Bloomsbury Museums, Part 2, London (Self Guided)

There are over 240 museums in London and they welcome about 42 million annual visitors nationwide. This wonderful tour will lead you to the most famous and significant museums of London Bloomsbury area, such as Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Wellcome Collection, The Crypt Gallery and others.
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Bloomsbury Museums, Part 2 Map

Guide Name: Bloomsbury Museums, Part 2
Guide Location: England » London (See other walking tours in London)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Author: Xena
1
British Library

1) British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from many countries, in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC. As a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. It also has a programme for content acquisitions. The British Library adds some three million items every year, occupying 9.6 kilometres of new shelf space. The library was originally a department of the British Museum and from the mid-19th century occupied the famous circular British Museum Reading Room. It became legally separate in 1973, and by 1997 had moved into its new purpose-built building at St Pancras, London.

A number of books and manuscripts are on display to the general public in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery which is open seven days a week at no charge. Some of the manuscripts in the exhibition include Beowulf, the Lindisfarne Gospels and St Cuthbert Gospel, a Gutenberg Bible, Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (King Arthur), Captain Cook's journal, Jane Austen's History of England, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby, Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and a room devoted solely to Magna Carta, as well as several Qu'rans and Asian items. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are frequent thematic exhibitions which have covered maps, sacred texts and the history of the English language.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
The Crypt Gallery

2) The Crypt Gallery

Starting from 1822, the Crypt of St Pancras Church was used as the place for burials, and it still remains the final shelter of 557 people. This fact is highly respected by the administration of the gallery. The Crypt Gallery itself was established in 2002 and immediately became the place where the most developed contemporary minds from all over the world were exhibiting their woks. At present, this venue has a year-round programme of art exhibitions. Here can be seen provocative masterpieces, as well as those created for contemplation and joy. Since its very establishment the gallery has encouraged and supported the arts and artists in all their forms. Here are enthusiastically promoted young and perspective painters, along with the well known and famous.
3
Wellcome Collection

3) Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection is a museum at 183 Euston Road, London, displaying an unusual mixture of medical artefacts and original artworks exploring “ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art”. The Collection comprises three public exhibition spaces, an auditorium, events space, café and bookshop. The building is also the home of the Wellcome Library and The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. The Wellcome Trust was founded by Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936). An extensive and enthusiastic traveller, he amassed a huge collection of books, paintings and objects on the theme of historical development of medicine worldwide. Wellcome Collection features several exhibitions. “Medicine Man” is a permanent display of a small part of Henry Wellcome's collection. “Medicine Now” is a permanent exhibition using art, mixed media displays and objects to present some aspects of modern medicine and the work of the Wellcome Trust. This area features a postcard wall where visitors are encouraged to contribute drawings. “Exhibition space” is a changing programme of events and exhibitions. The building foyer includes a 1950 work by Pablo Picasso (originally on a wall in John Desmond Bernal's flat in Torrington Square) and one by Anthony Gormley. A figure by Marc Quinn is displayed next to the entrance, originally lying unprotected on the stone floor, but now inside a glass case.

Opening hours: from Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy

4) Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy

The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy is a natural history museum that is part of University College London. It was established by Robert Edmond Grant in 1828 as a teaching collection of zoological specimens and material for dissection. On his death Grant left his own collection to the museum. In 1875 Edwin Ray Lankester added to the museum collection. After 1948 the museum was under the care of professional curators. The museum conserves around 67,000 specimens, many of which are very rare and several have been rediscovered only recently in storage. In 2011, the museum moved from its previous location on the UCL campus to new quarters in Rockefeller Hall.

The collection includes such rare showpieces as Megaloceros giganteus which was discovered hanging in an Irish pub and then bought by the museum; Dodo bones which had been stored away for a century until being rediscovered in 2011 while the collection was moved to a new building, Quagga skeleton which was not identified as such until recently, Rhamphorhynchus fossil which was assumed to be a plaster cast, but turned out to be a real fossil.

Museum is open to the public from Monday to Saturday: 1 pm – 5 pm. Admission to the Museum is free.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

5) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London is part of University College London Museums & Collections. The museum contains over 80,000 objects and ranks among some of the world's leading collections of Egyptian and Sudanese material. It ranks behind only the collections of the Cairo Museum, The British Museum and the Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin in number of items.

