July 12, 2024

5 Bizarre and Weird Museums in London

Everyone’s heard of the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, and the V&A Museum. Most tourists visit these museums during their whistlestop tour of the capital, which is great because they are truly awesome cultural attractions with a lot to offer. But what happens if the thought of staring at famous works of art or Egyptian sarcophagi leaves you cold?

Luckily, for the more discerning traveller, there are also plenty of strange and weird museums in London. Some are quirky, some a little scary, but all are well worth a visit if you are planning a stay in London. Read on to discover more!

The Vagina Museum

Visitors to Iceland will already be familiar with the Penis Museum in Reykjavic, so for a double dose of genital fun, take a trip to the Vagina Museum in Camden Market. It is a wonderful celebration of gynaecological amazingness. Learn more about vulvas, celebrate clitorises, and be prepared to be dazzled by glittery red tampons.

The Vagina Museum is open every day apart from Christmas Day and entry is free. The nearest Tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm.

The Fan Museum

Fans are not a popular accessory these days, at least not the hand-held variety designed to spare a lady’s blushes. Back in the 16th century, however, hand fans were immensely popular, and no well-bred lady would be seen at an event without one.

If you’d like to learn more about this intriguing accessory, a trip to the Fan Museum in Crooms Hill is a must-do. There are collections of fans sourced from all over the world, including fans decorated by famous artists, Japanese Court fans, and even a fan designed by Faberge.

The Fan Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and children. You can buy tickets online or in person on the day. If you have an Art Fund Pass, entry to the museum is free.

The nearest Tube is Greenwich station and the Cutty Sark DLR is only 5 minutes away on foot.

The Crossness Pumping Station Museum

Fear not, a visit to a sewage pumping station isn’t just an exploration of poo. The Crossness Pumping Station Museum is your chance to marvel at the wonders of Victorian engineering. There are guided tours available, a café, and even a gift shop. The architecture is stunning and if you elect to book a group visit, you can even enjoy a talk about the Great Stink of 1858 – what’s not to like about that!

Visits to Crossness must be pre-booked via the calendar on the website.

There is on-site parking, but the nearest rail station is Abbey Wood (2 km away).

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

Ever wondered about the history of anaesthesia? The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre in Portland Place explores the history of anaesthesia and anaesthetists. There are more than 4,000 objects in the museum, with exhibits on the use of ether as an anaesthetic in the 1800s to the modern machines we see in hospitals today. You can even have a go at intubation (not on a live patient, obviously…)!

The museum is open from Monday to Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM. The nearest Tube stations are Regent’s Park, Oxford Circus, or Great Portland Street.

The Museum of Brands

Brands come and go all the time and chances are, the toys, foods, and magazines you remember from your childhood are no longer around. A trip to the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Look for the chocolate bars you loved as a kid, or the iconic tinned brands you remember seeing in your Nan’s pantry. It is a fun exploration of how consumer goods have evolved since the Victorian Age. The ‘Time Tunnel’ is the museum’s permanent exhibition, but there are regular temporary exhibitions curated by the museum’s staff.

Ladbroke Grove is the nearest Tube station to the Museum of Brands. The museum is open every day and tickets cost £9 for adults, £5 for kids, and £7 for concessions.

If this list of weird museums in London has left you wanting more, make sure you check out the London Sewing Machine Museum, the British Dental Association Museum, or the Postal Museum. They are all a fun day out!

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