Russell Square Hotels

Attractions near Russell Square

British Museum
World-renowned museum of human history and culture. Over seven millions objects from all over the world are housed in this impressive museum of human history and culture (many of the artifacts are stored underneath the museum due to lack of space). Founded in 1753, displays ranging from prehistoric to modern times were primarily based on the collections of physician and scientist, Sir Hans Sloane. Notable objects include the Parthenon Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, sculptures from the Parthenon, the Sutton Hoo and Mildenhall treasures, and the Portland Vase. The hieroglyphics and classical sculptures are instantly recognisable and world famous, but more surprising is the workmanship and beauty of the Saxon jewellery collection. The treasures assembled here, from Britain's Dark Ages, reveal a period of original and brilliant artistry. The museum's Great Court with its magnificent glass and steel roof by Sir Norman Foster is an exhibition piece in itself. Regular events include talks, films, performances and demonstrations.

The Foundling Museum
The Foundling Hospital 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 their story. Using oral testimony, original artefacts and photographs, their history is explored and compared to the lives of contemporary children. In addition, the museum displays works by the many artists who became governors of the hospital, including William Hogarth and Handel. It's all housed in interiors preserved from the 18th century. There are very few museums in London that offer such a fascinating history.

The Cartoon Museum
London's first museum of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art.
Combining art with humour, this recent addition to London's museum-cum-gallery scene is refreshingly vibrant. From political cartoons of Bush and Blair to rare originals on loan from The Beano, The Dandy and Topper, this is a place for reminiscing over childhood favourites whilst contemplating cartooning controversies of recent years. Hogarth prints, classic works by Gillray, and 3D cartoons including Gerald Scarfe's Chairman Mao, help chart the progression of this popular art-form in Britain from the 18th century onwards. This place is positively brimming with cartoons, caricatures and comics, guaranteed to keep you sniggering throughout your visit. Don't miss the colour mural painted by top cartoonists including Steve Bell. Workshops and a huge library of over 3000 books complete the (exceptionally well-penned) picture.

British Library
With over 150 million items, a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, artwork by artists such as Antony Gormley and Eduardo Paolozzi, and a host of historically momentous works - including the Magna Carta (off display until August 2008 for essential conservation), the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare's First Folio and the Lindisfarne Gospels - a guided tour around the British Library is essential if you only have time for one visit. This is, after all, the largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century and, as such, warrants a guided tour around its cavernous spaces. While the library has a lot to offer the casual visitor - exhibition galleries (mostly free) special exhibitions, events, films, musical performances and poetry readings - if it's your first visit it's a good idea to let an experienced guide navigate you through the main treasures that call this place home. These guides also really know their stuff and will open your eyes to this gargantuan repository. Of particular interest is the Diamond Sutra, the world's earliest dated printed book, and the only surviving copy of 'Beowulf'. The King's Library - a three-story glass tower - forms the centre-piece of the building both architecturally and in terms of its historic acquisitions. With 65,000 printed volumes, The King's Library refers to King George III, whose personal collection is on display here. Some of the tours include access to the reading rooms, access to which is usually limited to those with passes. While it is free to explore this iconic building, paying for a tour is more than worth it if you only have a few hours to take everything in.

Pushkin House
Named after the famous nineteenth century Russian author and poet, Pushkin House is a place where Russian literature, art, film, music, theatre and dance, as well as history, philosophy and politics thrives. Opened in November 2006, after the original Russian cultural centre set up in the 1950s on Ladbroke Grove shut down, Pushkin House works with distinguished cultural organisations in Russia. Regular events are designed to encourage discussion and interaction include lectures and talks, seminars, conferences, exhibitions, films, concerts and readings. The house in Bloomsbury also contains its own reference library dedicated to Russian culture where you can read up on everything from theatre and ballet to the history of the Soviet Union or catch up with the daily newspapers.

New St Pancras Church
Completed in 1822 New St Pancras Church was the most expensive church to be constructed since St Paul's was rebuilt after the Great Fire. This Greek Revival structure owes much to the Temple of Erectheum on the Acropolis on Athens - especially the west portico with six towering Ionic columns and an octagonal tower. The interior is a special example of the Georgian era and there are some notable examples of stained-glass. There are free lunchtime musical recitals every Thursday and regular art exhibitions in the crypt.

Welcome Collection
A major cultural venue costing £30 million combines three galleries: 'Medicine Man', 'Medicine Now' and 'special exhibitions'. In addition you'll find the famous Welcome Library, cafe, bookshop and a 'forum' to consider issues of science, health and human identity. The 1,300 objects on display show the great variety of considerations that these topics include. Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Andy Warhol and Martin Parr sit alongside artifacts such as Nelon's razor, a DNA-sequencing robot and 19th century sex aids. Who would have thought science could be so interesting? Well, Charles Darwin for one and he's represented here too - by his whalebone walking stick, complete with skull detail. You can expect some interesting one-off exhibitions here, starting with 'The Heart', with fascinating footage of live heart surgery; a video-link allows the audience to ask the surgical team questions as they carry out the complex reconstruction of a heart valve. If you're still hungry after that - and if you are then you're the type of person who can have supper while watching 'Casualty' - then head to Peyton and Byrne, the second branch of Oliver Peyton's stylish British bakery (the first being at Heal's on Tottenham Court Road). Terrines, tarts, pies, soups and salads are available to eat in or take out and the teatime treats are highly recommended.

St Patrick's Soho
Nestled among the trendy, cosmopolitan area of Soho lies this striking red brick church with its conspicuous towering spire. Inside, St Patrick's takes on the Catholic traditions of intricate pomp and ceremony. This Italianate church was the first in England, following the Reformation, to be named after St Patrick. Ever since its earliest day it has been a spiritual home for the Irish in London. While it was never a crux of Irish nationalism in the political sense, it has always been a focus for devotion to St Patrick, a place to celebrate his festival in style and a place to be staunchly proud of Irish blood. Aside from St Paddy's Day, there are masses held here every day, making this church a peaceful place to pray and reflect in the heart of Soho.


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