9 Quirky and Free London Museums

When you think of London and the museums that it contains you probably think of the dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum, the beautiful artefacts and costumery at the V&A Museum or the marvels to be found in the Science Museum. While these are all incredible attractions, there is much more to be found away from these grand old stalwarts of history. If you like something a little quirky and unusual as well as a free attraction then you should check out some of the following attractions.

Photo by Karen Bryan
Photo by Karen Bryan

The Battle of Britain Bunker

While the Churchill War Rooms, Imperial War Museum and RAF Museum are all well publicised, the Battle of Britain Bunker is often overlooked. Located at RAF Uxbridge, the bunker was the operations room for Fighter Command No. 11. If you want to take part in a guided tour of the bunker you need to book in advance.

Ragged School Museum

Visit a reconstructed Victorian classroom and traditional Victorian East End Kitchen which would have been frequented by the poor and destitute of the East End of London. The buildings which house the museum were once the largest missionary or ‘ragged’ school created by Thomas Barnardo. There are plenty of things to see and lots of exhibits which can be handled.

The Clock Makers Museum

Contained within a single room within the Guildhall Library, the museum contains the oldest collection of watches and clocks to be found anywhere in Europe. The items in the collection have been on public display since 1874 and the display contains more than 600 items, some of which date back to the 1600’s.

The Kennel Club Art Gallery

If you are a dog lover then you will really enjoy this free attraction. Inside you will find the biggest collection of dog portraits to be found anywhere in Europe. Different breeds feature in different exhibitions throughout the year.

Ballet Resource Centre and White Lodge Museum

Those with a love of ballet, or the desire to be Britain’s next prima donna ballerina will love this place. Not only can you learn all about the history of ballet you will also explore what being a student of the Royal Ballet School involves.

Anaesthesia Museum

You may find some of the exhibits here a little unsettling but it will certainly make you appreciate the marvels of modern medicine, and make you thankful for the way modern hospitals work.

Museum of the British Dental Museum

If you have a fear of visiting the dentist, a visit here may make you rethink your fears and allow you to appreciate how painless dentistry today is compared to dentistry of yesteryear.

The Grant Museum of Zoology

At one time there were a number of these zoological museums in the city, but times change and now the Grant Museum of Zoology is the last one. With 67,000 specimens to discover there is much to see.

The London Sewing Machine Museum

Old sewing machines are so much more than tools of the seamstress trade, they are practically pieces of art. While you are here, seek out the machine given as a wedding gift to Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter.

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