Visit to the British Library
18th October 2013
The British Library is a few minutes’ walk from St Pancras station. We could travel by train to London Bridge (9.09 from Edenbridge) and then either take a bus or a First Capital Connect train to St Pancras depending on timings.
Opening hours are from 9.30am – 6.00pm. Entrance is free but public tours cost £8.00 or £6.50 for concessions. Public tours are at 10.30am and 3.00pm but are quickly booked up. A group tour can be arranged at £85 for up to 15 people and might allow more flexibility. I have provisionally booked a group tour for 11.15am to allow time for a coffee beforehand (maybe in Gilbert Scott’s St Pancras hotel). For the group tour to be cheaper we would need to have 15 people (£5.60ea) but we could open the trip up to other groups if undersubscribed. Alternatively if our numbers were small we would need to book onto the public tour before it becomes full.
“Discover more about our history, collections and architecture on a tour of the public areas of the Library. The tour includes a visit to the Viewing Gallery where you can see some of the Reading Rooms and find out how books are stored, accessed and delivered.”
The library has several free exhibitions on including a display of Children's Illustrated Classics. This includes classic children’s books from the 20th century such as Paddington Bear, Peter Pan and Willy Wonka, and classic works such as the Just So Stories, The Wind in the Willows and The Hobbit.
Other important books are kept in the Treasures Gallery. This contains about 250 items including a Guttenberg Bible, Beowolf, a Magna Carta, Beethoven’s tuning fork and Handel’s messiah.
We could eat lunch together at the Kings Library restaurant which services a selection of salads, hot dishes and stir fries.
After lunch members who do not want to participate in the optional walk could spend the afternoon in London independently or return home. Travel to Victoria from St Pancras by underground or by Number 73 bus (St Pancras Stop A) if you would like a more leisurely, scenic route.
Post Lunch Walk
The Bloomsbury Festival is on from the 15th -20th October so I will try to incorporate some of the events/displays into the walk as well as passing Length of walk to be decided by stamina of participants on the day!
Discover the historical shopkeepers of Marchmont Street through this fascinating temporary installation of commemorative plaques, which reveals who occupied the storefronts from the early 19th century onwards. A special Festival installation from the Marchmont Street Association.
18 Rugby St.
Discover the creative life of this London house, from the 1950s when Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Peter O’Toole were all residents, through to the creative spirit of today. See timeless portraits of both the tenants and the house itself by Bloomsbury artist, Bobby Williams.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you are able to come on Friday 18th October so I can book the most cost effective options.