Russell Square is a large, tree-lined square in one of the nicest parts of the city, an area which often features on visitors’ radar as it is close to the British Museum, yet few people realise that there is this little oasis right next door which is the perfect antidote to the crowds and noise of the museum.

Trees on Russell Square
The leafy splendour of Russell Square on a hot summers day

The British Museum is the most visited attraction in the UK, receiving over 6 million visitors a year. Free to enter and open all year round, it has some incredible objects on display; the Rosetta Stone, the controversial Elgin Marbles, the Lewis Chessmen, an Easter Island head and plenty of Egyptian mummies are amongst the highlights of the cultural treasures from across the globe - you would need a couple of days to visit everything properly. It is a vast place and most visitors charge around trying to pack in as much as they can. Museum fatigue sets in quickly, yet sitting in the museum's crowded cafes having paid £2 for a bottle of water and £4 for a slice of cake, listening to the echoing noise of the crowds does little to relieve either the feet or the mind.

Just a four minute walk away from the museum is Russell Square, the second largest square in central London. Created in 1804 and re-landscaped in 2002 to return it back to its 19th century layout, the Grade II listed square is lined with lime, oak and holly trees with a few flower beds and wild areas, but it is mostly grassy lawn which makes it ideal for relaxing on.

The fountain in Russell Square

The main appeal of the place is the huge trees which fill it, creating plenty of shady spots which are so i