Good news for book lovers and those with a passion for visiting otherwise unvisitable buildings, as the venerable old London Library is about to restart the guided tours of the building.

The famous book shelf maze

The Library, which is a private institution that pre-dates the council run services by a good many years, used to have guided tours once a month on Saturday mornings, but stopped them a couple of years ago due to building works, and never seemed to restart them again.

Until now.

Even better, the early Saturday morning has been replaced with a Monday tour – and sensibly for those of use for whom a Monday is a time to earn a wage – the tour is now in the evenings.

Officially the tours are to show off the facilities to prospective members, but they don’t stop nosey people booking a tour as well.

Apart from the bits of finery in some of the reading rooms, it is the miles of maze like book shelves that are a delight to see, with the perforated steel floors letting you peer down between the cracks a good 7 floors of books.

As I noted on a previous visit, it’s not a building to visit for the building itself – its a place to visit to experience the amazing atmosphere of a literary gem in the heart of London.


Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and starts at 7pm.

Tours are free; however numbers are limited so reservations are recommended.

Please email [email protected] with your full name, full address, contact telephone number and the date you wish to attend the tour.

Tours are currently available on: 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th July

The Library hides behind a deceptively small looking building in the corner of St Jame’s Square between Picadilly and Pall Mall – map link.


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