literary world’s brightest stars. It’s your chance to rub shoulders with your favourite authors and hear them discuss their works firsthand.

And if literary magazines and journals are your jam, you’re in for a treat. The London Review Bookshop offers an extensive collection, including hard-to-find titles, niche publications, and literary periodicals that cater to every literary taste.

Where to shop in Bloomsbury

Aesop

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Location: 50 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 4559 8317

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Aesop doesn’t do cookie-cutter skincare. Their products are unique, meticulously crafted, and high-quality. From cleansers to serums, each item is a skincare gem designed to nourish your skin and enhance your daily routine.

Plus, what’s great about Aesop is that their products have a unisex appeal, making them perfect for anyone. 

Folk Clothing Men’s 

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Location: 49 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3NG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7404 6458

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Website

Folk Clothing Men’s is where craftsmanship and minimalism unite in perfect harmony. It’s a haven for those who appreciate well-made clothing with a touch of understated elegance. 

Sunspel

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Location: 42 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7167 9770

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Website

Did you know that Sunspel is credited with revolutionising the humble T-shirt? It’s true! They crafted the world’s first T-shirt in luxury cotton fabric, and their commitment to quality continues to this day. You’ll find tees that feel like a second skin here.

London Undercover Umbrellas

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Location: 28 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3LE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7242 9400

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Say goodbye to boring black umbrellas. London Undercover collaborates with artists and designers, including renowned names like Sir Paul Smith and Christopher Raeburn. These collaborations result in limited-edition umbrellas that are true collector’s items. 

Oh, and they also offer customisation options, allowing you to tailor your brolly to your tastes. It’s the ultimate expression of personal style.

Which neighbourhoods to visit in Bloomsbury

Torrington Place

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Bloomsbury is synonymous with literature, and Torrington Place proudly carries the torch. The neighbourhood boasts connections to renowned authors like Virginia Woolf, who frequented these streets. 

Plus, with University College London nearby, Torrington Place just radiates an academic vibe. It’s a place where the pursuit of knowledge is celebrated, and you can feel the intellectual energy in the air.

Russell Square Area

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Russell Square offers a quintessential Bloomsbury experience. At its heart lies Russell Square Garden – a peaceful green space with flowers and trees, fountains and pathways where you can rest on a bench and feel far from the bustle of the city.

To the east, you’ll discover the British Museum with its world-renowned collections spanning two million years of human history and culture. The western flank offers shopping and dining along tree-lined Bernard Street in easy reach of main transportation links at Russell Square station. 

Lamb’s Conduit Street

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Lamb’s Conduit Street epitomises the village charm that distinguishes Bloomsbury neighbourhoods. Both locals and visitors love the vibrant pedestrianised high street lined with trees, original Victorian shopfronts, and sites like the gorgeous Church of St John built in 1740.

For shoppers, the street offers a treasure trove of unique boutiques. Find bespoke tailoring and luxury Scottish cashmere at Kevin & Howlin established in 1933, or discover emerging fashion designers at the Maison Assouline concept store.

What to expect from Bloomsbury weather

  • Spring (March to May) – This season in Bloomsbury is usually characterised by gradually increasing temperatures and longer daylight hours. Average temperatures range from about 8°C to 15°C. Spring is relatively dry, but occasional showers are common.
  • Summer (June to August) – Summers are typically the warmest time of the year, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, although heat waves can push temperatures higher. Days are long and mostly sunny, though occasional rain showers or thunderstorms can occur. 
  • Autumn (September to November) –  Autumn sees a gradual cooling from the summer months. Temperatures typically range between 11°C and 19°C. This season is known for its changing foliage, bringing beautiful autumnal colours to the city’s parks
  • Winter (December to February) – Winters are usually cold, with average temperatures ranging from 2°C to 8°C. Snow is relatively rare in Bloomsbury, but cold rain and fog are more common. 

Apps to download for a trip to Bloomsbury

Citymapper –  Excellent for navigating London’s public transport system. It provides real-time updates on buses, trains, and tube services, along with walking and cycling routes.

IOS | Android

Google MapsAn all-rounder for navigation, finding places of interest, restaurants, and reviews.

IOS | Android

Visit London Official City Guide – This is the official city guide app for London. It offers information on must-see attractions, events, and local tips.

IOS | Android

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