CENTRAL LONDON

Bank of England Museum, City EC2. The Bank of England, founded in 1694, is an instrument of government rather then a conventional bank. Inside this museum are historic banknotes and coins, now out of circulation, beautifully displayed and accompanied by informative descriptions. Of especial fun is the opportunity to pick up and handle a real gold bar, sadly they won’t let you take it home.

Visit Website  2 minutes Bank  tube

Churchill War Rooms, Trafalgar Square W1.  Beneath the streets of Westminster is a maze of corridors where the wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill maintained his headquarters. The War Rooms are a chance to experience the atmosphere of wartime and examine the legacy of this great man. On display are photographs, audio and films recording the events that took place in this, Winston Churchill’s, bunker during the Second World War.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms     3 minutes Charing Cross tube

The Wallace Collection, ( just North of Oxford Street ) W1. Once the home of Sir Richard Wallace, this magnificent building houses displays of his collection of art and objets d’art. Successive marquesses of Hertford continued to add to the collection. Here can be found original paintings by Jean-Honore Fragonard and Frans Hals which can be viewed alongside fine glassware and ceramics.

https://www.wallacecollection.org  10 minutes Bond Street tube

Welcome Foundation Science Centre, Euston NW1. 

Sir Henry Wellcome originally created what was a medical museum displaying medical and ethnographic objects. Latterly the exhibits were chosen to help people understand about how they themselves feel about our own health and personal well-being. The visitor is advised that some of the exhibits are a little gory but nonetheless very informative.

https://wellcomecollection.org  3 minutes Euston tube

EAST LONDON

Geffrye Museum, Hoxton E2.  Housed in a rare 18th century almshouse this museum is a progression of rooms furnished to illustrate home life from 1600 to the present day. It is a visitors chance to step back in time and imagine what domestic life was like for ordinary people in the past. A great learning experience for the young.

https://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk      5 minutes Hoxton Overground  

NORTH LONDON

RAF Royal Air Force Museum, NW9. The old and new varieties of aircraft on display in this museum are a wonderful treat for flight enthusiasts. The exhibits are from mainly world wars one and two. Possibly the only museum in the world were you can see rare German aircraft, for example the famous Stuka dive bomber and the Heinkel 111 that blitzed London. There is a section for children to experience what it is like to be inside a real warplane.

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london  Burnt Oak and Colindale tubes, Mill Hill Broadway Thameslink

SOUTH EAST LONDON

Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill SE23. This world class  museum and holds an incredible collection of anthropological and natural history artefacts and a wonderful collection of unusual musical instruments . It is also used as a centre for study and research that holds 90% of their unshown collection. There is also an ecological section . A paradise for children, from the animal walk to the aquarium to the butterfly house and onto the gardens there is an endless delight for the young mind. There’s also a nature trail, which is actually an unused railway track, where nature has been allowed to run wild. Here the visitor will find natural habitats created to encourage a wide variety of plants, insects and birds in an unspoiled ecosystem.

https://www.horniman.ac.uk  Forest Hill Overground and NR

Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road SE1. The visitor to this museum will encounter exhibits portraying the reality of war and become much more knowledgeable about world wars one and two. The artefacts on display tell the story of personal sacrifice and valour. Much can be learned about what has shaped the modern world. There is also a section about the Holocaust, not recommended for children.

https://www.iwm.org.uk    10 minutes Lambeth North tube

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, SE10. As the song says, Britannia rules the waves, and this magnificent museum will show and explain exactly how this was done. Four galleries take you from the Tudor’s and Stuart’s battles and piracy through to exploring the North and South Poles. Then discover the hidden secrets of the Pacific and finally see the treasures from the deep and the stories of the men who found them

https://www.rmg.co.uk/National-maritime-museum  3 minutes Greenwich DLR 

Royal Arsenal Museum – Woolwich Arsenal.  This extraordinary and very secret part of Britain’s history was originally created by Henry VIII to build the navy upon which Britain depended. As new wars were fought, and new technologies  developed, the Arsenal grew. It eventually became a secret city inside London with its own railway, hospital, school and everything else the thousands of workers and their families might need. Taking a guided tour is a must.  

 https://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museum/firepower-royal-artillery-museum/ 3 minutes Woolwich Arsenal DLR

Look at http://www.royal-arsenal-history.com / for added interest

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, SE10. The history of the Observatory competes with the history it created. Learn why the discovery of longitude was so important, especially at sea, and why such huge rewards were offered for its discovery. And how this made the invention of clocks possible. Learn the difference between time and space or whether they are really the same thing? Of course, no visit would be complete without standing with one foot in the east and one in the west over the GMT line.

https://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-Observatory  3 minutes Greenwich  DLR 

WEST LONDON

British Airways National Archive, Waterside Harmondsworth.  British Airways keeps a collection of documents, staff uniforms, aircraft models and aviation posters alongside a huge collection of photographs relevant to BA and the companies which now constitute them. The photographs of biplanes of the Imperial Airways Company are fascinating as are too the reproduction posters created to lure holiday makers to sunny climates.

 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13529964 Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 ( bit of a walk to Waterside )

Heathrow Archives Museum , Heathrow Airport. Located at the University of West London campus, on St Mary’s Road Ealing, is a feast of memorabilia of Heathrow Airport’s history. Heathrow, one of the world’s largest airports, has seen countless stars of stage, screen, music and statesmen pass through the terminals. On exhibition are historic images, ephemera, videos of Concorde and much else.

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com Terminal 2 and 3 tube

The Science Museum, Exhibition Road South Kensington SW7. 

One of London’s most informative museums. A delight for anyone with an enquiring mind. The permanent exhibition displays items of historic interest and current technological developments. Of further interest is the shop, crammed full of educational toys. The children will love all the challenging toys on show.

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk  South Kensington tube

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road SW7 

One of London’s most informative museums. A delight for anyone with an enquiring mind. The permanent exhibition displays items of historic interest and current technological developments. Of further interest is the shop, crammed full of educational toys. The children will love all the challenging toys on show.

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk  South Kensington tube