Talk of the West End conjures up images of Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Marylebone and the like. But one area that goes relatively unnoticed is Bloomsbury, the thriving neighbourhood with a timeless feel.
Since 1669, the Bloomsbury Estate has owned, managed and developed Bloomsbury. The result is pretty red-brick period properties and regeneration to particular areas that offers a certain charm to this slice of central London.
If you're thinking about renting in Bloomsbury, you've come to the right place. In this London guide, we're bringing you the lowdown on everything there is to see and do in this historic WC1 postcode.
On a map
History of Bloomsbury
Named after a member of the Blemund family, Bloomsbury first appeared as Blemondisberi in 1281. The neighbourhood has a long history of arts and education that stems from creatives who lived in the area.
Many argue that its cultural richness was prevalent as early as the 1600s. There are even suggestions that it was the first community to be developed after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
By the 18th century, Bloomsbury was well known as a fashionable area, and Bloomsbury Square became the first public square in London. Over the years, Bloomsbury has grown in prestige and affluence. To this day it is still recognised as a literacy and intellectual hub of London.
Who lives there?
Bloomsbury's relatively small size means its population is just shy of 3,000. It has a median age of 33, and just over three-quarters of residents in Bloomsbury rent their home.
Renting in Bloomsbury
Rows of Georgian houses are tucked away in quaint mews while red-brick mansion flats define the character of the area. More recently, nearby Tottenham Court Road, a handful of new builds have added another dynamic to the historic neighbourhood.
Expect to pay around £2,250 for a one-bedroom property in Bloomsbury and more than £3,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Three-bedroom homes rent for around £4,500. Four and five-bedroom properties achieve anywhere between £5,000 and £10,000 per month.
The entirety of central London is on your doorstep if you live in Bloomsbury, which means you can walk anywhere. The nearest tube stations include Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines), Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines), Chancery Lane (Central London) and Russell Square (Piccadilly Line).
King's Cross is also nearby and provides access to King's Cross tube and train stations. St Pancras International is the other primary station within close proximity to Bloomsbury.
Ciao Bella is always jam-packed with diners enjoying the authentic Italian cuisine on offer. The restaurant has been going strong since 1983 and remains a favourite with Bloomsbury residents.
The Bloomsbury Club
More lavish cocktail bar than restaurant, The Bloomsbury Club still offers a few tasty bar bites that will satisfy your stomach. Styled on the infamous Bloomsbury Set, The Bloomsbury Club is a place to soak up the history of the area while enjoying a few drinks and maybe even a cigar.
Bloomsbury Street Kitchen
Enjoy Japanese and Mediterranean small-plate dining at the Bloomsbury Street Kitchen. This light and airy restaurant is the ideal place for a business lunch or spot of stylish dining. After your grub, head to the terrace and enjoy a few cocktails.
Things to do in Bloomsbury
The British Museum
The British Museum is home to a permanent collection of eight million works and is an institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. It has the most comprehensive works in existence and is right on your doorstep if you live in Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury is full of scenic garden squares that add a sense of tranquillity to an area right in the centre of London's hustle and bustle. The majority of the squares are open to the public, which means you can enjoy a peaceful afternoon lazing the day away during the warmer months.
The Brunswick Centre
Even the shopping centres in Bloomsbury contain an element of history. The Brunswick Centre, for example, is located in a Grade II listed building and features shops like Skoob Books, Cards Galore and New Look.
Moving to Bloomsbury
If you decide to call Bloomsbury "home", you will live in an area that oozes charm and has plenty of history as one of London's most cultural areas. But this central London neighbourhood is far from a place stuck in the past and continues to innovate as one of the most sought-after residential areas in the West End.