The best alternative museums in London

Pollock's Toy Museum, photo by Ann Lee

The British Museum, the Tate Modern or the Natural History Museum are a must-see for any curious culture-seeker in London, but if you’ve already seen every inch that interests you in London’s major museums, it’s time to turn to the quaint side of museum exploration. London is a very varied city, with attractions both traditional and bizarre, so if you are on the lookout for some museums that are a bit different than the norm, you’ll find that there’s a nice selection of that too in the UK capital. The best alternative museums in London display a wealth of exhibits like none other, so if you have a few hours of free time, it’s more than worth paying a visit to these places.

The Clockmakers’ Museum

The Clockmakers’ Museum seems to be a place especially designed to make you never be late every again in your life. The museum is dedicated to the respectful (if somewhat out of fashion) craft of clockmaking, with thousands of whirring and ticking devices on display. The museum is located in the Guildhall,  and it is one of the oldest and most comprehensive collection of clock in the world.

The London Canal Museum

In a strange-sounding combination of exhibits, the London Canal Museum promises to tell you the history of London’s canals and waterways, as well as the cargoes transported on them, the people who transported the cargo, of ice trade and…ice cream, which has a long and rich history as a luxury commodity since the 17th century.

The Musem of Garden History

Seeing a beautifully arranged garden is one thing, but seeing the tools that made that garden possible is something completely different. The Museum of Garden History honors precisely these overlooked garden implements that contributed to the creation of famous British gardens from the 17th century onward.

Old Operating Theater Museum

Those with a dislike of the particularities of medical practice and a vivid imagination will find it a bit hard not the get a chill in their bones when visiting the Old Operating Theater, which, true to its name, displays various medical tools from the past.  The centerpiece of the museum, which was part of St Thomas’s Hospital in the past, is an fully equipped 19th century operating theater.

Pollock’s Toy Museum

Dolls are cute when you’re a child, but many adults can’t help but find them a bit creepy, especially if they are vintage. Pollock’s Toy Museum is a creepy-sweet incursion into the vast world of children’s toys and games collected from all over the world, from wax dolls to board games. With mesmerizing displays like these, it’s no wonder that Pollock’s is one of the best alternative museums in London.

Leave a Reply