Round the Corner from CIEE London

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Arts+Humanities (Goldsmiths)

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CIEE London

For those of you who might be studying with us in the Summer or later on in the Fall this year, I wanted to introduce you to some of the best spots to visit all within a 15 minute walk from our London Study Centre. 

Where are we located?

Our study centre is located right in the heart of Bloomsbury, a thriving student hub with UCL, Birckbeck University, SOAS and many more all within the neighbourhood.

The area is not only famous for academia but also its literary heritage. In the early 20th century a group of writers, artists and creatives started to meet in the area who became known as the 'Bloomsbury Group' or 'Bloomsbury Set' which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and E.M.Forster to name a few. This literary legacy continues till this day with the neighbourhood home to the Bloomsbury Group, the first publishing house to accept J.K.Rowling's manuscript of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Finally, for its size and central location Bloomsbury is also remarkably leafy. There are six seperate squares/parks to take in nature all located within 10 minutes of eachother where you can have a picnic or read a book while on breaks between your classes. 

Now you've heard a bit about the area's history see below the best spots to explore all just round the corner from CIEE London. 

1. Russell Square Gardens 

Right opposite the centre we have one of Central London's loveliest squares. In the Summer it is a great place to go for a picnic or to study. You can also pop into the local Italian cafe in the middle of the square Caffe Tropea and pick up some of their tasty freshly baked Italian pastries.

2. The London Review Bookshop

The beautiful independent bookshop is just a 5 minute walk from our centre with great selection of fiction/non-fiction books with a very popular cafe on-site serving lots of vegetarian/vegan friendly soups, sandwiches and cakes. They also hold regular events hosting talks by well known authors on their writing. 

3. The British Museum

We can't go without mentioning the British Museum, only 2 minutes away, which has one of the largest collections of art, human history and culture in the world including 'the Rosetta Stone'.

4. Bloomsbury Famers Market 

A great weekly farmers market held every Thursday 9am-2pm with local producers a street food vendors set in the grounds (Torrington Square) between Birkbeck and SOAS university. We paticularly reccomend Joli for delicious Malaysian food with great vegan options and Ceylon Kothu for South Indian/ Sri Lankan street food options. 

5. Gays the Word Bookshop

Head to Gay's the Word bookshop on Marchmont Street and browse their queer fiction or join in with a number of community events. The bookshop is the UK's oldest LGBT+ bookshop and first opened in 1979. You may recognise it as a key location from the film 'Pride' based on the true story of miners and gay activists who united together to collect money to support striking miners.

6. The Lamb Pub

The historic and pretty pub has tasty traditional pub grub and was a regular haunt of Charles Dickens as well as Sylvia Path. We reccomend sitting out in their small patio tucked away as it starts to get warmer. 

7. Sir John Soane's Museum

Although technically just outside of Bloomsbury, the Sir John Soane's Museum is well worth a visit. The hidden gem was the former home of the British architect John Soane and features a range of objects from ancient Egyptian antiquities to Roman sculptures and more contemporary works. It is also home to the sarcophagus of the Egyptian Pharoah Seti I. All completely free to visit. 

8. Novelty Automation 

More on the weird and wonderful side of London you can check out the museum 'Novelty Automation' which features homemade and satirical arcade games. The machines are created by cartoonist and engineer 'Tim Hunkin'. Highlights include: an expressive photobooth and a 'small hadron collider'. 

9. Curzon Bloomsbury 

The Curzon is an intimate arthouse cinema showing a number of independent films as well as big new releases. For any film buffs - they also regularly hold talks with film directors and screenwriters where you can learn more about the ideas and thinking behind what is on.

10. Walkmisu

Pick up a declious tiramsu or hot arancini out of a ubiquitous red London phonebox on the corner of Russell Square Gardens at the weekend. During the week you will find Walkmisu's delicious food inside the cafe at the CIEE London centre.