Routes for exploring South Kensington

Print PDF Google Maps

Christmas at the South Kensington Museums

Natural History Museum

Come to the Natural History Museum and explore 4.6 billion years of our planet. Walk amongst meteorites and dinosaurs, feel the ground shatter beneath your feet in an earthquake simulator, or say hellooo beneath the largest creature to have ever existed.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

General Visiting

The Natural History Museum is open Mon–Sun, 10.00–17.50 (last entry 17.00). We advise visitors pre-book a free ticket in advance for guaranteed entry or become a Member for priority access. Book your free general admission ticket.

Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur

Waterhouse Gallery

After being the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world when it was revealed at the Museum in 1905, Dippy is back for a short stay. Enjoy the sights, sounds and memories from this dinosaur’s greatest natural history adventure yet. Book your free ticket, for guaranteed entry and come say hello to this Jurassic giant before 2 January.

The Lost Rhino: An Art Installation with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Jerwood Gallery

Come face-to-face with a digitally recreated, life-sized northern white rhino in a new art installation at the Museum. Through four depictions of a rhino, each of them imperfect in their own way, the free display examines our relationship with endangered species. Entry is included with your free general admission ticket.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Green Zone

Discover the natural world in all its wonder and diversity at the newly redesigned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, where 100 remarkable photographs illustrate the precious beauty of our planet. Book your tickets now.

Volcanoes & Earthquakes

Red Zone

See the most intact Stegosaurus fossil skeleton ever found then take a journey through our Earth sculpture to head up to Volcanoes & Earthquakes. Through dramatic film footage, exhibits, interactive games, explore the natural forces that shape our ever-changing planet. Don't miss the chance to feel the ground shatter beneath your feet in the earthquake simulator!

Hintze Hall

Green Zone

No visit is complete to the Museum without a trip to the magnificent Hintze Hall. Walk beneath the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Wander among stunning displays that reflect the story of evolution, diversity in the world today and our role in creating a sustainable future.

V&A

This Christmas, discover the power of creativity at the V&A. Explore over seven miles of galleries and 5000 years of history, delving into art, design and performance. With free displays, tours and our exciting new Christmas tree, there's something for all the family to enjoy this festive season.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

General Visiting

The V&A is free and open every day 10.00-17.45 and until 22.00 every Friday, apart from 24, 25 and 26 December. For more information, please visit our website.

Re:Imagining Musicals

Theatre and Performance Galleries 103-104

Step into the glittering world of musical theatre in our free display Re:Imagining Musicals. Featuring iconic costumes and props from favourites such as Wicked, Frozen, The Lion King and My Fair Lady, it’s time to put on a show!

Tours of the V&A

Dome, Cromwell Road Entrance

We have a great variety of free daily tours to fuel your curiosity. From collection highlights such as fashion, architecture and theatre to female voices, LGBTQIA+ highlights and African heritage. Our full list of tours can be found here.

Print and Prejudice: Women Printmakers 1700-1930

Paintings Galleries rooms 88a and 90

Our new free display, Print and Prejudice, delves into women's contribution to printmaking, which although historically overlooked, highlights remarkable examples of intimate portraits and colourful botanical prints. Open until 1 May 2023.

Christmas crafts and activities

Get creative this Christmas and create your very own Beatrix Potter Christmas card, inspired by our current exhibition, Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature. Also, take a look at our website for some crafty ideas to get into the Christmas spirit and for the whole family to enjoy!  

Family backpack trails

Borrow one of our family backpacks to explore the V&A through creative and fun multi-sensory activities. Discover curious ceramic objects, architectural inventions and incredible interiors. Our award-winning Backpacks are recommended for 5-12 years. Head to our Learning Centre during your visit and chat to a member of the team to find out more.

Science Museum

The Science Museum tells the stories of extraordinary human achievement & technological advances as well as inspiring future generations. From iconic objects and galleries to the interactive Wonderlab experience and the immersive IMAX cinema, the Science Museum is a fun day out for the whole family.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

General Visiting

The Science Museum is open every day (except 24, 25 and 26 December) and you can visit us from 10.00–18.00 (last entry 17.15). Visitors are asked to pre-book a free ticket in advance. Book your free general admission.

Free Family Trails

Set off on a curated journey through the museum by following one of our many fun and free family trails. From a trail of the biggest items in the museum to a tour of some of the more unexpected objects you might find, there’s something for everyone!

Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination

Level 1

Embark on a once in a lifetime adventure through the cosmos, guided by an artificial intelligence of alien origin to explore visions of the future through the science of today. Book your tickets now and uncover hidden gems including authentic objects from celebrated movies, TV, and books, as well as paintings, artworks, and photography.

Injecting Hope: The Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Wellcome Wing, Level 0

This new free exhibition explores the worldwide effort to develop vaccines at pandemic speed. Visit Injecting Hope to see an incredible variety of artworks, interactives, and personal objects that reveal the inspiring stories of scientists and innovators collaborating around the globe to find solutions and save lives.

IMAX: The Ronson Theatre

Wellcome WIng, Level 0

Avatar: The Way of Water is showing at the Science Museum’s IMAX cinema in 3D from 16 December. Book your ticket now to take part in one of the most eagerly anticipated cinema experiences of the last decade and watch this epic sequel on one the biggest screens in the UK.

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Level 3

Book your ticket this winter for an unmissable interactive experience at Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery. See lightning strike before your eyes, play with forces on giant slides or travel through space under a canopy of stars whilst seeing the world around you in new and exciting ways.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Throughout its 150-year history, it has welcomed world-renowned figures: artists, athletes and activists. No other place on earth has played host to Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Muhammad Ali; Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles and Adele.  

Kensington Gore, , London SW7 2AP

General Visiting

The Hall is open at 9am on show dates. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information. Our café, restaurant and gift shop are located at Door 12. This is also where tours start.

Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

This year’s programme is full of heart-warming live events to be enjoyed with your loved ones. There’s something for everyone, from our Christmas carols to traditional concerts, jazz, drag, soul, classic ballet and so much more. To see what's on and to book your tickets, visit the website.

Royal Albert Hall Tours

Door 12

See the breath-taking auditorium and the stage that’s hosted some of the world’s biggest change-makers, history-shapers & stars. You’ll discover how the building was founded 150 years ago, the royal love story that made it happen, and how we solved one of the UK’s most enduring engineering challenges – the Royal Albert Hall echo. You might even be lucky enough to hear an artist in soundcheck!

Afternoon Tea

We’ve been observing the tradition of Afternoon Tea for over 100 years, even serving royalty with a visit from Queen Elizabeth II for the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Institute. Today, we are proud to continue this ritual with a Royal Albert Hall flair. Our menu features classic finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a whimsical mix of musically-inspired cakes as a nod to the legendary performances that take place on our stage.

Verdi Italian Restuarant

Grand Tier (Level 1)

Verdi Italian Kitchen is a relaxed restaurant offering satisfying Italian favourites in a family-friendly setting.

Discover South Kensington

Discover South Kensington brings you news, events and competitions from the extraordinary museums, arts and science organisations around South Kensington. To find out what's on, sign up to our weekly newsletter..

Discover South Kensington, ,

Christmas Shopping in South Kensington

The online and on-site shops across South Kensington's museums, galleries and cultural venues are full of imaginative ideas for gifts to surprise and delight all ages. For a truly sustainable gift, creating a year of memories - give an annual membership to one of our cultural venues.   Every purchase supports the work of these amazing charities helping them make the year ahead merry and bright.

A Festive Guide to what's on in South Kensington

Bring your family and friends to London’s arts and science district for a magical Christmas experience.  There are carols, The Nutcracker ballet and much more at the Royal Albert Hall, an unforgettable adventure at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, fantastic exhibitions, special film screenings, musical performances and workshops.  

Museums in a Day

Natural History Museum

The Museum is home to the nation's finest collection of natural history specimens including 80 million specimens spanning 4.5 billion years, from the formation of the solar system to the present day.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

The Cadogan Gallery

Green Zone

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

Green Zone

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

Blue Zone

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

Green Zone

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

Red Zone

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.

V&A

The V&A is the world's leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects that span 5,000 years of human creativity.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

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.

V&A cafe

Ground Floor

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.

Ceramic Staircase

Level 0

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.

Ceramics Galleries

Level 6

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

Level 3

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

Level 3

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

Level 1

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

Level 1

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

Level 1

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

Level 0

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.

Science Museum

The Science Museum is world renowned for its remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions with around 15,000 objects on display including the original Apollo 10 command module and Stephenson's Rocket. 

