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Top literary attractions in London

When it comes to having produced some of the greatest figures in literature, there are very few countries that may claim to having produced as many great writers as England has! The country has been home to some the greatest scribes in history. When you on a trip to England keep an eye out to look for blue plaques that mark the places, where people of literary importance and from other spheres would have stayed and worked. From homes to museums, libraries to pubs there are plenty of not-to-miss spots for literature enthusiasts to explore in the city.

And most of them are within or close to the city centre, where some of the best luxury hotels in London are situated. Therefore to make the most of a holiday in London, it is recommended to choose a hotel to stay in the city centre.

If you are looking for comfort and luxury at a reasonable price The Montcalm London Marble Arch is the hotel to stay at. And it is well connected to some of the best literary attractions that are spread across the city, which include places like:

Some of Charles Dickens popular haunts:
Charles Dickens had a peculiar if not outright quirky love-hate relationship with London. Charles Dickens’ London was a both a stunning and horrendous place. During its peak of the British Empire, London was considered to be the envy of the then modern world. It was the most majestic city of its kind on the planet, where unimaginable wealth coursed through the city every day. Contrastingly the city was also an odious stench-filled sewage dump. It was over crowded and squalid where most of the lower classes stayed cheek-by-jowl. With stinking streets and unsanitary conditions in several parts of the city, London was a far cry from what it is today. Thankfully Dickensian London is a much more hygienic experience and three Dickens related places to visit are:

Charles Dickens Museum: Although Dickens stayed in this house in Holborn only for two years, it earned fame as being the spot where he created Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelby. In 1923, there were plans to demolish the house, which were shelved and the Dickens Fellowship took charge of the site and made it a museum which exhibited a collection of the writer’s memorabilia and personal belongings. These included furniture, manuscripts and paintings among an assortment of other personal effects. Visitors can choose to opt for a costumed tour (third Saturday of every month) or they could take a self-guided tour of the museum. The Costumed Tour has a period-clad housemaid who gives a guided tour of the museum.

The George Inn: The pub goes back about 400 years, despite being destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is the last of its kind galleried coaching inn in the city. Dickens was regular patron of the pub and it has even earned a mention in Little Dorrit. It is said that Shakespeare also frequented the place although it seems to be more of a speculation, considering it is close to the Globe theatre. It is now under the ownership of the National Trust.


Southwark Cathedral: When you go through Dickens body of works you will find no mention of Southwark Cathedral as it was just St. Saviour’s Church in his time. It is one of the oldest churches in London and has been mentioned in Oliver Twist using its former name – ‘The tower of old Saint Saviour’s Church, and the spire of Saint Magnus, so long the giant-warders of the ancient bridge, were visible in the gloom.’ It is reason enough to take a tour of the place which has a literary link to Charles Dickens.

The British Library: When we think about literary spots in London there is no better place than the magnificent British Library. It initially was a part of the legendary British Museum and only moved to its present location in 1998 to Euston Road. The entire collection which comprises of more than 150 million items also includes a priceless manuscript that is more than 4000 years old. It is the second biggest library on the planet after the Library of Congress in Washington. One of the best spots for literary enthusiasts to begin their tour is the Ritblat Gallery that is located close to the main entrance on the right. It has an incredible archival collection that includes invaluable works like Shakespeare’s First Folio, original copies of Beowulf, the Magna Carta, select works of Jane Austen and a Gutenberg Bible among other precious literary items.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum: Although, it is located in an area that is 237-241 Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum declares its official address as 221 B Baker Street to honour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation. The museum to the greatest fictional sleuth is situated on the southwest corner of Regent’s Park. It is extremely popular with fans of Sherlock Holmes and the museum is home to Holmes memorabilia, period items and even a replica of his famous study that overlooks the street. It is a great place to visit to learn about the legendary detective and you could pick up some great souvenirs of your trip at the gift shop. With in-character staff and even a fictitious Baker Street tube station it is not a place to miss!

Keats House:  It is located on the outskirts of picturesque Hampstead Heath and served as a home to John Keats and Charles Brown (a friend) for about two years. It is alleged to be the place where he created “Ode to a Nightingale.” He was suffering from consumption and had to shift in 1820 to Italy when his condition worsened. After he left the place it was home to a number of famous celebrities all through the 19th century. The present day Keats Museum is situated in the adjoining coach house and is home to personal belongings and literary scripts. These include his letters, a copy of his death mask and the engagement ring he presented to his fiancée Fannie Brawne among other memorabilia. There are numerous literary events also hosted here.

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