A list of museums to be found in London

Bank of England MuseumFree
A surprisingly large museum housed within the Bank of England. It charts the history of money in the UK, and the Bank itself. Expect to see lots of heritage, old bank notes and coins, and a chance to lift up a real bar of gold. Displays cover the history of the bank in roughly chronological order, including many photos showing the rebuilding of the Bank in the inter-war years, and several figures in historical costume. Another section, called The Bank Today, uses modern technology to bring the Bank's current activities to a wider audience.
Bartholomew Lane, London, EC2R 8AH

Barnet MuseumFree
Barnet Museum is a free local history Museum in North London run by volunteers. The Museum's collection contains hundreds of artifacts reflecting the history of Barnet and those that have lived there, dating from the Bronze Age to the present day. The Museum focuses on Chipping Barnet, East Barnet, New Barnet, Hadley and the surrounding districts.
31 Wood Street, Barnet, London, EN5 4BE

Battle of Britain BunkerFree
A fully restored WW2 bunker underneath the former RAF Uxbridge, this is where the famous Battle of Britain was commanded from during the war. The main command room has been restored to how it would have looked on one of the key nights during the battle. There is also a large museum in some of the side rooms, which is more a random collection of WW2 memorabilia, and has a good collection of quirky objects. Access to the bunker is only via a long staircase several floors down to the underground building. Open regularly during the week, with occasional weekend tours by appointment.
Wren Avenue, Uxbridge, London, UB10 0FD

Ben Uri GalleryFree
A museum dedicated to exploring the work and lives of emigre artists in London. Emerging from and representing the Jewish community, the collection principally reflects the work, lives and contribution of British and European artists of Jewish descent. Said to be the largest such museum in Europe. The collection now houses some 1,300 works of art.
108A Boundary Road, London, NW8 0RH

Benjamin Franklin HousePaid Entry
In the heart of London, is Benjamin Franklin House, the world's only remaining Franklin home. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Dr Benjamin Franklin - scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the USA and more - lived behind its doors. Built circa 1730, it is today a museum devoted to his life in London. You have to book a tour -- you cannot just turn up.
36 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NF

Bentley Priory MuseumPaid Entry
Bentley Priory Museum tells the story of the huge Grade II* listed country house, focusing on its role as Headquarters Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. Explore the important stories of Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, 'The Few' who took to the air to defend the skies and 'The Many' without whose work on the ground victory would not have been possible and discover how technology, leadership and courage forged victory allowing Britain's darkest hour to also be her Finest Hour. The museum is set back from the main road and occupies the ground floor of the mansion house building. Next door is also Bentley Priory Nature Reserve, which is worth a visit.
Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, London, HA7 3HT

Bethlem Museum of the MindFree
The Bethlem Museum of the Mind records the lives and experience and celebrates the achievements of people with mental health problems.
Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3BX

Bourne Hall MuseumFree
The Museum charts the Borough's history through its collections of document and picture archives, fine art, costume, archaeology and social history. Highlights of the collection include Lord Rosebery’s hansom cab, a 19th-century fire engine, extensive Derby memorabilia and significant Roman archaeology from local sites.
Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF

Brooklands MuseumPaid Entry
A museum based at the birthplace of British motorsport. Now a large collection of classic cars and aircraft -- alongside a Concorde plane.
Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0QN

Bruce Castle MuseumFree
A local museum housed in a Grade I listed 16th-century manor house. It is named after the House of Bruce who owned the land on which it is built. The building is also one of the oldest surviving English brick houses, although it has been rebuilt several times over the centuries. It has since been converted into a museum exploring the history of Haringey and the history of the Royal Mail. The building also houses the archives of the London Borough of Haringey. Since 1892 the grounds have been Tottenham's oldest public park.
Lordship Lane, London, N17 8NU

Brunei Gallery, SOASFree
The Brunei Gallery hosts a programme of changing contemporary and historical exhibitions from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Gallery's aim is to present and promote cultures from these regions, both to the public, and to students at the local universities. They tend to have a changing rotation of exhibitions every few months. It's not always obvious, but when you go into an exhibition, it often continues downstairs as well. Also check out the roof-garden while there, at the top of the same staircase.
Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG

Brunel MuseumPaid Entry
A museum devoted to one of the world’s great engineering dynasties, the Brunel family. The museum is in two halves, with one section in an old steam pumping house, and the other hidden underground in the original shaft dug by Brunel for the world's first underwater tunnel. Regular talks, evening events on the roof, and on occasions, tours through the tunnels.
Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4LF

Burgh House and Hampstead MuseumFree
Burgh House is a historic house located in Hampstead, that also includes the Hampstead Museum. It hosts a rotating selection of displays, most often about art or local history. A cafe is in the basement, with outside seating in the gardens.
New End Square, Hampstead, London, NW3 1LT

Canal MuseumPaid Entry
A heritage museum devoted to the history of Britain's canals, and also the short-lived period of importing ice into the city from Scandinavia.
12-13 New Wharf Road, London, N1 9RT

Cartoon MuseumPaid Entry
A modest sized museum that focuses on the comic and cartoon. It has a permanent gallery of cartoon prints, mostly Georgian and Victorian political satires. There is then a rotating series of displays which change several times a year focusing on either a specific artist, or a genre of comics.
35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH

