One word of caution - I was in the museum at 3.30pm on a Saturday, and it was busy. Seriously, rammed with people. Which is a great thing if you're the museum, it literally validates your existence, and sells all those cakes and coffees. It's less of a good thing if you're a tired and irascible man trying to visit every museum in London, and take some pictures without a hoard of people getting in the way. I was constantly bumping into people, and having to doge around careening children. And talking of children, there were a lot of them, plenty of babies too. At times - not all the time, mind you, but more than once or twice - the area I was in smelt distinctly, umm, nappy-ish. Even farty.
Hardly the end of the world, and in no way the Museum's fault, they're a victim of their own success. And actually, most people probably tolerate crowds a bit better than I do. And even I didn't really have a problem. Although I did strongly empathise with the exhibit in the plague gallery, which described strong smells people used to try and keep the plague at bay (lavender, cloves and something delightful called Pomme d'ambre, made from flowers, animal scents and whale vomit.) I could have used some of the first two, but I think I have to draw the line at Pomme d'ambre - although it did bequeath is the word pomander, although it's not a word I have much need of in day to day life.
I won't write much more - all you need to know is:
- This is the definitive history of London, it's all here, in abundant detail
- From pre-history, through Roman, medieval to reformation, the birth of modern society, Victorian and through the 20th century. With special exhibits on a great many detailed subjects, most notably the Great Fire.
|Brass etching of ancient map of London|
|Souvenir guide and mugs from Charles II coronation, in 1660|
|A Victorian Pleasure Garden|
|The Savoy as it used to look (presumably the 1920s, I didn't check)|
|...through the streets of London|
|Ceremonial staff, umm, ends|
|The Lord Mayors Coach|
One final point - the Museum is in the middle of a busy road system, and part of the slightly bizarre above-ground walkway system around the Barbican centre. You have to go up some almost random looking (but signposted) escalators to get to the entrance. And it's an oddly deserted part of London at times. This picture should help orient you:
|It's in the middle, right there|
Food and Drink: One large cafe, one small, both good. The fact they need two cafes really should have tipped me off to how busy it is there
Toilets: Forgot to check.
Travel: It's here. St Pauls. You may want to tie in a visit to St Pauls at the same time, that makes sense