Move away from London’s most famous landmarks – Buckingham palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster – and see the city’s history from a range of radically different perspectives, all of which are far from ordinary.
When you think museums and big cities you might think they are all the same, but there are some museums that tell their own unique story. What follows is our selection of those places in London…
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that his fictional characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson lived at 221b Baker Street and that is the location of the real-life Sherlock Holmes Museum. Despite the men never existing, the museum does a good job of creating a setting that seems authentic, with the multi-storey space crammed with antique artefacts that could have been used by the sleuth and his associate.
“The world’s greatest museum of art and design”, The Victoria and Albert Museum houses extensive collections of art, design and fashion that are the envy of all other museums. The always interesting art and objects on show, as well as 145 galleries of regular collections make the V&A one of the capital’s foremost attractions, and the jewel in the heart of South Kensington.
Surprisingly small but captivating museum housed in an appropriately beautiful modernist structure on the Thames. All about nonverbal communication, economy of materials, ergonomics and creative use of space… On a serious note, it’s not all about possessions and product envy, and there are also plenty of pieces of fantastic protest and political art and design.
Tate Modern is now one of the most comprehensive contemporary art galleries in the world. It’s the go-to place for all the modern greats: Matisse, Mondrian, Warhol, Kandinsky, Picasso, Bacon, Cézanne, Monet, Dalí, Duchamp, Man Ray, Rodin, the Chapman brothers and many more.
Anyone with an interest in interiors or design will be charmed by the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. Based in a series of connected 18th century almshouses, the museum shows typical middle-class living quarters in a succession of period rooms. Visitors start their journey in a traditional 17th century living space and gradually work their way up to the present day. Period gardens in the grounds repeat the process so there’s even more to discover outdoors when weather permits.