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“Surprisingly good first visit”
Review of British Library

British Library
Book In Advance
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US$123.07*
and up
Private Custom Tour: London in a Day
Ranked #46 of 1,736 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Open to all visitors seven-days-a-week, this superb building by Sir Colin St John Wilson offers events, special exhibitions and a Treasures Gallery that displays over 200 items, including Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible and lyrics by the Beatles.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 14 July 2014

On a weekend of celebrating my husband's 40th, I decided we'd end the trip here, as my husband is a huge comic book fan, and the exhibition on this looked right up his street (if not necessarily mine!). Also, having spent many years visiting London, I have somehow never managed to visit the library. What a pleasant surprise! The cloakroom was able to look after our many bags (we were traveling straight home from Kings Cross after our visit so had quite a few!). We were able to buy one and get one free on the exhibition tickets on presenting our train tickets at the booking office. The comic book exhibition I think was quite good if you like that kind of thing - my husband enjoyed it, and I found some of it quite interesting (some of the young men looking round could have possibly done with some lessons in personal hygiene though!!). For me the real treat was the Treasures of the British Library - the Magna Carta, handwritten Beatles lyrics. hand written bible extracts from the 3rd century, drawings by Michealangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, handwritten works of Jane Austen.... the list goes on and on. A shame so many of the (mostly American) tourists couldn't respect the clearly visible requests to NOT take photos, and somewhat selfishly using their flash photography potentially damaging such precious works.

2  Thank Layla047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 July 2014

With half and hour to spare I thought I would escape the heat of London and headed to the air conditioned heaven that is the British Library just off the Euston Road and was blown away with what I found.

Hidden within this modern brick building must be one of London's greatest treasures of antiquity - the most amazing collection of documents I think Ive ever seen.

From original handwritten music scores by Handel, Mozart and Beethoven, notebooks from Leonardo Da Vinci, the collection continues through Shakespeares first folio of work, Laurence Oliver's script for Macbeth, all the way through to letters from Churchill and original Beatles memorabilia.

For those less "celebrity" minded there is also a jaw dropping collection of beautiful illuminated bibles and holy scripts from all the major world religions - I was looking at this strange writing and suddenly realised that what I was peering at was an original fourth century book!

Best of all the collection of over 200 documents is entirely free to visit and open seven days a week.

Further changing exhibitions - there is a great little WW1 display at the moment - a nice cafe and clean bathroom facilities mean this should definitely be on your list if you have time to spare.

Thank snowydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

This is by far one of the greatest places to study, read, or just even relax! With great facilities such as reading rooms, study areas, wi-fi and cafes, this has to be one of the most thought provoking places to take your work, studying or reading to the next level! When you are there, explore and look for the Magna Carta.... Enjoy!

Thank Craig A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

I often just pop in because I enjoy the architecture, the free exhibition which I always find interesting, and generally just being there. You don't have to be a researcher to use and enjoy this place. We treated ourselves to the Library Tour once and really enjoyed it, it was a fascinating insight to the way the Library works, and the 'Georgians ' exhibitions (special exhibitions are not free) not long ago was very interesting. I am always amazed to find most people I know haven't been there yet, although we only live a short distance outside London. However everyone I have recommended it to, has always enjoyed it and found it interesting..

Thank Way2go20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

Went to the temporary exhibit on British comics. Very good if that is your thing. Goes from Victorian origins to modern comics covering different themes.

Thank Plsugarman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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