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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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London's Hidden Museums and Libraries – Discover an Awesome New World

In case you thought a visit to the Museum of Natural History in London is a rounded experience think again. Hidden within the folds of ancient London are magical venues that promise to astound.


The Horniman Museum

You are greeted by a 25 foot Totem Pole from Alaska at the entrance while the real winner is a comically overstuffed walrus; the over enthusiastic work of a taxidermist from the 1800's. Apart from this, the natural history museum listed as Grade II has within its folds many anthropological artefacts pertaining to the world history. The place devoid of modern day touch screens is, in fact, a refreshing complex in which to while away a few fascinating hours.


The Hunterian Museum

A huge collection of medical equipment and over a thousand medical specimens are on display at this museum. Mind you the Hunterian is not a gruesome place; instead, a fascinating collection of samples promise to pique your interest for an hour or two. The place is quite modern and not a mediaeval hole; glass jars are neatly displayed on glass shelves. Amongst these are the dentures of Winston Churchill and the pickled brains of soldiers who died during the battle of Waterloo.


Fan Museum

This is the only such 'fan' museum in the world and indeed the entire complex is dedicated to fans. Once proudly used by London's gentry some of the displayed fans will take you back to a time when the aristocratic life was a mix of dances, dinners and concerts. On this subject; a well-placed Belgravia hotel London is proud of will surround you with stone churches, stucco architecture and private estates. The Fan Museum displays over 3,500 items; some of these are from the 11th century. Besides once you're done the choice of heading over to the Orangery for delightful tea and cakes is an additional lure.


Marianna North Gallery at Kew

A rather fascinating museum the Marianna North Gallery at Kew is located in Greenwich. Just 30 minutes from Belgravia's COMO The Halkin, London this gallery displays a fine collection of 19th century botanical paintings done on fields across the world by illustrious painter Marianna North. On display are over 800 paintings of flowers, butterflies, birds, animals and landscapes. The artist illustrates the best of nature from countries such as Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Tenerife, Canada, America, India, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Seychelles and Java.


The Wiener Library

This is the world's largest museum dedicating displays and information pertaining to the holocaust. The place is in fact on a fundraising drive to collect enough for a move to larger quarters. Do check the official website before a visit.


Dennis Severs House

Quite the adventure the Dennis Severs House is a fine display of an 18th century Spitalfields merchant's house. What's unique is the way the house displays an aura of just being vacated by the family. Adding further intrigue to the entire display Severs have decided to open the house at random hours. Therefore it's not about locating the house hidden on a cobble stoned street near Liverpool Station; it's about getting there at the right time.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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