Worthwhile smaller London museums

London

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Updated a month ago


The Wallace Collection

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

A very high quality Art museum just off Oxford Street. Free to enter and perhaps less daunting and less crowded than some of the bigger galleries which you will know about anyway ! Quite an oasis of calm.

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Sir John Soane's Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Architect, Sir John Soane was one of those somewhat crazy Victorian collectors and his museum, originally his house is packed full of amazing stuff. Take your time going round. The rooms are small and each has a room guide. You could rush through but if you hang around, chat to the guides and show interest,they will show you high quality hidden treasures eg Hogarth’s Rakes Progress. Free to enter

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The Foundling Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

The Foundling Museum showcases the work of the Foundling Hospital, the first English children’s charity ( for abandoned children ) set up in the 18th century by sea captain Thomas Coram. It attracted a lot of support and has very interesting connections with Handel. Be assured this is a life affirming place to go to, not the grim tale of abandonment and abuse you might fear.

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Charles Dickens Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Dickens lived here as a young family man and up and coming author. Great to see how far he had come from such a precarious childhood. Lots of interesting stuff for both literary and social history buffs.

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The Postal Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Small but very well presented and interesting museum about the British Postal Service, the Royal Mail. Although there are some stamps, note that this is NOT a philatelic museum. Some lovely exhibits and a fair amount of interactive ones. You can also ride on an underground train which used to facilitate postal deliveries around London. They really need to reopen it, not just as a tourist attraction as it was efficient and environmentally friendly.

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Geffrye Museum (Stop WB)

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Interesting and unusual museum focussing on home life between 1600 and the present day, through a series of rooms, appropriately decorated and furnished. Oddly it is especially appealing when it gets to the 20th century.

  • London E2 8AL, UK

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The Fan Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Fan -tastic. I had no desire to visit this museum but was favourably surprised when I was persuaded to go. History of fans! Fun displays Pleasant cafe and small garden too. In Greenwich a lovely part of London.

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Leighton House Museum

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Home of Frederic Lord Leighton, 19 th century artist. Splendid rooms and decoration especially the Arab Hall which contains over a thousand Syrian tiles. Stunning!

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William Morris Gallery

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Learn about the life and work of William Morris ( artist, craftsman, designer and socialist ) in his childhood home in Walthamstow on outskirts of London. Free entry

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The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

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London, United Kingdom • Memory • 

This is a small gallery next to Buckingham Palace belonging to the Queen. It has good exhibitions but is quite expensive. If you buy a ticket for one exhibition, however, it lasts all year for all subsequent exhibitions, so best if you live in the UK.

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Cutty Sark

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Fantastic old tea clipper, so well restored after disastrous damage. In Greenwich , a green and fascinating part of London.

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Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

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London, United Kingdom • Wishlist • 

This is a museum in University college London UCL. It is described as a must for Egyptologists but it is not frequented as much as it might be because it is tucked away in the university buildings. We came across it by accident when seeking out the embalmed body of philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who sits just outside the entrance to the Petrie. I did not have time to do the museum but will return.

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Dennis Severs' House

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

I don’t quite understand about this house yet. I am going to go and find out as it sounds intriguing. I believe you go round in silence, just experiencing it. My friend was very enamoured. I will report back! Update! I have visited today 12 Jan. It is a very quirky place and definitely worth a visit. You may have to queue as they only let 8 people in at once. Once in, take your time and look closely. It covers a variety of historical periods but it does not spoon feed you with information. I do query the amount of alcohol a Huguenot family would have consumed!

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British Library (Stop B)

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London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Don’t confuse the British Library with the British Museum. BM is enormous and wonderful,but BL worth a visit too, obviously if you are a serious researcher but also if you are a tourist with a literary bent. Some amazing texts on display.

  • London WC1H 9AJ, UK

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