We’ve all heard of the Natural History Museum, the Design Museum, the Science Museum, the V&A and… well, you get the picture. When you cast your mind to traditional London museums it’s highly unlikely that the sewing machine one will pop into your head (or maybe it does, who am I to judge?!). But, alas, we’ve delved deeper and gone off the beaten museum track to pluck out random, weird and questionable museums that sounds like they’re totally worth ticking off the factual bucket list. Here’s our higgledy-piggledy selection:
This house belonged to Freud, and whilst he might be dead making a visit to this museum a little on the creepy side, it’s an interesting place to check out the musings and possessions of a genius. There a bunch of antiques inside, including his famous Berggasse psychoanalytic couch, amongst other bits ‘n bobs.
Where: 20 Maresfield Gardens, NW3 5SX
You’ve probably never sat at home and thought “Oh, I know what I’ll do today, I’ll go to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.” Or maybe you have, in which case I apologise! Anyway, this museum does just what it says on the tin, providing people with 12,000 plus products of the household and paraphernalia-like variety that we’d all recognise. The museum was started by consumer historian Robert Opie and we’re still feasting our eyes on the bric-a-brac all these years on. Why? Because we can, can!
Where: 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, W11 1QT
Pollock’s Toy Museum perhaps isn’t designed as what we imagine museums to look like, but instead sits cosily on the corner of Scala Street. The fascinating little spot sees visitors explore a small room packed to the rafters with nostalgia in the form of children’s toys. A great place to rejig memories and explore aspects of your childhood long forgotten.
Where: 1 Scala Street, Bloomsbury, W1T 2HL
Bizarre things piled together in one place can be quite disarming, but then that’s what The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History is all about. There are bright colours, stuffed animals and things like lizards and tarantulas hanging about the place. It’s definitely one to while away the hours at!
Where: 11 Mare Street, E8 4RP
We’re big fans of this one – sorry, forgive us, we just had to! But I bet you didn’t know there’s a whole museum dedicated to fans? Well apparently there is and it’s located in Greenwich! You’ll find a collection of over 3,500 fans, antique, modern you name it, all housed in a Grade II-listed building from the 18th century.
Where: 12 Crooms Hill, SE10 8ER
So this is pretty cool. First of all that there’s a Sherlock Holmes Museum but secondly because it’s located at 221b Baker Street the place Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that his fictional characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson lived. Mind. Blown. The museum harbours cool bits of paraphernalia from the famed book series and we think you should go check it out!
Where: 221b Baker Street, Marylebone, NW1 6XE
This place is sew good! We could just leave it there but we’ll continue… The Sewing Museum has 700 different types of machine inside its walls. Who even knew there were that many different styles?! It might sounds a little on the boring side but alas if you’re a fan of the first Singer machine and one owned by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter then you’re in luck!
Where: London Sewing Machine Museum, 292-312 Balham High Road, SW17 7AA
Founded by Zandra Rhodes, the Fashion and Textile Museum is quite the catwalk of clothes. You can wander though various displays of fashion, textiles and jewellery, but despite being attractive due to the fashion, an even more alluring aspect are the ever changing temporary exhibitions. There’s something for everyone so put aside a day and go a la mode.
Where: 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF
Whilst the Hunterian Museum isn’t opening its doors again until 2021, we highly recommending marking it in your diary. Why? Because it’s an absolutely disgusting museum, a far cry from your V&As of the world, but at the end of the day, that’s what makes it interesting! You’ll find Churchill’s dentures inside and human remains in jars as well as an extinct sloth… we’ll let you mull that all over!
Where: 35–43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PE
Cartoon and and comic art is found inside the Cartoon Museum – surprising that! The collection inside dates from the 18th century to the present, so if you’re still a child at heart you’ll be in your element amongst these colourful creations. Highlights include Billy Whizz and, perhaps our favourite, Dennis The Menace!
Where: 35 Little Russell Street, WC1A 2HH