London espresso: Academics & Lawyer Land

Part of a series highlighting one area of London.

The geographic centre of London town is really special to me. This was where I spent nearly all of my time during my first year in London. While it may only take about 35 minutes to walk this route, you could certainly spend hours upon hours at the British Museum!

Day Planner
Distance: allow 35 minutes for the walk of 1.6mi (2.5km)
Stops: the Royal Courts of Justice, LSE, Middle Temple, the British Museum, Covent Garden.

  • Start your day at the Royal Courts of Justice, which is one of the largest and most impressive courts in all of Europe (tube: Temple). After some gentle security – metal detectors, a cursory bag search – you’re welcome to step into the main grand entrance of the Royal Courts. You’re even free to wander the halls. Why not see if you can spot a Lord, Lady, or Barrister donning their wig! Members of the public can sit in on any hearing or trial case in session, provided you enter in silence and bow upon exiting.

Screenshot 2016-08-11 at 10.07.00

  • From the Royal Courts of Justice, wander north to the London School of Economics! While there isn’t too much to do here (other than step into the Gift Shop, of course) the architecture is really special. The University fits snugly against Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which is London’s largest public square and previously used for executions. Today, it’s a popular place for students and lawyers alike to take a lunch break and enjoy the (rare) sunshine. Don’t miss: Farrer & Co., the solicitors to HRH The Queen.
  • Optional: walk across the Field and check out the impressive grounds of Middle Temple. Now comprised of Barristers’ Chambers (offices), this originated as hostels and schools for student lawyers in the 13th Century. The Middle Temple formed the western part of the headquarters of the Knights Templar until they were dissolved in 1312.
  • Continue North to the British Museum, arguably London’s most popular tourist destination. With 8 million works, this collection is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. Don’t miss: the Rosetta Stone, and the Parthenon Sculptures (“Elgin Marbles.”)
elgin_marbles_east_pediment
The (in)famous Elgin Marbles. Should they remain in Britain, or be returned to Greece? The legal battle continues…
  • Once you’re museum-ed out for the day, head South towards Covent Garden. There you’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops, but be forewarned that it can be particularly busy, especially around lunchtime. For more on Covent Garden, check out my Espresso: Covent Garden post.
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