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“Definitely worth a visit if in the area”
Review of British Library

British Library
Ranked #88 of 1,912 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Activities for older children, Stairs / lift, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 13 August 2018

I'm an avid reader and I do like history too so I'm not sure why I had never been here before. I found myself in the area over the weekend and thought I'd take a look.
There is not much here for tourists and as most of the reading rooms require a pass and are just that - reading rooms (it is a library, after all). But the building is quite impressive and walking around does give you a sense of calm and serenity. There were also some interesting free temporary exhibitions dotted around such as 'Windrush' and one about Maori people living in the UK.
Aside from that the big draw is of course the Treasures Room where you can find historical documents such as the Magna Carta, as well as Shakespeare's first folio and even some Monty Python writings! I also stumbled upon the enigma machine, stationed in a quite corridor next to the Alan Turing Room.
There are paid exhibitions to be seen as well and a cafe and restaurant but I don't know if they are any good.
I imagine if you are a student or a journalist this place would be a godsend. As a tourist or visitor it is an interesting way to spend an hour or 2, away from the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross.

Thank Olivia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"magna carta"
in 774 reviews
"gutenberg bible"
in 139 reviews
"treasures room"
in 105 reviews
"historical documents"
in 103 reviews
"alice in wonderland"
in 84 reviews
"beatles lyrics"
in 78 reviews
"jane austen"
in 68 reviews
"on display"
in 206 reviews
"the sir john ritblat gallery"
in 59 reviews
"lindisfarne gospels"
in 45 reviews
"treasures gallery"
in 42 reviews
"illuminated manuscripts"
in 42 reviews
"book lovers"
in 42 reviews
"love books"
in 42 reviews
"harry potter exhibition"
in 34 reviews
"handel's messiah"
in 32 reviews
"musical scores"
in 30 reviews
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31 - 35 of 3,544 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2018

Visiting a library on a vacation may not seem like a high priority unless you are a book fanatic like I am, but the British Library is really a London must do. Original copies of the bible, Shakesphere, Di Vinci, BEATLES handwritten lyrics, and SO much more all in one room. There is a such a wide variety of amazing historical maps and documents (really something for everyone). There is also a stamp collection. We used a free audio tour by Rick Steves to give us the highlights, and ended up also spending more time than we thought we would in this one room. Free of charge.

2  Thank Amychuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2018

The facility is impressive. Staff is helpful. Gift shop has many interesting items related to British literature. Well worth the visit.

1  Thank saylesp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2018

I spent a very enjoyable and interesting 3 hours following James Cook round the world.
What an amazing man! And to be able to read his own diary and the ship’s log was beyond delight but then I am a bit of a geek when it comes to things like that.
The exhibition was well laid out and would be of interest to anyone.

3  Thank Christine16o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2018 via mobile

We were in the neighbourhood. Our friend said we had to. Treasures indeed ! Shakespeare, Woolf, Austen, Wilde! The Quran, the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta. That’s enough for basically one large, darkly lit room. No photos. Even a brief visit leaves one in awe.

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

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