Set in the heart of historic London, Russell Square is the quintessential English plaza fringed by stunning buildings, immersed in history and surrounded by the vibrant bars, cafés and cultural hotspots of Camden Town.
For visitors looking for a peaceful setting in the beating heart of London, Russell Square has it all. Originally designed by Humphrey Repton, the 5th Duke of Bedford in the early 19th century, this picturesque destination has sweeping public gardens, water features and plazas. It’s an idyllic spot to spend a lazy moment between seeing the sights, and a memorable place to stay.
With central Camden close by and the upmarket shopping avenues of Oxford Street and Covent Garden a short trip away, the city’s most charming, trendy and buzzing hotspots are easily found from the peaceful, leafy scenery of the square itself.
Traditional pubs like The Devonshire Arms and the Bucks Head are a walk away, the streets are lined with restaurants to suit every budget and taste, and Camden Market is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon picking up knickknacks or hunting down bargains.
Away from the shops and eateries, there’s plenty of cultural venues to explore. The British Museum is one of the square’s nearest and most notable neighbours. And The Horse Hospital arts centre is the perfect destination for those looking for something a little offbeat. True to its name, it was originally a hospital for injured horses, and today houses less mainstream exhibits. But a trip to Russell Square wouldn’t be complete without exploring both the charming 1920s Dominion Theatre, home to the big musical masterpieces of the last century, or the Renoir Cinema, a quirky 1970s art house.
The perfect place to stay
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Russell Square, and lots of reasons to want to.
Many of the square’s original townhouses still stand. Keep your eyes open for the plaque on the wall pointing out where T.S. Eliot worked during his post as the poetry editor for Faber & Faber, and for number 65, the little terrace used by 18th-century artist Thomas Lawrence as his studio and showroom.
Today, hotels near Russell Square are easy to find and the Hotel Russell is the most famous choice. Set on the east of the square this show-stopping, ornate late 19th-century building is a perfect retreat for those wanting to stay in the heart of it all, while the nearby streets are lined with hotels to suit any budget.
So whatever your reason for visiting London, make sure to dip into the unique scene surrounding historic Russell Square.
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