The museum was established as a teaching resource for the Department of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology at University College at the same time as the department was established in 1892. The initial collection was donated by the writer Amelia Edwards. The first Edwards Professor, William Flinders Petrie conducted many important excavations, and in 1913 he sold his collections of Egyptian antiquities to University College, transforming the museum into one of the leading collections outside Egypt. Petrie excavated dozens of major sites in the course of his career, including the Roman Period cemeteries at Hawara, famous for the beautiful mummy portraits in classical Roman style; Amarna, the city of king Akhenaten, known as the first king to believe in one God; and the first true pyramid, at Meydum, where he uncovered some of the earliest evidence for mummification.

The collection and library were arranged in galleries within the university and a guidebook published in 1915. Initially, the collection's visitors were students and academics; it was not then open to the general public. Petrie retired from UCL in 1933, though his successors continued to add to the collections, excavating in other parts of Egypt and Sudan. During the Second World War (1939–1945) the collection was packed up and moved out of London for safekeeping. In the early 1950s it was moved into a former stable, where it remains adjacent to the science library of UCL.

The collection is full of “firsts”: one of the earliest pieces of linen from Egypt (about 5000 BC); two lions from the temple of Min at Koptos, from the first group of monumental sculptures (about 3000 BC); a fragment from the first king list or calendar (about 2900 BC); the earliest example of metal from Egypt, the first worked iron beads; the earliest example of glazing; the earliest “cylinder seal” in Egypt (about 3500 BC); the oldest wills on papyrus paper; the oldest gynaecological papyrus; the only veterinary papyrus from ancient Egypt; and the largest architectural drawing, showing a shrine (about 1300 BC). Costume is another strength of the collection. In addition to the “oldest dress” there is a unique beadnet dress of a dancer from the Pyramid Age (about 2400 BC), two long sleeved robes of the same period, a suit of armour from the palace of Memphis, as well as socks and sandals from the Roman period. The collection contains works of art from Akhenaten’s city at Amarna: colourful tiles, carvings and frescoes, from many other important Egyptian and Nubian settlements and burial sites. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Roman period mummy portraits (first to second centuries AD).

The Museum is located in Malet Place, near the UCL science library and Gower Street. There is a small gift shop. Some parts of the collection are not lit (for preservation reasons) and torches are supplied to see inside the cases. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 1 pm - 5 pm, each week, and admission is free. The museum itself is split into three galleries. The third and last are accessed via and along a stairwell. The second gallery (housed above the old stables) contains the museum's small artefacts and clothing collections, as well as tablets of writing and mummy cases. The first gallery is at the entrance to the museum, and contains mainly pottery.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Pollock's Toy Museum

6) Pollock's Toy Museum

Pollock’s Toy Museum, named after Benjamin Pollock, the last of the Victorian Toy Theatre printers, was started in 1956 in a single attic room at 44 Monmouth Street, near Covent Garden, where Pollock's Toy Theatres were also sold. As the enterprise flourished, other rooms were taken over for the museum and the ground floor became a toyshop. By 1969 the collection had outgrown the Monmouth Street premises and Pollock's Toy Museum moved to 1 Scala Street, with a museum shop on the ground floor to contribute to its support. The museum continues today to be run by the grandson of the founder Marguerite Fawdry. Inside the museum can be seen toys from all over the world and from different time periods, including teddy bears, wax and china dolls, board games, optical toys, folk toys, nursery furniture, mechanical toys and doll’s houses.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Photographers' Gallery

7) Photographers' Gallery (must see)

The Photographers' Gallery was founded in London in 1971 and was the first independent gallery in Britain devoted entirely to photography. Exhibitions in the gallery have included one-person displays of work by André Kertész, Danny Treacy, Taryn Simon, Ori Gersht, Cuny Janssen, and David King. The Gallery hosts the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Originally based in Great Newport Street near Leicester Square, The Photographers' Gallery moved to Ramillies Street Soho, in December 2008.

Since its actual establishment in 1971, The Photographers' Gallery has become a place to witness photography in all its forms: from the latest emerging talents to historical archives. Today the gallery is deservedly recognized as the trendsetter of UK photography, establishing its important role in culture and society. Being one of Europe's most visited galleries dedicated to photography, The Photographers' Gallery continues to encourage and support young talents.

After total renovation of its premises on Ramillies Street in May 2012, the gallery has reopened featuring three exhibition floors, a studio floor for education activities, a Bookshop, Café, and Print Sales space.

Why You Should Visit:
London's finest dedicated photography gallery in a newly-designed building.

