This guest post is by Mandy Kilinskis.
I think society has matured to the point where we can all openly admit that we’re nerds about something. And whether we’re architecture nerds or music nerds, we like to incorporate that into our travels.
So if you’re looking to make your next trip a little nerdy, one of the best spots in the world to geek out is in good, old London, England. Here are my top choices for nerdy things to do in London.
The British Library
If you like reading and literature, the British Library is the ultimate destination. But with over 150 million items in the library’s collection, there’s something to pique every nerd’s interest.
In addition to eight copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio, their special collections hold a Gutenberg bible and a Beowulf manuscript. Those more enchanted with scientific progress will enjoy seeing correspondence from Charles Darwin and Leonardo da Vinci sketches. For music lovers, there is a large collection of Beatles memorabilia along with original Mozart manuscripts.
The Globe Theater
Also referred to as the Wooden O, the reconstructed Globe Theatre is a must-see for any theatre or literature fan. When rebuilt, designers made sure to follow the original designs as closely as possible, only adding a handful of exits to adhere to local fire codes.
Lovers of the Bard will enjoy seeing the Globe how Shakespeare saw it when he and his company performed there. If you travel during the summer, you can see top-notch performances of Shakespeare’s plays. In the spirit of “bringing theatre to the people,” tickets start at only 5 pounds.
Fans of BBC’s “Doctor Who” will delight in knowing that the cast and crew of the popular science fiction series shot at the theatre for three days for an episode in their third season.
If you want to see the grave or memorial site of just about any famous person from the United Kingdom, Westminster Abbey must be on your list. This Gothic church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is still the site for royal coronations and weddings.Whether your interest lies in the tombs of the British monarchs of old, reveling at the beauty of Newton’s ornate tomb, or poking around Charles Darwin’s g
rave, there is plenty to see. Literature nerds cannot miss Chaucer’s modest burial site and the other authors in Poet’s Corner.Splurge a little and treat yourself to a guided tour via one of the vergers or the audio guide. Both are packed with extra information and nerdy history. And if you needed another reason, Jeremy Irons narrates the audio guide.
The British Museum
A must-visit for any self-proclaimed history nerd, the British Museum houses an impressive collection of over 8 million treasures. In one enormous building you can geek out over the Rosetta Stone and 100,000 other Egyptian pieces, remains from wonders of the ancient world, and sketches by Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.The best part? Admission is free, and there are tons of free tours and lectures during the course of the day.
Craving more? Check out these additional nerdy spots:
Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. Any and all Harry Potter fans need to make the trip over to the infamous platform that leads to the Hogwarts Express. The train station affixed one of their trolleys and a sign to the wall. It doesn’t cost anything to go and take pictures.
221b Baker Street. The famous fictional home of Sherlock Holmes now houses a museum about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous crime-solving duo of Holmes and Watson, and the Victorian era. A giant statue of Holmes sits across the street at the Jubilee Baker Tube stop, so you can’t miss it.
The Victoria and Albert Museum. For those that adore art, architecture, and design, you cannot miss the exhibits at this museum. From sketches, to models, to full-sized furniture, there is something for every geek to “Ooo” and “Aww” over.
Do you know of other nerdy spots in London? Tell us about them in the comments section!