MAY 14,2013 - MAY 14,2013 (1 DAYS)
Bloomsbury: Pancras Station, Midland Grand Hotel, The British Library, St. Pancras Parish Church, Woburn Walk, Bloomsbury Squares (Tavistock, Gordon, Bedford, Bloomsbury, Russel), UCL, the Sicilian Avenue, Hotel Russel.
Start: St. Pancras International station.
End: Russel Square tube station.
Duration: 1/2 day. The other half of the day can be devoted to the British Museum.
Weather: Very good for a dull-gloomy day. Especially - if you predict rain in the second half of the day.
St. Pancras International station stands between the British Library (south), Euston Rd. (south), King's Cross station (east) and the Regent's Canal (north) and St. Pancras/Midland roads (west). Its structure is widely known for its Victorian architecture. THe station was renovated and significantly expanded during the years 2000-2010. A special terminal-area was constructed for Eurostar services to continental Europe. The architecture of the station and its environs is stunning and really mixes up the old the new. Shops and restaurants tend mid to high end in price point. here are many beautiful interesting statues and sculptures even in the ceiling to admire. St. Pancras Station exterior is a marvelous red brick Gothic style giant structure. It is appealing to look at and worth a few snaps of your camera as well (better, during midday with the sun at your back). Exiting the station - you face one of the most glorious of London's red-brick Victorian constructions - the majestic Midland Grand Hotel, completed at 1876:
Head south on Midland Rd. Turn right onto Euston Rd. Turn right onto Ossulston St and the British Library will be on the right. The British Library is the largest library in the world (second largest being the Library of Congress of the United States). The library was originally a department of the British Museum. It became legally separate in 1973. In 1997 it had moved into its new purpose-built building at St Pancras - after a long, public arguments on its budget, location and necessity.
Opening hours: Monday: 10.00-20.00, Tuesday: 09.30-20.00, Wednesday: 09.30-20.00 ,Thursday:09.30-20.00, Friday: 09.30-17.00, Saturday: 09.30-17.00, Sunday and public holidays: Closed. Entry is free.
Visit if you like books and history. Allow, approximately, 2 hours. The "Treasures" room at the library is amazing. The library has some amazing written documents including early religious artifacts, original scores, original books, even original handwritten documents: the Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible, the 9th century Diamond Sutra (Indian-Buddhist text), Quran, handwritten letters from Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, Lady Jane Grey's praying book, original musical scores from Beethoven to the Beatles. Special exhibitions are held on a regular basis. Stamp lovers should not miss the huge Philatelic Collection. A multi-storey, glass-walled tower houses the King's Library, collected by king George III and donated by George IV in 1832. Beautiful building, too. It's a beautiful building, set back from the Euston Road with a peaceful courtyard (Piazza) at the front. On a sunny day, how nice to sit outside or in the Plaza, with a snack and coffee and watch the world go by. Inside, the cafe is excellent value and the facilities first class:
Issac Newton statue:
Gutenberg Bible (1454-1455):
Book on medicinal plants from year 1440:
Original hand-written document on dreams of Zigmond Freud
Paint from the Indian Mythology - Mahabharata:
Libretto of Henry Purcell from year 1680:
The song "Yesterday" - original hand-written document with hand-writing of Paul McCartney:
Original hand-written words of John Lenon to the song "Hard Day's Night":
The Bible in Ethiopian language:
Ancient maps of the world:
Map of Germany in the biggest Atlas in the world - given to Charles II king of France in year 1660:
Going outside from the BL head southeast on Ossulston St toward Euston Rd. This road is the northern boundary of Bloomsbury. The traffic roars and moves slowly, on this bustling road, west to Marylebone Road and east to the City and Islington. Turn right onto Euston Rd. Stop at the 3rd left turn in the crossway with Upper Woburn Place. Here stands St. Pancras Parish Church. Its crypt can be accessed from Duke's Road (the 2nd turn to the left from Euston). It is a majestic building featuring stunning stained glass windows. The church is peaceful and calming. The building exterior is pretty impressive with some huge pillars and impressive sculptures and flanked by lovely, colourful trees:
Walk approx. 500 m. along the Upper Woburn Place road (passing the Hilton Euston hotel on your right and the Association of Charitable Foundation on your left) - until you arrive to the Woburn Walk - to your left. A narrow restored street with nicely-fronted shops. The poet W.H Yeats lived at No. 5 (1895-1919):
If you entered the Woburn Walk at the west side (from Upper Woburn Place) - you end it at the east opposite the Duke's Road. Don't worry. You return this charming alley whole back. Head southwest on Woburn Walk toward Upper Woburn Pl. Turn left (continuing) Upper Woburn Pl. Turn right onto Endsleigh Pl. Turn left onto Tavistock Square Gardens.
