With origins dating back to the Roman era, four World Heritage Sites, a role as the heart of the British Empire and recognition as a global centre for business and culture in the modern world, London has held a significant role throughout history. This makes the museums of London wonderful platforms to see the world without the hassles of travel.
Over 240 public and private museums are listed in London, and most of the main museums open their regular exhibits to the public for free. The fact that many of the major national museums are located within easy reach of each other is an added bonus. Covering areas from history to science to war to art they range from some of the finest and oldest repositories of knowledge to quirky and charming places to spend time in for people of all ages.
Acting as a secondary home to the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures and other important artefacts from around the planet, the British Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world. A brilliant glass-and-steel roof belonging to the Grand Court and blue-gold dome of the Reading Room competes for attention with Egyptian, Greek, European and Middle Eastern galleries. You will need multiple visits to take in the vast amounts of information it offers. Another mammoth – in size and age – institute is the Natural History Museum, where blue whale and dinosaur skeletons tower over visitors as they enter. The atmosphere of Victorian era science and exploration presented through the Life galleries is exchanged for sleek modern design in the video wall of the Ecology gallery and the trembling simulation of the Kobe earthquake in the “Restless Earth” section. One can spend days wondering through its Butterfly Jungle and Wildlife Garden as well.
Catapulting the visitors into a mesmerizing world of science and technology, the Science Museum is seven floors of wonder. See the actual Apollo10 Command Module, and the grandfather of computers – Charles Babbage’s analytical engine – among other intriguing displays. The ‘Listening Post’, an IMAX theatre, and the hot air balloons of the Flight gallery capture the imagination of the young and old. The Museum of London offers a fascinating walkthrough of the city’s history, from an Anglo-Saxon village to the modern metropolis, through displays of models, clothes, paintings and even an art deco lift. Hailing Britain’s past as the superpower of the seas is the National Maritime Museum, where men such as the likes of Nelson and Shackleton are remembered, and one can fire cannons into the air. The Sir John Saone Museum, the home of the architect, is filled with exotic curiosities that create a spellbinding atmosphere and is one of the many private museums that people can enjoy.
Visiting all of London’s wonderful museums will take a considerable amount of time, so spend your time in the city in one of the many luxury 5 star hotels. Evoking the elegance of the past, the Langham Hotels are perfect to rest your feet in style and comfort, after walking through halls of wonder. The Luxury Hotels Collection of Langham offer easy access to these delightful places of education and entertainment.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.