15 Bizarre Museums In London That You Should Definitely Visit

Avoid large groups of tourists, spending a lot of money, and boring exhibitions!

1. Hunterian Museum, Holborn

Where? 35–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE

What? Close your eyes and imagine the most fancy museum in the world, with high-end art and beautiful sculptures from all over the world. Got it? Good, because this museum is probably the furthest thing from it. It features Churchill’s dentures, diseased human remains in jars, and a tooth of an extinct giant sloth. You have to admit, that’s pretty impressive.

How much? Free!

2. Old Operating Theatre, London Bridge

Where? 9a St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY

What? Used before anaesthetics were discovered, this old operating theatre is a great treat for those who like to listen about open guts, pain, and everything gore. Located above St. Thomas Church, the theatre is accompanied by an exhibition about medical equipment and practices of the Victorian period. The unique atmosphere of the place is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine!

How much? £6.50

3. Geffrye Museum, Hackney

Geffrye Museum

Where? 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA

What? If you’ve always dreamed of travelling in time, this museum is ideal for you. With 11 meticulously recreated period rooms, you can go back and forth between centuries in just minutes.

How much? Free!

4. Fan Museum, Greenwich

Where? 12 Crooms Hill, London SE10 8ER

What? If you’re a fan of fans then you can fangirl over them at the Fan Museum in Greenwich. It’s the only collection of this kind in the world and features over 4,000 hand fans, some of which are more than 1,000 years old!

How much? £4.00

5. Freud Museum, Hampstead

Where? 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

What? Visiting a house of a dead person is always strange. But it’s even more peculiar if the house you’re visiting used to belong to one of the fathers of psychoanalysis. The Freud Museum is full of family paraphernalia, with antiques including Freud’s writing desk and his famous Berggasse psychoanalytic couch. Oh, and don’t forget to take your mum with you.

How much? £7.00

6. Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising, Notting Hill

Where? 2 Colville Mews, London W11 2AR

What? Have you ever wondered what the first Coca-Cola bottle looked like? Or what different flavours of Walker’s crisps are there in other countries? Look for answers to these questions no further. The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising has a collection of over 12,000 items dating as back as far as the early 1800s. It features such gems as First World War Oxo Cubes and Mars Bars and Kit Kats from the 1930s.

How much? £7.50

7. Cartoon Museum, Holborn

Where? 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH

What? Just a few streets away from the British Museum, this exhibition is focused on promoting British cartoon and comic art. With a collection that dates from the 18th century to the present, visitors of all ages will find something exciting here. If you’re an avid fan of the Bash Street Kids, Billy Whizz, or Dennis the Menace, or if you’re looking for something a little bit more politically minded, this is a place for you!

How much? £7.00

8. The Magic Circle Museum, Euston

Unknown / Via Flickr: andycastro

Where? 12 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD

What? This exciting club for magicians from all over the country is truly magical. Although unavailable for casual visits, it hosts an array of shows, tours, productions, and open days that will blow your mind. Don’t have an idea where to go with your significant other for a nice day out? Presto! Now you do.

How much? Varies

9. Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Whitechapel

Where? 32–34 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DY

What? Does this name ring a bell? Well, it should! After all, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the oldest manufacturing company in Britain and was the birthplace of Big Ben, the great bell of the Palace Of Westminster. Founded in 1570, it still produces and supplies bells all over the country. On most Saturdays, you can pre-book and join a 90-minute tour of the factory to see for yourself how difficult and beautiful the art of bell-making is.

How much? £14.00

10. Ragged School Museum, Mile End

Where? 46–50 Copperfield Road, London E3 4RR

What? The museum reconstructs the conditions in educational establishments that taught impoverished children in 1800s Britain. On display, there are numerous unique items, such as desks, ink bottles, and slate boards, as well as objects relating to contemporary leisure and work life. The museum’s crowning glory is its Victorian classroom! It’s best if you visit during monthly open house sessions, when actors in period costume teach a lesson to visitors of all ages.

How much? Free!

11. Museum of Freemasonry, Covent Garden

Scott Barbour / Getty Images

Where? 60 Great Queen Street WC2B 5AZ

What? Numerous prints and photographs, artefacts from famous freemasons such as Winston Churchill, and displays detailing freemason hierarchy and everyday practices are guaranteed to keep you interested. The atmosphere of mystery around the assembly greatly adds to the excitement of the visit. Make sure you book in advance for the full experience!

How much? £0–10, depending on the tour

12. Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey

Where? 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF

What? Centered around all things relating to fashion, textile, and jewellery, the Fashion and Textile Museum is mainly known for hosting temporary exhibits. Featuring young new designers as well as clothes from different time periods, this museum is ideal for anyone who loves dressing up!

How much? £8.80

13. Churchill War Rooms, Westminster

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Where? Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ

What? Dedicated to the life and achievements of the late British prime minister Winston Churchill, this bunker was originally built to provide shelter to the British government during the hardships of World War II. Original film footage, photos, and recordings are displayed around the centerpiece of the exhibition, a 50-foot-long computerised timeline. This is a must-see for all WWII aficionados.

How much? £18

14. Silver Vaults, Holborn

Where? 53–64 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1QS

What? It’s not a museum per se, but you might as well treat it like one! Opened in 1876 as a storage unit for household silver, jewellery, and documents, it became the main spot for silver dealers in London in the early 20th century. Still the biggest silver store in the world, it attracts a lot of tourists. And no wonder! The views are spectacular.

How much? Free!

15. Grant Museum of Zoology, Bloomsbury

Where? Rockefeller Building, University College London, 21 University Street, London WC1E 6DE

What? Like the Hunterian Museum, this is a labyrinth of animal oddities, jammed with skeletons, species preserved in vials, and extinct specimens. Temporary exhibitions – such as the one showcasing animal-made artworks – enrich the experience of the main exposition. If you’re not too squeamish, a visit to this display is a great way to spend your afternoon.

How much? Free!

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