Five Little-Known Museums in London You Should Check Out

London is one city that is filled with museums. It probably has the highest concentration of museums per square mile of any city on the planet. Two things arise from these fact – many visitors to London still gravitate towards the well-known museums despite an abundance of choices, and many interesting museums are not getting the attention it deserves.

If you’re going to London and want to get away from the predictable tourist traps, then these five little-known museums in London should be on your itinerary.

The Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection is one of the best of the little-known museums in London. It is also one of the best funded, being a part of the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest charities on the planet. The museum is dedicated to both the science and the arts. Although the Wellcome Collection’s galleries is undergoing renovation this year, it is still holding regular exhibits and events. The museum’s collection is diverse. Some of the things you can expect to see include works by Leonardo da Vinci and Andy Warhol, a DNA-sequencing robot, sex ads from the 19th century, and even Charles Darwin’s whalebone walking stick. Recently, 700 pieces of Japanese outsider art has also been on display, including art made by patients in Japanese mental health institutions.

 Hunterian Museum

If you have a fascination for the science of Medicine then the Hunterian Museum should be on your list of museums to visit. The museum is located at the Royal College of Surgeons and houses an interesting collection of medical specimens. These specimens have been houses in Lincoln’s Inn Fields since 1813. Interestingly enough, 2013 is the bicentenary of the Royal College of Surgeons so there is a special exhibit that traces the origins of the College and also offers a glimpse at its future.

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

If you’re fascinated with consumer culture and advertising then you will have a lot of fun visiting the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. The museum attempts to show you the history of consumer culture and does it through the exhibition of over 12,000 items. It’s like the world’s largest larder because of the sheer number of consumer products that are on display. The best part of the museum is seeing many items that are no longer in production. It’s a wonderful trip down memory lane, especially when you see products that you used to love when you were a child.

The Crime Museum

Not very many people know this but the famed Scotland Yard actually has a museum. The Crime Museum, also known by its creepier name The Black Museum, houses a very comprehensive collection of weapons that have been used to commit crimes and murders in London. You’ll even see the items used by the infamous Jack The Ripper and Charlie Peace. The museum is not really open to the public but there just might be a chance you’ll be able to get inside, especially when the space is used for lectures.

Petrie Museum

Located inside University College London, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology has one of the most extensive collections of Egyptian artefacts despite the small size of the building. You’ll see a vast array of Egyptian items on display from lion sculptures taken from the Temple of Min, which dates back to 3000 BC, wills written on papyrus, and ancient costumes. You’ll even see Roman-period mummy portraits on display in the Museum. There is no entrance fee but opening hours are very limited so call in advance to find out the museum hours.


About The Author

Derek Gallimore is a Londoner who has never lost his love for visiting museums in his city. He is the owner of Boutique London Lets, a company that rents out serviced apartments in London.