Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Favourite Museums for Museum Day #BEDM

I love museums. There is always something for everyone, so there is no excuse to call them boring. The first time I remember going to a museum was when my aunt brought me to the Natural History Museum when I was 8. I just remember being in sheer awe at the dinosaurs on display. And the real life sized replica of a blue whale. Though my favourite section was the gemstones display, all the pretty, shiny stones. I was especially impressed with my birthstone, the opal!

I’m going to write about a few of the museums I’ve been to over the years, some with pictures. I’m also going to put my want-to-visit list at the end too.

1. Museum Row, South Kensington, London

Museum Row has something for everyone. You have the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. It’s the perfect location if there’s a big group of you with different interests. The fashion section in the V&A is my favourite, I love looking at all the garments. And I once saw an exhibition there featuring Penguin Books and their covers which was amazing. Best thing about all three of these are they are free!

2. British Museum, London

Last year was the first time I went to the British Museum. I was actually supposed to go there with my aunt but it was closed or something the day we got there so she took me to Natural History Museum. This museum has loads of different artefacts that most people will recognize by names. The Rosetta Stone, an Egyptian mummy and an Easter Island head are some of the things to see there. This one is also free.

British museum

3. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London

This museum is one for people who, like me, are fascinated with the Underground! I’ve been here three times. You have to pay for a ticket but that ticket is then valid for a year, which is great if you live in London or visit often as the exhibitions sometimes change. I saw an exhibition last year about poster designs for the Tube, which was amazing. You can also step back in time and step into old fashioned Omnibuses, old Tube carriages or sit in the driver seat of a bus.

             flamingos London Transport Museum

4. British Film Museum, Covent Garden, London

Just around the corner from the London Transport Museum is the British Film Museum. It’s a small one but I loved it. Free entry, you can see loads of different props from famous British films. The Spice Girls Union Flag Mini was my favourite! There was also this film reel showing clips of different films set in London, that highlighted the diversity of the city.

British Film Museum

5. The Beatles Experience, Liverpool

This is a must see for any Beatles fan, but even if you’re not a huge fanatic, you might still enjoy this. There’s so much to see there, but my favourite (besides being in a Yellow Submarine) was some of the memorabilia. Beatles tights anyone?!

Beatles tights

6. Museum of Brands and Packing, Notting Hill, London

This museum is amazing! I really loved it and raved to people after. It takes you through the history of packaging and advertising from the Victorian era to present times. Then there’s sections where they take certain brands and lay out their packaging from the beginning to current times, like Coca-Cola and Johnson’s Baby Powder, it was great to see the subtle changes in packaging. There’s also a section on different products in other countries (like the crazy flavours of drinks you can get in Japan) as well as a section on the idea of copyright and how own label things often try and mimic the packaging and names of the branded item (like instead of Penguin bars, having something like Puffin bars). This is a trip down memory lane, packed full of things to look at. Well worth it!

Ok, I could go on and on about museums I’ve been to. I mentioned here that I was recently at the Museum of Science and Industry here in Manchester but I barely had time to look around as we got there pretty late. I’ve been to many a museum in Ireland, including Bunratty Castle, Craggaunowen, King John’s Castle, A Day in the Bog, West Clare Railway, Titanic Experience, Dysert O Dea Castle to name but a few I remember! I haven’t actually been to any in Dublin, at least not off the top of my head (and if you don’t count Guinness Storehouse, which I actually think does count).

And here’s my museum wish-list, things I want to go to in Ireland and UK. I thought the list would be too long if I included other countries as well!

1. Dino-Snores for Grown Ups

This is an event at the Natural History Museum which is a sleepover for adults in the museum. You get to sleep under the dinosaurs! It’s packed full of events and fun things to do and I just think it sounds fantastic!

2. Baked Bean Museum of Excellence

I mean, how can you not want to go to this?! I read about it in a book that I reviewed here, where the author goes around the UK to quirky interesting museums. As a bean lover, this has interested me!

3. The Old Operating Theatre Museum

This one is fascinating. Built in the garret of St. Thomas’s Church, Southwark, there used to be a hospital attached next door, where the garret connected to. When the hospital moved in 1862, the garret laid unused until discovered in 1957. It’s the oldest surviving operating theatre in London (1822), has a big herb garden as well as various old instruments inside.

4. V&A Museum of Childhood

This V&A museum is situated in Bethnal Green. There’s currently an exhibition on there that ends June, so unfortunately I won’t see it, but it’s a cabinet of all toys confiscated by teachers in school. There’s also an exhibition on Jacqueline Wilson, which my inner child would love to see!

5. Crime Museum (Black Museum)

Museum of crime at Scotland Yard, featuring all sorts of grizzly items and artefacts. Famous murderers, Jack the Ripper, Notorious Poisoners. Unfortunately, though while this sounds fascinating (to me anyway), it’s not open to the public. Boo. There is however a police museum in Manchester that I will be checking out at some stage!

6. Wellcome Collection

The website says it’s a ‘free destination for the incurably curious’. Sounds like my kind of place! I became interested in going here when I saw an exhibit by them in the British Museum. Also along this vein is the Hunterian Museum, set in the Royal College of Surgeons, which I think would be interesting too.

7. British Lawnmower Museum

Another museum that was mentioned in the book I read about odd museums, though I had heard of it before. In 2007, I was at a wedding around that area and my aunt said she was interested in going. Unfortunately we never went but it’s been stuck in my head since!

Look, I could blab on and on about museums, the ones I’ve been to and the ones I want to go to. But I’ll leave it here for now. Have you been to any of the ones above? Have I skipped anything interesting? Let me know below!


  1. Oh my goodness I want to go to the dino-snores! The Childhood museum is on my wish list! I wanted to go last time we were over but I couldn't face the trek!

    1. Ya, dino-snores sounds like SO much fun! I don't know why I've never made it to Childhood Museum, possibly also the idea of the trek!

  2. I haven't been to a single one on your list and am feeling a bit ashamed - will make time for the V&A next time I'm in London!

    1. The V&A is great, though I nearly always just make a beeline for the fashion section and don't explore more, which I should! Though I have yet to see the Vivienne Westwood shoes that Naomi Campbell fell off, they're with the museum but haven't been on display

  3. The Hunterian is super cool- I'm ashamed that I work sooo close to it, but have only been in once- really need to make more effort! If you make it to the Hunterian, the John Soame museum comes highly recommended too (by people, not by me- again- 30 seconds from work and I still haven't managed to make the journey inside!)

  4. Ah excellent, glad to here it's good! And I'll check out the John Soame too, thanks. That's always the way, when you're really close to something you never see it!


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