Charles Dickens MuseumPaid Entry
One of many homes occupied by Charles Dickens, this is now a fully restored museum devoted to his life. Rooms are laid out as if the Dickens family are still living there and have just stepped out for a moment. A recent extension into the neighbouring building allowed for a lot of heritage to also be put on display without spoiling the history of the original home.
48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX

Churchill War RoomsPaid Entry
Built in the basement under government offices, this is the famous bunker where Churchill commanded World War 2. Restored and opened in the 1980s, it shows off the bunker as it would have been on a busy night during WW2.
Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AQ

City of London Police MuseumFree
A small, but interesting museum that charts the history of the City of London's own police force. It shows off the history of how the police force was set up, a number of significant events in its lifetime and how policing is done today. Expect lots of information boards, some cases of artifacts, and a long room of uniforms from the ages.
Guildhall Library Entrance, Aldermanbury, London, EC2V 7HH

Clink Prison MuseumPaid Entry
The Clink Prison Museum is built upon the original site of The Clink Prison, which dating back to 1144 was one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons. Visitors will learn all about this scandalous truth of Old Bankside through a hands-on educational experience, with the opportunity to view archaeological artefacts, handle torture devices, and to view and hear all about the tales of torment and many misfortunes of the inmates of the infamous Clink Prison. It's slightly cheesy, in a fun sort of way.
1 Clink Street, London, SE1 9DG

Crystal Palace MuseumFree
Museum devoted to the story and memorabilia of The Crystal Palace exhibition centre. The museum is housed in the only surviving building constructed by the Crystal Palace Company built around 1880 as a lecture room for the Crystal Palace Company’s School of Practical Engineering. The story of both palaces is told in a series of unique images supplemented by large scaled models of the Crystal Palace plus showcases displaying ceramics and other items associated with the Crystal Palace including remnants from the original building. Adjacent to the museum is the base of Brunel’s water tower.
Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, London, SE19 2BA

Cutty SarkPaid Entry
Discover what life was like on board the real Cutty Sark, the world’s sole surviving tea clipper, and fastest ship of her time - now a visitor attraction in Greenwich. This legendary19th-century sailing ship has been raised over three metres allowing you the experience of walking directly underneath and touch the original hull planks and iron framework, which date back to 1869.
Greenwich Town Centre, Greenwich, London, SE10 9HT

Dennis Severs' HousePaid Entry
Half museum, half "experience", Dennis Severs' House is a "still-life drama" created by the previous owner as an "historical imagination" of what life would have been like inside for a family of Huguenot silk weavers. It is a Grade II listed Georgian terraced house in Spitalfields, and from 1979 to 1999 it was lived in by Dennis Severs, who gradually recreated the rooms as a time capsule in the style of former centuries. It is now open to the public. Visits are encouraged to be in total silence to soak up the atmosphere.
18 Folgate Street, London, E1 6BX

Discover Greenwich Visitor CentreFree
A large facility that is half museum of local history and half visitor centre for the rest of Greenwich. Has a local pub/restaurant, and usefully, public toilets. Exhibits include: The history of the Palace of Placentia. Models of Christopher Wren's original designs for Greenwich Hospital. Six of the carved heads originally intended to decorate the exterior of the College's Painted Hall. Exhibition displays about Maritime Greenwich and its connections with the sea and exploration. An exhibition about the history of the Royal Naval College during the years it occupied Greenwich Hospital (1873–1998).
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NN

Dorich House MuseumPaid Entry
Dorich House is the former studio home of the Russian sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. The building was completed in 1936, to Gordine's design, and is an fine example of a modern studio house created by and for a female artist. The Museum holds the world's largest collection of Gordine's work, which spans her artistic career. Also on permanent display is an important collection of Russian art and artifacts, acquired by the couple during their marriage. Weather permitting, visitors can go onto the roof for spectacular views overlooking Richmond Park.
67 Kingston Vale, London, SW15 3RN

Down HousePaid Entry
Down House is the family home of Charles Darwin, and now a museum to his life and works. Stand in the study where Darwin wrote 'On the Origin of Species', stroll through the gardens that inspired him, and visit his and wife Emma's newly recreated bedroom which overlooks the gardens. Let Sir David Attenborough take you on an interactive multimedia tour around the house, and discover how the great man developed his ground-breaking theories.
Luxted Road, Downe, Kent, BR6 7JT

Dr Johnson's HousePaid Entry
A museum based in the former home of the 18th-century English writer and lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson. It's a Georgian era building which has been left pretty much as it was when it was lived in. Do also look out for the statue of the Dr's cat, in the courtyard.
17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

Dr Who Museum and ShopPaid Entry
A charming museum in the back of the shop housing over 120 different props, costumes & artefacts, many from Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures & K9, dating back to 1963. Entry to the museum is through the doors of a Tardis in the Dr Who Shop. Inside the museum runs the full width of the store, and you can pose with the characters, and staff are on hand to answers any fans questions.
39-41 Barking Road, London, E6 1PY

