Bloomsbury, in London, England, boasts a proud heritage of famous people of famous events. If you happen to live near Bloomsbury or plan on visiting its vicinity, here are some fun things to keep in mind.
Tavistock Square might be considered the center of Bloomsbury, and is a good starting point. Within Tavistock Square is a small park. On the edge of the park, across from Hilton Euston, one will find the site of the 2005 Tavistock Square bombing. There is a flower garden inside the park, planted in memory of the victims. The park, however, is far older than this tragic event. According to the Charles Dickens museum, the man himself wrote portions of the draft of Hard Times while sitting on a bench inside this park. Virginia Woolf is said to have been taking a walk in its proximity when she came upon the idea for To the Lighthouse-indeed, her house once stood beside the park, before being bombed during the Blitz. It has since been replaced with Tavistock Hotel. And, but a few streets over on Woburn place, one can find an apartment that William Butler Keats lived in for several years. Charles Dickens’s house, too, is still standing on 48 Doughty Street. It’s even open on Christmas, with fun readings from A Christmas Carol. And–if you’re an Orwell fan–you’ll be pleased to know that the Ministry of Truth in 1984 was based on Senate House library, a short walk from Tavistock Square.
If writers are not your thing, don’t fret. Science is just as represented. Within a short distance of Tavistock square you’ll find both the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology and the UCL Museum of Zoology. Both are completely free and well worth a short one or two hour visit each, depending on how long you like to look at things. A highlight at the Petrie Museum includes a 4,000 year old Egyptian garment in pristine condition! Charles Darwin also lived for a short tie on 14 Great Russell street. It’s privately owned and you can’t go inside, but it is worth the walk for a picture if you’re a fan.
Last but not least-the British Museum! Not to be missed by any lover of archeology. Plan on spending three days to see it all.