London’s Best Alternative Study Locations

London can seem like a big, bustling city with little quiet space. This just isn’t true. There are loads of great places to concentrate on a book, take some great notes and study after lectures are over.

From libraries and parks to coffee shops and famous institutions, here we share our tips for the best places to study in London.

1. The British Library

The British Library welcomes anyone undertaking research at their reading rooms at St Pancras in London, which are only 4 stops on the underground from our London Campus. You will need a free Reader Pass to use the facilities; information on how you can register for one is on the British Library’s website.

2. City Business Library

City Business Library is the only dedicated public library for business information, offering free access to the UK’s most comprehensive collection of business databases and publications, making it a particularly useful resource for students. The Library is situated in Aldermanbury, 15 minutes walk away from our campus.

 3. Bishopsgate Library

A two-minute walk from the Northumbria University London Campus, this beautiful building is a well kept secret. It is completely open to the public with free WiFi, so you can access any of your usual online study resources. They also have free newspapers for you to catch up on all of the local and national news. This is the perfect place for some silent time alone, even if it’s for an hour at lunchtime.

4. Google Campus

As you might expect, Google offers young professionals and students a free innovative space to work. It is London’s hub for those working in the digital industries, with seven floors of WiFi, cafés and young ambitious people to chat with. It is close to Soho and Covent Garden, which means it is a great area for a walk when you take a break from studies.

5. Carnegie Libraries

Andrew Carnegie built 660 libraries in the UK for the benefit of all. The buildings tend to be beautiful old Victorian structures, full of character and a great selection of books. London has 19, including the Grade II listed Herne Hill Carnegie Library, meaning you are likely to be near one of these peaceful study places wherever you live.

Most libraries have been absorbed into local council’s library schemes, meaning they are free to use and tend to be open late.

6. Gordon, Tavistock and Russell Squares

Easily accessible in central London, these three squares are usually full of students reading on the grass and on benches. If you like to work outside, these squares offer somewhere to come on a sunny evening and study in a new setting. Being around several university buildings and halls, you will be surrounded by other students – making this a sociable and productive place to work.

7. British Museum’s Reading Room

If you want a place to study in London, of grandeur and Victorian majesty, then a visit to the British Museum is just the thing for you. You will need to arrange a Reader Pass, but once inside it will be all worth it, as you study in the reading room: the famous circular, light-filled room underneath the British Museum’s iconic dome.

Below you, in the Museum will be some of the most important artefacts from world history. Surrounding you will be important academic books. You can’t help but work well in such a great space.

8. The Barbican Centre

A leading piece of Britain’s famous Brutalist architecture, the Barbican Centre is an arts space in central London with a theatre, gallery space and restaurants. In the central courtyard there is a café with an outdoor seating area and a pond that makes a fantastic place to study, using the café’s free WiFi. The theatre means that the Centre is usually open late into the night.

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