Dulwich Picture GalleryPaid Entry
The oldest public art gallery in the UK, this substantial collection is set within an impressive building. There is a permanent gallery, along with regularly rotating exhibitions (for an extra charge). Set among some lovely parks.
Gallery Road, London , SE21 7AD

Eastbury Manor HousePaid Entry
Eastbury Manor House is an example of an Elizabethan building. It is a Grade I listed building and is now managed by the National Trust. The exterior retains its original appearance. The earliest dated items, such as a lead rainwater hopper head, were produced in the 1570s. It was in danger of complete demolition until 1918 when it was purchased by the National Trust. Evocative exposed timbers in attic, fine original spiral oak staircase in turret, soaring chimneys, cobbled courtyard, peaceful walled garden with bee boles.
Eastbury Square, Barking, Essex, IG11 9SN

Eltham PalacePaid Entry
Eltham Palace is a large house in Eltham. It is an unoccupied royal residence and owned by the Crown Estate, although open the public through English Heritage which restored the building in 1999 and opened it to the public. It has been said the internally Art Deco house is a "masterpiece of modern design".
Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, London, SE9 5QE

Fan MuseumPaid Entry
The Fan Museum owns over 4,000 fans, fan leaves and related ephemera. The oldest fan in the collection dates from the 10th century and the collection of 18th and 19th century European fans is extensive. he entire collection is not displayed permanently due to conservation concerns, so three times a year the selection of fans on exhibit is changed. There is also a permanent educational display which teaches about fan history, manufacturing processes, and the various forms of fan.
12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8ER

Fashion and Textile MuseumPaid Entry
Founded by the designer Zandra Rhodes, the museum and offers an ongoing programme of temporary displays. The building has become a tourist attraction in its own right due to its colour scheme of hot pink, burnt orange, yellow, and bright blue.
83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

Florence Nightingale MuseumPaid Entry
The Florence Nightingale Museum is located next to St Thomas' Hospital. The museum tells the real story of Florence Nightingale, "the lady with the lamp", from her Victorian childhood to her experiences in the Crimean, through to her years as a campaigner for health reform. The museum explains her legacy and also celebrates nursing today.
St Thomas’ Hospital, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7EW

Foundling MuseumPaid Entry
The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain's first home for abandoned children. The museum houses a nationally important art collection as well as the world's largest privately amassed collection of Handel memorabilia. The museum examines the work of the Foundling Hospital's founder Thomas Coram, as well as the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel, both major benefactors of the institution. It also illustrates how the Foundling Hospital's charity work for children still carries on today through the child care organisation Coram.
40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ

Freud MuseumPaid Entry
The Freud Museum is dedicated to Sigmund Freud, who lived there with his family during the last year of his life. The study and library were preserved by Anna Freud after her father's death. The centrepiece of the museum is the couch brought from Vienna on which his patients were asked to say whatever came to their mind without consciously selecting information, named the free association technique by him.
20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London, NW3 5SX

Geffrye MuseumFree
A series of old almshouses that have been converted into a museum of interior decoration. Wonderfully old fashioned, and they have a range of changing displays throughout the year, including their annual Christmas decorations. A garden and decent cafe round up the museum.
136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA

Grant Museum of ZoologyFree
One of London's more unusual and delightful museums -- noted for its playful approach to the serious matter of zoological studies. Expect a huge collection of dead animals, from pickled worms to elephant skulls. Notable is the Micrarium, a dramatic display of tiny insects, the glass jar of moles, which is a sort of local mascot, and the display of plastic dinosaurs, if you can find it.
Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street, London, WC1E 6DE

Greenwich Heritage CentreFree
Greenwich Heritage Centre is housed in the old ordnance factory and store at the historic Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. The museum tells stories about the Royal Borough through objects, paintings, prints, drawings, maps, photographs and deeds. Collection highlights include some truly weird and wonderful - exotic birds, a Victorian egg whisk, a baby alligator and even an elephant's foot.
Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London, SE18 4DX

Guards MuseumPaid Entry
A military museum based inside in Wellington Barracks near Buckingham Palace. The museum tells the story of the five regiments it represents, namely Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards, from the 17th century to the present day. The displays include many examples of different Guards uniforms, chronicling the evolving dress over time of the five regiments. There are also paintings, weapons, models, sculptures, and artefacts.
Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London, SW1E 6HQ

Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman AmphitheaterFree
A fairly modern building on the historic Guildhall that houses the City of London's impressive art collection. There is a permanent display, of mostly Victorian art, but also a large section set aside for a regularly changing display in the basement. A monthly heritage piece is shown off next to the cloakroom. In the deep basement though is the uncovered remains of London's Roman Amphitheater.
Guildhall Yard, London, EC2V 5AE

Handel House MuseumPaid Entry
The Handel House Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the German-born composer Handel, who made his home in London in 1712. The museum was opened in 2001 and comprises a carefully restored set of period rooms on the first and second floors of 25 Brook Street together with exhibition rooms in number 23, the adjacent house on the terrace.
25 Brook Street, London, W1K 4HB

Headstone Manor MuseumFree
Large local history museum covering the Harrow area. The museum, which is based in four listed buildings, hosts a number of temporary exhibitions and permanent displays about the history of the local area and detailing the significance of the historical site in which it is set. Harrow Museum is made up of four historic buildings, which are all located in the grounds of Headstone Manor, records of which date back to 825 AD. All the buildings are listed, and the site as a whole is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Headstone Recreation Ground, Pinner View, Harrow, HA2 6PX

