While Christopher Wren was building the West End, the Earl of Southampton was laying out London's first square in Bloomsbury. Literary residents moved in after the "godless college" of UCL was opened in 1826, and made Bloomsbury's bohemian reputation. Today students and academics follow well-beaten paths from local bookshops to university buildings, while map-toting tourists meander from upscale B&Bs to the colossal British Museum. Nearby, the seven acres of Coram's Fields commemorate Thomas Coram, the pioneering philanthropist who established the Foundlings Hospital to house London's street urchins. King's Cross has since become an international hub, and the fantastical spires of St. Pancras Renaissance top a five-star Marriott hotel.
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Getting Around London
The best way to get around London is using public transportation and taxis. Poor parking availability and legendary traffic makes driving tricky, and Americans may find it challenging to drive on the opposite side or the car and road. Gatwick Express is the fastest train service from Gatwick to Central London. Trains run daily directly into London Victoria train and tube station starting at 4:35 a.m. and 5:20 a.m., then run every 15 minutes from 5:50 a.m. until 12:35 a.m. with the last trains leaving at 12:50 a.m. and 1:35 a.m. Fares: 1st Class £26 (Single), £50 (Return); Express Class £17.90 (Single), £30.80 (Return). Heathrow Express is the fastest train service from Heathrow to Paddington Station. Trains run from 5 a.m. until midnight from Heathrow. The standard single fare is £20 and standard return costs £34.
Nearby Airports
  • London Heathrow Airport-LHR
  • Gatwick Airport-LGW
Airport Taxis
  • £45-£83-Heathrow to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
  • £78-£98-Gatwick to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
Things to Do and See Near Bloomsbury
  • London Eye
  • British Museum
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower of London
  • Tate Modern
  • London Zoo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Tower Bridge
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Hyde Park
  • London Bridge
  • Globe Theatre
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Palace of Westminster
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Marylebone
  • Middle Temple
  • Covent Garden