Every tourist who ever spent a long weekend in London knows the British Museum in Bloomsbury, the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square and Tate Modern on Bankside. These are wonderful, world-class museums and should not be missed. However, if you are looking for something different, something quintessentially British, perhaps even a little eccentric, then you really should visit any or all of these.
The Arsenal Museum, Emirates Stadium, Islington, Greater London N7 7AJ
Arsenal supporters will be thrilled by exhibits recalling golden moments in the club’s history. As well as goal-scoring boots and shirts which once stretched across the backs of legendary players, there’s The Legends Theatre and more than a dozen fully interactive sections based on the proud history of Arsenal FC. John Radford, Charlie George, Sammy Nelson, Eddie Kelly and Perry Groves lead the Legends Tours operated by the museum.
Prices £7 (£4 Under 16s) or included with a stadium tour.
Monday to Saturday 1000 to 1800h Sunday 1000h to 1700h. On match days, the Museum closes 30 minutes before kick-off and does not re-open.
British Postal Museum and Archive Collection, Freeling House, Phoenix Place, London, WC1X 0DL
As rich and varied as the history of the postal service that it represents, the collection includes objects of all sizes; from handstamps, labels and telephone headsets to Mobile Post Office Vehicles and a Travelling Post Office railway coach. It also includes song sheets, postcards and St Valentine’s Day missives (hence the picture), related to the postal service.
The museum collection is constantly being developed to reflect the role of people in the postal service and successive innovations in technology to meet the demands of a changing world.
Usual Opening Times
Monday to Friday 1000 to 1700h and on Thursday 1000h to 1900h
The Museum is also open on one Saturday each month.
The Cartoon Museum 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH
In 1843, the word ‘cartoon’ entered the English Language in the modern sense of a humorous drawing. At The Cartoon Museum, you can learn how and why. As well as the permanant collection, there are often speical exhibitions to enjoy.
From biting political satire to childhood comic strip heroes, enjoy a wry smile or a belly laugh at the very finest examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th Century up to the present day. Over 1500 cartoon drawings, 5000 books and 6000 comics are on display; all dedicated to the high art of laughter.
Tuesday to Saturday 1030 to 1730h, Sunday 1200 to 1730h
The Fashion and Textile Museum 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF t. 020 7407 8664
This cutting-edge centre for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery in London was founded by iconic British designer, Zandra Rhodes. The centre showcases a programme of changing exhibitions which explore elements of fashion, textile and jewellery. Then, there’s the fabulous The Café @ FTM.
Situated in a fantastic building designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, the FTM aims not just to collect and display items relating to fashion, jewellery and textile design but also, to offer inspiration to a new generation of creatives.
Opening for the duration of the exhibition (see our events pages for details)
Tuesday to Saturday 1100 to 1800h. Last admission 1715h
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Geffrye Museum 136 Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8EA t. 020 7739 9893
The Geffrye Museum shows the changing style of the English domestic interior. Re-creations of parlours, drawing rooms and sitting rooms typically found in homes of ‘the middling sort; from 1600 to present day mean that the Geffrye is a museum of typical, rather than exceptional objects. The 1880s room, situated on the upper floor, shows how a former governess living in the Geffrye almshouses at that time may have furnished it.
As well as a walled herb garden, the ‘outdoor rooms’ are based on research into the design and planting of urban middle-class gardens from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays 12 – 5pm
Closed Mondays (unless Bank Holiday), Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day
Hunterian Museum and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons of England 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE
t. 020 ?7869 ?6560
Designated as a Collection of National Importance, it’s a mix of comparative anatomy and pathology specimens; complete skeletons, bones, skulls and teeth; dried preparations, corrosion casts and wax teaching models; historical surgical and dental instruments, together with modern surgical instruments and technologies; as well as paintings, drawings and sculpture.
£3.2 million was spent on refurbishment to create a publicly accessible museum to encourage visitors’ exploration of the scientific, cultural and historical importance of the collections. The new Hunterian Museum enables visitors to share the wealth of material that has been a source of inspiration to surgeons, scientists and artists for over two hundred years. There is a free guided tour of the Museum and Archive each Wednesday at 1300h.
Tuesday to Saturday from 1000h to 1700h