The Poetry Library  

 
 
ADDRESS
Level 5, South Bank, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 8XX
 
 
TELEPHONE
 
OPENING TIMES
Tue to Sun 11am-8pm | Closed Mon
 

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The Poetry LibraryThe most comprehensive and accessible collection of poetry from 1914 in Britain, The Poetry Library within the Southbank Centre contains 90,000 items and is still growing. The Arts Council collection consists mostly of poetry from the UK and Ireland, a large selection from English-speaking countries worldwide, poetry in translation, poetry by and for children but also rap and concrete poetry. Audio and video facilities are available in addition to a large variety of magazines, press cuttings and downloadable poems in MP3 format. Finding a volume of poetry and tucking yourself away in The Poetry Library on Level 5 of the Royal Festival Hall overlooking the Thames is one of London's most enjoyable means of escapism.

 

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The Poetry Library   

   
The Poetry Library

The Poetry Library  


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London's Best Events 2020

Find out the best London 2020 events with our comprehensive guide to the top entertainment in the city throughout the year. From January through to December, 2020 is packed with unmissable events - so read on to get the best out of London town.

 
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Park Plaza County Hall Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £113  40% off
1 Addington Street, SE1 | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
Close to Waterloo, the 4 star Park Plaza is - as the name suggests - just behind County Hall. Near to the Thames, it's also convenient ... More
 
 
 
Corinthia Hotel London
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £450  25% off
Whitehall Place, SW1A | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
With 294 bedrooms, multi-level penthouse suites and terraces offering spectacular views of the River Thames, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall - the £300 million restoration of the ... More
 
 
 
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £120  26% off
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 | 7 minutes from The Poetry Library
The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a modern, design-led hotel a short walk from some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Big Ben and ... More
 
 
 
 
THE BEST

Alternative Museums nearest The Poetry Library

Nearest to The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
British Optical Association Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
42 Craven Street, WC2N | 8 minutes from The Poetry Library
Run by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers the British Optical Association Museum in Charing Cross features historic examples of London-made spectacles from ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Household Cavalry Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
Horse Guards, Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A | 9 minutes from The Poetry Library
Visitors to the Household Cavalry Museum can watch troopers working with their horses in the original 18th century stables (via a glazed screen) and hear accounts ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
London Transport Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 9 minutes from The Poetry Library
After a two-year, £22 million refurbishment the London Transport Museum reopened on 22 November 2007 revealing more exhibition space than before. The museum travels back through ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Sights and Attractions near The Poetry Library

The best museums, galleries, attractions near The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
South Bank
London > Attractions >
South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
This stretch along the Thames is one of the cultural and social hubs of London with the Southbank Centre - which includes Royal Festival Hall, Queen ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Hayward Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 1 minute from The Poetry Library
The Hayward Gallery has been the originator or host of influential exhibitions since 1968. It mounts temporary exhibitions of contemporary and historical art. The gallery, named ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre Beach
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
Queens Walk, SE1 | 2 minutes from The Poetry Library
Every summer, from the end of May until the beginning of September, the Southbank Centre brings the beach to ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Events near The Poetry Library

Near The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Good
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 6th October to 19th December 2020
The Poetry Library, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
David Tennant, the well loved actor best known for playing Doctor Who, returns to the West End to star in Good, the first play from the ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Ongoing
A Doll's House
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 10th June to 5th September 2020
The Poetry Library, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will make her West End debut in 2020, starring in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Playhouse Theatre. Part ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Ongoing
Sunday in the Park with George
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 11th June to 5th September 2020
The Poetry Library, Savoy Court, Strand, WC2R | 7 minutes from The Poetry Library
Jake Gyllenhaal returns to the West End in summer 2020 to star in Sunday in the Park with George at the Savoy Theatre. The production transfers ...More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Entertainment near The Poetry Library

Near The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre
London > Entertainment > Arts Centres
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
London's hub of cultural arts, The Southbank Centre announced in March 2013 that it's set for a £100 million revamp that will see the 1960s design ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre: Purcell Room
London > Entertainment > Classical Music
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Housed in the same modernist block as the Royal Festival Hall and sandwiched between it and the Hayward Gallery, the Purcell Room has a 372-seat auditorium, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall
London > Entertainment > Live Music
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Located by the River Thames, with sweeping views of the capital from the London Eye to St Paul's Cathedral, the Southbank Centre is a unique metropolitan ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Shopping near The Poetry Library

The best shops and markets near The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Foyles Royal Festival Hall
London > Shopping > Books
Riverside, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
The family-run Foyles book shop has been in the book selling business since 1906. Around 30,000 books are stocked at this branch on a broad range ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Konditor
London > Shopping > Delicatessens
22 Cornwall Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
Konditor specialises in the creation of amazingly tasty cakes which are also sold on to some of the finest restaurants in the city. This, the first ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Lower Marsh Market
London > Shopping > Markets
Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1 | 7 minutes from The Poetry Library
On weekdays a street food market runs along Lower Marsh displaying a diverse range of global food for all tastes, from Italian ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Restaurants near The Poetry Library

What are the best dining options near The Poetry Library London?
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Eat Cafe
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Food to go in its simplest form. Freeshly baked bread for hand-made made sandwhiches; home made soups; simple salads. Another high street option for fresh. fast ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Strada
London > Restaurants > Italian restaurants
Unit 6, Royal Festival Hall Riverside, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Strada has started something of a pizza revolution. The chain has blossomed thanks largely to its focus on fresh, high quality ingredients, and efficient, friendly service. ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Giraffe
London > Restaurants > International restaurants
Unit 1, Royal Festival Hall Riverside, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
If you happen to be with the kids on the South Bank this summer this is a great little eatery in which to recharge their batteries. ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Education near The Poetry Library

