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image of booksThis section has a list of some of our favourite books about London. History, food, places to visit and things to do! Where available we've linked the book directly to Amazon should you want to buy it. If there is a book you think should be on this list please send us an e-mail.

Fiction

Man and Boy
Full of London atmosphere, and a great story too.

London
A story that follows the River Thames as it flows through the heart of London, from the days of the Romans, through 16 centuries to the Victorian engineers who gave the city so many of its famous bridges, to the Dockland development of today.

The Clerkenwell Tales
Historical novel, set in London in the late 14th century.

History

Peter Ackroyd - London - The Biography
Probably the best book about the history of London ever written.

The Times History of London
Arranged in a chronological narrative accompanied by maps, charts, illustrations and photographs, this is a celebration of one of the world's great cities

Everyday life in London

Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London Recreates the crowded chaotic sights and smells of everyday life in late 16th-century London.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys: a Selection (Penguin Classics)
The 1660s represent a turning point in English history, and for the main events - the Restoration, the Dutch War, the Great Plague and the Fire of London - Pepys provides a definitive eyewitness account.

London: a Social History
Describes London's social life, its growth and the experiences of living in the city.

Food and drink

Time Out London Eating and Drinking: 2002
The best known all round London guide.

Pubs and bars: 2003/4
An excellent companion to the Eating and Drinking guide.

The London Pub
This celebration of London's pubs is aimed at anyone with an interest in British history and architecture.

Picture books

London from the Thames
A boat trip from the Thames Barrier in the east to Hampton Court in the west, exploring this historic river and the buildings and monuments on its banks.

London Photographic Atlas
A complete map of London from the air - like you've never seen it.

Liquid City (Topographics)
A guide to London's hidden streets and canals, which Iain Sinclair and photographer Marc Atkins have been mapping for many years.

Reference

A Dictionary of London Place-names (Oxford Paperback Reference)
From Abbey Road to Yeading Brook and Garlick Hill to Puddle Dock, this authoritative dictionary covers over 1700 names of streets, places, and areas of Greater London. Discover the linguistic and historical origins of these place-names and their significance.

The London Encyclopaedia
A revised and updated reference book, comprised of 5000 entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced. Everything that is important in the history and culture of London is documented, from its first settlement to the present day.

Guide books

Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City, with Original Walks and Unusual Places to Visit
This book strips away the bricks, mortar and tarmac to uncover London's hidden landscape. Featuring hidden treasures such as the government's vast system of offices and tunnels under Whitehall, the book includes opening times, addresses, maps, photographs and anecdotes.

Around London with Kids: 68 Great Things to See and Do Together (Fodor's Guides)
Written by city parents, for parents, the guidebooks in this series offer ideas for family holidays all year round. They include fun facts about the destinations, the ins and outs for a hassle-free day and recommendations for children's meals.

London (Dorling Kindersley Travel Guides)
An illustrated study of London and its expansion from Roman times to the present day.

Maps and Travel

A-Z Big London Street Atlas (Spiral)
The definitve street atlas, an institution in itself.

Underground to everywhere
The Tube is anything but boring, read this fascinating history of the Tube.

Mrs P's Journey: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Created the A-Z Map
The sheer amount of work is mind boggling, but she did it.