Five inspirational places near Soho that all creative geniuses need to visit

Creative juices running a little… dry? Laptop offering a little less inspiration than required? Then head out to explore one of these cultural haunts that have helped shaped Soho and inspired the great and the good of history.

 The Faraday Museum


Why is the sky blue? And why does it turn red? Explore the very lab where the answers to these questions were revealed at the Royal Institution. The theme of the lower ground floor (the very place where Michael Faraday set up his lab over 160 years ago) is experimentation: get inspired by the ideas and creative thinking that helped build these weird and wonderful contraptions, which in turn helped change the face of science forever.

Handel & Hendrix

Brook Street was home to not one but two musical greats — George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix — and now these two Georgian terraces in Brook Street are part of Handel & Hendrix, a museum dedicated to the men who lived in them. Both men loved being here: Handel lived here for 36 years, eventually dying in the bedroom upstairs, and Hendrix called it ‘my first real home of my own.’ Get your own source of creative inspiration by touring the rooms where Handel rehearsed and composed, and the tiny flat that is dripping in Hendrix’s personal style.

Any Amount of Books


If books are your bag, then get yourself to Any Amount of Books in Charing Cross Road, where you’ll find them piled high in shelves, boxes, and every conceivable corner. They stock plenty to get your creative juices flowing, from poetry and modern literature through to rare books and first editions.

The Brunei Gallery and its Japanese Roof Garden


Just a 10-minute walk from Tottenham Court Road is the Brunei Gallery at SOAS: a cultural gem that often gets overlooked. Soak up the peace and take inspiration from the collections from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in the gallery itself, and then head up on the roof to relax in the Japanese Roof Garden. The garden is dedicated to forgiveness; it’s the perfect place to take stock of the day so far.

The London Library

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, John Betjeman, and even Charles Darwin have all drawn inspiration from these walls during their time as members of The London Library and you can too, since membership is open to all. Take in the magnificence of the Victorian Reading Room, breathe in the historic Writer’s Room, walk just one of the 17 miles of The Bookstacks, or just take in the spectacular Lightwell Reading Room: there’s so much to see and so much to inspire you here.

Guest Blog by: Charlotte Gunnell:

Charlotte Gunnell is a blogger on a mission to find quiet, cultured and unusual corners of London, then blog about them at her site A Peace of London.

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