The Nerdy Guide to London

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

The British Library (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/486267043/)

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

The Globe Theatre (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckaysavage/2997813540/)


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.

Westminster Abbey

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

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.
If you have some extra cash, the original Madame Toussaud’s just down the street contains wax figurines of your favorite celebrities, writers, and government leaders. At the end of your visit is a ride called “The Spirit of London” that would make Disney proud.

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!
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Mandy Kilinskis is a content developer for Quality Logo Products. In addition to writing product descriptions for one of their many customized pens, she also contributes to their marketing blog. Mandy has resolved to make 2012 the year of travel and has plans to visit New York City and France.

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12 Responses to The Nerdy Guide to London

  1. Bret Bonnet February 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Man… No major US city can hold a candle stick to London. Not LA. Noy NY. If the flight wasn't as long as it is, I'd consider visiting and bringing a print out of this blog post with me!

  2. amy swanson February 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    I would totally geek out about visiting Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station! How cool is that?! I didn't know they actually made it a photo opp for tourists. Smart thinking, London :) Thanks, Mandy!

  3. Rachel H February 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Oh man, I'd love to go to the Sherlock Holmes museum! I really want to go back to London, especially to hit up all these places you've listed that I haven't seen. I was going to mention the Doctor Who Experience as another nerdy Doctor Who spot, but it sounds like they're moving that to Cardiff … bummer! Oh well.

    Thanks for this awesome nerdy guide, Mandy :)

  4. Jaimie Smith February 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Ah this looks awesomee!! one of my good friends student taught in England for a few months. I was so jealous when she came back with all her awesome stories!

  5. Packed Suitcase February 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    The British Library is one of my favorite spots in London. People don't often make time to visit, but to be able to see handwritten lyrics from the Beetles, plus first edition classic books that are like works of art, is pretty extraordinary!

  6. Candice J February 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    I don't know much about the history of art but I LOVE to go see it! I would def. take the time to visit The British Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum. I can't think of a better way to spend my time and my baby than to expose her to something new and beautiful. I hope I get a chance to be so lucky to go!

  7. Mandy Kilinskis February 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Bret – I'm honored! If you ever decide that the flight is worth it, this post will definitely help.

    Amy – Platform 9 3/4 is super cool. Even though it isn't part of the main track, it makes it even easier to take your nerdy pictures without getting in people's way.

    Rachel – I was going to mention the Doctor Who Experience, but yeah, it a temporary exhibit. Hopefully they'll keep all the same stuff in Cardiff!

    Jaimie – Thanks! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post!

    Chris – The handwritten lyrics from the Beatles is one of my favorite things there. That and the First Folio – two example of brilliant British poetry. :)

    Candice – In my opinion, you don't need to know extensive art history to love it. It might make you appreciate pieces more, but good art is good art. You and your daughter would have a great time – I hope you get to go one day!

  8. Jeff P. February 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I was just perusing this, la-te-daing along…. then I saw the word “Beatles.”

    Mandy… how do I put this non creepily… next time you go…. TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!!!! =]

  9. Mandy Kilinskis February 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    We'll see, Jeff. Maybe you and your wife should just go yourselves! :)

  10. david k waltz February 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Mandy,

    I never knew you were a London nerd!

    Having never been there, though thinking about it, we will definitely use your suggestions, or leave a comment.

    I know where you blog!

    Great job on this guest post.

  11. Mandy Kilinskis February 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    David,

    I'm actually an equal opportunity western Europe nerd, but London is one of my favorite cities.

    Let me know if you do end up going, and I'm more than happy to give you some extra tips!

    Thanks for popping over and leaving a comment! I'm glad that you enjoyed the post.

    Mandy

  12. London Movers March 10, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    I would totally geek out about visiting Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station! How cool is that?! I didn't know they actually made it a photo opp for tourists. Smart thinking, London :) Thanks, Mandy! Great Post!!

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