Curious Museums in London

May 19, 2017

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Geffrye Museum. Image by Chris Ridley.

When in London, you’re not short of choice when it comes to museums, but it’s well-worth making sure some of the less obvious options are on your list. These lesser-known collections and carefully preserved homes of notable figures are just as deserving – and one might say far more interesting – than some of the more famous museums in town.

Fashion and Textile Museum. Image via Flickr Creative Commons, by Hamish Foxley.

In Bermondsey, for example, a bright yellow building with a pink door is home to the Fashion and Textile Museum. Less a museum and more of a living art space, this is an inspiration venue for fashion lovers, or anyone appreciates creativity.

For a taste of London-living through the centuries, Geffrye Museum in Hoxton is fascinating to look around. It displays interiors of average homes from the 17th century through to the 20th, with period furnishings packed into the different rooms and lovely gardens, too. To see how one particularly famous Londoner lived and worked, head to the Charles Dickens Museum in his former house in Bloomsbury.

Charles Dickens Museum. Image by Jennifer Mehra.

If display cases full of creepy crawlies and exotic animal bones are more up your street, you shouldn’t miss the University of London’s Grant Museum of Zoology – with everything from saber-toothed tiger canines to rhinoceros skulls, there are 67,000 specimens to see.

Not far from there, in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Sir John Soane’s Museum shows off his collection of art and architectural drawings and models, just as he left it, packed into his old home. Lit by candlelight at night, this is an atmospheric way to see artworks as they were enjoyed in Georgian times, as well as admire the architect’s projects. Another house of an artist that is not to be missed is Leighton House Museum, exquisitely preserved from the heyday of Victorian Britain.

For more great insider recommendations in London, pick up the guide on

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