June 6, 2023

If it’s your first time in London then likelihood is that you just’ve bought town’s most well-known museums on the high of your want record. The Pure Historical past Museum, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Science Museum are a few of London’s greatest recognized museums and deservedly so.

However, when you’ve ticked these massive ticket objects off your must-see record then it’s time to show to a few of London’s extra uncommon sights. The capital is dwelling to dozens of different lesser-known museums – some that even locals don’t find out about.

No matter your hobbies or pursuits, likelihood is there’s a museum for you from textiles and cartoons to medication and mail – there’s even a museum devoted to stitching machines. Sure, there actually are that many bizarre museums in London!

Disclosure: This publish might include affiliate hyperlinks. I’ve been or may very well be in case you click on on a hyperlink on this publish compensated by way of a money fee, present or one thing else of worth for scripting this publish. See our full disclosure coverage for extra particulars.

Can you notice the walrus on the Horniman Museum?

Our favorite uncommon museums in London

Of the numerous quirky museums open to guests in London, the next are a few of our favourites. One factor to notice, the splendidly quirky and in style Pollock’s Toy Museum is presently closed whereas the museum appears to be like for brand spanking new premises.

Museum of Manufacturers

Situated close to Notting Hill, the London Museum of Manufacturers tracks the historical past of shopper tradition from Victorian occasions via to the current day.

It was began by Robert Opie, who got here from a household of collectors and in the future determined to save lots of a packet of Munchies from a merchandising machine in Inverness. From right here his assortment grew till he in the future had sufficient to open up a museum.

The museum’s assortment is housed within the Time Tunnel, glass show cupboards packed full of things from throughout the final 200 years. The exhibition begins within the Victorian period with newspapers and magazines shows alongside music sheets, railway timetables and fragrance bottles. Subsequent is the Edwardian period after which onto the Nice Battle and on via historical past till you get to the current day. 

Altogether it’s an enchanting take a look at social change, tradition and life-style via British historical past.

Museum of Brands

Style and Textile Museum

Anybody with a love of style ought to head to the Style and Textile Museum in Bermondsey. The museum was based by flamboyant dressmaker Zandra Rhodes and is the one museum within the UK devoted to showcasing modern style and textile design.

The museum hosts a variety of non permanent exhibitions masking a broad vary of textiles and designers. Present and previous displays have included the Material of Democracy (exploring printed propaganda textiles) and the textile designs of Andy Warhol. 

Workshops, talks and occasions are recurrently held right here too. It’s an important possibility for teenagers in London. 

Fashion and Textile Museum

The Fan Museum

Situated in Greenwich, The Fan Museum is the one one among its sort devoted to the historical past, tradition and craft of the fan.

The small museum is housed in a pair of Grade II listed Georgian homes and was present in 1991 by Dicky and Hélène Alexander – Hélène has spent her lifetime accumulating followers and now has over 5,000 courting from the eleventh century to the current day. Further followers have been subsequently been added to the gathering making the museum dwelling to the world’s largest assortment of followers.

The everlasting exhibition of this distinctive museum explores followers via the ages masking 1,000 years of fan historical past and tradition from flat vellum rectangles used through the Center Ages via to ornate folding followers from the 18th century. Additionally on show are a uncommon Elizabethan-period fan and a Fabergé fan with gold work and enamelling.

The Fan Museum

Previous Working Theatre 

One of the crucial uncommon museums in London is the Previous Working Theatre, the oldest surviving working theatre in Europe. Relationship again to 1822, and housed within the attic of St. Thomas Church, that is the place the poorest of sufferers got here for therapy. Ache aid was restricted to alcohol, opiates and chloroform in addition to a picket cane to chunk down on when the ache grew to become an excessive amount of!

The working theatre was solely rediscovered in 1956 and opened as a museum six years later. In the present day it’s an enchanting perception into medication and medical procedures from time passed by. On show are herb garrets utilized by the apothecaries, devices used throughout procedures together with cupping, bleeding and skull-driving, and data on the historical past of the church and hospital itself.

Old Operating Theatre Museum

Weird museums in London
Style magazines on show within the Museum of Manufacturers

The London Stitching Machine Museum

This splendidly quirky museum actually is a hidden gem, devoted to the historical past of the humble stitching machine and homes some 700 machines, made for each home and industrial use. These aren’t any previous stitching machines, nevertheless, among the many assortment is a machine gifted to Queen Victoria’s daughter and the very first machine by Singer. 

The museum is the results of Ray Rushton who constructed up the gathering over a interval of 40 years and is in the present day one of many greatest and most intensive on the planet. Ensure to examine forward if you wish to go to, nevertheless, because the museum is simply open on the primary Saturday of each month between 2pm – 5pm.