HMS BelfastPaid Entry
Explore this historic warship to discover what life was like on board for the crew at war and at sea from WW2 to 1963. Operated by the Imperial War Museum, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser and served during the Second World War and Korean War.
The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2JH

Hogarth's HouseFree
Hogarth's House in Chiswick, built around 1700, was the country home of the great painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth from 1749 until his death. Today the house is a Grade 1 listed building. Two floors of the house are open to visitors and the top floor houses a study/research room for use by appointment. The furnishing includes Shipway's replica pieces and new displays presents the House as a home, as well as celebrating Hogarth's life and work.
Hogarth Lane, Great West Road, London, W4 2QN

Horniman MuseumFree
An eclectic museum with a range of displays from musical instruments to stuffed animals and an aquarium. Very popular locally, and the gardens offer wide views across London. The museum mascot is the famously badly stuffed walrus.
100 London Road, London, SE23 3PQ

House MillPaid Entry
The House Mill is a major Grade I listed building on the River Lea. It is one of only four grade I listed buildings in the London Borough of Newham. The House Mill remains the "largest tidal mill left standing in Britain", although the water wheels are not in operation.
The Miller's House, Three Mill Lane, London, E3 3DU

House of IllustrationPaid Entry
A public art gallery in London devoted to illustration, which was opened in 2014 and founded by Sir Quentin Blake. Exhibitions display the art of illustration in many forms, including advertisements, animation, comic books and manga, children's literature and picture books, political cartoons, scientific illustrations and fashion design.
2 Granary Square, King's Cross London, N1C 4BH

Household Cavalry MuseumPaid Entry
The official museum of the Household Cavalry and is located in the Horse Guards Parade grounds. Visitors can view the horses in the 18th-century working stables through a window partition. Exhibits explain the training and history of the regiment and include ceremonial uniforms, regalia, royal standards, awards, musical instruments, horse furniture and silverware.
Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX

Imperial War MuseumFree
Based in an imposing former hospital, this museum museum tells the stories of people’s experiences of modern war from WW1 to conflicts today. Often has a major exhibition on to compliment the main displays which feature everything from classic armaments to modern UN vehicles. A large collection of medals and the stories of the bravery that lead to them is in the upper floors.
Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)Paid Entry
Contemporary art gallery with a number of exhibitions running and a cinema which runs themed viewings. Pricing is unusual in that it's £1 for a day membership.
The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Islington MuseumFree
Conventional local history museum with a permanent display and usually a temporary exhibition.
245 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NB

Jewel TowerPaid Entry
The Jewel Tower is a 14th-century surviving element of the royal Palace of Westminster. The small stone building sits opposite Parliament and has a modest display inside about its various history as royal wardrobe storage to housing imperial standards measures, and House of Lords archive. Has a small cafe in the ground floor, which is basic, but useful in this part of town.
Abingdon Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JX

Jewish Museum LondonPaid Entry
A museum of British Jewish life, history and identity. It has a number of permanent displays, as well as a regularly changing exhibition space, along with guided tours and talks.
Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, London, NW1 7NB

Keats HousePaid Entry
Discover the beauty of poetry and place in the home of the Romantic poet John Keats, now a museum and literary centre. Explore the life and work of Keats through new exhibits of his original manuscripts and artefacts which tell the story of how the young poet found inspiration, friendship, and love in this stunning Regency villa.
10 Keats Grove, London, NW3 2RR

Kensington PalacePaid Entry
A working royal palace in the heart of London, it is still the residence of many members of the Royal Family. However a number of the state rooms and the gardens are open to the public to visit, and they have regular exhibitions.
Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX

Kenwood HouseFree
17th century mansion house which was given to the nation, and is now open to the public. Noted mostly for its impressive art collection, the building itself has been recently restored to its original grandeur.
Hampstead Lane, London, NW3 7JR

Kirkaldy Testing MuseumPaid Entry
A museum devoted to one massive machine, one of the first to methodically test metals for their strength at a time when the people still didn't fully understand how materials could fail. It's now a larger museum, with a lot of testing machines dotted around the original. Open on the 1st Sunday of the month for guided tours, and occasional Saturdays.
99 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0JF

Leighton House MuseumPaid Entry
The former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, and is the only purpose-built studio-house open to the public in the UK It is most famous for the sumptuous interior decoration, which makes it one of the most remarkable buildings of the nineteenth century. From modest beginnings it grew into a 'private palace of art' featuring the extraordinary Arab Hall with its golden dome, intricate mosaics and walls lined with beautiful Islamic tiles. Upstairs, Leighton's vast painting studio was one of the sights of London, filled with paintings in different stages of completion, the walls hung with examples of his work and lit by a great north window. In addition to the decoration, it contains a collection of paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his contemporaries.
12 Holland Park Road, London, W14 8LZ

London Motorcycle MuseumPaid Entry
A museum that displays a range of over 150 classic and British motorcycles. Notable exhibits include the last Triumph Bonneville T140 out of the Meriden gates in 1983.
Ravenor Farm, 29 Oldfield Lane South, London, UB6 9LB

