St Barts Library: a quiet place to write in London

I’ve been looking for a quiet place to write away from the distractions of home (think snacks, endless wifi and a wild peacock so loud I’m quite certain he’s heralding the apocalypse).

Here’s a good list of quiet places to write in London, but my doctor flatmate alerted me to a little known gem perfect for this purpose.

Hidden behind this slightly forbidding façade is a lovely medical library, complete with wood-panelled walls, padded chairs and thick wooden tables.

The only sound you’re likely to hear is the soft tissue of medical students’ heads hitting those thick folders of notes in desperation. There are lots of power points and large tables in comfortable alcoves on two floors (possibly three, I was too scared to venture into the basement).

It’s centrally located, between the St Paul’s and Barbican stations, and unless you’re a medical student there’s no wifi access, so perfect if you lack discipline like me.

Just mumble something about proliferative retinopathy if someone asks you why you’re there.

Do you have a favourite writing space?

Where: St Barts Hospital, London. Walk into the central courtyard, then follow the signs to the Robin Brook centre. The library is to the right next to the entrance.

Opening times: Monday-Friday 9am to 9pm and Saturday 1pm to 8pm during term times. Opening times vary during the holidays.

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7 Responses to “St Barts Library: a quiet place to write in London”
  1. alison cross says:

    I’ve not really got a place recommendation as such, but a wee free package. Not to be confused with a Wee Free package, which is something quite different altogether as any Scot will tell you :-)

    Have you tried Omwriter? Free to download – provides nothing but a clear screen and some tinkly background music to help soothe the frayed writer’s nerves. There’s a paid version too – but free one is pretty good.

    Excellent for those moments when everyting else on your desktop becomes incredibly interesting and you’ll do ANYTHING but write.

    Ali x

  2. Natalie Ryde says:

    The RIBA building near Oxford St is also a find. They have an architecture library and cafes. The whole building is packed with interesting architectural details – the crafts people lived there (I think) while it was still being built. Don’t quote me on that.

  3. Ammo says:

    Are you working on a novel?

  4. In New York there’s the main New York Public Library…upstairs, on the third floor, in the Rose Reading Room. Alas, there IS wifi.

    In my hometown I head to the college library. No internet unless you ask for a password. Heaven.

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