Preview: The Bloomsbury Festival 2011

By Lindsey Last edited 87 months ago
Preview: The Bloomsbury Festival 2011

The Bloomsbury Festival celebrates the beauty, creativity, history and greenery of the area and this year it brings over 150 free events, taking place in over 50 venues, back to the Bloomsbury square mile in two weeks' time.

Start the festival weekend after work on Friday with a Lantern Parade in Russell Square and have your first mulled wine of the cold season.

On Saturday and Sunday, all the area's diverse museums (except the Dickens Museum which is closed at present) are open with free entry and special events: drop by Wellcome Collection (Miracles and Charms), British Museum, Cartoon Museum (Doctor Who in comics), Brunei Gallery, Foundling Museum (join the Sunday afternoon concert), Petrie Museum (take the Gothic Egypt trail), The Building Centre (architecture walks, anyone?), October Gallery (drop by the Letter Lounge) and Grant Museum. A whole bunch of small art galleries are also open, including Lumen Church, The Horse Hospital, St Pancras Crypt Gallery and Swedenborg House.

Russell Square is a festival hub with a world music stage hosted by SOAS, a craft and book market, kids activities, food and drink and pop up performances from dancers from The Place. Queen, Bloomsbury, Bedford, Tavistock, Gordon and Brunswick Squares will all host installations to explore.

Find out about magic at Treadwells Books and have cream tea and conversation at Persephone Books. There's dance to watch and do at the Place, RADA transform an underground cocktail bar, lesson on how to be bohemian can be found at St Pancras Hotel, Faber contemporary poets perform at Senate House and you can check out the acoustic architecture of St George's, Bloomsbury as well as tour the tombs. Kids are well catered for with tiger-tickling and cartooning among the many special family friendly events.

All that's bound to make you hungry so head for Lambs Conduit Street on Sunday for a massive Sunday lunch and community festival all afternoon.

Bloomsbury Festival takes place 21-23 October and all events are free. You can reserve tickets for some events but tickets will be available on the door for everything too.

Last Updated 08 October 2011