London Museum of Water and SteamPaid Entry
A former sewage and water pumping station which has since been turned into a museum. The main exhibits are a collection of steam powered pumping engines, which are often switched on. There is also a light railway -- usually at weekends only -- and a large display of how victorian era steam engines worked.
Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, London, TW8 0EN

London Transport MuseumPaid Entry
A museum devoted to the history of public transport in London. From the early buses and trams, through to the world's first underground railway and up to modern times. Numerous galleries showing objects from their collection, dotted around actual trains and buses. There is usually a temporary exhibition or two running throughout the year.
Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB

Mall GalleriesFree
Mall Galleries is operated by the Federation of British Artists, a major visual arts charity established in 1961. Each year they host a programme of exhibitions, including work by emerging as well as well-known established artists. Many of the exhibitions focus on contemporary representational art.
The Mall, London, SW1

Museum of Army MusicPaid Entry
This small but fascinating collection and memorabilia associated with military music from the last 200 years, including a bugle that sounded at the Charge of The Light Brigade. Photographic identity will be required to access the site. The museum includes instruments, manuscript, uniforms, medal displays, photographs and paintings.
Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, Kneller Road, Twickenham, TW2 7DU

Museum of Brands, Packaging and AdvertisingPaid Entry
The museum examines the history of consumer culture from Victorian times to the present day. The museum features over 12,000 original items including domestic "everyday" products, packaging, posters, toys and games. Set out in chronological order in the form of a "Time Tunnel" the museum gives visitors "a trip down memory lane", and to see how the brands around us have evolved from the naïve charm of Victorian times to the greater sophistication of today. It also reflects the change in shopping habits, the impact of transportation, media, the effects of two world wars and the gradual emancipation of women.
111-117 Lancaster Rd, London, W11 1QT

Museum of Childhood Free
A building that's part playground for today's children, and a museum of old toys for adults to look at. On two floors, lots of glass cases with toys from early Victorian times right up to modern day collectables. There's usually a themed exhibition on the upper floor.
Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA

Museum of ComedyPaid Entry
St George's Church Undercroft, Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2SR

Museum of CroydonFree
Based inside the clocktower, the museum is stated to be a lifetime museum, which showcases historical and artefacts which were derived from the borough. The museum even includes things that the local IKEA sold when it first opened, such as furniture and the well-known catalogues.
Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET

Museum of LondonFree
A huge museum in the City devoted to the history, mostly of the centre of London, from Roman times right up to the modern day. A number of permanent galleries are laid out in chronological order, with a mixture of original objects and recreations. Particular highlights include the recreation of a Victorian street, the 2012 Olympic cauldron, and the Lord Mayor's carriage. A number of displays change several times a year, with smaller free exhibitions, and usually one major paid-for exhibition.
150 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN

Museum of London DocklandsFree
Housed in an old warehouse, this deceptively large museum details the history of the London Docklands, and maritime trade in general. Based over several floors, it wanders from issues of Britian's overseas trade during the age of sail, up to the modern regeneration of the docklands area as a modern office complex.
No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, London, E14 4AL

Museum of Methodism and John Wesley's HouseFree
The Museum of Methodism tells the history of Methodism from John Wesley to the present day and its contribution to shaping Britain's political and social history. The museum is a collection of objects from the religion's history, and can be a bit confusing if you're not familiar with the organisation, but interesting to browse. John Wesley's House stands next to the Chapel. His home for over a decade it is one of the finest surviving small Georgian townhouses in London. There is also the Methodist chappel on the ground floor.
49 City Road, London, EC1Y 1AU

Museum of RichmondFree
Local history museum with displays from mediaeval times to the present day, relating to the history of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew. The museum's highlights include: 16th-century glass from Richmond Palace; a model of Richmond Palace; and a painting, The Terrace and View from Richmond Hill, Surrey by Dutch draughtsman and painter Leonard Knyff (1650-1722).
Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW9 1TP

Museum of the Order of St JohnFree
Houses in an old stone gate house, the museum tells the dual story of the old military order of St John, and its ongoing off-shoot, the medical charity, the St Johns' Ambulance. The collections of artifacts from the history of the Order of St John are extremely varied, covering all aspects of the history of an Order founded in the eleventh century and operating in most European countries. The St John Ambulance has a history spanning over 125 years and covering over 40 countries worldwide. It was founded by the British Order of St John and inspired by the medical traditions of the Hospitallers.
St John's Gate, St John's Lane, London, EC1M 4DA

Museum of WimbledonFree
A modest sized local history museum run by a local history group and volunteers. The emphasis is on local history. The Wimbledon Society also runs the adjacent Village Hall Trust Gallery, which is used for photographic and other exhibitions.
22 Ridgway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4QN

Musical MuseumPaid Entry
The Musical Museum contains one of the world's foremost collections of self-playing musical instruments, and the world's largest collection of historic musical rolls. The museum houses rare working specimens of player pianos, orchestrions, reed organs, and violin players. The largest exhibits include a fully restored Wurlitzer theatre orga. The instruments and exhibits are arranged over three storeys, and the building also houses a concert hall which doubles as a cinema for events.
399 High Street, Brentford, London, TW8 0DU

