There are so many different museums in London, offering visitors the chance to travel through history, browse beautiful artwork and learn more about everything from fossils to black holes, that it can be hard to know which ones to visit during a short city break trip.
Fans of science and technology are spoilt for choice. If this sounds like you, you’ll be delighted to know that there are a number of fun and free small museums in London where you can expand your knowledge and see some of the world’s most fascinating artefacts and cutting-edge equipment up close. Quench your thirst for knowledge with these top recommendations.
The Hunterian Museum is home to one of Britain’s oldest collections of anatomical, zoological and pathological specimens, with thousands of artefacts on display for public viewing. The collection is based on the original gathering of specimens by surgeon John Hunter, who began cataloguing material as far back as 1728. Science enthusiasts will be familiar with this famous anatomist, who was respected for his work in medicine and his revolutionary methods of meticulous observation.
The Hunterian Museum’s collection has grown over the years thanks to donations from Edward Jenner and Sir Joseph Banks. Visitors to the museum can expect to see some amazing exhibits including thousands of fossils, paintings, scientific drawings and surgical tools. One of the most popular exhibits is the 7ft 7in tall skeleton of Charles Byrne the ‘Irish giant’.
Kikaldy Testing Works
The Kikaldy Testing Works was built in 1873 and was of London’s most valued scientific institutes. The grade II listed building was designed to house the experiments of draftsman David Kirkaldy, a leading materials tester. The Scottish engineer was responsible for pioneering a number of ground-breaking techniques for the testing of building materials. He played an important part in the industrial revolution during the Victorian era, helping to improve the building process and increase the quality of British architecture. Museum visitors will be able to browse Kirkaldy’s workshop and inspect some of the intricate machinery designed over a century ago. The main exhibit is a huge machine that was created to test the strength of materials by exposing them to a million pounds of pressure.
Florence Nightingale Museum
Celebrate the life of one of Britain’s best loved historical figures at this amazing and educational museum. Florence Nightingale is known worldwide as the founder of modern nursing and revered for her amazing contributions during the Crimean War. The museum has recently undergone a huge upgrade to commemorate the centenary of the Lady with the Lamp’s death. The newly refurbished venue is home to an expansive collection of mementos such as clothing, furniture, books, letters and portraits. Kids will love the interactive touchscreen exhibits that will take them on a trip through time as they learn about 19th century nursing. This is a must-see museum for those interested in learning about one of the most iconic names in Britain’s history.
There are plenty of things to learn and places to visit in London if you’re interested in science. Be sure to check out some of these incredible museums during your stay at one of our hotels in Lancaster Gate.