London’s long spanning history and the fact that it is the capital of the United Kingdom means that there have been many great artefacts and treasures brought back to the city. The very nature of the British Empire’s expansionist agenda up until the 1960’s has meant that representatives of our country have reached the far corner of the globe and therefore collected stories and history from these places, London is one fo the best places in the world for a budding historian, with countless museums not only looking at human history but geographical and biological history and the history of technology. For museums that are cheap, family friendly and easy to get to, you can’t beat London. Whether you are visiting the Park Grand Lancaster Gate London for just a night or for a few weeks then it is imperative that to get the most out of the city, you visit at least some of the museums on this list.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is located near South Kensington Tube station and is a museum with a focus on the natural world. There are many different tyes of exhibitions at the Natural History Museum including a hall of taxidermy, exploring both evolution and the anatomy of animals. There is also a large amount of fossils on display, including the remains of several types of dinosaurs as well as an entire exhibition dedicated to them. Other displays include an escalator which takes youo through the earth’s crust as well as an entire hall of rare rocks. This museum is great for the family and what’s more, it’s free.
The Science Museum is also located near South Kensington, making it a great double whammy with the Natural History Museum. Many of the Science Museums displays are interactive and therefore are great for kids who are both interested in science but are also wanting to have a fun time, Children can experiment with bubbles, how sound travels, the human anatomy and can even learn about earthquakes through a rea l life simulator. Many of the displays explore the technological advances of the modern world and therefore have something which adults will also find absorbing. The fact that the museum is free is also a massive draw to this extensive and involving exploration into the world of science.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum was opened by Queen Victoria in 1852 and is now one of the largest museums of decorative arts and design, housing hundreds of thousands of objects. The museum melds history with art, meaning that the displays, both permanent and temporary are varied and wide ranging. This is a great museum for anyone looking for a different angle to mere history in a museum. The collection itself spans 5000 years of art and is made up of 12.5 acres and 145 gallery spaces. This museum is free access and due to its size, will give you hours of fascinating and eye opening discoveries.
The British Museum was created to house discoveries and artefacts in human history, art and culture and its works span for millennia. The museum found its roots in the will of one Sir Hans Sloane who left all his money to the creation of a museum. Today the British Museum holds hundreds of thousands of artefacts and is free entry for the general public. The permanent exhibits include several Mummies, historic artefacts from the time of the Samurais, Romans and cave men whilst also housing remnants of cities long since drowned underwater from Ancient Greece.
The London Dungeons is less a museum and more of an interactive a theatrical experience celebrating all things gruesome and grizzly in the legends of London. With actors touring you around different exhibits, visitors can explore the history of Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. There are also exhibits shoeing the history of Henry VIII’s gruesome reign and several different rides and simulators to have fun on. This is a great museum for families looking for something refreshingly different and slightly older kids who have a more twisted side.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum is a museum located near Elephant and Castle Tube Station. It was opened in 1917 as a way to record the civil and military war efforts of the First World War and has since expanded to encourage the study of modern war and further understandings of military experience and experience in wartime. The Museum is made of over 10,700,000 items and has several branches throughout the country. The museum is free to enter and includes military planes, land vehicles and weapons. It is located in what used to be the Bethlem Royal Hospital and has been there since the 1930’s.