London: 7 Must-see Literary Landmarks
Many a great author has left their marks in London’s history, the capital is, now, gloriously littered with some of literature’s most significant landmarks. From an exhibition of the original manuscript of Beowulf to the building that inspired Orwell’s Ministry of Truth; London, truly, has it all. It is not simply sight-seeing either, bibliophiles will find that London has much to offer them.
While many of these places are currently closed we are continuing to offer PCR testing at our London clinic with same-day results. The tests can be used for travelling abroad or Test to Release.
The British Library
The second-largest library in the world and home to some of the oldest and rarest literary items. The British Library’s mind-bogglingly expansive collection includes gems such as a Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s first folio and the Magna Carta.
The Sir John Ritblat Gallery accommodates a permanent exhibition with original manuscripts of Beowulf, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
Location: 96 Euston Road
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre is one of the most iconic landmarks in London, literary or otherwise. This incarnation of the theatre is its third and opened in 1997. During a showing of Henry VIII, the original Globe Theatre burned down in 1613. Rebuilt the following year, the second rendition was shuttered by the Puritans in 1642.
The modern-day Globe Theatre in London stays true and loyal to the Elizabethan life and times. Not only can visitors take a guided tour, but they can view performances from the standing area right in front of the stage, just like ones from Shakespeare’s day. Depending on the year, the Globe Theatre has presented productions of Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors and King Lear.
Location: 21 New Globe Walk
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
On alighting at the Baker Street Tube Station, travellers are greeted with the world’s greatest detective’s silhouettes. From there, the trail leading to the actual museum is filled with homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character: more silhouettes, shop window displays of the renowned cloak and more signs.
Although the museum is located between 237 and 241 Baker Street, it fashionably declares the address to be 221b Baker Street. The Sherlock Holmes Museum has it all – a replica of the sleuth’s study as described in the books, Victorian furnishings, handwritten notes, and memorabilia from various cases.
Location: 237-241 Baker Street
Senate House Library
The Senate House Library is the central library of the University of London. Being home to around 3 million items, this library is an obvious choice for book lovers to steal a visit. Also, as mentioned in the opening of this list, the library’s physical structure served as an inspiration for George Orwell. In the seminal 1984, Orwell designed the Ministry of Truth after the library’s art deco building.
Location: Malet Street, Bloomsbury
Charles Dickens Museum
Although Dickens lived in the Doughty Street house for only two years, he had penned Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelby while there. Its four floors contain a collection of the author’s manuscripts, paintings, furniture, and other such items. While the museum is open for general tours, one may sign up for a costumed tour on the third Saturdays of each month.
Location: 48 Doughty Street
The George Inn
This pub in Southwark is steeped in history. Originally built some 400 years ago, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Today, it is London’s last remaining galleried coaching inn. Charles Dickens was a frequent patron. And though it is a disputed claim, it is widely believed that William Shakespeare was as well.
The George Inn is now owned and maintained by the National Trust.
Location: 77 Borough High Street
Platform 9 ¾
In Rowling’s novel, the hidden platform is where young witches and wizards go to board the Hogwarts Express. Since the first Harry Potter film’s release, the Platform 9 ¾ sign has moved around King’s Cross Station. These days, it can be found in the station’s western departures concourse. The illusion comes alive where half a trolley filled with a Hogwarts student’s belongings sticks out of the platform wall. The other half is, presumably, already through the passageway. Around the corner from the platform is a small shop selling all sorts of Harry Potter merchandise.
Location: King’s Cross Station