There are some little known museums in London that are fascinating, peculiar, exciting or downright weird, and often have the benefit of not needing you to stand in long queues for entry. Here are five of the best to explore.
5 top museums to visit this Easter
1. The Cartoon Museum at 35 Little Russell Street opened in 2006 and has an enormous range of books and comics, plus regularly changing exhibitions featuring Ronald Searle, Beano and Dandy, Viz and Posy Simmonds. Take a cab to Little Russell Street direct, or, if the weather’s nice, a Russell Square taxi drop will give you the chance to stroll past the British Museum and Bloomsbury House on your way to this exciting little museum which is currently showing an exhibition by ‘Trog’ (Wally Fawkes) and his life-long friend, trumpeter Humphrey Lyttleton.
2. The Ragged School Museum in Tower Hamlets is sited on the location of an original ragged school, that of Dr Barnardo in Copperfield Road, Mile End. It has a brilliant range of child-friendly activities including hands-on exhibitions, talks and activities and the chance to experience being a Victorian schoolchild. It’s a fair walk from Mile End tube, but easily accessible by taxi. If the weather’s good a Mile End cab can drop you at the Museum door and after your visit you can wander along Regent’s Canal, an area of maritime regeneration and a great place to have a picnic.
3. The Fashion and Textile Museum – never heard of it? You’re missing a treat. Founded by Zandra Rhodes, FTM, as it’s known, re-opens on 22 March with an exhibition of the work of Kaffe Fasset – one of the most influential knitwear designers the World has ever known. Based at 83 Bermondsey Street, this museum is a perfect complement to the other big local attraction HMS Belfast. A Bermondsey taxi will drop you equidistant between the two, with the added benefit of avoiding the current London Bridge road-works, which are not a good experience!
4. The Couper Collection – it’s art on barges! Open 10-4pm Tuesday to Friday, this fleet of permanently moored barges dates back over a hundred years and houses a stunning range of artworks. Hester Road taxis will drop you at the footpath to the barges or a Battersea Bridge cab or Albert Bridge taxi will give you the pleasure of a river walk down to the barge moorings.
5. London Motorcycle Museum – perhaps you have to love a motorbike to really enjoy this venue; but for those who do it’s fascinating. The museum is only open at weekends and Bank holidays but once you get there, over 100 superb British motorcyles on display; enough to make any biker grin. Take a taxi to Greenford and ask for Ravenor Farm, Oldfield Lane – you’ll find that many taxi drivers have a story to tell about the people they’ve delivered to the museum; it’s a regular haunt for motorbike loving celebrities, including Ewan McGregor, apparently!