Near The Poetry Library
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 7 minutes from The Poetry Library
The Courtauld is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, affiliated with the Oxbridge system and boasting a huge private location and prime ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
1 Sheffield Street, Holborn, London WC2A | 12 minutes from The Poetry Library
The award-winning Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, designed by Irish architects O'Donnell + Tuomey and awarded the RIBA London Building of the Year Award in 2014, ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The London Film School
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
24 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H | 13 minutes from The Poetry Library
The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world. The school has contributed significantly to ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Leisure near The Poetry Library

The Poetry Library gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
London Marriott Hotel County Hall Spa
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1 | 4 minutes from The Poetry Library
Fancy detoxing in the building where the Greater London Council used to run the city? The Spa at the London Marriott County ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Jubilee Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
3 Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 4 minutes from The Poetry Library
The concrete promenade along the South Bank greatly benefits from this large patch of green grass for striders, strollers and sightseers to relax on. Not ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Bernie Spain Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Upper Ground, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
Located between Oxo Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens is a pleasant green space to stop off on a riverside walk along the South ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Pubs near The Poetry Library

The best pubs near London The Poetry Library.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
King's Arms
London > Nightlife > Pubs
25 Roupell Street, South Bank, London SE1 | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
A short walk from the South Bank Centre, The Old Vic and The National Theatre this traditional old watering hole is a good place to have ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Sherlock Holmes
London > Nightlife > Pubs
10 Northumberland Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 7 minutes from The Poetry Library
Thirsty Sherlock Holmes fans look no further than this homage to the great detective himself and to original Victorian pubs. While you indulge in a soothing ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Thirsty Bear
London > Nightlife > Pubs
62 Stamford Street, South Bank, London SE1 | 8 minutes from The Poetry Library
If you're the kind of drinker who gets thirsty, very thirsty, and you don't have the time or patience to queue for at a very busy ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Nightlife near The Poetry Library

The Poetry Library clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
London > Nightlife > Bars
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Designed by the Eden Project, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening for stunning sundown views over the ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Bassoon Bar
London > Nightlife > Bars
Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, Westminster, London SW1A | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
The cocktails in the Bassoon Bar are very good, expensive, yes, but very, very good. Not only that but the bar has a piano which is ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Gordon's Wine Bar
London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
47 Villiers Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 6 minutes from The Poetry Library
Home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s, the building housing Gordon’s is now home to a regular, thriving crowd of drinkers of all ages and all ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Meeting venue hire near The Poetry Library

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course near The Poetry Library.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Skylon
London > Business > Venue Hire
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
The Royal Festival Hall's refurbishment has done away with 'The People's Palace', the marvellously 1950s restaurant that used to occupy this space, and replaced it with ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall
London > Business > Venue Hire
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 | Same location as The Poetry Library
Located by the River Thames, with sweeping views of the capital from the London Eye to St Paul's Cathedral, the Southbank Centre is a unique metropolitan ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Deck at the National Theatre
London > Business > Venue Hire
South Bank, South Bank, London SE1 | 3 minutes from The Poetry Library
The Deck is a modern roof-top venue with stunning views over the Thames, available for hire at the National Theatre, part of the Southbank Centre which ... More
 
 
 
 
 

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What's On Today

Near The Poetry Library

 
 
 
Underbelly Festival
Underbelly Festival
Theatre | Until 27th September 2020 

Underbelly Festival

The unrivalled Underbelly Festival presents over 70 shows for five months of comedy, cabaret and children's shows. In a temporary ...More

 
Witness For The Prosecution
Witness For The Prosecution
Theatre | Until 13th September 2020 

The Debating Chamber, County Hall 4 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Set the Debating Chamber of London's County Hall - a room which resembles a courtroom in every way - Lucy ...More

 
A Doll's House
A Doll's House
Theatre | Until 5th September 2020 

Playhouse Theatre 6 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain will make her West End debut in 2020, starring in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's ...More

 
No Comply: Skate Culture and the Community
No Comply: Skate Culture and the Community
Exhibitions | Until 18th August 2020 

Somerset House 7 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Through a display of works by leading filmmakers, photographers and designers, No Comply at Somerset House explores the popularity of ...More

 
Sunday in the Park with George
Sunday in the Park with George
Theatre | Until 5th September 2020 

Savoy Theatre 7 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Jake Gyllenhaal returns to the West End in summer 2020 to star in Sunday in the Park with George at ...More

 
Nightingale in 200 Objects: Leader, Icon And Pioneer
Exhibitions | Until 7th March 2021 

Florence Nightingale Museum 7 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Exhibitions & Art, Multimedia....More

Magic Goes Wrong
Magic Goes Wrong
Theatre | Until 30th August 2020 

Vaudeville Theatre 8 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Mischief Theatre, creators of The Play That Goes Wrong, join forces with master magicians Penn & Teller to conjure an ...More

 
Local Hero
Theatre | Until 22nd August 2020 

Old Vic Theatre 8 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Bill Forsyth's 1980s comic drama, Local Hero, receives a stage adaptation at the Old Vic Theatre in 2020. The musical ...More

Waitress
Waitress
Theatre | Until 4th July 2020 

Adelphi Theatre 8 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Based on the 2007 film by Adrienne Shelley, Waitress the musical tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker ...More

 
Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia!
Theatre | Until 19th September 2020 

Novello Theatre 9 minutes walk from The Poetry Library

Through the story-telling magic of the songs of ABBA, we meet Donna, a feisty forty-something single mum, who recalls the ...More

 
 
 
 
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