10 unusual museums in London
London has got some amazing and beautiful museums. But as well as the established stalwarts, there’s an array of odd and interesting museums that will guarantee you a fun and fascinating trip.
Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
In the roof space of St Thomas’ Church is this little gem - the Old Operating Theatre. The theatre was built in the early 1800s adjoining St Thomas’ Hospital. Students would come here and watch operations performed live and without any anaesthetics other than opiates and alcohol. Please see website for timings of live operations. Only joking. Thankfully the theatre was no longer used once antiseptic surgery was invented.
Clink Prison Museum
This Southwark museum is built on the original site of The Clink Prison which dates back to 1144 making it one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons. Southwark used to be a much more bawdy and badly-behaved place and the prison was home to a motley bunch of drunks, heretics and harlots. Sadly they’re not there anymore but on your visit you’ll still hear lots of gossip and scandal with a bit of torture thrown in too.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Visit the beautiful Flamsteed House, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and historic home to Britain's Astronomers Royal. Take a fascinating glimpse into the apartments where the Astronomers Royal and their families lived and worked in our new Observatory Life display.
London Transport Museum
Enjoy London Transport Museum in the heart of Covent Garden. Its galleries and lively exhibitions explore over 200 years of history and reveal compelling stories about the influence transport has had on London's society and culture. See historic vehicles, world-famous vintage transport posters and original Tube maps.
Inspired by three great 18th- century activists - Thomas Coram, George Frideric Handel and William Hogarth - the Foundling Museum is a force for change. We believe in creative action that brings past and present together to stimulate imaginations and enrich young lives.
The Cartoon Museum
See great British cartoon and comic art from Steve Bell, Matt, Hogarth, Ronald Searle and many more plus famous creations such as Dennis the Menace, Dan Dare and Watchmen. Get involved in Comic Creator projects or kids cartooning workshops and don’t forget to visit the shop as it’s full of funny books and cards.
Benjamin Franklin House
The House’s main visitor offer, the Historical Experience show provides, a unique experience, using the historic rooms that Franklin inhabited as a stage: blending live performance, sound, lighting and visual projection to tell the rich story of Franklin’s London years in his own words.
London Canal Museum
In this attractive mid-19th century canalside building you will learn how London’s canals went from important trade routes to today's more leisurely pursuits. Learn about the cargo and people who made a living on the canals, and the horses that pulled the boats. Plus you’ll get to see inside a narrowboat cabin and work a boat through a model lock.
In beautiful Hampstead you’ll uncover The Freud Museum, the final home of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, who came here in 1938 after fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna. His London home has been preserved just as it was during his lifetime. In his study, among the book-lined walls, you will find his original psychoanalytic couch. You might want to leave your parents at home for this one.
Museum of Brands
Around the corner from Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill is this treasure trove of vintage and modern design. The museum has more than 12,000 items displayed in decade-by-decade galleries showing what made British consumers part with their cash.