‘London perpetually attracts, stimulates, gives me a play and a story and a poem, without any trouble, save that of moving my legs through the streets… To walk alone through London is the greatest rest.’ –Virginia Woolf
From Charles Dickens to J.K Rowling, London has provided infinite inspiration for authors as they tell their stories and share their lives. In published works. As a result, London is a utopia for book lovers. We’ve found some of the places book nerds can’t miss in the city of tea and big red buses.
With the recent popularity of Sherlock, we’d be surprised if you’d not heard of this infamous London setting. The Sherlock Holmes Museum pays homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s leading man and allows you to step into the world of the crime-solving sleuth. The whole street is wonderful to see, but at his address of 221B Baker Street, you’ll find all kinds of amazing things. The museum and gift shop is set to take you back in time to a place Sherlock and Watson drank tea and solved murders.
Find it at: 221b Baker Street, London, Greater London, England, NW1 6XE
Named after Persephone on behalf of women’s creativity, this beautiful bookstore is a secret mecca for those who are hunting down books out of print (mostly by female writers). All the published books in the store are covered in grey, making the store look like an art installation, the colours being exposed in the literary musings of those who have been lost or forgotten in time.
Find it at: 59 Lamb’s Conduit St London WC1N 3NB
A Medieval monument to the written word, this place is an absolute must see! Based on diagrams of the original buildings, he Globe showcases Shakespeare’s works in brilliantly constructed settings. The replica includes two theatres and an exhibition that documents the infamous playwright’s life. Tours are run regularly, and there’s plenty for all the family to see and do year round, plus fantastic places to grab ale or two!
Find it at: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, UK
A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
This large, bronze monument to the late great author of The Picture of Dorian Gray and other fantastic works is reclining in one of London’s busiest sections, but is well worth a visit. Designed by Maggie Hambling, the sculpture was unveiled by Stephen Fry who played Oscar in the 1997 film “Wilde.” It is the first public monument to Wilde, and features the infamous quote ‘re all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.’
Find it at: Adelaide Street, London
Bloomsbury Garden Squares
If modernist literature is your thing, then you know all about the genius of the Bloomsbury Group. Take a day or so to wander these beautiful gardens and you’ll find all kinds of wonderful things. The squares have ties to Virginia Wolf, Mary Shelley, T.S Eliot and many other literary geniuses, and if you look closely enough, you’ll find plaques that mark places of significance, from houses to work places. Scope out the treasures and soak up the atmosphere with a book and a quiet moment in one of the relaxing parks afterward.
Find it at: London WC1A 2EB, UK
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Libreria was made for readers and writers. There’s reading and writing nooks, and books are arranged by themes rather than genres to change up your reading style and subtly make suggestions for new experiences.
Mobile phones are banned here, there’s loads of different events, and they’re open super late for all the creative night owls.
Find it at: 65 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP
The Fitzroy Tavern
In this brilliant pub, recently refurbished to its original glory, is a London gem. From the 1920’s-50’s this well known drinking hole was a popular meeting place for writers and other creative, including George Orwell, Jacob Epstein, and Nina Hamnett . Grab a pint and soak up the historical atmosphere in this magical time capsule.
The pub is also an unofficial meeting place for Dr Who fans, who congregate there on the first Thursday of every month.
Find it at: 16 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LY, UK
Charing Cross Road
A road filled with bookstores? What could be better! Nestled in the centre of London, this street is lined with second hand and independent bookstores. Places of note include Quinto Bookshop, where you can pick up some rare antique finds (they stock books for reading and books for décor, and are often approached for set props!), Foyles. A gigantic castle for any lover of the written word, and Henry Pordes, a second-hand cave of literary diamonds.
Find it at: Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0BB
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