British Library

About the British Library

The British Library is the largest library in the world by catalogued items. You can see various old texts now in digital format, for instance flick through the pages of Leonardi da Vinci's notebooks or take a look at the oldest published book, The Diamond Sutra printed in 868.

There are reading rooms within the library so you can find any pertinent media you are looking for and take it in at your own speed. The library itself holds collections of newspapers and radio media too. Book buffs can delight in seeing Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby and Jane Austen’s History of England amongst many other original texts.

Helpful information about the British Library

 The Library is open to everyone who has a genuine need to use its collections. Anyone with a permanent address who wishes to carry out research can apply for a Reader Pass; they are required to provide proof of signature and address.  The library is open Mon to Fri 9.30am-6pm, late night Tue till 8pm, Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Entry is free however, donations are appreciated. Tours are: £6-£7 (Adults),  £4.50-£5.50 (Concessions).

It is easy to get to the library via underground stations; King’s Cross – 3 minutes from the library, Euston – 6 minutes.

Making the most of the the British Library

The library hosts workshops, discussions, exhibitions and special events throughout the year, many of which are free of charge. Also, there’s no registration requirement to pop into the library’s eateries — there’s a café and restaurant inside the main building (a good place to meet up with literary friends).  Why not take a look at the permanent exhibition in the John Ritblat Gallery on the ground floor where you will see some of the BL’s most rare and beautiful items.

Where to stay in London for the British Library

There are plenty of family hotels in a variety of locations in this part of London which will suit all budgets; small hotels, houses, self-catering apartments (a fantastic alternative to hotels) barges and boats. Please check out places to stay in London with Eventful Stays:

Things to do near the British Library

Why not visit St John Soane’s Museum a 7 minute walk away, or perhaps visit the Dominion Theatre showing ‘The Bodyguard’ an 8 minutes walk away. There is a fabulous Japanese restaurant nearby ‘Mai Sushi located near Kings Cross, tel; 020 7383744.

More information about the British Library

See here for more information about the British Library reading rooms, collections and exhibitions.

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