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Exploring Space

Level 0

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

Ground Floor

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.

Information Age

Level 2

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

Level 2

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

Level 3

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

Level 3

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.

Design Museum Kensington

The Design Museum's move to Kensington creates the world's leading museum devoted to architecture and design, encompassing all elements of design including fashion, product and graphic design.

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

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.

Kids: Sunshine in South Kensington

Design Museum Kensington

Situated right next to Holland Park on Kensington High Street, the Design Museum is the perfect place to begin your day.

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

Cafe

Start your day with brunch in one of the museum's cafes, open from 10am - choose from the Parabola Restaurant or the more casual Coffee & Juice Counter.

Designer Maker User

The museum's permanent exhibit, Designer Maker User, is fully of familiar objects kids will love exploring. Find out more about how things are made and experiment with designing things for yourself! The permanent exhibition is free.

Create and Make

On the last Sunday of every month, the Design Museum holds a drop-in activity for families inspired by the museum and the exhibitions. Free, drop-in, these informal sessions focus on light-touch design and making activities for children aged 5–11.

Kensington Palace

Explore beautiful Kensington Palace with lots of fun family activities or relax outside in the palace grounds.

Kensington Gardens, , London W8 4PX

Kensington Gardens

With wonderful scenery and an amazing playground, Kensington Gardens is the perfect place to stop for a picnic in the sunshine.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 2UH

Italian Gardens

Believed to have been a gift from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria, these gardens are full of statues, ponds and park benches. You can also find the Italian Gardens Cafe close by for a quick snack or leisurely lunch.

Peter Pan Statue

The Peter Pan statue stands down by the Long Water, providing a great place for a picnic with a bit of duck watching at the same time. It's also part of the Talking Statues project so you can arrange a special call-back from Peter Pan.

Diana Memorial Playground

Find a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants in this beautiful playground. And there's plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too!

Broadwalk Cafe

Next to the Diana Memorial Playground, the Broadwalk Cafe offers a wide variety of hot food, as well as coffees, cakes and ice cream.

Serpentine

Take a look at some of the amazing art on show at the Serpentine Galleries, or visit the Serpentine Pavilion, designed new every summer.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 3XA

Serpentine Galleries

With regularly changing exhibitions and free entry, the Serpentine Galleries are a great place to stop in whilst enjoying your walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

Serpentine Pavilion

Open during the summer months, the Serpentine Pavilion is designed by a different artist each year, and makes for a lovely stop on your route.

Hyde Park

Wander through Hyde Park taking in the sights, head out onto the Serpentine by boat or enjoy family activities in nature.

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

Lido Cafe

With stunning views along The Serpentine and a large alfresco dining area, The Lido Café and Bar provides the ideal setting to drink and dine whilst watching the world go by.

Boating

Rent out one of Hyde Park's fleet of pedal and rowing boats, and enjoy the sun from the middle of the Serpentine - open from April to October.

Diana Memorial Fountain

Have a sit down and splash your feet in this beautiful memorial water feature, a great place to stop for a picnic before carrying on around Hyde Park.

Discovery Days

Taking place on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school holidays, there's lots of activities suitable for the whole family including nature trails and arts and crafts at the LookOut in Hyde Park on these Discovery Days.

Walking Tours

Covering around 1.5 miles, these guided walks are a perfect way to spend time with your family and see the Royal Parks from a new perspective. 

V&A

There's so much going on inside the museum, but this is also a lovely place to stop for a lunch in one of the cafes or picnic in the garden.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Courtyard Cafe

As you head down Exhibition Road, enjoy lunch in the Victoria and Albert's beautiful Courtyard Cafe or go through to the Garden Cafe for snacks, drinks and ice creams. 

Family Activities

There's plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy at the V&A - take a look at their Families site to find out what's on during your visit.

Backpacks

Head to the Sackler Centre (or the Grand Entrance during holidays) to pick up an activity backpack that will guide 5-12 year olds around the museum, or grab an Agent Animal bag for under 5s.

John Madejski Garden

Have a splash in the John Madejski Garden water feature when the weather is hot. You'll find the outdoor café and picnic areas where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine while the kids enjoy the open space.

Natural History Museum

End your day by getting back to nature in the Wildlife Garden or enjoy the wonderful butterfly exhibition at the museum.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Wildlife Garden

Open from April to November, the Wildlife Garden is home to thousands of British fauna and flora - a beautiful place to spend a sunny afternoon in nature.

