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The best London museums

Whatever your interests, the UK capital's got you covered

Marvellous museums in the city

The UK’s capital boasts over 170 museums, many of which are free. The sheer number means that there’s something to suit every interest and, even when you’ve found your favourite, the frequently changing exhibitions mean that no two visits are ever the same.

Here are some of our favourites, from world-famous institutions to quirky specialist museums you may not yet have discovered, all recommended by the AA.

Handel & Hendrix in London

The homes of two musicians who changed music are separated by a wall and 200 years at Handel & Hendrix in the heart of London’s West End. Handel House occupies two floors of 25 Brook Street, and Hendrix Flat occupies the upper floor of 23 Brook Street.

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

Enjoy a nostalgic journey through two centuries of consumer culture, lifestyle and social change at this quirky museum that’s two minutes from Portobello Road. Walk through the Time Tunnel – the ultimate treasure of childhood memories – and enjoy the Museum’s subtropical garden and gift shop.

Museum of London

What better place to start exploring London’s museums than with a visit to the museum of the city itself? Discover London’s turbulent past, from prehistoric to recent history, and delve into fascinating stories of Londoners through video, articles and more.

The Natural History Museum

This iconic museum first opened its doors in 1881, but its origins stretch back to 1753. From family favourites such as dinosaurs, whales and volcanoes, to hidden treasures and exhibits with impact, there’s lots to discover on your visit.

Sir John Soane's Museum

The extraordinary house of Sir John Soane, one of England’s greatest architects, has been kept as it was at the time of the time of his passing in 1837. The extensive collection consists of thousands of objects, ranging from ancient artefacts to models of recognisable buildings.

Tate Britain

Home to the largest collection of British art in the world, the Tate Britain takes visitors on a tour through Britain’s art history. Explore over 500 years of creativity as you wander through the three sections of the permanent collection, including works by Blake, Hockney and Turner.

 

The Design Museum

Devoted to making the impact of design visible, the Design Museum invites its visitors to reflect on design in every form – from industrial and product design to fashion and graphics – via its fascinating programme of temporary displays and exhibitions.

The Charles Dickens Museum

Literature fans will delight in visiting 48 Doughty Street, the London home of Charles Dickens where he wrote Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby. Uncover the author’s private world and see treasures including his desk and handwritten drafts.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Known to the world as the V&A, the Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, housing a collection of over 2.27 million objects. Enjoy browsing the Daylit Gallery and wondering through the oasis of the John Madejski Garden.

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