Guides London Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums

Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums

City Guide June 15, 2023
Nannybag - Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums

Calling all art enthusiasts, history buffs, and culture vultures! If museums are your passion, this guide is tailored just for you. London is known for its world-renowned museums. This guide delves beyond the popular ones to showcase the city's hidden museum gems.

Discover lesser-known collections and niche galleries that often go unnoticed in typical guides. Immerse yourself in thought-provoking exhibitions, awe-inspiring artworks, and the fascinating stories they hold.

Whether you have a penchant for ancient artifacts or niche subjects, London's museums have something extraordinary to offer. Let this guide lead you on a journey through the unique museum scene of London and uncover some hidden treasures. Prepare to be captivated by the lesser-explored side of London's museum world.

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Read on for some London tips!


The Cartoon Museum

Everyone is invited to visit the cartoon museum despite their relationship with cartoons! This fascinating hidden gem houses a curated assortment of original cartoon and comic artwork. Its collections were mostly created by British artists from the 1750s to the present era.

They have over 6,000 original cartoons and comic artworks and a library of over 8,000 books and comics. Occasionally, they host different exhibits, so check online before going. This museum does charge, but the price is worth your value. So whether you’re a comic fan or want to relive childhood nostalgia, then this is the place for you.

Location: 63-66 St. James's Street, London

Closest metro stop: Piccadilly Circus Underground Station

Working Hours: Mon: Closed, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm, Thu: 10:30 am - 8 pm

Price: Adult: £9.50, Student: £4, Under-18s (teens proof of age required), Art Fund, London Pass, Members: Free


Fan Museum

Yes, you read that correctly. Even fans have fans. This London hidden gem is open since 1991. It has extensive collections sourced from various corners of the globe. It encompasses over a millennium of fan history and culture.

The Fan Museum is the only organization devoted entirely to the fan's history, culture, and craft. Don’t miss out on their cool workshops that range from fan-making to talks. Come here to appreciate the long-lost art of the fan. You'll realize that they’re much more than a way to meet people at music festivals in the summer.

Location: 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London

Closest metro stop: Greenwich Station

Working Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11h00-17h00

Price: Adult: £5, Student: £3


Nannybag - Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums


Museum of Brands

If you have a passion for history and package design, add the Museum of Brands to your list. The museum is set up in a tunnel that is in chronological order and takes visitors on a nostalgic trip. Explore a vast collection of over 12,000 branded items dating back to the Victorian era and the present.

Get to re-live your own childhood nostalgia admiring the old packaging of the brands you love the most. The museum is nestled in Notting Hill, so venture out and shop on Portobello Road afterward.

Location: 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, London

Closest metro stop: Ladbroke Grove

Working Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, seven days a week

Price: £9 Adults, £5 Children. Tickets can be purchased here.



Churchill War Rooms

This remarkable museum offers a glimpse into the life and leadership of Sir Winston Churchill during World War II. If you’re looking for a history lesson or wondering why Churchill is everywhere, then consider visiting the historic Churchill War Rooms. Immerse yourself in interactive displays, authentic artifacts, and audiovisual presentations.

Explore the Cabinet War Rooms, where Churchill and his ministers held crucial meetings, and the preserved offices and sleeping quarters that are frozen in time.

After you visit, you'll be sure to gain a profound appreciation for the immense challenges faced by Britain during the war & for the one and only Winston Churchill.

Location: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London

Closest metro stop: Westminster

Working Hours: 9:30 am to 6 pm daily, last entry at 5 pm

Price: from £27.25


Nannybag - Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums


Billingsgate Roman Bath House

There’s not a huge amount of Ancient Roman London (or should we say, Londinium) that survives. Still, the Bath House at Billingsgate, located beside the Tower of London, is perhaps the city's best example of Roman architecture.

The bathhouse was built around the 2nd century AD and was one of the famous Roman Public Baths, a real center of Roman public life. It featured heated rooms, a cold plunge pool, and a hypocaust system for underfloor heating. It’s fascinating to explore the remains of this ancient structure, which reveals the Romans' sophisticated engineering and architecture skills.

The site showcases well-preserved mosaic floors, fragments of wall paintings, and remnants of the original plumbing system. It's a unique opportunity to step back in time and imagine what life was like during Roman London. To visit, you must enter a normal-looking office building, descend downstairs into an underground section, and see the ruins.

Location: 101 Lower Thames St, London Closest metro stop: Monument

Working Hours: Saturdays, April - Nov

Price: A little under ten pounds


Greenwich Maritime Museum

Situated on the banks of the River Thames in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich, this museum is a treasure trove of maritime artifacts and stories. From the legendary Cutty Sark to the heroic tales of Admiral Nelson, the museum brings to life the fascinating stories of the high seas.

This museum is certainly an educational experience if you know very little about ship models, navigational instruments, and historical artworks. You will also gain insight into the lives of sailors, explorers, and merchants.

Location: Park Row, Greenwich, London

Closest metro stop: Cutty Sark DLR Station

Working Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week

Price: Free. Donations are always welcome!


Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark is a historic ship, dating from the late 1800s, that sits proudly in Greenwich, East London. It’s a little far out from the center of the city - you’ll have to get the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) train from Bank and get off at Greenwich Station.

This iconic tea clipper was once used for transporting goods all around the world, and now it's open as a museum, one that’s well worth checking out. Stepping on board the ship gives you a glimpse into the city's rich maritime history and the British Empire as a whole.

You can admire the intricate details of the ship's design, learn about life at sea, and even climb up to the deck for a breathtaking view of the Thames River.

Location: King William Walk, Greenwich, London

Closest metro stop: Cutty Sark DLR Station

Working Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week

Price: £18 for adults; £9 for children. Tickets can be purchased here.


Nannybag - Exploring London's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums


London's museum scene is a treasure trove for art, history, and culture enthusiasts. While the city boasts famous museums, this guide has shown you the lesser-explored side of London's museum world. By visiting hidden museum gems and niche galleries, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into your specific interests and uncover extraordinary collections. London's museums offer a wealth of captivating experiences.

Through this guide, you've embarked on a curated journey of cultural exploration, so prepare to be inspired, enlightened, and enthralled as you embrace the hidden wonders of London's museum scene.

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Our Nannybag guides to London offer a wealth of information to help you make the most of your visit to this vibrant city. Consider them your gateway to discovering iconic attractions like Trafalgar Square, the grandeur of Buckingham Palace, the theatrical wonders of Covent Garden, and the spiritual magnificence of St. Paul's Cathedral. These guide include advice for all travelers, especially if you're looking to explore London on a budget, leading you through the thrifty treasures of Covent Garden, the hidden lanes of Greenwich, the vibrant local culture of Camden, affordable theatre experiences and all sorts of budget-friendly experiences. You can even go on a culinary adventure, and explore the delectable dining scene in Covent Garden, the eclectic flavors of Camden, charming lanes perfect for foodies, and theatre-themed dining experiences.

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