Hidden Treasures

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is famous for its beautiful Victorian building, and is home to the nation’s finest collection of natural history specimens.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

The Vault

Down in the Vault, there's all sorts of (literal) hidden gems including one of the biggest emeralds ever found, a Martian meteorite and an infamous cursed amethyst.

Cadogan Gallery

There are treasures of all sorts in the Cadogan Gallery, with its collection of 22 objects spanning 4.5 billion years with extraordinary glass animals, a rare first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, a carved nautilus shell, and Guy the Gorilla

Spirit Collection Tour

If you take the Spirit Collection Tour you can go behind the scenes for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit. Explore some of the 27 kilometres of shelves and encounter Archie, the 8.62-metre-long giant squid.

V&A

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Ceramic Staircase

Level 0, near the Cafe

On your way off the Exhibition Road entrance, off the Blavatnik Hall is the stunning Ceramic Staircase which was designed by Frank Moody, a master in the Schools of Design, together with his students. 

Glass

Rooms 83,84, 129 & 131

Up on the third and fourth floors you can find one of the largest and most comprehensive glass collections in the world, tracing the history of glassmaking over the last 3,500 years.

Jewellery

Rooms 91-93

The dazzling jewellery section includes over 3,000 jewels set in historical tiaras, Elizabethan pendants, ancient treasures, and contemporary designs.

Science Museum

The Science Museum is world-renowned for its historic collection, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions, with around 15,000 objects on public display.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Secret Life of the Home

The Secret Life of the Home is full of amazing and unexpected facts about household objects. Most of the objects on show date from the late 19th and the 20th century. But you’ll also find ancient Roman keys, 18th century cooking utensils and a 21st century robotic vacuum cleaner

IMAX: The Ronson Theatre

Wellcome WIng

Escape the hustle and bustle of the museum and settle in for an unforgettable experience in the IMAX: The Ronson Theatre. The IMAX theatre hosts blockbusters, stunning 3D documentary films and cinema classics as well as live events. 

Clockmakers' Museum

Here you can see the collection of more than 1000 watches, 80 clocks and several fine sundials tracing the story of the capital’s clock makers and the evolution of the wristwatch.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a science-based university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Hidden away you can find some amazing art collections.

South Kensington Campus, , London SW7 2AZ

Blyth Gallery

Take a wander around the university and then visit this gallery, tucked away on the 5th floor of the Sherfield building, containing exhibitions by Imperial staff and students, as well as visiting artists.

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

The Royal Geographical Society is a little-known treasure at the top of Exhibition Road. Itbis the UK's learned society and professional body for geography,

1 Kensington Gore, , London SW7 2AR

Exhibitions

The Pavilion

The Society's Pavilion hosts a variety of free-to-visit exhibitions from photography, to inspiring stories of some of the great explorers both past and present.

Royal College of Music

With stunning new performance facilities, a free-to-visit museum, along with the historical Blomfield building, there is much to explore at the Royal College of Music. The café also provides the perfect spot for a bite to eat with a beautiful courtyard.

Prince Consort Road, , London SW7 2BS

Britten Theatre

The Britten Theatre is the stage upon which some of the best young singers in the world prepare for stellar operatic careers, and it’s where you can listen to them for a fraction of the cost of a ticket to the Royal Opera House. There are usually 2 or 3 productions a year.

RCM Museum

The Royal College of Music Museum contains the earliest known guitar, the earliest stringed keyboard instrument and the most recognised portraits of Joseph Haydn and Farinelli. Learn about these and 56 other fascinating instruments specially chosen from the RCM’s designated collection of over 14,000 items.

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens covers 265 acres. The Gardens with their magnificent trees are the setting for Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria who lived there until she became queen in 1837.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 2UH

Italian Gardens

At the northern end of the Serpentine are the Italian Gardens, installed under the instruction of Prince Albert and restored to their original splendour in 2011.

Serpentine Galleries

With one gallery on either side of the Serpentine, there's always a variety of exciting contemporary art for you to visit and explore.

Serpentine Pavilion

Open annually from June to October, the Serpentine Pavilion commission has become an international site for architectural experimentation and presents projects by some of the world’s greatest architects. The Pavilion hosts various free events which respond to the structure.