Tip:
Free admission before 12 at noon!
Bring headphones with you (there is a code you can scan on your smartphone to listen to an audio-guide)...

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Handel House Museum

8) Handel House Museum

The Handel House Museum is a museum in Mayfair, London dedicated to the life and works of the German born baroque composer George Frideric Handel, who made his home in London in 1712 and eventually became a British citizen in 1727. Handel was the first occupant of 25 Brook Street, which he rented from 1723 until his death there in 1759. Almost all his works after 1723, amongst them many of his best-known operas, oratorios and ceremonial music, were composed and partially rehearsed in the house, which contained a variety of keyboard instruments, including harpsichords, a clavichord and a small chamber organ. The original idea for establishing a museum at 25 Brook Street to commemorate its original and most notable occupant first occurred to the musicologist Stanley Sadie in 1959, at a party held there by the fashion company Viyella to commemorate the bicentenary of Handel's death. After a further 30 years, in the early 1990s, Sadie and his wife Julie Anne set up the Handel House Trust, the charity which oversaw the conversion of the house into a museum.

The house has been restored to look as it did during Handel's 36 year occupancy from 1723 to 1759. A typical early 18th century London terrace house, it comprises a basement, three main storeys and an attic, and Handel was the first occupant. The attic was later converted into a fourth full floor. The ground floor is a shop not associated with the Museum, and the upper floors are leased to a charity called the Handel House Trust, and have been open to the public since 8 November 2001. The interiors have been restored to the somewhat Spartan style of the Georgian era, using mostly architectural elements from elsewhere, since, apart from the staircase, only few of the original interior features have survived. The Handel House Collection Trust has assembled a collection of Handel memorabilia, including the Byrne Collection of several hundred items, which was acquired in 1998.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 6 pm (until 8 pm on Thursday); Sunday 12 noon – 6 pm. Closed Mondays, including bank holidays. Admission charges: £6.00 – adults; £5.00 – concessions; £2.00 - children (5-16 years). Children get free entry on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Travel Distance: 4.4 km
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Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1

Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1

There are over 240 museums in London and they welcome about 42 million annual visitors nationwide. This wonderful tour will lead you to the most famous and significant museums of London Bloomsbury area, such as British Museum, Charles Dickens Museum, London Canal Museum and others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
City of London Churches

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
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Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in London for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best London has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting London's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the London Pass, London Explorer Pass, or iVenture Card.

A city pass combines all or multiple London's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of London hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Trafalgar St. James London Curio collection by Hilton, Corinthia Hotel London, The Grand at Trafalgar Square.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as London, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of London typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$130 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of London from the open top of the bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the six interconnecting routes, plus get on board the Thames River Sightseeing Cruise. The tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

- Spend half a day pedaling your way around London Royal Parks on a guided bike tour to see the city's most spectacular highlights stopping at some for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions from a knowledgeable group leader.

- Commit yourself to a full-day of sightseeing to appreciate the English capital in its full splendor complete with its top (UNESCO-listed and other) attractions, plus to enjoy a sightseeing cruise down the River Thames, and more.

- Dive into Britain’s royal and political history on the Westminster Abbey & Houses of Parliament tour for an up-close view of the country's two most prominent landmarks that have been in place and duly served their purpose for almost a millennium.

- Explore the WWII chapter of the British history on a guided 2-hour walking tour of Churchill War Rooms & Westminster to see how they operated back in those days. Hear some little-known war tales and tidbits about London and the country's most celebrated leader, Winston Churchill.

- Satisfy your penchant for English tradition, glamour and food culture in style with an afternoon tea experience at the 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel in London complete with a full set of lovely cakes, sandwiches and tea!

- If you're into music, give yourself a treat, whilst in London, to the Musical Theater Show at Apollo Victoria Theatre presenting the alternate side of the famous Wizard of Oz story previously untold.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in London, why not use it to explore some out-of-town destinations like the Warner Bros. Studio London, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle, Cotswolds, or Leeds Castle, Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. For as little as circa US$100+ to US$120+ per person you will get a chance to explore the postcard-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage sights, get behind-the-scenes of the mystical world of Harry Potter, see what has been the home of the British Royals for the past 900 years, explore the ancient rock formations, Roman Baths and medieval castles, walk the streets of the charming hometown of William Shakespeare, check out one of the world’s most prestigious universities, get to see the picture-perfect region officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, otherwise known as “forever England,” renowned for its quaint villages and rolling hills, admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in London and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or train (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.