Adventures: Museum Of London

Hi! How are you finding the holidays? My house is slowly descending into madness, I caught Elliot watching Masha and the Bear with audio description this morning and I genuinely felt like my nightmares were being narrated to me in minute detail.

But. Back to the topic at hand: our trip to the Museum of London.

Books (3)

I am a London Geek, everything about the city intrigues me. I have been known to Google the history of random streets just to see what’s happened on them 150 years ago, I love it that much. So the Museum of London had been on my list for a long time, and I was glad to finally be able to take Elliot there for the first time yesterday.

First things first, where is it? It’s near the Barbican. We got the train to City Thameslink and wandered along (via a Boots for a meal deal) and it took about 8 minutes top. It’s also really close to Bank station and St Pauls if you’re fancy and live on a Tube line.

Elliot shielding his eyes in a random church tower we came across

Round the corner from the museum, there’s also amazing things like this church tower from about a thousand years ago. It’s a) brilliant to be able to wander around these things and b) it’s cool to see these in between all the massive glass buildings of the city. ~Juxtaposition.

When we got there, it was free entry (winner!) and they had more activity sheets available, which we collected and Elliot chose to look at the Prehistoric London gallery, so we trotted in there and saw some really cool bits, like an actual elephants foot and some horns and skulls, etc. The activites were really good as we were able to discuss things more than “LOOK AT THIS ELLIOT, IT’S SO OLD.”

Cutest moment might have been Elliot looking at a skeleton and saying “I BET SHE BRUSHED HER TEETH WITH ROCK!” That one episode of Masha and the Bear where they travel back in time is his only knowledge of the prehistoric age.

After looking at prehistoric London, Elliot got hungry so we popped outside to the Lunch Space, where you can eat your packed lunch or meal deals and planned what to do after lunch. We decided to go downstairs to look at the Galleries of Modern London. (My Classical Studies heart was a bit gutted to miss out on Roman London but…there’s always another day.)

I was genuinely surprised by the exhibits downstairs, they were really cool. My favourite bit was a Victorian street, which had a toy shop, barber shop, bank and pub on show, and you could walk along the cobbles. I showed Elliot some old toys – “no Nintendo DS here!” and we sat in the pub and imagined he’d just finished a shift as a chimney sweep and was having a cuppa tea.

A view of a Victorian shopfront in the Victorian Walk at the Museum of London.
This was the random Victorian street – very cool! Also not my photo, I was too busy repeatedly saying “Elliot, look, Elliot come back, Elliot look” to take any photos in the museum.

There’s quite a few bits for kids to get hands-on with, toy trains are always a winner! And there’s a Playtime section that’s only tiny but has a few toys in as well, so Elliot was playing with Andy Pandy and an abacus whilst I remembered just how creepy Bill and Ben truly were.

The main thing to take from this museum is: it’s empty. Maybe we just missed the busy exhibits, but everywhere we went, it wasn’t crowded and we were able to amble around and really look and enjoy everything. We weren’t pressed in anywhere – didn’t even have to queue in the toilets!

The gift shop at the end (possibly the best bit of any museum) was also really good, and had a great book selection. Elliot bought a Mr Men book and I toyed with the idea of carting a million books about suffrage, London and the plague home but thought against the idea. Dragging Elliot AND a bag of books through London is not my bag. Also, I think it’s worth noting it wasn’t MASSIVELY expensive – I thought the Mr Men book was gonna be about £7, but it was only £3.99, so you can get a souvenir without breaking the bank.

Elliot standing proudly on a bit of ancient city wall.

I’d definitely recommend if you’ve done all the big museums in London and are after something a bit different, and quieter!

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