National GalleryFree
Founded in 1824, this is the national collection and houses over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. It is among the most visited art museums in the world. Apart from the main collections, there are regular exhibitions, talks and daily tours of the galleries.
Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

National Maritime MuseumFree
Based within Greenwich Park, the impressive building houses the national collection of maritime history. Exhibits range from full size barges to models of mighty sailing ships, along with the history of the marine trade in the UK. Some exhibitions are charged for, but you can also take in the other museums in the area which are associated with each other.
Romney Road, London, SE10 9NF

National Portrait GalleryFree
The gallery houses portraits of historically important and famous British people, selected on the basis of the significance of the sitter, not that of the artist. The collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings, drawings and sculpture. One of its best-known images is the Chandos portrait, the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare.
St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Natural History MuseumFree
One of the great museums of the Victorian era. The famous frontage contains a huge number of galleries filled with animal collections, skeletons and fossils. A number of galleries also cover geology and the planet earth itself. Most of the museum is free to visit, but there are usually a few large paid-for exhibitions each year. During the holiday season expect queues to get in.
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb GarretPaid Entry
Hidden in the roof above an old church, this is a 19th century operating theatre, herb garret and museum of surgery. It's also on the original site of St Thomas' Hospital. It's almost two museums in one, the restored old operating theatre itself, and next to it the herb garret, which was an early pharmacy. Note that entrance is via a narrow spiral staircase.
9a St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY

Old Royal Naval CollegeFree
A cluster of buildings that used to house the Royal Navy's college, but is now partially a public museum, and part used by the local university. Most famous for the impressive painted hall, where Admiral Nelson lay in state following the Battle of Trafalgar. There is also a Georgian era church, and on occasions, the tudor bowling alley is open for tours.
2 Cutty Sark Gardens, London, SE10 9LW

Osterley Park and HousePaid Entry
Large Georgian era mansion house set in well maintained gardens, that are one of the largest open spaces in West London. The mansion house retains much of the original furniture and fittings, donate by the Earl of Jersey when the National Trust took over the building.
Jersey Road, Isleworth, London, TW7 4RB

Petrie Museum of Egyptian ArchaeologyFree
Named after the founding father of modern Egyptology, this museum is housed within the university, and is a classic old-fashioned collection. Expect lots of glass cases with lots of stones, pots and artifacts, each carefully labeled. Might not appeal to people after bit more interaction, but that's part of its appeal, a solidly good collection of antiquities to look at.
University College London, Malet Place, London, WC1E 6BT

Polish Institute and Sikorski MuseumFree
A small collection of Polish historical records which started in the UK during WW2 and was continued during the Communist era. In practical terms, this meant the preservation of historical records, documents, regimental colours, uniforms, insignia, works of art, literature and many personal effects which had once belonged to Polish statesmen, diplomats, academics, military leaders and ordinary men and women. It continues to function as an independent cultural and research institution.
20 Prince's Gate, London, SW7 1PT

Pollock's Toy MuseumPaid Entry
A small museum that started as a collection from a toy manufacturer, but swiftly outgrew its original home. The collection has been built up by purchases, donations from friends, family and the public. It is an independent family run concern. It is run more for the benefit of the public and to display the collection than for profit.
1 Scala Street, London, W1T 2HL

RAF MuseumFree
Located in a former airfield in North London, this museum is a collection of hangers charting the history of military aviation. Everything from models of early planes to actual jets and bombers are on display. A collection of helicopters is also included. There are usually a couple of temporary exhibitions on throughout the year as well.
Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL

Ragged School MuseumPaid Entry
At the heart of the Ragged School Museum is a unique classroom, which recreates a glimpse of Victorian life. The classroom is set aside once a month as part of the Sunday Open House activities for anyone, no matter their age, to experience a lesson centred around the three R's. All lessons are led by an actor in full Victorian costume. The room has been recreated in one of Dr Barnardo's original classrooms, restored as it was in the 1870s. The classroom is equipped with authentic and well-used school desks, slate writing boards and chalks, blackboards and easels and even dunce hats.
46-50 Copperfield Road, London, E3 4RR

Rainham HallPaid Entry
This mansion house is one of the country’s finest examples of an early 18th century merchant’s home. It is just two minutes’ walk from Rainham Station, in the heart of the village. Rainham Hall has been home to a richly diverse cast of characters, and the house is laid out in period style to tell the story of its previous occupants
The Broadway, Rainham, Havering, London, RM13 9YN

Ranger's House (Wernher Collection)Paid Entry
Ranger's House is a Georgian villa in Greenwich Park which houses The Wernher Collection, a collection of works of art amassed by diamond magnate Sir Julius Wernher (1850-1912). Nearly 700 works of art are on display, including early religious paintings and Dutch Old Masters, tiny carved Gothic ivories, fine Renaissance bronzes and silver treasures revealing the genius of medieval craftsmen and the unparalleled quality of Renaissance decorative arts.
Chesterfield Walk, Blackheath, London, SE10 8QX