Hyde Park

Just across the road from Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park covers an area of 350 acres offering plenty of quiet places to relax and unwind and a number of impressive memorials, fountains and statues.

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

Serenity

South Side of Serpentine

Serenity is a striking bronze sculpture located on the south side of the Serpentine, inspired by the Egyptian goddess of nature. It was designed by British sculptor Simon Gudgeon and was installed in the park in 2009.

Diana Memorial Fountain

South Side of the Serpentine

This unique memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 6th July 2004. A Londoner's secret during the summer, this beautiful water installation is a great place to have a paddle on a hot day!

Peter Pan Statue

Edinburgh Gate

The Pan Statue, also known as Rush of Green, is a bronze statue depicting a family and their dog rushing eagerly towards the park, urged on by Pan who is playing pipes.

A Royal Day Out in South Kensington

Kensington Palace

As one of central London’s royal residences, Kensington Palace has been a home to the royal family since the 17th century. It is one of London’s most exquisite palaces and comes with acres of manicured gardens.

Kensington Gardens, , London W8 4PX

Kensington Palace

While you’re there, take a tour of Kensington Palace - Queen Victoria was born here and lived here until 1837. Experience life as an 18th-century royal courtier whilst making your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings from the Royal Collection. There are a range of exhibitions to explore including the Queen’s rooms and the elaborate King’s staircase

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens are home to Kensington Palace, the peaceful Italian Gardens, Peter Pan statue, the stunning Albert Memorial and the Serpentine Gallery. Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace and lived there until she became queen in 1837

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 2UH

The Italian Gardens

Created in the 1860s, you can find this ornamental water garden on the north side of park, near Lancaster Gate. The gardens are believed to have been a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria. They are now recognised as being a site of particular importance and are Grade II listed by Historic England.The layout of the Italian Gardens can be traced to Osborne House on The Isle of Wightwhere the royal family spent its holidays. Look out for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's initials on one of the walls of the Pump House, at the north of the gardens. 

The Albert Memorial

Head back to Kensington Gardens and admire the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens - it is one of London's most ornate monuments. It commemorates the death of Prince Albert in 1861 of typhoid. The memorial shows Prince Albert holding the catalogue of the Great Exhibition, held in Hyde Park in 1851, which he inspired and helped to organise. Marble figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America stand at each corner of the memorial, and higher up are further figures representing manufacture, commerce, agriculture and engineering. 

Hyde Park

London's Hyde Park covers 142 hectares (350 acres) with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens. The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 when he took the land from Westminster Abbey to use as a hunting ground.

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

The Diana Memorial Fountain

Take a leisurely stroll through Kensington Gardens towards the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. Take a walk around the fountain, which was built in 2004 as a memorial to Princess Diana. The fountain contains 545 pieces of Cornish granite - each shaped by the latest computer-controlled machinery and pieced together using traditional skills.

The design aims to reflect Diana's life, water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom.

The Great Exhibition 1851

On your route through the Park, you will pass the site of The Great Exhibition in 1851 which was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. It was organised by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, and held in a purpose-built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park with over 6 million visitors. Many of the objects in the Exhibition were used as the first collection for the South Kensington Museum which opened in 1857 and later became the Victoria and Albert Museum. The extraordinary legacy enabled a unique cultural estate to be created which became known as Albertopolis.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most famous stages. Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, the hall hosts more than 390 events a year, including classical music, jazz, circus, rock, pop, opera, dance, comedy & tennis.

Kensington Gore, , London SW7 2AP

Take a tour around the Royal Albert Hall

Directly across from the memorial is the equally impressive Royal Albert Hall. Grab some lunch in the RAH Café Bar before taking a guided tour of the hall. Tours can be pre-booked from the Royal Albert Hall website. The Hall was originally supposed to have been called the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, but the name was changed to the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences by Queen Victoria upon laying the Hall's foundation stone in 1867, in memory of her husband, Prince Albert who had died six years earlier.

V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's greatest museum of art and design, representing more than 3,000 years of human creativity, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Royal History at the V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum was founded to educate designers, manufacturers and the public in art and design. Its origins lie in the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Museum was founded in 1852 with the profits of the Great Exhibition and moved to its current home in Exhibition Road in 1857. Formerly known as the South Kensington Museum, it was renamed after Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1899.

