London has an abundance of museums that are equally
famous for their quality and for their variety. You
can take your pick of museums devoted to design,
gardens, children, science, toys and even London
Some of the museums have miles of exhibits housed in
some of the most magnificent buildings and halls while
others are housed in former dwelling houses.
Museum, founded in 1753, contains world
famous collections of antiquities from Egypt, Western
Asia, Greece and Rome as well as Prehistoric and
South of the River Thames, to the east of Lambeth
Palace, the Imperial War Museum uniquely covers the
history of world conflict from World War I to the
People interested in the history of warfare may like
to visit HMS Belfast, moored permanently as a museum on
the River Thames in the Pool of London and a unique and
powerful reminder of Britain's naval heritage.
In west London, in Kensington, the collection of
museums that stand on or near Exhibition Road owe their
existence to the energy and enthusiasm of Prince Albert.
It was his tireless persistence that resulted in the
Great Exhibition being opened in Hyde Park in 1851. Its
unqualified success persuaded Albert that the profits
made from it should be used to purchase land on which
would be built an array of educational establishments.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the largest museum
of the decorative arts in the world. The beautiful
Victorian and Edwardian buildings house 145 galleries
containing some of the world's greatest collections of
sculpture, furniture, fashion and textiles, paintings,
silver, glass, ceramics, jewellery, books, prints and
Also situated in Kensington, the Natural History
Museum is dedicated to furthering the understanding of
the natural world through its unrivalled collections,
its world class exhibitions and through its
internationally significant programme of scientific
The collections in the Science Museum cover the
application of science to technology and the development
of engineering and industry from their early beginnings
to the present day.
Along with its 'mainstream' museums, London has some
delightfully unusual exhibitions. The Bramah Tea and
Coffee Museum allows the visitor to explore the history
and traditions of these two important beverages amongst
the tea warehouses of Butlers Wharf.
To the north of the City, the London Canal Museum
tells the story of the canals, the people who lived and
worked on them, the cargos they carried and the horses
which towed the boats.
Out to the west, the Kew Bridge Steam Museum houses a
collection of steam pumping engines including the
largest running and largest existing single cylinder
engines in the world.
Deep in the heart of London, buried beneath London
Bridge Station, the London
Dungeon, billed as a museum
with a difference, is a unique museum of 40 spine
chilling exhibits and is now one of the capital's top
tourist attractions. Within the Dungeon you can step
back in time and journey through the darker side of
European history. The museum features a wide variety of
attractions including modern multimedia displays, actors
and special effects.
For those with a less morbid taste, the
Transport Museum in Covent Garden is brilliant for
children of all ages, noted for its old red buses and
historic tube trains.