Red HousePaid Entry
The only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement, Red House is a building of extraordinary architectural and social significance. Designed by Philip Webb and completed in 1860, it was described by Edward Burne-Jones as 'the beautifullest place on earth'. Acquired by the Trust only 10 years ago, the rooms at Red House give a unique view of William Morris' earliest designs and decorative schemes. Its secrets are slowly being revealed, conservation work in 2013 uncovered an unknown Pre-Raphaelite wall painting and a very early Morris repeating floral pattern. These original features and furniture by Morris and Philip Webb, stained glass and paintings by Burne-Jones, the bold architecture and a garden designed to 'clothe the house', add up to a fascinating and rewarding place to visit.
Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, London, DA6 8JF

Royal College of Physicians MuseumFree
There is a one-room museum in the basement of this impressive post-war building which shows off the history of the Royal College and of medication in general. However, there is usually a much larger temporary exhibition held in the upper floors as well.
11 St Andrews Place, London, NW1 4LE

Royal Institution (inc Faraday Museum)Free
A museum in the basement of the Royal Institution that showcases the history of science. From the odds and ends that became the first electrical transformer to the tube that told us why the sky is blue, view the actual objects Ri scientists built and used in some of the world's most famous experiments. The highlight of the exhibition is Faraday's magnetic laboratory displayed as it was in the 1850s opposite a current state-of-the-art nanotechnology lab.
21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS

Royal London Hospital MuseumFree
The museum covers the history of the hospital since its foundation in 1740 and the wider history of medicine in the East End. It includes works of art, surgical instruments, medical and nursing equipment, uniforms, medals, documents and books. There is a forensic medicine section which includes original material on Jack the Ripper, Dr Crippen and the Christie murders. There are also displays on Joseph Merrick (the 'Elephant Man') and former Hospital nurse Edith Cavell. The museum is located in the crypt of a 19th-century church behind the hospital.
Newark Street, London, E1 2AA

Science MuseumFree
One of the great Victorian era museums devoted to the history of industry and sciences. Lots of themed galleries ranging from the early days of the industrial revolution right up to the space age and computing. Expect lots of large original artifacts, huge steam engines, rocket engines, cars and right in the roof, a vast collection of aircraft.
Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD

Sherlock Holmes MuseumPaid Entry
A slightly tacky museum that seeks to recreate the fictional home of the famous detective as if it was a real place. A sort of pastiche of real heritage museums that preserve the memory of real people. Rather overpriced for what it offers.
221b Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE

Sir John Soane's MuseumFree
Formerly the home of the neo-classical architect John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of Soane's projects and the collections of paintings, drawings and antiquities that he assembled. It's a rather eclectic display mirroring the collector, and can be quite cluttered, in a sort of charming sort of layout.
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP

Somerset HouseFree
A collection of neo-classical buildings that now house a range of art galleries and museums, with various temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Also offers tours of its historic undercroft at weekends, and often uses the main courtyard for large events. Although admission to the site is free, some of the exhibitions will be paid entry.
Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

St Bartholomew's Hospital MuseumFree
The Barts Museum tells the history of the hospital and its work in caring for the sick and injured. The collections include historic surgical instruments, sculptures, medieval archives, and works of art, including paintings by William Hogarth. The museum is located under the North Wing archway.
Bart's Hospital, Giltspur Street, London, EC1A 7BE

Stephens CollectionFree
A small museum that tracks the life of Henry 'Inky' Stephens with artefacts and memorabilia from the history of the man, his business and his passions. Expect a number of glass cases showing off the history of the industrial production of ink and related printing goods. The site was chosen because the grand house the museum sits within was the founder's private home, which he later donated to the local community.
17 East End Road, London, N3 3QE

The British MuseumFree
One of the UK's main national museums, although despite it's name, it focuses mostly on other countries. Has an impressive collection from Egypt, Greece, Roman remains and a host of other item specific collections such as the clocks or money galleries. Most of the galleries lead off a huge central courtyard which is under glass. The museum is free to visit, although the major temporary exhibitions often have to be paid for. You can easily spend a day there.
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

The Crypt MuseumFree
A museum is the crypt underneath the City of London's oldest church. It shows off the history of the church itself, but also has a number of Roman artifacts, including a mosaic floor. It's surprisingly large, and delightedly dimly lit for a very atmospheric appearance. Note that the museum is closed during church services.
All Hallows by the Tower, Byward Street, London, EC3R 5BJ

The Design MuseumFree
A museum devoted to the design of modern life - now based in a new home in South Kensington. The main museum is free to visit, but some exhibitions are chargeable.
224-238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG

The Francis Crick Institute Free
A newly opened research centre next to St Pancras station that also includes a public exhibition space. A range of regular exhibitions, and public talks are offered.
1 Midland Road, London, NW1 1AT

The Library and Museum of FreemasonryFree
An impressive library and sizeable museum housed within the main headquarters of the Freemasons in England. Contrary to their secretive reputation, the museum is open to the public, and houses a large collection of historical objects, all linked by ties to Freemasonry. There is also usually a temporary exhibition in another room. Mon-Fri, if the Grand Temple is not in use there are up to tours of the rest of the building daily at 11am, 12noon, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Tours are possible on Saturdays, but have to be booked in advance.
60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

