Been to all the usual tourist spots in London? As amazing as spots like the Natural History and Science Museum are, they aren’t the only museums worth visiting in London. There are hundreds of unique exhibits to visit, some of which are lesser known to the public. That’s why we’ve listed our favourite small museums to visit in the Capital. No matter what peeks your interest, there’s a museum for everyone!
Don’t forget, if you’re planning a visit to one of these unique museums, you can spend the night in one of our convenient 4- and 5-star hotels, located throughout central London. Whether you’re seeking modern luxury or boutique chic, there’s a hotel for you. After all, you can’t visit all these places in a day…
For Interior Addicts - Leighton House Museum
Whenever you seek recommendation for a small London museum, there’s always one name that comes up – Leighton House. This unsuspecting mini mansion appears to be a normal Victorian Townhouse to the unsuspecting passer-by. But, upon entering, you are blown away by sheer opulence.
Previously home to Victorian painter and sculpture, Lord Frederick Leighton, the museum is decorated with bright mosaics, Islamic tiles and the occasional taxidermist peacock – all among towering pillars and gold.
You’ll get to see Lord Leighton’s collection of paintings and sculptures among his embellished home, witnessing breath-taking interior design at every turn. In addition to witnessing this stunning house, there are also events running throughout the year to attend, including life-drawing classes and art history lectures.
Nearest Gem Hotel – Strathmore Hotel - 25-minute walk
For Fashion Fanatics – Fashion & Textile Museum
For those who adore fashion and textiles, the Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street is an inspirational (and quite literally unmissable) centre. Showcasing ever-changing exhibits of contemporary designs, its aim is to inspire a new generation of creatives with its displays, workshops and courses for children, students and adults.
Currently, exhibitions include ‘Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution’, a presentation of fashion, design and art of the Chelsea Set (a group of young architects, designers, photographers and artists during the 1950s), as well as work from Natalie Gibson and Elizabeth Suter.
For Mystery Fans – Sherlock Holmes Museum
A must-see for avid Sherlock Holmes fans. As you might expect, you can find the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street – the famous detective’s ‘home’ between 1881 and 1904. To this day, the museum even opens letters addressed delivered to Sherlock Holmes!
Opened back in 1990, it’s known for being the world’s first Sherlock Holmes Museum. When you enter, you’ll be whisked back in time to the Victorian ages, witnessing life-size waxworks from Sherlock’s well-known adventures. There’s also an array of quirky souvenirs to browse and take home.
Nearest Gem Hotel – Fitzrovia Hotel – 20-minute walk
For The Kids At Heart – Pollocks Toy Museum
The Pollocks Toy Museum in Fitzrovia includes a stunning collection of old toys, from vintage boardgames and puppets to dolls houses and teddy bears. Named after Benjamin Pollock, a Victorian toy theatre printer, you’ll get to peruse the shelves of this Georgian townhouse museum and relive the childhoods of days gone by.
The museum houses mainly Victorian toys, but also includes tin and folk toys. Its collection is built up from purchases and donations from friends, family and the public. Whilst it may not be of interest to younger ones, adults and older children will appreciate the fun displays.
Nearest Gem Hotel – Fitzrovia Hotel – 10-minute walk
For The Comic Book Devotees – The Cartoon Museum
Reopening this Spring, The Cartoon Museum is London’s first museum of British cartoons and comic art. Having recently relocated to Wells Street, this small museum includes a multitude of collections from political cartoons to childhood favourites. You’ll find humourous caricatures and colourful comics throughout, with an enormous library of over 3,000 books. You’ll even see originals from The Beano, The Dandy and Topper, as well as have the chance to take part in workshops and competitions (if you’re a dab hand at drawing!)
Nearest Gem Hotel - Fitzrovia Hotel – 10-minute walk
For The Literature Lovers – Charles Dickens Museum
Literature fans have the opportunity to visit Charles Dickens’ last surviving London home, at 48 Doughty Street. The Charles Dickens Museum covers four floors, and includes manuscripts, original furniture and impressive rare editions of his famous books. This museum is a must-see for lovers of his classic novels, as well as an interest for anyone fascinated by Victorian living.
No matter which museums you choose to explore in London, there’s a Gem Hotel nearby. When you book with us direct, you get the best rates guaranteed, so start planning your trip today.