Take a look at Bloomsbury
The principal draw in Bloomsbury is the incomparable British Museum where the Rosetta Stone and the controversial Elgin Marbles (should they be returned to the Parthenon?) are but two of 4,000 “highlights”. (The museum’s website suggests what to see if you have only an hour to spare.) General admission is free; the museum’s special exhibitions, for which there’s a fee, pull enormous crowds. Open daily 10:00 to 17:30 and on Friday until 20:30. . www.britishmuseum.org
It’s a 20-minute walk from the British Museum to the Petrie Museum on Malet Place, where the finds of an extraordinary English Egyptologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, are exhibited. It’s an old fashioned museum stuffed with fascinating objects (80,000 of them) including one of the oldest garments known to exist.. a pleated linen dress worn by a woman in 2,800 BC. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 13:00-17:00, closed Monday. www.petriemuseum.com You could take a taxi from one museum to the other but you’d miss an interesting walk.
A stroll down Gower Street takes you past Bedford Square one of London’s best preserved Georgian set pieces. At 7 Gower Street, a Blue Plaque commemorates the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the artists who sought to free Art from the Victorian grip of the 19th century. Next, look to the right down Kepel Street for a glimpse of the towering Senate House on Malet Street.It housed the Ministry of Information between the two World Wars and was the inspiration for the ‘Ministry of Truth’ in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four. At 62-64 Gower Street is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. John Gielgud, Anthony Hopkins and Richard Attenborough are just three of its famous alumni. Book a tour at www.rada.ac.uk
You’re now nearing the Petrie Museum. Where Gower Street meets Torrington Place (there’s a Waterstone’s bookshop at the corner) cross the road and turn right for the entrance to Malet Place. Follow this laneway almost to the end; the Petrie Museum, a modest, two story building, on the left, is marked with a banner.« Back