When in London, you’re always a stone’s throw away from a museum. With more than 170 galleries, historical exhibits, and art locations, the city is certainly a place with an abundance of creative energy. There are spaces for every interest — from antiquities and advertising, to psychology and cartoons. Let’s explore some of the most unique ones you can find scattered around the capital.
Fashion and Textile Museum
Anyone with a flair for fashion or fabrics will have a field day at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Inside, you’ll find garments taken from different eras, painting a fascinating history of fashion through the years. For a touch of modernity, they also feature up-and-coming talent and host temporary exhibits for contemporary fashion designers. In the past, they’ve hosted a slew of interesting events — from an exhibit on the history of scissors, to shows by renowned designers like AnnaSui.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Sherlock Holmes is perhaps one of the most distinct English literary characters. The Guinness World Records even listed him as the “most portrayed movie character” ever — from the early film Sherlock Holmes Baffled in 1900, all the way to the BBC’s widely acclaimed Sherlock series, which premiered in 2009. As if all that isn’t impressive enough, everyone’s favourite detective boasts his own games on the Slingo gaming platform, with titles like Holmes and the Stolen Stones and Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt For Blackwood. These are based on both literary and screen versions of the character. But of course, it’s a different experience to immerse yourself in Sherlock Holmes’ physical world, which is what you can do at the Sherlock Holmes Museum. In the books, it’s said that the characters lived in 221b Baker Street, and that is exactly where the museum stands today — a thoughtful recreation of the fictional space.
For cinephiles, the Cinema Museum is not to be missed. There’s a wealth of memorabilia spanning decades of cinematic history — from movie posters and cinema carpets, to projectors, fanzines, and real set props. Take note that you’ll have to book a guided tour in advance to be able to pop in. Unfortunately, The Cinema Museum has been in danger of closing for a while now, but you still have a chance to come and help keep this London gem stay alive.
John Keats House
There is no shortage of literary landmarks in London. The Charles Dickens Museum is a popular choice, but poetry fans will also be delighted to visit the John Keats House. Many recognise him as one of the most well-known poets in the Romantic movement, with 54 published poems to his name. But not a lot of people know that he lived right in this house before he passed away at age 25. It is here where he penned some of his most significant works, and also where he met and fell in love with his neighbour Fanny Brawne. The poets’ legacy lives on in the John Keats House, with a garden inspired by its namesake’s own poems.
Museum of Brands
In an article on The Guardian, owner and historian Robert Opie calls the Museum of Brands “a portal into your own past.” The space houses a seemingly endless collection of posters, toys, and boxes throughout the years. It’s a nostalgic walk down memory lane, where visitors both old and young can rediscover the very first Coke bottle, jam labels from their youth, and boxes of Kellogg’s cereal they may have grown up eating.
This post is a collaboration with Daniel Jones who wrote this article.