International Exlibris Congress 2020


The rest of this page remains only as a record of what might have been.

The Bookplate Society is pleased to host the 2020 FISAE congress in the heart of London at the Royal National Hotel, Bloomsbury.

This hotel is an ideal starting-point for visitors to see and do a huge variety of interesting things offered by Britain's capital city. Take advantage of this opportunity. Stay for longer than just the time of the congress, so that you can tour some of the stimulating and exciting attractions. In fact, there is so much in London that you risk not having time for the exlibris congress!

Our plan had been in March/April 2020 to expand this page with details of 2020 admission prices and then to circulate an email to participants, with a booking form for visits.
Given the uncertainty caused by the present coronavirus pandemic, we do not know if these visits will be possible, nor indeed whether our congress can even be held in 2020.
So we are delaying the updating of this Visits webpage and the sending out of this email circular until such time (perhaps May?) as the situation becomes clearer.

This page looks at museums, historic buildings and other places to visit. For food and travel see the separate webpages.


To get into the British Museum use the back entrance in Montagu Place, two minutes walk from the hotel. There is so much here. Spend a few hours and then come back on another day. Admission free.

One stop to Holborn, then three stops on the Central Line gets you to Bond Street station, on Oxford Street, near the Selfridges store. Take a short walk, five streets north, to Manchester Square where there is the Wallace Collection. This is a mansion filled with most marvellous artworks, furniture, porcelain, armour etc. Admission free.

Lincoln's Inn Fields, just south of Holborn, is a ten-minute walk from the hotel. Here you find the Sir John Soane Museum. He was an architect. The house (closed Monday and Tuesday) is full of amazing treasures, including important paintings by Hogarth. Admission free.

Eight stops along the Piccadilly Line you get to the museums at South Kensington: the Victoria and Albert Museum (decorative arts), the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. All admission free.

Visit the homes of famous people: Charles Dickens in Doughty Street (closed Mondays; entry £10, but less for seniors and groups); George Frederick Handel in Brooke Street, off New Bond Street (closed Sundays; entry £10); the Duke of Wellington Museum, his former home at Apsley House, Hyde Park Corner (closed Mondays and Tuesdays; entry £11); Dr Samuel Johnson in Gough Square,off Fleet Street (closed Sundays; entry £7); artist Lord Leighton, whose remarkable highly-decorated Victorian house is in Kensington (closed Tuesdays; entry £9, or £7 to over-60s),and MORE HERE.

Historic Buildings.

Buckingham Palace is open to visitors during the summer months.
The multimedia tour is available in nine languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Mandarin (but not Turkish or Cantonese). Tickets for groups of 15 or more will have to be booked and paid for by the congress organisers at least 30 days in advance, preferably more, to ensure availability. So during the first few months of 2020 we shall need to get all visits programmed in detail, to be paid for when you first arrive at our congress desk in the hotel. Group prices in 2019 are for the State Rooms Adult £22.50, over 60 or student £20.50, under 17 or disabled £12.60; but for the State Rooms and Gardens £31.50, £29.50, and £18.80. Expect the 2020 prices to be higher.

Westminster Abbey
For groups the 2019 entry ticket price can be £20 per person (or £16 if you are aged over 60) when bought in advance or if accompanied by a Blue Badge Guide. There is a multimedia guide available in several languages including Mandarin (but not Cantonese or Turkish). Maximum group size is 30 people, and the cost for a Turkish-speaking Blue Badge Guide is £200 (2019 price for a half-day) or £7 per person extra for a group of 30. Perhaps another visit elsewhere will be possible with the same Blue Badge Guide during the half-day.

Tower of London

Hampton Court Palace is not far from Central London. Six tube stops to Waterloo rail station (change to Northern Line at Leicester Square), then 30 minutes by train (departs every half hour) to Hampton Court station. Five minutes to walk across the River Thames to the palace.
A longer alternative is to take a boat along the Thames.

All-Day Trips by Coach outside London

Please tell us, in the registration form, which, if any, of these trips you may wish to book. Prices have not yet been worked out for hire of coach and admission fees. These full day coach trips are likely to be on the Tuesday 11th August (for people who arrive early on that day or before), Saturday 15th (returning, of course, in time for banquet dinner) or the Sunday 16th.

Hatfield House, St Albans, Hertfordshire (25 miles).

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (65 miles).
For groups the adult 2019 entry price reduces from £27 to £18.50 (or £16.50 if you are aged over 60). The new audio multimedia guiding system is available in nine languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, and Russian (but not Turkish, so we are asking Blenheim if it is possible to arrange a guide in Turkish). This visit to Blenheim may perhaps be combined with a few hours in the city of Oxford. It is for you to tell us what you wish to do.

Waddesdon Manor, (50 miles).

Leeds Castle, Kent (50 miles)

© The Bookplate Society 2020