A cherry tree was planted here in 1967 in memory of the victims of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and at the centre of the gardens stands a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, sculpted by Fredda Brilliant and installed in year 1968:
We continue with statues of Indian famous figures. Head southeast on Tavistock Square toward Gordon Square and turn right onto Gordon Square. It is a twin square with Tavistock Square, it is a block away and has the same dimensions... Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) statue is the main attraction in Gordon Square:
On the west side of Gordon Square Gardens you see the most eastern line of the UCL (University College of London) complex of buildings. The main entrance is from Gower Street. Turn right (north) onto Gordon Road and take the left turn to Gower PL and, again, left to Gower Street). Its main building was erected in the 1820s with Corinthian portico:
On the opposite side of Gower Street stands the Cruciform Building (the University College Hospital) - a red-bricked building. You are not allowed to take photos into the universtiy premises. I recommend visiting the UCL galleries and small museums. The main building of UCL is home to the most famous of London's art schools - the Slade. It puts small, temporary exhibitions drawn from its huge collection of works of art (including names like: Rembrandt, Turner, Constable and Paul Nash). UCL Art Museum is open to the public whenever an exhibition is on display between 1pm and 5pm from Monday to Friday. Don't be put off by the small space - some works here are really fantastic and rare. Even, if located in a noisy university - this museum is actually open to all and a very welcoming place. The main peak is prize-winning material from Slade students past and present. A great pleasure.
Female Figure Lying on her Back by Dora Carrington (1893-1932):
he Petrie Museum is one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. It illustrates life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period. Opening times and hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 13.00 - 17.00.
Continue southward along Gower Street about 800 m. (10-12 minutes) until you arrive (on your right, the 4th or 4th turn to the right) to Bedford Square Garden. Built between 1775 and 1783. One of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London:
Continue on Gower Stareet, which becomes Bedford Square along the gardens - until the road changes its name to Bloomsbury Street. At this point - turn left to Great Russel Street. Continue along Great Russel Street for 320 m. and at the 4th turn to the right you face the Bloomsbury Square Gardens. Dating from 1665 and the first of London's open spaces to be called a "square". There are many handsome 18th- and early 19th-century houses around:
Victoria House at the Bloomsbury Square:
Do not miss the Sicilaian Avenue on the south-east end of the Bloomsbury Square Gardens. A beautiful promenade with Italian atmosphere:
Return to Great Russel Street. With your back to the Bloomsbury Square Gardens - turn left along Great Russel Street. Turn right onto Montague St. and after 200m. turn right at Russell Square. On your right is the famous Russel Square. To the north is Woburn Place and to the south-east is Southampton Row. Russell Square tube station is nearby to the north-east. One of the bombings of 7 July 2005 was on a London Underground train to Russell Square tube station, and another was on a bus on Tavistock Square. To commemorate the victims, many flowers were laid at a spot on Russell Square just south of the café (light meals only). The location is now marked by a memorial plaque and a young oak tree:
A lovely small, clean, family, friendly park with grass areas and plenty of benches to sit on. The square is beautifully organized and pleasant to hang in:
Hotel Russel is in the nort-east side of the park, behind the Russel Square Cafe. It was built in 1898 by the architect, Charles Fitzroy Doll. The main gimmick of this hotel is that its restaurant is said to be almost identical to the Titanic's dining room. Another one is the 100-yr-old main revolving door. Take the staircase up - to the 2nd floor. It is amazing architectural gem !
From the nort side of Russel Square park turn right (east) to Bernard Street and after 2 minutes walk yo arrive to the Russel Square tube station. To arrive to the British Museum take the Montague Road from the southmost edge of Russel Square park, walk south along the Montague and turn right to the Great Russel Street.