Bloomsbury - The Cultural and Academic Heart of London
The School’s main campus is at Russell Square which is located in the heart of historic Bloomsbury, an area of leafy squares, parks, and intellectual celebrity. In the early 20th century, the area was home to the eponymous Bloomsbury Group, whose more famous members included E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Virginia Woolf. For almost 40 years, T.S. Eliot worked in our very own Faber building for publishers Faber & Faber. Offering several squares for quiet reflection in the middle of a bustling city, it is easy to understand why the area has long been favoured by great writers and thinkers.
Bloomsbury’s rich cultural heritage has been well maintained over the years, and the area remains a hub of culture and education. The British Museum, located just down the road from SOAS, houses a vast collection of archaeological artefacts from all over the world, including the Rosetta Stone, and best of all: it’s free! The same goes for the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road, which offers exhibitions and public events on life, art, medicine, and culture, in addition to a public library. The local Bloomsbury Festival takes place every October, and SOAS is the proud sponsor of the World Music stage.
There is no shortage of libraries in the area. The British Library on Euston Road contains over 150 million items, including special collections, and runs regular exhibitions. Senate House, the University of London library, is right next to the main building in Russell Square, and a number of other University of London colleges are right around the corner, like University College London and Birkbeck.
Rest assured, there’s more to Bloomsbury than just libraries and universities. The Brunswick Centre right by Russell Square tube station is a great place to eat and shop, and there are a myriad of pubs, wine bars and restaurants dotted around the area, many of them specifically catering for the vibrant student community of Bloomsbury. It’s also close to the West End with its cinemas, theatres, clubs, popular shopping areas such as Oxford Street and Regent Street, and Covent Garden with all of its cafés, market stalls and street performers. The Vernon Square campus and adjacent residences are also very close to Islington’s many bars, restaurants, and galleries. St. Pancras station, the terminal for Eurostar trains to Paris and Brussels, is a short walk from both Russell Square and Vernon Square. This Grade I listed building is celebrated for its stunning Victorian architecture and is also earning a reputation as a great spot for eating and shopping.
New to Bloomsbury
A new Farmers Market launches at the end of September at Torrington Square (between SOAS and Birkbeck). The market will offer a range of fruit, vegetables and meat plus plenty of tempting cakes, pies and breads too, all locally grown and freshly made. For more visit http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets/bloomsbury/