Study spaces

Explore these unique study spaces across London and discover new sources of inspiration.

The interior of Senate House Library with rows of books along the walls and desks running along the centre of the room

Senate House Library

Senate House Library

As a University of London student, you have access to one of the UK’s largest academic libraries for arts, humanities & social sciences.

With over two million books, 50 special collections, 1,800 archival collections and dedicated study areas, Senate House Library is a perfect spot to take a seat and get immersed in your studies.

Location: Bloomsbury
Price: Free
Plus: A wealth of resources to assist with your studies.
Minus: Food and drink are only allowed in limited areas of the Library so factor this into your visit.

The interior of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum

National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum

Study in a space steeped in history. Alongside the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)’s extensive collection of art and historical artefacts, the museum hosts a variety of study spaces, from cafes to libraries.

If you are looking for a quiet space that is free from distractions, we recommend the National Art Library, which is open to all visitors who have created a free library account. In the historic reading rooms, you will be surrounded by the museum’s public reference collection of literature on fine and decorative arts to inspire you.

Location: Kensington
Price: Free
Plus: Explore the V&A’s extensive collections and exhibitions as part of your visit.
Minus: The library is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 11am to 5pm.

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

Photo by Annie Kruntcheva


Greenwich has plenty of spots to both explore and to do some studying. There’s the water, Greenwich market, and an assortment of restaurants and cafes.

Next to the Cutty Sark, a historical ship that is now a museum, is the Cutty Sark Tavern, where you can cosy up inside and get some work done with a warm meal or a drink (as long as you don’t mind the background chatter of other people).

If you prefer the outdoors, there are also benches that look over the Thames. The market offers a variety of street food, so you can grab a sausage roll, cinnamon bun, or empanada, and eat them by the riverside whilst doing some writing or reading.

Location: Greenwich
Price: Prices vary depending on where you choose to visit.
Plus: There are lots of spots to choose from, depending on what you are looking for.
Minus: The area can be very busy, so expect lots of people.

An busy cafe with indoor and outdoor seating

Southbank Centre

Photo by Morley von Sternberg

Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre is a huge, brutalist arts venue on the Thames with plenty of spots to nestle into. The main entrance leads to a bar with tables and chairs. On the upper levels, seating runs along the walls.

On warmer days, you may prefer to take a seat in the outdoor areas to take in views over the Thames and London as you work. Fuel your studies with a coffee from Beany Green, a quirky coffee shop located in a converted shipping container under the neighbouring Hungerford Bridge.

Location: Waterloo
Price: Free
Plus: So many different places to choose from, no matter the weather.
Minus: If rehearsals are taking place, it can be loud and hard to get away from the noise.

Two students working in Professor Stuart Hall building

Professor Stuart Hall Building

Professor Stuart Hall Building

For when you want to stay closer to campus, the Professor Stuart Hall Building has several spots to retreat to with views over the College Green.

With sofas spread over three floors and café-style seating on the lower ground floor, there is plenty of space to sit back and study, whether it be with friends or alone.

The Professor Stuart Hall Building is also home to The PSH Café, serving hot and cold food throughout the day, making it an easy spot to work from all day or for a quick spot of studying between lectures.

Location: Goldsmiths Campus
Price: Free
Plus: Views over the College Green as you work.
Minus: It can get busy so you may not always get a spot, especially around lunchtime.

Lewisham microlibrary, a phone box that has been turned into a library

Lewisham Micro-Library

Lewisham Micro-Library

This is an old, repurposed telephone box on Lewisham Way, around the corner from Lewisham Southwark College. It is filled with a variety of free books that change all the time. You can simply take a book and give back a different one. 

The Telephone Box is in front of Deptford Memorial Gardens, a conservation area with benches, flowers, trees, and long stretches of grass. It is a beautiful space to work in on a sunny day.

Location: Lewisham
Price: Free
Plus: It’s never crowded and there is always something new to choose from.
Minus: It’s weather dependent.