The Old Curiosity Shop  

 
 
ADDRESS
13 Portsmouth Street, Holborn, London WC2A 2ES
 
 
TELEPHONE
 
OPENING TIMES
Mon to Sat 11:00-19:00
 

Nearby

 

The Old Curiosity Shop16th century shop and literary landmark.

With its precarious overhanging upper storey, uneven floorboards, sloping roof and wooden beams, this 16th century building warrants its title as probably the oldest shop in central London. It also fits perfectly the image of Charles Dickens’ creaking, half-timbered ‘Old Curiosity Shop’. While some doubt has been cast over the assumption that the shop was the inspiration behind Dickens’ novel of the same name, the building certainly does a very good job of convincing sceptics otherwise. At one time it functioned as a dairy on an estate given by King Charles II to one of his many mistresses. Made using the wood from old ships the building miraculously survived the flames of the Great Fire of 1666 and the bombs of Second World War. Still functioning as a shop (an upmarket men’s and women’s shoe boutique at the time of writing), the building’s future and architectural heritage is now protected by a preservation order. Dwarfed by more recent architectural constructions, the shop is often literally overlooked by tourists and locals alike but is worth seeking out if you’re in the area – especially if you need a new pair of shoes. Pay a visit after exploring Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Inns of Court or John Soane’s Museum.

Best for:
Creaking floorboards, wooden beams, Charles II, Dickens and shoes.

Did you know?
Charles Dickens lived at Bloomsbury and knew the area surrounding the shop very well. He was known to have visited the shop on a number of occasions.

 

The Old Curiosity Shop images

The Old Curiosity Shop   

   
The Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity Shop  


LondonTown.com - The Old Curiosity Shop Location Map

 
 
 
Underground Stations

Underground Stations

 
Holborn Tube Station
 
4 minutes walk
 
Temple Tube Station
 
6 minutes walk
 
Railway Stations

Railway Stations

 
City Thameslink Station
 
11 minutes walk
 
Charing Cross Railway Station
 
12 minutes walk
 
 
Car Parks

Car Parks

 
Drury Lane NCP
 
4 minutes walk
 
Bloomsbury Square Car Park
 
6 minutes walk
 
 
 
 

Further articles featuring The Old Curiosity Shop on LondonTown.com

 
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Charles Dickens brought Victorian London to life and his acute depictions of the capital are ones that often still ring true today, writes Felix...

 
 
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Hotels near The Old Curiosity Shop

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Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £88  25% off
61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A | 2 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Lincoln's Inn Fields is the 4th Club Quarters hotel in London. The hotel is an ideal accommodation choice for business and leisure travellers with close links ... More
 
 
 
Kingsway Hall Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £83  30% off
Great Queen Street, WC2B | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Well-equipped, comfortable rooms await guests to this elegantly modern hotel in the heart of Theatreland. Set yourself up for the day with a hearty breakfast or ... More
 
 
 
The Waldorf Hilton Hotel London
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £141  41% off
Aldwych, WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Positioned between the City's Square Mile and the thriving West End, this grand, Edwardian Hilton hotel welcomes guests with a patisserie and champagne bar in the ... More
 
 
 
 
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Alternative Shoes nearest The Old Curiosity Shop

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Birkenstock
London > Shopping > Shoes
24 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H | 7 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Every summer, the London streets are ablaze with a rich array of sandals and flip-flops. Clumpy, frumpy and built for comfort, Birkenstock footwear has become fashionable ... More
 
 
 
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Natural Shoe Store
London > Shopping > Shoes
21 Neal Street, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London WC2H | 7 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
These are shoes that stay resolutely the same whatever the trends. The designs reflect the name, with comfort as the watchword - most are ergonomic and ... More
 
 
 
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Camper
London > Shopping > Shoes
39 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 7 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Exciting shoe design from Camper, both quirky and sensible and currently the epitome of cool footwear. ... More
 
 
 
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Charles Worthington
London > Shopping > Hair and Grooming
28 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Service is a watchword at this salon, where clients are guaranteed a first-class hairdressing experience. Celebrity coiffeur Worthington personally trains all his staff and standards are ... More
 
 
 
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Bloomsbury Flowers
London > Shopping > Florists
29 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Bloomsbury Flowers don't do off-the-peg, so if you want to be in and out in two minutes think again. However, if you want to impress with ... More
 
 
 
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SugarSin
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
1 Russell Street, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Covent Garden got a little bit sweeter at the beginning of 2012 with the opening of SugarSin. Run by Swedish sisters Anna and ... More
 
 
 
