5 museums to visit in London
London has an abundance of everything from markets, an amazing nightlife, and monuments, to festivals and events, music venues, bars, clubs, and pubs, amongst a very large etc., in addition to their current Christmas activities in celebration of the festive season, which can all be quite overwhelming. In addition, as can be expected of any large and respectable city, London also has its fair share of museums however, and as always we are here to lend a hand and guide you through the confusion, so if you’re a regular culture vulture and you’re visiting London this season here are a few suggestions to get you started.
The National Gallery
Nothing like the most famous museum in London to start you off on your cultural ramblings around the British capital. This beautiful gallery was founded in 1824 and houses a rich collection of 2,300 western European paintings dating from the mid-13th century to the 1900 in its home in Trafalgar Square. Compared with other European national galleries the London National Gallery has a small collection, but is encyclopaedic in scope and there have been many additions to the original building, as well as many changes made. Collection highlights include pieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh with the famous “Sunflowers” painting, amongst many others. The Gallery does of course host an array of exhibitions in addition to the main permanent collection (free entry), which you can check out on their official website for further information and choose the one that particularly takes your fancy.
Natural History Museum
This stunning and captivating museum is well worth a visit as just like any respectable national history museum you will come face to face with some of the most mysterious animals on the planet, as well as some that used to walk this earth. Thus, visitors can expect some fabulous exhibits including the spectacular Darwin Cocoon, and a terrifying T-rex, as well as other dinosaur skeletons and fossils. In addition you can browse the 4 colour zones in the museum and discover a world of massive mammals including a blue whale that can inspect from above and below, explore our ever-changing planet and admire the earthquake simulator, learn about our environment and evolution, and finally wander through the wildlife garden that is home to 1000s of British plant and animal species. The museum is open everyday and entry is free, aside from access to the temporary exhibitions so, check out their website and take a look at all the fabulous and interesting things that are in store for you in your visit to the London Natural History Museum.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Comprising the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852 and now covers over 12.5 acres and 145 galleries. The collection, which is split into four departments, spans over 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day from all over the world. The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, medieval objects, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and furniture amongst the many other pieces that comprise this collection are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. A beautiful garden graces the front of the museum with planters and a water feature that are lit at night to illuminate the façade of the building, and which is used for temporary exhibitions of sculpture in summer. Click here for further information on its vast collection and visiting times.
Horniman Museum and Gardens
This museum has a unique range of exhibitions, events and activities which illustrate the cultural and natural World, and that seek to encourage a wide appreciation of the world we live in, its peoples and their cultures, and its environments. Events and activities are offer in this intriguing museum include storytelling, and art and craft sessions for children, in addition to courses and workshops for adults. In addition to the temporary exhibitions held there, the main collection comprises some interesting and extensive collections of Anthropology comprising 90,000 objects, Natural History with 250,000 specimens, and finally Musical Instruments with over 8,000 instruments and documents. The Horniman Museum is also home to one of London’s oldest surviving aquaria, and a garden comprising a unique site of 16 acres of award-winning, beautifully maintained formal and natural landscapes, from delightful rose and sunken gardens, herbaceous borders, and ethno-botanical planting, to enchanting wild flower displays and a number of unique sundials. Definitely worth a visit during your cultural wanderings around the capital.
A world renowned museum founded in 1857 and part of the National Museum of Science and Industry with a historic collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson’s Rocket, Puffing Billy the oldest surviving steam locomotive, the first jet engine, documentation of the first typewriter, and James Watson’s model of DNA, amongst many others. There is a dedicated l