With so much to see and do in London, there never seems to be enough time to cram in everything. Monuments, palaces, cathedrals, galleries, and attractions galore make choosing your itinerary tricky.
A new trend is to get some fresh air and exercise on a London attraction like Foxtrail, where you follow a secret walking route around the capital, progressing by solving clues and puzzles as you go. You’ll get to see plenty of what the city has to offer while enjoying some light-hearted competitiveness with family or friends.
Once you’ve finished, an ideal next stop would be to explore one of London’s excellent museums. There’s an incredible choice to suit the whole family, but here are some of the best that you won’t want to miss.
The British Museum
The first national museum to open to the public in 1759, the British Museum proudly displays the most important discoveries made by famous British explorers.
The incredible exhibits include the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures, all set out in sections like Ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa etc. It can get busy, but like so many of London’s museums, it’s free! The nearest Tube is Holborn on the Central Line.
The National Gallery
If art is your thing, you can’t miss this extraordinary collection of 2,300 paintings from as early as the 13th century.
Located centrally in Trafalgar Square, you’ll see masterpieces such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Constable’s The Hay Wain. To learn more as you go along, download one of the many audio tours. There’s plenty of seating, so you can sit down, listen and take as long as you like.
The kids will love this one. Countless exhibits, many interactive, show off the weird and wonderful creations of man. While some older discoveries are available, there’s also plenty of modern wonders, including a fantastic virtual reality space descent with astronaut Tim Peake.
It’s a truly educational experience, and everyone enjoys the Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery, a truly experiential romp of exhibits, interactions and real scientific phenomena.
The nearest Tube is South Kensington (five minutes’ walk) on the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines.
Natural History Museum
If you’re interested in living (and extinct) things, then how does a choice of 80 million natural specimens sound? That’s how many are in the collection of the Natural History Museum. It’s also close to South Kensington Tube so that you can couple this with a trip to the Science Museum.
With so much to see, the museum has split itself into five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology.
The Tower of London
Dating back to 1066 when it was built by William the Conqueror, the Tower is steeped in history. It’s here where Henry VIII had the habit of chopping the heads off his wives, and it was a popular spot for all sorts of public executions.
But perhaps the most common reason to visit now is to marvel at the Crown Jewels. One of the famous Beefeaters will offer a tour every 30 minutes.
Popular museums in London
We could offer details of so many more attractions. But others to consider during your trip to the capital include:
- Tate Modern
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- Imperial War Museum
- Churchill War Rooms
- Charles Dickens Museum
- Design Museum
- London Transport Museum
- London Dungeons
- Old Operating Theatre
- The Vault at Hard Rock Café
- Pollock’s Toy Museum
- The Crime Museum
- Sherlock Holmes Museum
- HMS Belfast