This is my catalog of the famous, interesting, and even off-beat museums found in London.
APSLEY HOUSE (WELLINGTON MUSEUM) Duke of Wellington's mansion, still inhabited, with art collection ,statues, war treasures, etc. Charge.
BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM Located within the Bank of England, this museum
details the Bank's history from 1694 to present. Highlights include interactive displays, gold bars, period mannequins, and a very kid-friendly atmosphere. Free.
BEN URI GALLERY (THE LONDON JEWISH MUSEUM OF ART) Europe's only museum entirely committed to Jewish art, housing the largest permanent collection in the world. Museum was founded in 1915. Charge.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HOUSE Only steps from Trafalgar Square, the only surviving residence of Franklin in the world, where he lodged for 16 years. Costumed re-enactors escort visitors through actual rooms. Charge.
BETHNAL GREEN MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD Contains the largest collection of child-
related items in the country. Includes displays of toys, dolls, games, dating to the 16th century, as well as masses of items pertaining to child care, furniture, and clothing. Excellent displays for both children and adults. Free.
BRAMAH TEA & COFFEE MUSEUM Small museum for coffee and tea lovers, that documents the introduction of tea into Europe. Exceptional collection of teapots and tea chests, with interactive displays and videos. Charge.
BRITISH MUSEUM This is the world's oldest museum, established in the 1750's. Priceless antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, etc., are featured in 94 separate galleries. Displays range from mummies and the Rosetta Stone, to modern Japan. Free.
CHURCHILL MUSEUM & CABINET WAR ROOMS Churchill's underground headquarters during WWII, largely intact with original maps, phones, sleeping quarters, etc. Also includes the museum of Churchill's life. Charge.
CHURCHILL'S BRITAIN AT WAR EXPERIENCE Fascinating recreation of facets of
British life in London during WWII. View scores of artifacts and clothes and sit in an actual air raid shelter. Realistic atmosphere and great for all ages. Charge.
CLINK PRISON MUSEUM Ghoulish displays and torture devices in a reconstructed medieval prison.
DESIGN MUSEUM Award winning museum of modern and contemporary design.
Showcases creations of new designers in all areas of everyday life. Includes exhibitions on the history of modern design, architecture, and fashion. Games and activities for children as well. Charge.
DICKENS HOUSE MUSEUM Walk through Dickens' only surviving London home, where he penned Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. View his furniture, paintings, original manuscripts and personal belongings throughout a 4-story Victorian home.
FASHION AND TEXTILE MUSEUM Museum of British and international fashion,
textiles, and exhibits from the 1950's on. Charge.
FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM Fascinating little museum dedicated to tracing the life of the "Lady with the Lamp". Contains her personal belongings as well as material from the Crimean War. Charge.
FOUNDLING MUSEUM Recounts the moving story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children. Compelling photos and artifacts of the children. Founded by famous philanthropic artists whose works remain in restored 1700's rooms. Charge.
FULHAM PALACE MUSEUM Oldest palace in London and home of the Bishops of
London from the 8th century until 1973. Tudor courtyard, herb gardens, stained glass, along with Great Hall exhibition that tells the palace's story. Free.
GUARD'S MUSEUM Opened in 2005 and dedicated to the 5 regiments of Footguards. Traces more than 350 years of their history, displaying uniforms, equipment, weaponry, etc. Charge.
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM Award-winning museum that traces the history of British military operations since 1914. Features full-scale reproductions, military artifacts and weaponry from WWI and WWII. Free.
LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM Displays of buses , trams and Tube cars, outlining the history of London's transportation system invite children to "jump on"! Features family-friendly interactive games, activities and simulators, as well as costumed characters. Charge.
LONDON'S MUSEUM OF JEWISH LIFE Galleries showcase the history of Jewish life in London and includes items from the end of the 17th century on. Museum consists of two branches focusing on a) social history, and b) ceremonial art. Charge.
MUSEUM OF GARDEN HISTORY Small museum, located in a church, and the first
museum in the world dedicated to gardens and garden history. Large collection of historic tools, artifacts, seeds, and texts. Free.
MUSEUM OF LONDON This museum contains over 1,000, 000 objects in 7 different galleries, depicting the history of the City of London from pre-historic times to modern day. Free.
NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM Housed in a huge concrete bunker, this museum traces the history of the British Army from Agincourt to the present. Thousands of artifacts from all wars, including the American Revolution, in categories such as armor, vehicles, medals, uniforms, etc. Life-sized models are found alongside videos and computer games. Great for kids, too. Free.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Huge and eye-catching, this museum is home to more than 50 million specimens. Though built in the 1870's, this ultra-modern attraction has a wide range of exhibits ranging from interactive displays and costumed characters, to simulated earthquakes and dinosaurs that move and roar. Free.
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY A multi-floored museum containing portraits of famous characters from English history. Represents over 600 years of important paintings, including the current Royal Family. Free.
PETRIE MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY Created in 1892, this museum
contains 80,000 objects and is one of the greatest collection of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. Extensive costume gallery with articles dating to 5000 BC. Free.
SAATCHI GALLERY Modern art gallery used as a launching pad for rising artists. Some work is viewed as controversial and discretion is advised. Not your typical art gallery. Charge.
SCIENCE MUSEUM Located on museum row, this five-floor wonderland documents scientific achievement from the 18th century to the present. Numerous hands-on and interactive displays keep children thoroughly entertained, but there is also much to keep adults fascinated as well. Free. (IMAX theater carries admission charge)
SHERLOCK HOLMES MUSEUM The fictional Sherlock Holmes brought to life as
depicted in the famous Arthur Conan Doyle books. Victorian house is furnished and decorated as the "sleuth" would have left it. Charge.
SIR JOHN SOANE'S MUSEUM Soane's home in the late 18th century, now completely filled, (as he left it in 1837), with a wide range of articles collected from all over the world. Noteworthy items from Rome, Egypt, China, medieval period, etc. Free.
TATE BRITAIN Museum of British paintings from the 16th through the 20th centuries, displayed chronologically. Also features rotating displays of contemporary artists, along with guided tours. Free.
TATE MODERN Open since 2000 and home to a huge collection of international 20th century art, grouped by theme. Contains examples of work by Picasso, Dali, Warhol, etc. Free.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM The world's largest and finest decorative arts collection, housed on six floors, with pieces dating from 3000 BC to the present. Categories of exhibits include tapestries, clothing, furniture, Italian sculpture, photographs, etc. Great hands-on displays for children. Free.
WALLACE COLLECTION World-renowned art museum located in a historic home and
containing one of the best collections of French 18th century pictures, porcelain and furniture to be found anywhere. Fine European and oriental armor collection. Free.
WIMBLEDON LAWN TENNIS MUSEUM Located at the famed "Centre Court", this museum examines the history of Lawn Tennis. Features guides in "old fashioned" garb and memorabilia that includes original trophies, photos, videos and equipment. Charge.
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