London is home to a great many beautiful and historic buildings. Its rich cultural heritage includes a number of stunning libraries, many of which offer entertaining and educational tours to show you the very best of what these unique venues have to offer. Keep reading to find out more about some of the best libraries in the capital city and the very best tours they have available. This is an activity that book worms and culture vultures are guaranteed to enjoy. Thanks to a myriad rare of notable collections, it’s also a chance to see unique artefacts such as a letter from Oscar Wilde and pieces of living history not available anywhere else in the world.
The doors of London Library have been open for more than 175 years. This beautiful building, with its peaceful reading rooms and legions of historic books houses an unrivalled, independent collection. It features more than a million titles, several of which are unique to London Library and can’t be found in any other Library anywhere in the world.
London Library offers weekend tours of their Victorian reading room, tranquil art room and history rich book stacks. To find out whether there’s a tour to suit your visit, check the official London Library website.
The British Library
One of the foremost research-led libraries in the world, the British Library is home to an array of catalogues and collections, alongside a wide variety of different events, exhibitions and tours. The British Library Tours can be tailored to suit group numbers and needs, from the individual library tour which digs deeper into the UK’s history and architecture, to group tours of up to 15 people, including a visit to the Reading Room and information on how the collection is stored.
Find out more about the tours available at the official British Library website.
National Art Library at the V&A
Nestled away within the V&A Museum, the National Art Library is a thriving public reference point for fine art and decorative arts through many different time periods. The library is also ideally situated for a visit from your base at the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International.
The library offers a variety of different collection tours to groups of various sizes. More information can be found on the official National Art Library site.
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
The freemasons are that most elusive of secret societies, and the Freemasons Hall has been the central point of British freemasonry for the last 230 years. The Library and Museum offer free tours of the hall, library and Grand Temple areas of the site, giving a glimpse at a vast wealth of Masonic material available for all to see. Set within an eye-catchingly grand stone building, the hub of the British freemasons makes for an intriguing visit architecturally as well as culturally. Find out more about the tours running six days a week at the official library and museum website.