London area of WC1 guide

What to do and where to stay in London's WC1 neighbourhood

The WC1 district covers the modern Bloomsbury area of central London, just north of Holborn. On Great Russell Street lies the British Museum, a collection of human history and culture, and the area is also home to landmarks such as Russell Square, Tavistock Square and Coram's Fields, as well as the legal district of Gray's Inn. Bloomsbury is known for its literary connections (Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster were key components), its large number of garden squares and numerous medical institutions - Great Ormond Street Hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College Hospital and the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital can all be found in WC1. There are also strong educational links in the area with the main library of the University of London, The Bloomsbury Colleges, University College London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art all situated within the district. In recent years, estate agents have tried to rebrand the WC1 and WC2 areas of London as "Midtown" but it has yet to really catch on.

See our recommended nearby WC1 Hotels, Entertainment, Sights and Attractions, Shopping, Restaurants, Pubs, Nightlife, Leisure, Education, and Meeting Venues.

WC1 Hotels

in or near WC1
Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
Coram Street, WC1N
This is a smart, modern hotel located in one of the Capital's oldest and most beautiful areas. Bloomsbury is a great place to stay since it's ... More
The Montague on the Gardens
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
15 Montague Street, WC1B
Overlooking the gardens of Montague Garden Square, this sedate hotel has a peaceful feel even though the British Museum is right next door and Covent Garden's ... More
Crowne Plaza Kings Cross
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
1 Kings Cross Road, WC1X
Halfway between the City and the west End, the Bloomsbury area is an oasis of calm in the very heart of the capital. It's a lovely ... More

WC1 Entertainment

in or near WC1
Curzon Bloomsbury
London > Entertainment > Cinemas
The Brunswick, WC1, London WC1N
The arthouse Renoir Cinema underwent a major refurbishment in 2015 by The Curzon Cinema Group. Reopening as the Curzon Bloomsbury, the new name pays homage to ... More
The Horse Hospital
London > Entertainment > Arts Centres
30 Colonnade, WC1, London WC1N
As the name suggests, The Horse Hospital wasn't always the modern arts venue it is today. Once home to sick and injured horses - many references ... More
Bloomsbury Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
15 Gordon Street, WC1, London WC1H
Owned and part-funded by University College London, the Bloomsbury was completed in 1968 on the site of a bomb-damaged church. The years have not been kind ... More

WC1 Sights and Attractions

The best museums, galleries, attractions in or near WC1
The Foundling Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
40 Brunswick Square, WC1, London WC1N
The Foundling Museum is one of London's real hidden treasures. Originally established in 1739 as a hospital which looked after abandoned children, the museum now tells ... More
Russell Square
London > Attractions > Bloomsbury, WC1, London WC1B
The grade II listed Russell Square is a large green space located within the Bloomsbury district with its own cafe, overlooked by the Hotel Russell and ... More
Coram's Fields
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
93 Guilford Street, WC1, London WC1N
Coram's Fields is a special place for children where adults are allowed in only if accompanied by a child. Tucked away in the city centre it ... More

WC1 Shopping

The best shops and markets in or near London's WC1
Gay's the Word
London > Shopping > Books
66 Marchmont Street, WC1, London WC1N
A broad selection of gay and lesbian interest books ranging from fiction, through biography, travel and counselling. Magazines and cards are also on offer.... More
Alara Wholefoods
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
58 Marchmont Street, WC1, London WC1N
Alara Wholefoods Health shop on Marchmont Street has been recommended by one of our readers, poet Kim Morrissey, who took the trouble to write in to ... More
School of Life
London > Shopping > Specialists
70 Marchmont Street, WC1, London WC1N
The School of Life offers so much more than your average shopping experience. In fact, it doesn't do it justice to label it a mere shop ... More

