Retro home interior Website
Retro home interior Website

Weird and Wonderful Museums in London

Seen every skeleton in the Natural History museum? CBA with the V&A? London certainly has its fair share of world-famous museums, but most of us who live here have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. So, what about the lesser-known gems that the tourists might miss? From niche exhibitions to downright gruesome displays, these weird and wonderful museums in London are just as fascinating as the big names, and much less busy.

Cinema Museum

Cinema Museum

Cinema Museum

A homage to the big screen, the Cinema Museum houses a unique collection of artefacts, memorabilia and equipment from the heyday of independent cinemas, preserving the history and grandeur of cinema from the 1890s to present day. The museum has been closed since the outbreak of Covid-19 but is intending to reopen in autumn 2021. Visitors will be able to attend with a guided tour or by attending an event or screening.

 

Location: 2 Dugard Way, London SE11 4TH

Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

Medicine Bottles

Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

This unusual museum offers a unique insight into the macabre and gory history of medicine and surgery. Discover collections of historic medical equipment, herbal medicines and Europe's oldest surviving operating theatre. You’ll finally understand why it’s called an operating theatre: because people used to stand around and watch surgeons operate on patients in the name of medicine! Today the theatre area plays host to a range of events, from documentary screenings to plays.

 

Location: 9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY

Fashion & Textile Museum

Textile loom

Fashion & Textile Museum

Get inspired for your new season wardrobe at the only museum in the UK dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The Fashion and Textile Museum was founded by none other than Dame Zandra Rhodes, with the main collection detailing the changing fashion trends from 1947 to present day. A new exhibit for autumn and winter 2021: Beautiful People: The Boutique in 2960s counterculture explores 60s fashion and is running from 1st October 2021 to 13th March 2022.

 

Location: 83 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF

Garden Museum

Garden Museum

Garden Museum

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a garden in London or not, the Garden Museum is a plant-lovers’ paradise. Celebrating the uniquely British love affair with gardens and gardening, from the permanent displays of gardening tools, books, paintings and curios, to the courtyard Sackler Garden at the heart of the museum, which is home to an array of rare and exotic plants.

 

Location: 5 Lambeth Palace Rd, London SE1 7LB

Vagina Museum

Fruit

Vagina Museum

Yes, that’s right. There is a museum dedicated to vaginas. This unusual museum is on a mission to raise awareness, build confidence and erase the stigma around the female anatomy. Inside the Vagina Museum you’ll find plenty of anatomical drawings, sculptures, historic erotic art and interesting information about vaginas, vulvas, and gynaecological anatomy. The museum was until recently housed in Camden, but it’s temporarily closed while it relocates to an as-yet undisclosed location.

Location: TBC

The Horniman

Man looking at art

The Horniman

If you want to learn more about global cultures and natural wonders, this quirky museum in London has it all under one roof. From celebrating the lesser talked about aspects of cultures from around the world to understanding the evolution and behaviour of different animal species, The Horniman exhibitions are always engaging, enriching and unexpected.

 

Location: 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ

The Geffrye

Retro home interior

The Geffrye

Also known as the Museum of Home, step back in time to discover the ways in which homes and home life have changed in the past 400 years.  This quirky London museum exhibits Rooms Through Time – a snapshot of domestic life featuring furniture, décor, appliances and literature as it would have been used in the various rooms of the house.

 

Location: 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA

Brunel Museum

Brunel Tunnel

Brunel Museum

This unusual museum tells the fascinating history of the engineering family who built the world’s first tunnel under a navigable river (you guessed - it was under the Thames!). The Brunel Museum celebrates engineering, but also performance, as the Brunels hosted the first ever underground concert party in the Tunnel Shaft! You’ll be taken inside the tunnel shaft as part of your visit, and you’ll also find a quirky cocktail bar set within a herb garden on the rooftop.

 

Location: Railway Ave, London SE16 4LF

Museum of Brands

Vintage style posters

Museum of Brands

Work in marketing or advertising? Or just know good branding when you see it? This unique museum in London is for you! The Museum of Brands takes you on “a nostalgic journey through 200 years of consumer culture”. From vintage billboard adverts to old-school fonts and products which have long since been taken off the shelves, you’ll find it all and more at the Museum of Brands.

 

Location: 111-117 Lancaster Rd, London W11 1QT

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