Take full advantage of your Premier Club Rewards this summer; whether you’re visiting London on business, or for pleasure, head to some of our world class museums. The capital has so much more to offer than boardrooms and office interiors, and if you are in town for leisure then you could do alot worse than checking out the incredible exhibits on offer. London is home to some of the world’s best collections and galleries, so don’t just book a room at the Paddington Court Suites and work the day away, don’t just spend your spare time wandering the shops of Oxford Street. Get out there and experience some culture! Here is a rundown of the best museums in London, all of which are centrally located so you can easily access them from wherever your hotel may be.
The British Museum
The British museum was actually the first public museum in the world, opened in 1753 featuring the collections of the Anglo-Irish physician Sir Hans Sloane. Now some 250 years later, the museum has a permanent collection of over 8 million items and rotates through thousands more, making it the largest and most comprehensive collection in existence. The museum has a broad focus on human history and culture from its humble beginnings to the present day.
There are 10 main halls in the building focussed on specific regions, including the likes of Ancient Greece, Roman Britain, Japan and the Far East, and the ever popular Mummy Gallery. If you have an interest in virtually any period of history, it’s likely that the British Museum will have you covered. It is recommended that you take at least three hours to tour the building although even this will barely scratch the surface! The Museum is free to enter, so if you don’t have a full day spare you can dip in and out between other activities.
The Science Museum
The Science Museum is an absolute favourite of tourists and locals alike, offering a wonderfully interactive experience of science and invention throughout human history. Originally founded in 1857 the museum back then was a small collection of inventions and machinery left over from the ‘Great Exhibition’. It wasn’t until 1909 that the collection was divided up into two parts, one of which formed the Victoria And Albert Museum, the other became the museum we know and love today.
Attracting over 3 million visitors annually, the science museum is popular with families in particular. With interactive experiments and displays, learning has never been easier- or more fun. The Science Museum also offers an incredible 6D iMAX screen, showing educational documentaries, blockbuster movies and live events. But don’t go thinking this is a place for families only. The space and physics exhibitions in particular are incredibly in depth, and some of the displays are truly mind blowing. There is a reason this is one of London’s best museums, its visual displays are exceptional and the interaction you can have with the science on display is unlike anywhere else on the planet.
Natural History Museum
Often dubbed a ‘cathedral of nature’ the Natural History Museum holds the greatest collection of natural specimens anywhere in the world. Opened in 1881 as a collection of fossils and geological wonders it has undergone many changes to make it what we see today. Now focussing on five main areas; botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. Those are all the best ‘ologies’! The museum is actually the global centre of taxonomy, identification and conservation; the three most important things in the world of preserving and displaying ancient history.
The natural history Museum contains thousands of items that are of major historical value, including pieces collected by the likes of Charles Darwin. The dinosaur exhibit is of course the most popular, and for good reason. The displays and arrangements of fossils and bones is the best you will see anywhere in the world. Any person, of any age, will be awestruck at the astonishing collection of prehistoric creatures. But the dinosaurs aren’t the only awe inspiring part of the museum; everything from human evolution, our oceans and the genetic and molecular makeup of our own bodies is explored in these hallowed halls.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War museum is actually spread across five branches, 3 of which are in London. Originally founded in 1917 to record the civil and military war effort and the sacrifices made therein by Britain and its empire during the WWI; the foundation actually expanded to include the 2nd World War, and later all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in since 1914.
The museum offers a harrowing insight into the 1st World War, with equipment, weaponry, photographs and art on display. The aim of the gallery is to give a voice to all the pieces on display, and really try to put its viewers into the shoes of the soldiers. A comprehensive breakdown of the war and its key battles, with a large focus on the Battle of the Somme; the most bitter and costly battle of the war.
The Holocaust Galleries are a large focus of the museum and offer a truly terrifying insight into the lives of the decimated Jewish Communities. With personal items on display from the camps, actual personal stories are at the heart of the exhibit. Standing as a warning and a tribute of our most costly confilct, and the incredible loss of life, the Holocaust galleries remind us of our darkest war and moments which should never be forggoten.
All of the above museums are free to enter, although they do ask that you make a donation if you are able. They are all very centrally located and if you have booked through your Heathrow Rewards and are staying in a Kensington London Hotel, then you are right on the doorstep of these incredible museums. Infact, there are several more in the area worth checking out too, like the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design. Take your pick and be blown away by the culture and history on offer in these incredible institutions.