Museums in a Day
The Cadogan Gallery
If you want to see the absolute best the Natural History Museum has to offer, your first stop shold be The Cadogan Gallery. This single room contains some of the most wondrous historic treasures in the NHM. See some of the specimens that helped Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution, and a piece of the moon that was brought back from the Apollo missions.
Walk Beneath the largest animal on Earth
Hinze Hall, Green Zone
Hintze Hall is the gateway to our collections and galleries.Inside it, you can wander among meteorites, mammals, fish, birds, minerals, plants and insects, and hear stories about the people whose work and ideas have shaped the Museum. But most of all, stand in awe below the 25-metre skeleton of Hope, the Blue Whale, suspended in a dramatic dive.
Minerals and The Vaults
Feast your eyes on the Museum’s world-leading collection of minerals and gems on display in The Vault, including the amazing 9,381-carat Ostro stone - the largest topaz of its kind. Other highlights include a giant emerald from Zambia known as Medusa, and Tissint – a Martian meteorite that landed in Morocco in 2011
A path through pre-history
The Museum houses a spectacular array of dinosaur fossils and the Dinosaurs exhibit is an absolute must-see. See dinosaurs from all over globe and come face to a face with a massive animatronic T-Rex! Explore the different time periods dinosaurs lived, sort the facts from the myths about why they died out and find out what our scientific research has taught us about these prehistoric giants.
Do do the Dodos
Head back down the main staircase and take the hall to the left. At the end of the corridor, you'll find the Birds display to the left. The Natural History Museum has an incredible collection of animal specimens, some of which are over 200 years old. Top picks are the dodo specimen and the incredible hummingbird display cabinet.
Feel the Earth move
Through dramatic film footage, exhibits, interactive games and the famous earthquake simulator, explore how the powers within shape the world in which we live in the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery.
Take a trip through Human Evolution
Human Evolution, Red Zone
As you head out to Exhibition Road take a trip through Human Evolution with specimens spanning over seven million years. See the first adult female Neanderthal cranium ever discovered, life-size Neanderthal and early Homo sapiens models and the 3.5-million-year-old Laetoli canine, the oldest hominin fossil in the Museum's collection.
Exhibition Road Entrance
Enter the V&A via the stunning new Exhibition Road entrance. The new Exhibition Road entrance, courtyard and basement gallery are the largest architectural project undertaken by the Museum in over 100 years. Designed by Amanda Levete and her practice AL_A, this new Quarter showcases the best of contemporary design, as well as celebrating the beauty of the V&A’s existing building.
There are three spectacular dining rooms to choose from - the Gamble, Poynter and Morris Rooms - each has its own unique and historic decor. Henry Cole commissioned contemporary artists and designers to decorate the rooms in the latest style and materials. The Poynter Room was for second class dining and was cheaper than the other two Refreshment Rooms.
Take the Ceramic Staircase at the end of the hall up to Level 6.This is one of the most elaborately decorated parts of the V&A. Completed in 1869, it was the principal route from the original main entrance leading up to the Ceramics galleries and schools of art and science.The decoration was designed by a Museum staff member, Francis Mood, with his students in the art school there.
At over 200 metres long, the V&A's eleven galleries dedicated to ceramics run the full length of the Museum. The central room, The McAulay Gallery, offers soaring views in the Museum. Explore the story of ceramic design and making, wander through densely displayed galleries showing as much of their collection as possible and delve into the room devoted to architectural ceramics.
The Silver Galleries
Head back down to the rooms 65-70, full of beautiful silver. The Silver collection is now displayed in was the Museum’s original Ceramic galleries. Silver objects range from a third-century Roman ointment pot, to a sixteenth-century Mexican perfume burner, to a table centrepiece created in 2012 by Miriam Hanid.
The Jewellery Gallery
After the silver galleries, visit the V&A's incredible jewellery collections. Dating back more than 2000 years, there are over 3,000 jewels telling the story of jewellery in Europe from Ancient Greece to the present day. From medieval love rings and pendants given by Elizabeth I to her courtiers to jewels by Cartier to animals by Fabergé and to modern day contemporary makers.