Browsing the royal jewels

Jewellery Gallery, Level 3

The V&A has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of jewellery in the world. Over 3,000 jewels tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day. Royal highlights include jewelled pendants given by Elizabeth I to her courtiers, diamonds worn by Catherine the Great of Russia and a gold pendant representing the restoration of health of George III.

V&A: Europe 1600-1815

Level 0

Downstairs in the Europe 1600 – 1815 galleries 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. Discover objects made in Europe for some of the period’s most discerning leaders of taste - King Louis XIV, Queen Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great.

British Portrait Minatures

3rd floor

The V&A holds the national collection of British portrait miniatures, a unique watercolour art form which developed during the reign of Henry VIII and had its heyday in the reign of Queen Victoria before the rise in popularity of photography. The collection contains over 2000 portrait miniatures including James I and Charles I.

Take a break in the V&A cafe

Designed by James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter, the opulently decorated rooms reflect the eclectic tastes of the Victorian era which were opened in 1868. Treat yourself to one of the delicious cakes, scones and a selection of specialty teas. Or if the weather is fine, enjoy the Garden cafe in the courtyard or the new Courtyard Cafe at the Exhibition entrance.

South Kensington for the art lover

Design Museum Kensington

The Design Museum hosts a vast and varying range of exhibitions in contemporary design, including fashion, graphics, architecture and much more

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

Designer Maker User

Start your day with an introduction to the Design Museum’s collection, looking at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles - Designer, Maker, and User.

Japan House London

Step into Japan from Kensington High Street. Explore free events and exhibitions, and range of crafts, homeware and accessories for an authentic encounter with contemporary Japan. From craftsmanship and design to innovation and technology, discover something new at Japan House London.

101-110 High Street Kensington, London, W8 5SA

Exhibitions & Events

With a wide-ranging programme, Japan House celebrates Japan’s innovative, creative and technological merits, while shining a spotlight on the artisans, craftsmen, designers, performers, musicians and other professionals who are making waves both in Japan and around the world – from internationally renowned individuals, to emerging artists who are excelling in their field.

Japan House Shop

The Shop at Japan House London blurs the lines between retail space and gallery, offering guests the opportunity to learn about artists, designers, manufacturers and regions of Japan through a thoughtfully curated product collection. Many items are available exclusively at Japan House London in the UK. 

Serpentine

The Serpentine galleries are within Hyde Park and feature free seasonal exhibitions plus additional events in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion during the summer months.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 3XA

Serpentine South Gallery

The Serpentine situated in Kensington Gardens was established in 1970 and showcases emerging and established contemporary art and architecture. You can also check out the Koenig bookshop, with a wide international stock of titles on modern and contemporary art, photography and architecture.

Serpetine North Gallery

Cross the river from the Serpentine Gallery to see a changing selection of work from a wide variety of artists - and don't miss out on a browse through the Serpentine shop!

Imperial College London

Make your next stop is the Blyth Gallery nestled within Imperial College London. This small artist-run space hosts student art and exhibitions from visiting staff. 

South Kensington Campus, , London SW7 2AZ

Blyth Gallery

The Blyth Gallery, curated by Mindy Lee, is an artist-run space for creative exploration of ambitious visual projects, hosting a range of exhibitions throughout the year including Imperial College student and staff shows, exhibitions of postgraduate Fine Art student work and work by visiting professional artists. 

V&A

From architecture to fine art and covering centuries of creativity, the V&A museum has something for everyone’s taste. Grab a map or enjoy getting lost in the halls of artistic and historic treasures.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Europe 1600-1815

Have a browse through over 1100 objects from the V&A’s collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design, displayed in a suite of seven galleries. The collection comprises some of the most magnificent works held by the V&A and can be found in Rooms 1-7.

Paintings

The V&A Paintings collection includes British and European oil and watercolour paintings as well as over 2,000 miniatures, for which the Museum holds the national collection. Find them in Rooms 81-82 and 87-88a up on the 3rd floor.

Sculpture

With masterpieces by Michelangelo, Bernini and Rodin, the National collection includes sculpture from the 4th century to the present, in a vast range of materials, from bronze, marble, terracotta and wood, to alabaster, amber, wax, lapis and shell. Rooms 21-24, 26, 27, 111 and 117.

Cafés

Take a break in one of the V&A's cafés whilst you plan your route through the museum. With three to choose from, including the new Courtyard café, there's plenty of options - and you could even book a Victorian Afternoon Tea if you're visiting on a Sunday!

