The Best Cafes and Libraries in London for Studying

30th September 2023 Nat Took London Life, Study

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery when you’re studying. A different location can do wonders for clearing those cobwebs if you find yourself getting distracted in your student room. Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere for a group study session. It may be tempting to find somewhere outside to study, but with English weather, this isn’t always possible (and not even worth considering in the winter!) So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite cafes and libraries in London for studying. Whether you’re looking for a quiet space for solo study or a quirky café with great coffee for some group work, you’re sure to find a new favourite on our list.

The Best Cafes to Study in London

London has numerous cafes and coffee shops to study in. If you need a caffeine hit, want to find a quirky café for a group discussion, or need a secluded corner, there are plenty of coffee shops to suit your needs. We’ve looked for cafes with good Wi-Fi, lots of power ports and good coffee for all your studying needs. Here are our five top cafes to study in London:

Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Located next to St Paul’s Cathedral, Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a popular spot, but don’t let that put you off. The hustle and bustle of this café can create white noise to help you focus, and it’s large enough that you’re likely to find a quiet spot at all but the busiest times.

The comfy cushioned booths make a great work area, and you can treat yourself to their delicious range of cupcakes and quintessentially British tea. If you need to spend a lot of time studying, or are in a group, you could even get yourself afternoon tea!

The Wi-Fi in this café is free, so if you need to do some research online, you’re covered. There’s also a rooftop view of London from the sixth floor, perfect if you need a break from your work.


If you’re a tea fan, this café is the one for you. Found in Soho, Yumchaa has over 40 types of chai, plus lots of specialist teas. With its chilled atmosphere and spacious layout, there’s plenty of room for your books, notes, and laptop.

This tea specialist has free Wi-Fi too. If all your studying gets you feeling peckish, they also have plenty of breakfast, brunch, and lunch options to keep your hunger at bay, so you can keep focusing on your studies.

cup of tea from above with book nearby

Secret Frog

A less-known gem nearest to our City postgraduate accommodation, the Secret Frog is an independent coffee shop that is perfect for quiet study. It has free Wi-Fi and a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for a study session.

This quirky little place is coffee-lovers heaven, so if you need a caffeine boost whilst you study, this is the place for you. Whatever coffee you prefer, you can get it here, whether you prefer a frothy cappuccino or just a black filter coffee. They also have nutritious tea, smoothies, and juices on the menu, plus healthy breakfasts and lunches. There’s also a loyalty scheme with this café, so if you study here often you can get rewarded with free coffee.

TY Seven Dials

TY Seven Dials is a central London coffee shop that is made for working. It’s a popular study spot, so get here early for the best seat. The Wi-Fi is free, there are lots of power points, and customers are welcome to stay for as long as they want. So, if you’re looking to pull a days’ worth of studying, this is one of the best cafes in London to study in.

TY Seven Dials has a range of locally produced coffee and food on offer too. It’s easy to spend a day in its relaxed atmosphere, and it’s likely you won’t be the only one.

two coffees and a book

Bloomsbury Coffee House

This independent, family-run coffee shop is a firm favourite for studying in London. Bloomsbury Coffee House is a basement café that has free Wi-Fi and lots of plug sockets. If you’re looking for some home comforts, the food here is all homecooked too.

This central spot is cosy and calm, it makes for a great study space in London.

Best Libraries in London to Study in

If you need more resources and a quiet place to study, London has a wealth of libraries at your disposal. If you are inspired by books or beautiful buildings, there’s a library to suit you. Here are our five favourite libraries for studying in London:

books on curving shelf

British Library

With over 150 million items, the British Library makes a great study space. Here you will find one of the world’s greatest book collections and many historic items such as the Magna Carta. There’s plenty of space in this library, with four floors and a capacity of 1,200, so there’ll be no fighting for a study space and you’re sure to find a quiet corner if that’s what you need.

With free Wi-Fi, lots of different study areas, and cafes on-site, you can easily spend all day studying here. The library is free to enter, but you do have to apply for a reader pass. To do this you just need to demonstrate why you’re using the library.

An additional note, water bottles, and bags must be dropped off at the cloakroom and you’re only allowed pencils for writing.

Victoria and Albert

The National Art Library, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, will give you access to not only study spaces but also one of the world’s largest museums of applied and decorative art and design. If you’re studying the arts, this is the perfect library for you, as you will have access to various resources. But even if you’re studying something else, it makes a great spot if you’re looking for a quiet study space in London.

This is a beautiful library to study in and it’s free to become a member. Although it is a popular location and does attract tourists, it manages to stay quiet. If you need to seriously concentrate on your work, this is a great spot to study.

National Art Library

Barbican Library

Found on the second floor of the Barbican Centre, this library is split into two levels. There are historical books and a study area on the upper floor, and a music zone on the lower.

It’s free to enter the Barbican Library and use the facilities, and the Wi-Fi is fast and free. This library is also in a great location; if you need a break there are plenty of cafes nearby or you can explore the Barbican Centre and its museum exhibits.

The BFI Reuben Library

Found on the South Bank, the British Film Institute houses the Rueben Library. It’s free to enter, but you will have to fill out a registration card to access the study spaces. At least you can be sure that the general public won’t be wondering in your study space and potentially distracting you.

Being part of the BFI, there’s a vast collection of film and television resources, including digitalised materials from the National Archives. But even if your subject isn’t in this niche, the Reuben library still makes a great choice for studying.

Kensington Central Library

Kensington Central Library is a spacious library that’s perfect for studying. With friendly staff, if you need help you can find someone to point you in the right direction at this library.

There are also study areas to work in or read quietly. On some evenings, this library is open until 8 pm. So if you are looking for a spot to study in the early evening, this is a good choice.

Study Spaces in London

There are plenty of spaces to study in London, whether you need somewhere quiet to get your head down, or somewhere for a group discussion. The above are just our favourites, but there’s plenty more to try out. London is full of cafes and libraries where you can study, which is one of the reasons the capital of the UK makes a great city to go to University.

Looking for somewhere to stay whilst you study in London? Check out our student accommodation.

Nat Took

Nat Took

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