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The Play That Goes Wrong
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 5th September 2014 to 25th February 2018
The Old Curiosity Shop, Catherine Street, WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Presented by the award-winning, international comedy company Mischief Theatre, The Play That Goes Wrong follows the inept and accident prone Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society ...More
 
 
 
Mamma Mia!
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 6th September 2012 to 3rd March 2018
The Old Curiosity Shop, Aldwych, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Through the story-telling magic of the songs of ABBA, we meet Donna, a feisty forty-something single mum, who recalls the distant memories of carefree days and ...More
 
 
 
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London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 24th October 2016 to 13th January 2019
The Old Curiosity Shop, Drury Lane, WC2B | 5 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Students at a prestigious prep school "stick it to the man" with encouragement from their substitute teacher - wannabe rock star Dewey Finn - in the ...More
 
 
 
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Portugal Street, Holborn, London WC2A | 1 minute from The Old Curiosity Shop
This theatre is a major force on the national and international dance scene, with an innovative programme from Sadler's Wells that is keeping London's finger ... More
 
 
 
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Theatre Royal Drury Lane
London > Entertainment > Theatres
Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
London's oldest theatre is also its most spectacular, with a palatial auditorium that is among the most impressive in the world. The first theatre on this ... More
 
 
 
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Fortune Theatre
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Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
The first theatre built after World War I is an astonishing piece of architecture. Built in 1922-4, it preceded the arrival of the Art Deco and ... More
 
 
 
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Hunterian Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A | 1 minute from The Old Curiosity Shop
The Hunterian Museum within the Royal College of Surgeons boasts a host of enlightening, permanent and temporary, galleries and exhibitions. Housed in the college, the Hunterian ... More
 
 
 
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Sir John Soane's Museum
London > Attractions > Museums
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
An appealingly higgledy-piggledy treasure trove of artefacts, the extraordinary Sir John Soane's Museum elegantly located on Lincoln's Inn Fields is well worth an exploratory rummage. Lurking ... More
 
 
 
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Inns of Court and Royal Courts of Justice
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Strand, Holborn, London WC2A | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Coopers
London > Restaurants > Modern European restaurants
49A Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A | 1 minute from The Old Curiosity Shop
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36-38 Kingsway, WC2B | 2 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Pret A Manger
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
29 Kingsway, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 2 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
1 Sheffield Street, Holborn, London WC2A | 1 minute from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 6 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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The Method Studio
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R | 6 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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The Old Curiosity Shop gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
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Lincoln's Inn Fields
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Holborn, Holborn, London WC2A | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
The largest public square in London, Lincoln's Inn Fields has a rich and varied history. In 1683 it was the site of the public beheading of ... More
 
 
 
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Sense Spa at Rosewood London
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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The Hospital Club
London > Leisure > Arts Centres
24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H | 6 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Before it was a hip private members' club designed specifically for the creative industries - complete with bar and dining rooms, cinema, TV and recording studios ... More
 
 
 
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Philomena's Irish Bar
London > Nightlife > Pubs
40 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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39 Bow Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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40 Essex Street, Holborn, London WC2R | 5 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Lowlander Beer Cafe
London > Nightlife > Bars
36 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
The reputation of the Benelux breweries precedes them and this themed bar captures the flair of Dutch cafe culture too. The impressive row of shiny silver ... More
 
 
 
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The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych
London > Nightlife > Bars
1 Aldwych, Covent Garden, London WC2B | 4 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Named one of the top five hotel bars in the world by the Sunday Telegraph, the Lobby Bar at the chic One Aldwych hotel is renowned ... More
 
 
 
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Scarfes Bar
London > Nightlife > Bars
252 High Holborn, Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V | 5 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Named after the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe (whose characterful illustrations will adorn the bar's walls), Scarfes Bar is a shining beacon in the otherwise lacking High Holborn ... More
 
 
 
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Sir John Soane's Museum
London > Business > Venue Hire
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
An appealingly higgledy-piggledy treasure trove of artefacts, the extraordinary Sir John Soane's Museum elegantly located on Lincoln's Inn Fields is well worth an exploratory rummage. Lurking ... More
 
 
 
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Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn
London > Business > Venue Hire
Treasury Office, Holborn, London WC2A | 3 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
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Silver Fleet - Woods River Cruises
London > Business > Venue Hire
Somerset House South Wing Strand, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 6 minutes from The Old Curiosity Shop
Enjoy a luxury cruise on the Silver Fleet. Departing from the Savoy Pier and cruising along the Thames. A classy way to see the Thames.... More
 
 
 
 

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