The London Sewing Machine Museum

Cartoon Museum

Anybody with an curiosity in cartoons and animation ought to head straight for the Cartoon Museum, dwelling to over 6,000 unique cartoon and comedian art work in addition to over 8,000 books and comics. The everlasting assortment contains wartime cartoons, trendy satirists together with Ralph Steadman and unique Rupert Bear art work from 1921. Exhibitions and occasions are held all year long. 

The Cartoon Museum

Alexander Fleming Museum

This area of interest museum is situated in Paddington and effectively price a go to. It’s devoted to the life and work of Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, the person liable for discovering penicillin.

On show is a reconstruction of Sir Alexander Fleming’s laboratory, a few of his private belongings and a video explaining how an opportunity discovery after getting back from vacation led to a lifesaving drug that revolutionised the medical world and ushered in a brand new period of antibiotics.

Alexander Fleming Museum

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Situated on one of many most well-known streets in London – and the house deal with of town’s most well-known fictional detectives – is the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Devoted to the tales of the tremendous sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the museum provides guests the prospect to look contained in the life and tales of the Sherlock Holmes and Victorian London.

Housed inside a four-storey Georgian townhouse (with a cheerful London ‘Bobby’ standing exterior) the rooms are full of Victorian furnishings and knick knacks in addition to objects from well-known instances solved by Holmes and his sidekick Watson. There’s additionally a superb present store on website.

Be ready to queue for the Sherlock Holmes Museum, it is among the hottest in London.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum

Weird Museums in London
Go to the previous dwelling of Charles Dickens

Home of Goals

A severe contender for London’s high bizarre museum is the magical Home of Goals, created by artist and designer Stephen Wright. Situated in East Dulwich, this terraced home has been remodeled into probably the most fantastical of locations, embellished high to backside, inside and outside, with discovered objects.

You’ll spot dolls and enamel moulds, tinsel and household pictures, vibrant plastic bottles and a lot extra. Alongside the 1000’s of things are hand-written reminiscence boards that recall necessary occasion in his life. 

The Home of Goals is solely open to guests on sure dates (roughly as soon as a month) so ensure you e-book effectively upfront. 

The House of Dreams

The Postal Museum

Considered one of our favorite museums in London is the Postal Museum which examines the origins and historical past of the common-or-garden letter.

Situated reverse the big Royal Mail depot in Kings Cross, the museum is shaped of three components. There’s the important museum itself detailing the historical past of the postal service with a number of interactive components, quirky info and even the prospect to decorate up. Then there’s Sorted! a superb play house for youngsters underneath 8 and the ultimate part is the Mail Rail.

The Mail Rail actually is the spotlight of this distinctive museum. From the Twenties till its closure in 2003, trains transported letters and parcels 6.5miles throughout London alongside underground tunnels. The prepare line linked six sorting places of work with mainline railway stations and delivered 4 million letters on daily basis! In the present day, two new trains have been tailored from the unique design and take guests on a 15 minute journey, 21 metres underground.

The Postal Museum

Horniman Museum

Situated in Forest Hill, south London, the Horniman Museum is really probably the greatest museums to go to in London with children. It’s well-known for its collections of anthropology and musical devices in addition to its aquarium and butterfly home. However what it’s most well-known for is its over-stuffed walrus on show in the principle Pure Historical past Gallery.

Apparently, when Victorian taxidermists first acquired the walrus they have been confused by the strange-looking creature and its heavy folds of pores and skin. Having by no means seen a dwelling walrus, they thought the wrinkles ought to be smoothed out and stuffed the pores and skin till he was match to burst.

In addition to the everlasting exhibitions, the Horniman recurrently hosts non permanent exhibitions on an entire vary of topics. Previous exhibitions have examined the historical past of hair in addition to {our relationships} to cats and canines. The museum hosts glorious actions through the faculty holidays too.

The Horniman Museum

Sir John Soane’s Museum

One of many most stunning museums in London needs to be contained in the museum devoted to Sir John Soane. The British architect, who was liable for designing the Holy Trinity Church and the Financial institution of England, amongst different buildings, was additionally a eager collector of artwork, furnishings, architectural work and fashions.

Having amassed fairly a set within the Nineteenth century he determined to open the doorways of his home to ‘amateurs and college students’ and in the present day the house is open to all as a museum. Don’t miss the Sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Weird Museums in London
The Previous Working Theatre in London

London Canal Museum

London has a big and diversified community of canal routes, initially constructed to move items. In the present day the canal routes are a number of the prettiest corners of London. Canal boats typically line these navigable waterways, a lot of them are properties however some are additionally companies; one of the uncommon bookshops in London might be discovered on a barge and one other canal boat has been remodeled right into a puppet theatre.

You’ll be able to study all about London’s canal networks and the London Canal Museum in Kings Cross, central London. Uncover how they got here to be constructed, study in regards to the lives of the employees and cargoes, and perceive how the canals work.

