Venue, Accommodation, Transport and Accessibility


National rail strikes are planned 3rd-7th Jan, which, if they go ahead, will cause many people difficulties in attending the conference. We will update our information as the situation develops. In the mean time, the following may be useful:

  • International visitors / those travelling by plane: Coaches run from all London airports to central London. If TFL is not striking, the underground may be running as usual – Heathrow is on the Piccadilly line and it’s the cheapest and most convenient way to get to both Bloomsbury and South Kensington. Taxis are also available.
  • TFL (Transport For London) are not currently planning to strike so most London Underground, buses, some overground services etc. will run as usual. However, some service disruptions are expected and some us routes are affected by strikes. For up-to-date information on TFL, check here:
  • Long-distance travel to London is also possible by coach (National Express, FlixBus etc).
  • You can contact other delegates from your part of the country and organise a mini bus, coach, ride-sharing etc. Once the programme is published, you can see where people are based from their affiliations.
  • Unfortunately we cannot offer parking, but commercial car parks exist around Bloomsbury and will accommodate you for a price. Be aware that you’ll have to pay the congestion charge. Or, attempt to park in the outer reaches of the TFL system and take the tube in.
  • Worst case scenario, we will welcome you online.
  • If you have a great suggestion to add to this list, please get in touch!


The conference talks will be held in the Clore Management Centre in Birkbeck, University of London. The Clore contains a large lecture theatre, four smaller rooms for coffee, lunch, quiet space and general use space, and a foyer area for sponsors.

The poster session being held a five minute walk down the road at 22 Gordon Street (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL). We will use three smaller rooms and one large room on the ground floor for the poster session and the poster session coffee break.

The icebreaker will be on Wednesday evening at The George, Birkbeck. This is on the 4th floor of the main Malet Street building, the entrance is on Torrington Square opposite the Clore. To find the bar, enter the building and take a right past security. Follow the corridor to the far end where you’ll find two lifts.

The conference dinner will be on Thursday evening in the Earth gallery at the Natural History museum in South Kensington.


We have an allocation of rooms reserved at the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the conference venue (directions). 80 rooms are available to book until 21st November, after which 50% of the rooms will be released, so we recommend booking early. The rooms are £104/night (single) or £141/night (twin) (no doubles) including breakfast and can be booked for up to 3 nights (4th to 7th Jan). To make a booking, please contact the hotel’s Central reservation office, tel: 0207 278 7871,  e-mail:, quoting the reference “VMSG Academic Conference”. Full credit card details will be required at the time of booking, i.e. card number, expiry date and security code. Cancellation policy is 24 hours prior to 11am on the day of arrival. “No shows”: one night’s charge will apply.

The venue is easily accessible from most of London should you wish to book other accommodation.


The Clore Management Centre (Birkbeck) is located on Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, and 22 Gordon Street is a five minute walk away, also in Bloomsbury. The ice-breaker drinks will be held in The George in Birkbeck, Malet Street building, which also has its entrance on Torrington Square. All are easily accessible by public transport. They are walking distance from Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross and rail stations.

The nearest tube stations, all walking distance, are:

  • Clore Management Centre: Russel Square (Piccadilly line), Goodge Street (Northern line), Euston Square (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines) and Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern and Elizabeth lines)
  • 22 Gordon Street: Euston; Euston Square (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines); Warren Street (Victoria and Northern lines)
  • The two venues are a 5 minute walk apart so any of these stations can be used.

The area is well-served by buses from all directions. There is no parking available at the venue.

The conference dinner and Saturday outreach events will be held at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. The closest tube station is South Kensington (note that this is not a step-free station). This can be reached in around 30-35 minutes from the poster venue (22 Gordon Street) by travelling from Euston or Euston Square.

CityMapper is a useful app for navigating London public transport, with live bus and train times. It can be used in step-free mode.


Quiet space

An upstairs classroom in the Clore Management building, Birkbeck and Room 612 of Birkbeck (6th floor, Malet street building) are available as quiet spaces, available for anyone in the conference to use as they wish.

step-free access

The conference talks venue, the Clore Management centre, is highly accessible. There is step-free access to the building, lifts to every floor and disabled toilets. General accessibility information about the Clore Management building:

The main lecture theatre can be accessed by two entrances (front and rear), one of which is step-free. The stage and podium in the lecture theatre have several steps up; there is also a platform lift to the stage, and the option to present in front of the stage with a microphone. Detailed accessibility information about the main lecture theatre, including wheelchair access, can be found at this link.

The Birkbeck main building (Malet street site, accessed across Torrington square) has step-free access, lifts and accessible toilets on every floor. The George (icebreaker venue) has seven steps down which can be avoided with a platform-style stairlift.

22 Gordon Street is a recently-refurbished building which is highly accessible and fully step-free with disabled toilets. The poster session is on the ground floor.

Transport around London is partially accessible, with resources available to help you plan your journeys here: Be aware that South Kensington station is not step-free. In Bloomsbury, Euston, Euston Square and Tottenham Court Road are the most accessible stations but please check specifics before you travel. Buses and taxis are also options.

There is step-free access at the dinner and outreach venue (the Natural History Museum). Information about accessibility at the Natural History Museum (for the conference dinner and outreach programme) can be found here: