Bloomsbury and Russell Square are often thought to the central commuter hubs, making the main roads roar with traffic as buses hurtle by. The noise, like much of London can be overwhelming so it is surprising to find that there are quite a few hideaways in the Russell Square and Bloomsbury area. Not only will guests at The Montcalm at the Brewery London City find some peace and quiet in the area. Whether you’re alone or with your family, there are plenty of places in the area to take a breather.
The Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum is dedicated to the history of babies who have been abandoned and left to the care of guardians other than the parents. The history of the museum, located in Russell Square dates back to before 1926, when the original site on which the museum now sits, was a hospital for abandoned children and was sold off to the Coran Foundation. The museum was opened in 2004 and records the history of the hospital as well as some of the inhabitants and staff who worked there through the ages. This intimate and often heart breaking museum records the quiet plight of those children who suffered from parental abandonment.
Grant’s Museum of Zoology
Another of the amazing Museums in the City of London, the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy is located near Russell Square on the grounds of the University College of London and was founded by Robert Edmond Grant, in a bid to teach his pupils about animals and their anatomies. The museum contains a stunning 67,000 skeletons and specimens of animals from a wide range of different species making it a must see for any animal lover. The often rare specimens include material donated by Queen Mary University, Imperial College London, London Zoo and London Hospital. Material on display include Dodo bones, Rhamphorhynchus, a type of pterosaur from the Jurassic period’s fossils and the skeletons of the now extinct Zebra subspecies, the Quagga.
Weather permitting, there are many relaxing squares and parks dotted around the Russell Square and Bloomsbury area. These include Bloomsbury Square and the titular Russell Square. Bloomsbury Square is famous for it being where Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister and his writer father Isaac Disraeli lived for a few years in the 19th century. The square was developed by the 4th Earl of Southampton and is thought to be one of the earliest known London Squares has a green park area in its centre, lined with classic terraced houses.
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology was founded as part of the UCL campus and a teaching resource for the department of archaeology with initial donations from Amelia Edwards as well as the findings of William Matthew Flinders Petrie from his excavations who sold his antiquities to UCL and in doing so created one of the greatest collections of Egyptian artefacts outside of its country of origin. These include early linen from the Egyptian era as well as sculptures of lions dating back to 3000 BC. The museum also holds fragments from one of the earliest calendars ever found and parts of some of the oldest wills ever found, written down on papyrus paper.
Camley Street Natural Park
The Camley Street Natural Park is another great place to go in the sunshine for some peace and quiet. An urban nature reserve located near Kings Cross, the Camley natural park comprises of almost 2 acres of wildlife sanctuary and oasis, formed from the nearby St Pancras basin and lock.