The Queen's GalleryPaid Entry
A public art gallery that displays some of the works from the Royal Collection, which is owned by the Monarch on behalf of the nation. There is usually a change of displays every six months, with each fresh exhibition themed around a specific topic. Unlike many art galleries, this one only ever displays items owned by the Monarch and never includes outside items.
Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA

Tower BridgePaid Entry
World famous Victorian bridge with a raising bascule. The bridge itself is free to walk across, and their website lists when it will open for ships. There is also a paid exhibition space, which runs in the upper walkways, and then across the road to the original steam powered engine rooms. Offers great views of the city from the upper walkway.
Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP

Transport Museum Acton DepotPaid Entry
A giant warehouse which houses the main storage for London's Transport Museum, it is open for occasional open weekends, and semi-regular tours. The warehouse contains a number of old trains, lots of old buses and trams -- and a huge collection of "scraps" of transport heritage. Not laid out formally, but in a way, all the better for it.
118-120 Gunnersbury Lane, London, W3 9BQ

Valence House MuseumFree
The only surviving manor house in Dagenham, Valence House dates back to Medieval times and is still partially surrounded by a moat. Following refurbishment in 2010, galleries tell the story of Barking and Dagenham and its people throughout the ages.
Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, London, RM8 3HT

Valentines MansionFree
The house was built in around 1696 for Elizabeth Tillotson and her family, after the death of her husband, the Archbishop of Canterbury. At that time the new brick house stood in open countryside, several miles from the edge of London. Restored a few years ago, it's now a local history museum and houses a number of themed rooms. Guided tours are also available.
Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA

Vestry House MuseumFree
Vestry House Museum presents the history of Waltham Forest. Situated in Walthamstow Village, the building used to house the parish workhouse, and was later a police station and private home. It now contains themed displays capturing the heritage of the local area and includes the famous Bremer Car, a Victorian parlour, costume gallery and wonderful display of locally manufactured toys and games.
Vestry Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9NH

Victoria and Albert MuseumFree
One of the big museums of London, the V&A is primarily devoted to the arts and fashions. It houses a large number of galleries, housing everything from interior furniture, to decorations and artwork. The cast room is famous for its vast plaster cast models of famous international monuments, and a number of originals will be found in the medieval galleries. Overseas collections are included, mostly from Asia, with some European. The museum regularly has paid-for large exhibitions as well.
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Wallace CollectionFree
A grand mansion in the heart of London that's now an art gallery and in part, a museum of military armour and weapons. It exists thanks to a bequest which gifted it to the nation, on condition that none of the objects leave -- so the art gallery houses some incredibly famous paintings which can only ever be seen here. The military armour display is a bit odd in this setting, but interesting in its own right.
Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN

Walthamstow Pumphouse MuseumPaid Entry
The museum is housed in and around a Grade II listed former Victorian waste water pumping station. It is devoted to the technology, transport and industrial history of Walthamstow and the Lea Valley. As well as the original and unique pair of Marshall 'C' class steam engines, the museum includes a machine workshop driven by line shafting, a collection of small pumps of different types, a two-thirds scale model of the famous London 'B' type bus built in Walthamstow by AEC and a display detailing the history of local railways. Elsewhere on the site are a portable Marshall steam boiler, an original 1968 Victoria Line tube car, an extensive collection of fire fighting equipment and various historic vehicles.
10 South Access Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 8AX

Wandle Industrial MuseumPaid Entry
In the museum you will find displays showing the history of the River Wandle and the industries that used the river's power. From the early mills that were flour mills to mills still working in the 20th century. There are displays about the more famous names associated with the Wandle. There is opportunity to 'take snuff' and trace the course of the River Wandle discovering the location of the mills along it. Among the permanent displays is a large scale model of the William Morris Works and smaller models of Merton Priory and the Liberty Print Works.
Vestry Hall Annexe, London Road, Mitcham, London, CR4 3UD

Wellcome CollectionFree
Large museum devoted to medical history -- with a large permenant gallery of medical developments and the personal collection of its founder. Also hosts a number of regularly changing major displays and events.
183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Wellington ArchPaid Entry
A monumental arch on the edge of Hyde Park that also conceals a museum and viewing gallery. There's a permanent display of the arch's history, how it was moved to its current location, the controversy about the statue on the top, and its use as a small police station. There is also a running temporary exhibition in the upper galleries, where you can also go outside to the viewing gallery for wonderful views towards Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.
Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, London, W1J 7JZ

Whitechapel GalleryFree
Opened in 1901, it was one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London. It has a long track record for education and outreach projects, now focused on the Whitechapel area. It exhibits the work of contemporary artists, as well as organising retrospective exhibitions and shows that are of interest to the local community. Entry is free to the main gallery, but paid exhibitions are also hosted.
77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

Whitewebbs Museum of TransportPaid Entry
Situated in an old water pumping building, this is a small, but interesting collection of transport memorabilia and vehicles. Usually only open on Tuesdays, and the first Sunday of the month.
Whitewebbs Road, Enfield, London, EN2 9HW

Wiener LibraryFree
The world's oldest institution devoted to the study of the Holocaust, its causes and legacies. Although primarily a library and research house, it runs regular public exhibitions on the ground floor which focus on Jewish history and the Holocaust.
29 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DP