The Cast Courts
The Cast Courts were purpose-built in 1873 for the Museum's collection of copies of art and architecture. At a time when most people could not afford to travel abroad to see important works, it was common for museums to supplement their collections with replicas in plaster. One the cast of Michelangelo's David , is one of the most impressive to survive.
The Fashion Galleries
Spanning five centuries, the Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world. Key items in the collection include rare 17th century gowns, 18th century ‘mantua’ dresses, 1930s eveningwear, 1960s daywear and post-war couture. The collection also includes a wide range of accessories from across the world, including footwear and hats.
Medieval & Renaissance
The Medieval collections tell the story of early European art and culture from the decline of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance (300 – c.1500). The collection brings together treasures of sacred and secular art from around Europe. Highlights include an early 12th-century ewer in the form of a griffin, and a rare English iron helmet, that may have seen action in the Wars of the Roses.
Europe 1600 - 1850
In Europe 1600 – 1815 over 1100 objects from the V&A’s collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design are displayed in a suite of seven galleries. The collection comprises some of the most magnificent works held by the V&A, from an elaborate writing cabinet probably my Michael Kimmel to French Court Suits and an intricate fan with the Triumph of Harlequin.
Directly after the Energy Hall is arguably one of the most exciting exhibitions in the museum - the Exploring Space gallery. With rockets, satellites, and a life-size model of the spacecraft that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, this exhibition takes you right out there into the depths of space. Then discover how we are able to live in space—to breathe, eat, drink and go to the toilet.
Making the Modern World
This gallery presents some of the Museum’s most remarkable objects. Come face-to-face with the Apollo 10 command module, Stephenson’s Rocket, Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 1 and the first Apple computer. You’ll also find thought-provoking objects such as penicillin from Fleming’s laboratory, a porcelain bowl salvaged from Hiroshima and a clock that will tell the time for the next 10,000 years.
Visit Information Age to find out how our lives have been transformed by information and communication technologies over the last 200 years. Discover how wireless technology saved many lives on the Titanic and spread news of the disaster to the world within hours. You can also hear the personal stories of the operators who worked on the Enfield Telephone Exchange, the last manual telephone switchboard.
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery
The stunning gallery, designed by world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, spans 400 years of human ingenuity, bringing mathematics to life through everyday stories, designs and architecture. Highlights include an Enigma cypher machine from 1934, one of the earliest mechanical calculators and a Handley Page aeroplane.
Space Decent VR with Tim Peake
Up on Level 3, experience the thrill of being an astronaut and embark on a virtual reality mission with Tim Peake as your guide! Retrace the 400 km high-speed journey back to Earth from the International Space Station with a 360° look inside a Soyuz capsule. But make sure you book ahead! (Suitable for ages 13+)
Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery
Ignite your curiosity and discover the beauty of the science and mathematics that shape our everyday lives in this interactive gallery. With over 50 mind-blowing science marvels to enjoy, try ordering live experiments at the Chemistry Bar, see lightning strike, play with forces on giant slides or travel through space under a canopy of stars.
The Design Museum
The Design Museum recently moved to Kensington and tripled the museum’s size. The museum now houses two temporary exhibition galleries housed in a landmark grade II* listed modernist building from the 1960s. From the beautiful oak-lined atrium, the striking and iconic hyperbolic paraboloid roof, the concrete roof, stunning galleries, sweeping oak staircase creates a new global hub for contemporary design.
Designer Maker User
Designer Maker User is an introduction to the history of contemporary design through three interconnected roles - the Designer, the User and the Maker. The exhibition covers a broad range of design disciplines, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics. A highlight is the Crowdsourced Wall consists of more than 200 nominated objects from 25 countries, the wall displays a diverse selection that demonstrates the intimate relationships that we have with the everyday objects that shape our lives.