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“If you love books you'll love this library!”
Review of British Library

British Library
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Private Custom Tour: London in a Day
Ranked #46 of 1,679 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: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 15 January 2011

I arrived at 3pm to take the tour (8 pounds)which is scheduled for an hour, but I got a talkative guide who gave me 2 hours. Amazing building with incredible amount of history. The English language exhibit was going on at the time and I saw amazing works from the Magda Carta to Cantebury Tales and Shakespeare.

4  Thank traveljunk1e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,439 - 2,443 of 3,074 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2011

Popped in here during a short break to London and visited the Evolving English exhibition, one of my favourite subjects!
Exceptionally well thought out and presented. Really interesting material and easy to navigate around the exhibits.
Did not have time to see more of the building, which was a shame. Will definitely make time during out next visit to London.

1  Thank jc30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2010

While the outside of the British Library is architecturally interesting red brick, the inside is wonderful. Wide staircases, a nifty gift shop, free admission, and the Treasures Room. When I was there i got to see Jane Austen's writing desk (the sort you store stationary in and sit on your lap or a low table) and a pair of her glasses. Also young Prince Hal's (Henry VIII to be) religious study scroll, plus a wide range of religious books from around the world, and a collection of Alice illustrations starting with the original Tenniell drawings. Great washrooms, a coffee shop, and geek paradise. Definitely worth a visit if you like books and writers and maps and such.

7  Thank LaCorsaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

it's worth doing a master's degree, just to get access to the reading rooms and feel part of the BL. I'm doing a course which without this resource would be impossible. The Peyton and Byrne cafe on floor 1 is excellent, without being overpriced. The atmosphere is perfect for study without being at all stuffy. Visitors can explore pretty freely - the reading rooms are for readers only of course, but the rest - shop, gallery, cafes, courtyard (a great place to sit in the sun) is open to everyone. Free water fountains too. If you want to know what's in the reading rooms - rows of desks with green tops, each with a reading lamp and socket for your laptop, a couple of dozen computers to look up the catalogue, and a hushed, hallowed atmosphere. I love it.

Thank ChicChantal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Great things: close to the tube, free, historically significant, nice gift shop.

I would suggest doing a little background checking before going to the library, especially if you're taking children or teenagers. An American equivalent is the Library of Congress rather than you local branch. But, to see the original Beatle manuscripts, Jane Austin's original copies, Alice in Wonderland, the Magna Carta and well as a roomful of other treasures was really quite impressive. The curators have done a tremendous job with the descriptions, so that you get a rich sense of history without it being dull. They also have occasional exhibits that are well done. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed this.

1  Thank patio53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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