Bloomsbury Area Guide
Beautiful Bloomsbury - a conservation area in the WC1 postcode, with a colourful literary past and some of the capital's finest cultural riches on its doorstep. Parts of Bloomsbury feel like you have stepped back in time, with Bedford Square one of the world's best preserved sets of Georgian architecture.
Bloomsbury occupies a part of London where different vibes meet - nestled between the West End, King's Cross and Covent Garden. Buyers of property for sale in Bloomsbury include City workers, academics, medical professionals and lawyers, all of whom want to be close to their places of work and centres of industry excellence. Nearby institutions include the many colleges of the University of London, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the London School of Economics, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Favoured property spots include the great garden squares, including Russell, Bedford, Queens and Tavistock.
The neighbourhood that we know today as Bloomsbury was recorded in 1086 in the Doomsday Book, alluding to an area of vineyards and 'wood for 100 pigs'. In 1201 the area was given the name Bloomsbury when William De Blemond, a Norman landowner, acquired the land. Bloomsbury's ownership transferred between nobility during the 16th and 17th centuries before being brought into the Russell family by way of marriage between Lady Rachel and Lord Russell, the son and heir to the 5th Duke of Bedford.
The Bloomsbury Group - a set of influential English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists including Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and Charles Dickens - lived, worked and studied together in Bloomsbury during the first half of the 20th century and very much set the tone for today's neighbourhood. As well as having strong literary connections, Bloomsbury is also famed for its gin, with Charles Tanqueray distilling his eponymous tipple in the neighbourhood as far back as 1830.
Much of Bloomsbury's aesthetic appeal is preserved by The Bedford Estates - an organisation that has owned, developed and managed much of Bloomsbury since 1669. Its aim is to uphold the neighbourhood's heritage while refurbishing and upgrading the properties and land that it owns.
Schools & Transport
Bars and restaurants
Ristorante Olivelli is a respected Italian restaurant on Store Street, while steak lovers can reserve a table at Gaucho on Charlotte Street. Try Cosmo Place for alternatives like Cosmoba and Cagneys. The Holborn Whippet is a public house situated at the Bloomsbury end of Sicilian Avenue. The bar is stocked with tipples from small craft breweries, and there's a super lunch and dinner menu. Lamb's Conduit Street is home to a cluster of bars, restaurants and pubs, including Vats Wine Bar, The Lamb and The Perseverance - the latter of which is home to the Bloomsbury Brewery. All Star Lanes on Bloomsbury Place has four bowling lanes and an all-American menu - great for families or light-hearted fun. The Brunswick - a multi-use centre opposite Russell Square Tube station - is the place to head for up-market chain restaurants after a spot of retail therapy. One Alfred Place is a private members club in Bloomsbury, founded by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, with a fine dining restaurant and bar.
Commuting from Bloomsbury
Although Bloomsbury doesn’t have a tube station to call its own, it is a neighbourhood surrounded by fantastic public transport links. Underground stations within walking distance include Russell Square, Holborn, Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street. Bloomsbury residents are also within a short stroll of London's best trio of transport hubs - Euston, St Pancras and King's Cross. Bus services are plentiful - no less than ten serving Bloomsbury, while there is a 'Boris Bike' station on the corner of Montague Street and Great Russell Street.
Bloomsbury is perfect for furthering your knowledge, learning about new cultures and expanding your mind. Places of interest in the local vicinity include The British Library, The British Museum, The Shaw Theatre, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gagosian Gallery and the Curzon Bloomsbury - with cultural riches, collections and exhibitions that one person would find it hard to work through in a lifetime.
For a sense of tranquillity in what is essentially an urban environment, residents gravitate to the garden squares. Take a picnic or a newspaper to either Russell Square, Bedford Square, Montague Street Garden, Bloomsbury Square, Ridgemount Gardens, Tavistock Square or Gordon Square and just relax. Not to be overlooked is St George's Garden - known for its stunning collection of ferns and the tomb of Anna Gibson, Oliver Cromwell's granddaughter. Bloomsbury also hosts The Chap Olympiad - a non-sporting event in Bedford Square Gardens; a light-hearted take on quintessentially British past-times and peculiarities.
Property for sale in Bloomsbury
Many of the flats and houses for sale in Bloomsbury overlook quiet, traffic-free garden squares, giving the area a placid, tranquil quality. There's a moderate amount of house building in the neighbourhood but the conservation area status means the architectural style is kept in check. Most requested properties include the Georgian townhouses, Edwardian mansion buildings and Victorian terraces, as well as Queen-Anne and Regency-period dwellings, with Lambs Conduit Street, Marchmont Street and Dukes Road some of the quaintest in the capital. Favoured roads also include John Street, Doughty Street and Great James Street for large houses; Bedford Court Mansions for high-rise living, Bloomsbury Gardens, Pied Bull Court and Bloomsbury Terrace for new-build excellence and Bloomsbury Mansions for views over Russell Square.