WC1 Restaurants

What are the best dining options in or near WC1 London?
Yo! Sushi
London > Restaurants > Japanese restaurants
Brunswick Centre, WC1, London WC1N
For anyone who needs a fast, healthy lunch Yo! Sushi is the place to go. Its conveyor belt service means you've always got plenty of choice, ... More
Giraffe - Brunswick Centre
London > Restaurants > International restaurants
19-21 Brunswick Centre, Marchmont Street, WC1, London WC1N
The family friendly Giraffe restaurants really appeal to their target audience: kids. But that doesn't mean adults won't enjoy their bright colours and big portions too. ... More
London > Restaurants > Italian restaurants
15-17 Brunswick Centre, WC1, London WC1N
This branch of the popular pizza/pasta chain Strada is in the Brunswick Centre, a popular destination for eating out and shopping in the Bloomsbury area. The ... More

WC1 Pubs

The best pubs in or near London WC1.
Marquis Cornwallis
London > Nightlife > Pubs
31 Marchmont Street, WC1, London WC1N
Always a popular choice for local workers and tourists taking in the delights of Bloomsbury, Marquis Cornwallis , located on Marchmont Street, close ... More
The Harrison
London > Nightlife > Pubs
28 Harrison Street, WC1, London WC1H
Originally built in the 1880s by Samuel Harrison to refresh the workers in his shoe factory, The Harrison pub's current building dates back to 1934. Owned ... More
Queens Larder Restaurant & Pub
London > Nightlife > Pubs
1 Queen's Square, Bloomsbury, WC1, London WC1N
... More

WC1 Nightlife

WC1 clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
The Perseverance
London > Nightlife > Bars
63 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1, London WC1N
Formerly run by Billy Drew (who has opened The Chippy in Soho), The Perseverance in Lamb's Conduit Street re-opened in April 2007 under new management. It's ... More
The Big Chill House
London > Nightlife > Bars
257-259 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, WC1, London N1
From the outside, The Big Chill House building looks spectacular, a floodlit white townhouse that puts the grimy environs of King's Cross to shame. The interior ... More
Cosy Kettle
London > Nightlife > Bars
60 Chalton Street, WC1, London NW1
Hidden below the bustling Somers Town Coffee House, Cosy Kettle offers an intimate sanctuary away from the pub crowd. Opened in late 2013, the bar is ... More

WC1 Leisure

WC1 gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Dolphin Swimming Club
London > Leisure > Activities
U of L Pool, Malet Street, WC1, London WC1E
Swimming lessons for children and aquaphobic adults. This is one of the more popular swimming schools in London, and one of the most long-running, with over ... More
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel Spa
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, WC1, London NW1
Taking inspiration from its surroundings and the great train journeys that set off from St Pancras station, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Spa pays homage ... More
All Star Lanes, Holborn
London > Leisure > Activities
Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, WC1, London WC1B
This fun bowling alley and restaurant is a great place for a gang of you to spend a memorable night out trying to out-do each other. ... More

WC1 Education

in or near WC1
The Place
London > Education > Evening Classes
17 Duke's Road, WC1, London WC1H
London's specialist venue for contemporary dance, The Place plays a role in every aspect of this fast-growing art form. The London Contemporary Dance School offers degrees ... More
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1, London WC1H
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is among the best schools for the studies of foreign cultures and languages in the world. In fact, ... More
The Bartlett School of Architecture
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
Wates House, 22 Gordon Street, WC1, London WC1H
The Bartlett School of Architecture, on the corner of Huntley Street and Capper Street, is part of The Bartlett: UCL's global faculty of the built environment. ... More

WC1 Meeting Venues

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course in or near WC1.
The Foundling Museum
London > Business > Venue Hire
40 Brunswick Square, WC1, London WC1N
The Foundling Museum is one of London's real hidden treasures. Originally established in 1739 as a hospital which looked after abandoned children, the museum now tells ... More
British Library Conference Centre
London > Business > Venue Hire
96 Euston Road, WC1, London NW1
As the national library of the United Kingdom the British Library is renowned for its world class collection of books but its Conference Centre is something ... More
Friends House
London > Business > Venue Hire
173-177 Euston Road, WC1, London NW1
The historic headquarters of Quakers in Britain, Friends House in Euston has 23 function rooms including a large Meeting Hall which seats up to 1,100 guests. ... More
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