London’s Lesser Known Museums


London is a wondrous and ancient city.  There is so much to learn and discover about the place that you would barely scratch the surface if you only visited the better known museums. The Natural History Museum, British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museums are all fantastic in their own right, but it is very much worth your time to get off the beaten track and see what else the city has to offer. There are some odd ones out there and you would be surprised at what a bit of exploring will uncover.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Thisone can be a bit squicky, so the weak stomached should be cautious. The Grant Museum of Zoology is a single room packed with a collection of zoological specimens. Despite only taking up one room, the collection seems to go on far longer than you would think the space would allow. There are all sorts of oddities stuffed or pickled around the room; from jars of tiny turtles to glistening sea-mice and even some huge skeletal beasts.

Museum of Immigration

The Museum of Immigration, at 19 Princelet Street is a fascinating place that tracks the impact of London’s many waves of immigrants on the area and the house itself. Unfortunately, the house is quite old and somewhat buckling under the weight of years it has seen, so the museum is only open a handful of times per year. The area around it reflects the contents of the museum though, so if you are feeling adventurous why not set up a base in one of the Chiswell Street hotels London and explore the area.

Denis Severs’ House

This fascinating museum near Liverpool Street Station provides visitors with an interactive stroll through history. The museum, built into an old townhouse, was the twenty year project of Denis Severs. Each room is decorated in the style of a different period through history; the effect is so convincing you will feel as though you have stepped back in time.

The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square can be quite a grim place to visit, but the stories it tells are important.  Dedicated to the former Foundling Orphanage, this museum depicts heart breaking accounts of the abandoned and homeless children that were tragically common in Victorian London. It is an upsetting tale, but something worth remembering.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

The fascinating experience that is the Sir John Soane Museum sits on the edge Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn. Inside the doors of the three townhouses is a collection of artefacts that doubles as both a tribute to the life of the architect that built the houses, and to the period in which he lived.Inside are arrayed many of the curious and paintings that he collected over the course of his life. It is an interesting experience, and once you’re done exploring there is a lovely park where you can get a drink and some delicious Moroccan food.

The Cartoon Museum

Also in Holborn is the fun little Cartoon Museum. The museum was created by a group of cartoonists, collectors and lovers of the art form to collect, preserve, and display the best of British cartoon art. The little space is dedicated to the brilliant works of British cartoonists past and present, including such classics as Ralph Steadman, Beano, Dennis the Menace, V for Vendetta, and Judge Dread. There is plenty to see and read in this lively space; it is well worth a trip.