The London Canal Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum

Uncover the life and works of Charles Dickens, extensively thought-about to be the best novelist of the Victorian period, in the home the place he as soon as lived.

The superb Charles Dickens Museum is situated within the home the place the author lived together with his household between 1837-1839. It’s been set as much as look as if Dickens was nonetheless dwelling there and represents a conventional middle-class Victorian dwelling with furnishings, portraits and decorations that belonged to Dickens.

Additionally on show are works by Dickens; it was whereas dwelling right here that he completed writing The Pickwick Papers, and wrote Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist

The Charles Dickens Museum

Leighton Home Museum

One other bizarre museum in London so as to add to your record is the Leighton Home Museum. The previous dwelling of main Victorian artist Sir Frederic Leighton, the home is nothing wanting extraordinary. From the surface it appears to be like like merely a really good Kensington townhouse however inside the house is a ‘personal palace of artwork’.

Impressed by this travels, Leighton remodeled his dwelling right into a wealthy, opulent reflection of his life and work. Probably the most well-known room is the Arab Corridor, created following a go to to Syria in 1873, and embellished utilizing vintage tiles from Damascus. The museum has just lately undergone an £8 million restoration venture and has reopened with a brand new wing beforehand closed to guests.

Leighton House Museum

The Authentic Cockney Museum

You’d suppose {that a} museum devoted to cockneys can be situated within the East Finish of London however you’ll discover this one – the one one among its sort – in Epsom. The museum is the work of George Main, the Pearly King of Peckham, who lengthy had a dream of opening his personal museum.

In the present day, the unique museum celebrates the historical past and heritage of the cockney custom, a really distinctive a part of London heritage. Uncover what it means to the a Pearly King or Queen, check your Cockney rhyming slang, and study what metropolis life was like within the Nineteenth century.

The Original Cockney Museum

Weird Museums in London
Curios within the Sherlock Holmes Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum

One of many greatest small museums in London is the Florence Nightingale Museum, situated inside St Thomas’ Hospital, simply off Westminster Bridge. The distinctive museum, which opened in 1989, celebrates the life and work of the world’s most well-known nurse.

The museum charts Florence’s life from childhood (when her dad and mom tried to dissuade her from turning into a nurse) to her time within the Crimean battle (the place she contracted a life-changing sickness) and the way she campaigned for higher healthcare for peculiar folks.

On show are perusal objects belonging to Florence Nightingale, together with the precise lamp that earned her the nickname The Girl With The Lamp.

The Florence Nightingale Museum

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

Sticking with the medical theme, the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre might be one of many extra uncommon museums in London. The museum traces the unimaginable story of anaesthesia from historic practices to modern-day anaesthetists.

There’s a big assortment of anaesthetic gear on show together with hand bellow and pipes from 1774, used to pump comatose sufferers again to life in addition to the unique Nineteenth-century John Snow chloroform inhaler. The centre can also be dwelling to a big library devoted to the historical past of anaesthesia. Occasions and academic applications are additionally held all year long. 

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

Cinema Museum

Devoted to showcasing the historical past of the silver display is that this distinctive museum in London. The Cinema Museum homes a novel assortment of artefacts, memorabilia and gear that displays the historical past and recognition of cinema from the Nineties to the current day. 

Benefit from the many pictures, artwork works, posters, projectors on show in addition to usherettes’ uniforms and all method of fixtures and fittings that you just may discover in a film theatre from ashtrays to signage. 

The Cinema Museum

Handel and Hendrix Museum

That is much less a bizarre museum in London and somewhat a really thrilling new museum that can open in Might 2023 (tickets go on sale in April). The museum is devoted to musicians Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel, who each lived in London on the identical road. Handel lived at 25 Brook Road from 1723 till his loss of life in 1759 and Hendrix moved right into a flat at quantity 23 in 1968. 

The brand new museum is a celebration of the 2 musicians and showcases their music, tales and collections. 

Handel and Hendrix Museum

Dennis Sever’s Home

One of many strangest museums in London (if not all the UK) is the eccentric dwelling of the late Californian Dennis Sever. In 1979 he purchased a run-down Georgian home in Spitalfields and set out on a mission to create a dwelling historical past of London.

Sever invented a fictional household who lived in the home from the late seventeenth to the Nineteenth centuries and designed rooms that mirrored tales of their lives. Every room is full of objects which can be both unique interval items or are objects he made himself. 

When Severs opened the home to the general public he would conduct excursions of the property himself till he died in 1999. Throughout lockdown, workers found a whole bunch of cassette tapes of Severs’ excursions and in the present day the excursions are led by an actor utilizing the unique excursions as a blueprint. 

It really is among the most unusual museums in London. 

Dennis Sever’s House

Pictures sourced from Depositphotos.

Weird Museums in London