UCL News


10 alternative study spaces in London: recommendations from a Master's student

4 May 2017

It's that time of year again - libraries are really busy, your stress levels are on the increase and you just need a change of scenery and perhaps some good coffee to keep you motivated.

Beas of Bloomsbury rooftop Look no further, I have spent the last couple of weeks scouting the best alternative study spaces in London and here are my top 10 recommendations.

1. Bea's of Bloomsbury

This café is idyllically located next to St Paul's Cathedral, offering a wide range of cupcakes, coffee, JING tea and duffins (doughnut + muffin). They have cushioned booths, free WiFi and an excellent rooftop view of London (sixth floor) when you need a well deserved break!

Nearest station: St Paul's

2. Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

This museum offers a café, library and reading room with WiFi available throughout. The library is bright and spacious, while the reading room offers sofas, sculptures, books and paintings.

Nearest station: Euston Square

3. British Library

British Library

Four floors of reading rooms with a capacity of 1,200 means that your days of fighting for study space are long gone! (Access to the reading rooms requires membership - which is available to all students over the age of 18.) This library is a great place to study with free WiFi and over 150 million items including the Magna Carta.

Nearest station: King's Cross St Pancras

4. Foyles


Situated on the fifth floor of one of the best bookshops in the world, The Café at Foyles is a mini oasis away from the busy streets of London. It is a great place for hot-desking with free WiFi and delicious pastries.

Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road

5. Bloomsbury Coffee House

Bloomsbury Coffee House

This basement café has become a hotspot for UCL students. It has free WiFi, lots of plug sockets and some truly amazing coffee. Their food is all homemade too!

Nearest station: Russell Square

6. Paperchase (Tinderbox Espresso Bar)

Tinderbox - Paperchase

Hidden away on the first floor is an espresso bar, with lots of plug sockets, WiFi and some of the best iced coffee and milkshakes around! Their floor to ceiling windows also make it the ultimate spot to watch the world go by.

Nearest station: Goodge Street

7. Waterstones (Dillon's Coffee)


This Scandinavian style coffee house is located on Gower Street (right opposite Malet Place). There's plenty of seating, free WiFi and superb food (pastries, cakes, paninis and salads).

Nearest station: Goodge Street

8. Yumchaa


If coffee isn't your thing, then head down to this unique loose-leaf tea spot. This shop is bright, thanks to it's spectacular sky-light, and has a relaxed atmosphere. They have WiFi, over 40 varieties of tea, locally roasted coffee and serve a wide range of snacks and pastries.

Nearest station - Goodge Street

9. Timberyard


This is Europe's best independent coffee shop and is a place where workspace, meeting rooms, food and hot drinks all fuse seamlessly. There are comfy armchairs, tables made from stacked vintage cases and free WiFi.

Nearest station: Covent Garden

10. Victoria & Albert (National Art Library)

Victoria and Albert Museum

Amongst the exhibitions of the museum there is a public reference library that provides a quiet space to study. There is free WiFi and over 1 million items in the library's collection to browse. Accessing the library requires registration, which you can be completed on the Victoria and Albert Museum's website.

Nearest station: South Kensington

Ayesha Khan is a Cancer MSc student at the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences and is a student journalist for myUCL.