Three big London museums are to reopen in August. If you are a big fan of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and Natural History Museum like myself, this is a piece of fantastic news.
The three museums, all neighbours in South Kensington, have announced plans to have a staggered reopening in which they anticipate 80% fewer visitors. To avoid pressure on public transport, they plan to re-open on different days in August. Visitors will have to book time slots, which means you cannot just turn up and decide to enter the door. A little bit inconvenient? Indeed, but on the bright side, another fun yet informative visit can be added to your summer holiday list.
The Science Museum was founded in 1857 and is one of London’s major tourist attractions, with 3.3 million visitors annually. And the good news is it’s free. My brother and I had so much fun in this museum when we were little. For a long time, it was our Sunday afternoon MUST DO. We spent from as little as 10 minutes up to three or four hours each time. As regulars at their visitor’s shop, we contributed our fair share.
The Natural History Museum also has free admission. It is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany (bo·tuh·nee), entomology (en·tuh·mo·luh·jee), mineralogy (mi·nuh·ro·luh·jee), palaeontology (pa·lee·uhn·to·luh·jee) and zoology (zoo·o·luh·jee).
One of the most famous and certainly most prominent of the exhibits—nicknamed “Dippy”—is a 105-foot (32 m)-long replica of a Diplodocus skeleton which was on display for many years within the central hall, after making its final appearance in 2017. It has been uninstalled to embark on a tour across the UK. Dippy was probably the most photographed object in the entire museum and it will be greatly missed.
The Natural History Museum is so big, for tiny legs, that it feels like a universe, which never ends. There is certainly not enough time to see everything, and you will need to go back many times to check it all out. When we were younger, we divided our visits into many sessions to spend a decent time in each area.
When speaking about the re-opening, Sir Michael Dixon, the director of the Museum, said he expected visitor numbers would be limited to 2,800 a day, around a fifth of the usual average attendance. Probably this is not a piece of bad news for the visitors, because, in the past, it was so packed, it took you ages to wait for the chance of getting a good photo…
The Victoria and Albert Museum (often referred to as the V&A), is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture. It houses a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects, was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with 145 galleries. The collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day.
Again, I have been to the V&A numerous times with each visit focusing on a small section. There are three refreshment rooms – the Gamble, Poynter and Morris Room, each with unique characteristic charms, and luxurious appeal, well worth visiting.
For the re-opening, the V&A is setting up recommended routes and trails for visitors to follow, but you would still be able to explore freely whichever part of the museum is open, its director, Tristram Hunt, said.
“The ability to linger on something that catches your eye and not be forced in a certain direction” is important, he said.
And before you leave don’t forget to visit their shop. Not only can you find eye-catching items, but also your purchase will help the museum to keep open.
I bought a lovely notebook, (show to the camera) The cover has rich colours, a bright flower pattern, and when you touch it, it’s super soft. Inside, all the pages are lined and I just love the luxury appearance. There are many other similar designs. Be sure to check them out!
Make sure to check the reopening times of the three museums, and don’t forget to book online.
This is a fantastic opportunity to experience all three of our exceptional museums without crowds, as they are often packed. I know you will have many hours of happiness inside these museums. Happy museuming!