Did you know most of London’s museums are free? At Least most of the main big ones are. Which, is enough to keep you busy for a few weeks at the least. I have been fortunate enough to have free time and have been running around and enjoying all of the museums London has to offer. While I haven’t gotten to all on my list, here are what I’ve enjoyed so far!
V&A Museum of Art and Design
I’ll start with my favorite, and what I’m pretty sure is the biggest, the V&A. I spent all day in this 6 floor museum and am planning to go back to visit the exhibits I didn’t get to. Home to some of the most important works in art and design, I found almost every exhibit amazing! From the fashion through the decades, the 8+ rooms of international ceramics works and one of the first photography collections dating back to 1852. I also really enjoyed the Medieval & Renaissance galleries. I thought they did an amazing job making this stand out from the rest of the museum with the sky roof and floor to ceiling pieces. Most of the rotating seasonal shows were an extra charge. There was one on about the History of Underwear which seems like it would be interesting!
Alright, it may be a tie for size because the British Museum felt like it had WAY more to look at than I could handle in one afternoon. The museum was sorted mostly by regions of the art and artifacts. The British Museum is home to TON of mummies, the Rosetta Stone and what I found to be a pretty cool money exhibit. They also had a neat life and death exhibit on the first floor which had a work featuring all of the medicines/pills/vitamins etc we ingest from life to death, portrayed by 2 different people. They also had an amazing special collection of watercolour landscapes from Francis Towne which I could have spent all afternoon alone admiring. His story was interesting too, as he fought his entire life to be recognized as a landscape painter and never got the acclaim he deserved until the 20th century. Definitely allocate at least 2 days to this museum as well if you are able to! The cafe also looked pretty cool to eat at because the ceiling of the main hall is like a giant glass dome.
National History Museum
This was the typical national history collection of animals of all species including humans, insects and dinosaurs. Not to say it was anywhere near boring! They had a pretty neat automatized T-Rex in the dinosaur exhibit which was fun. We also really enjoyed the nice garden walk and a the 8 story “cocoon” exhibition walk through the laboratories.
I know I hit on this one in my historic London tour post but wanted to make sure it didn’t miss out on another feature. Worth a few hours visit if you want to learn more about all of London’s history and development from past to present.
I don’t want to mislead you thinking this is a full museum because it’s mostly a library. BUT, stop by for their “treasures” exhibit on the first floor to see some really awesome historical documents. Sheet music from Beethoven, hand written notes from the Beatles and much more. The Magna Carta is also here but was unfortunately closed when we went by. There was also a Punk rock exhibit when we went featuring he Sex Pistols and other groundbreaking bands. Oh, also no photos are allowed in their exhibits but there is a really neat core of the library called the “kings collection” which is cool to look at.
Up next on my list to visit?
– The Science Museum
– The Tate Modern
Stay tuned for more from those museums!