Two-day Literary Weekend Itinerary in London

From spectacular bookshops and historical hidden gems, to top literature-themed attractions, discover some of the capital’s best-loved literary treasures during your trip.

Saturday in London 

Morning: Explore the Charles Dickens Museum  

Step into the former home of one of Britain’s most famous novelists at the Charles Dickens Museum. Home to Dickens from 1837 to 1839, this Bloomsbury-based museum houses the world’s biggest collection of objects relating to the iconic author including letters, stationery sets, photos, first editions and memorabilia. Discover the birthplace of the legendary Oliver Twist novel, and be transported back in time while exploring the beautifully restored rooms.

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Before you head off, drop by the museum’s picture-pretty garden cafe. This hidden gem has a cute courtyard with a fountain and is a great place to visit for lunch, offering sandwiches, soups, salads and a tempting array of cakes.    

Afternoon: Marvel at literary treasures in London

A short stroll from the Charles Dickens Museum is the free-to-enter British Library. Admire an exciting array of literary treasures including works by William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll’s manuscripts of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and the Beatles lyrics handwritten by John Lennon. And discover the inspiration behind J.K. Rowling’s world-famous works with the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition.

If you have time, swing by the House of Illustration in King's Cross. This small London museum is dedicated to the art of illustration and hosts a lovely array of literary-themed exhibitions, featuring everything from picture books to political cartoons. Roald Dahl illustrator Sir Quentin Blake is the gallery's patron, so expect to find some heartwarming scribbles from the famous artist dotted around the museum.  

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Then drink in the capital’s history with the London Literary Pub Crawl, which sets off from The Fitzroy Tavern at 5pm. During the interactive tour, you can enjoy a series of live performances and sip pints in historic London pubs visited by literary greats, including Charles Dickens, George Orwell and Virginia Woolf.

Evening: Relax in luxurious literary-themed surroundings

Spend the evening in the centre of Bloomsbury at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, which was once the hangout of legendary luminaries such as Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes.

Located close to the British Museum and the bookshops of Great Russell Street, the London hotel’s lobby celebrates its longstanding literary connections. Marvel at the magnificent Mrs Dalloway-inspired art installation, featuring a display of pages from the one-time Bloomsbury resident Virginia Woolf’s most famous literary creation.

If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation during your trip to London, choose to unwind in luxurious surroundings with a book from the hotel’s extensive library collection.

Afterwards, dine out at the hotel's swanky restaurant Steak & Lobster. Tuck into a rib-eye steak or a lobster for just £20, or enjoy a bit of both with the scrumptious surf and turf roll. 

Sunday in London  

Morning: Look for books in London

While away the morning browsing the shelves of some of London's best bookshops. Book lovers can explore Edwardian bookshop Daunt Books with its soaring windows and beautiful oak galleries, and visit Europe's biggest bookshop Waterstones Piccadilly.

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Next, take a wander along Charing Cross Road, from Centrepoint towards Trafalgar Square, which has a concentrated selection of high-quality booksellers and is the perfect place to stock up on new novels during your weekend in London.

Afternoon: Follow in the footsteps of famous literary figures

Catch a matinee performance at the magnificent Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Bankside, which is a reconstruction of the 16th-century playhouse. You can bag standing tickets for just £5, and combine your ticket with a fascinating exhibition tour of the famous London theatre. Just some of the shows performed at the stunning open-air venue include Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night.

Alternatively, Harry Potter fans can go behind-the-scenes at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Follow in the footsteps of the wizarding trio to discover a magical collection of original props, incredible costumes, iconic sets and more from the much-loved film series. You can also discover the best of Harry Potter's London, and get up close to authentic artworks at the House of MinaLima in Soho.

Evening: Visit a historic pub in London

End your weekend in London with a drink at The George Inn in Southwark - one of Shakespeare and Dickens' old haunts. With a rich history dating back to 1542, the boozer is London’s last remaining galleried coaching inn and the National Trust-protected pub even made an appearance in Dickens’ Little Dorrit.   

If you’re travelling out of London via King’s Cross Station, make sure to stop off at Platform 9¾ to take a photo while recreating the iconic Hogwarts Express scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. You can also take snaps next to the family-favourite Paddington Bear statue in Paddington Station.

Hogwarts 2024 ⚡️

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If you’re looking for more inspiration for your London weekend break, check out the capital’s top attractions, see a fabulous West End show or discover all the exciting weekend activities in London.