V&A Glass Collection

Rooms 83, 84, 129 & 131

The V&A's Glass collection is one of the largest and the most comprehensive in the world, showcasing the development of design and technology in glass-making over 3,500 years.

Gilbert Collection

Rooms 70-73

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection celebrates some of the most beautiful objects ever made, many in precious materials, and often on a small scale. It is famous for European and British masterpieces including gold and silver, gold boxes, painted enamels and mosaics.

The Raphael Cartoons

The Raphael Court

The Raphael Cartoons are a set of seven full-scale designs for tapestry painted by Raphael (1483 – 1520), and are considered one of the greatest treasures of the Renaissance. They were commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X for the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel and depict the lives of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The Cartoons have been on loan to the V&A from Her Majesty The Queen since 1865

The Cast Collection

Room 46a - 46b

Opened in 1873, the Cast Courts display copies of some of the world's most significant works of art reproduced in plaster, electrotype, photography, and digital media. The cast collection is famous for including reproductions of Michelangelo's David, Trajan's Column, and Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, amongst many others.

Science Museum

Take a look at the changing exhibits in the Media Space often featuring photography exhibtions, drop into the café or look for artistic inspiration amongst the other galleries.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Media Space

The Science Museum's Media Space is a photography and art gallery located on the second floor of the museum. The space regularly features artistic projects and events which merge science, the arts and other creative pursuits. 

Cafés and restauarants

Time for a snack stop? The Science Museum is home to three cafés for light refreshments, the Deep Blue Diner for something a little more substantial. For something sweeter, don't forget to design your own ice cream milkshake at the Shake Bar.

Natural History Museum

Beyond it's impressive collections of flora and fauna specimens, the Natural History Museum is also home to some stunning works of art.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Images of Nature

See how artists and scientists view the natural world in more than 100 images from the Museum's collection in the Images of Nature gallery including historic prints, watercolours and paintings spanning 350 years alongside modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanners.

Treasures

Explore 22 objects spanning 4.5 billion years of the Earth's history. Each exhibit tells a remarkable story and has been chosen for its scientific, historical and cultural importance - enjoy the man-made artworks and be inspired by the natural world.

Café

Finish your day with an afternoon tea in one of the Natural History Museum cafés with selections of sandwiches, pastries and hot drinks, or enjoy a late lunch at the T. Rex Grill.

The Royal Society of Sculptors

The Society has a membership of around 650 professional sculptors and promotes excellence in the art and practice of sculpture. The Society was founded in 1905 and is now based in the beautiful Dora House. Closed until late 2022.

108 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3RA

Exhibitions and Events

The Society have a programme of exhibitions and events which are designed for visitors and participants to experience a diverse range of contemporary work through original exhibitions, artists' talks and creative workshops. Pop in and explore their current exhibition - entry is free. Top tip - on the third Thursday of every month there is a chance to learn a new creative skill.

Cromwell Place

Cromwell Place is an international arts space where galleries, collectors, dealers, curators and arts professionals can collaborate and flourish. Exhibitions change frequently and are free to visit.

Cromwell Place, None, None None

Walking the Parks

Hyde Park

London's Hyde Park covers 142 hectares (350 acres) with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens. The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 when he took the land from Westminster Abbey to use as a hunting ground.

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain

This unique memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 6th July 2004. The fountain was built with the best materials, talent and technology. The design aims to reflect Diana's life, water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. The Memorial also symbolises Diana's quality and openness. 

Boating on the Serpentine Lake

Serpentine Bar & Kitchen

Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats that operate on the famous Serpentinethe. The pedal and row boats hold up to 4 persons each and can be hired from April to October.

Serpentine Bar & Kitchen

A spot for lunch

Patrick Gwynne's iconic building on the eastern edge of the Serpentine in Hyde Park houses the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. Inspired by English country living the restaurant aims to be a retreat for both Londoners and visitors alike. It serves a wide variety of tasty hot meals and snacks, freshly prepared sandwiches and salads, a daily selection of cakes from the bakery and hot and cold drinks from the bar.

LookOut Discovery Centre

Great for activities

The LookOut is a unique, eco-friendly building nestled in an acre of enclosed grounds in the heart of the park. It enables people of all ages, abilities and communities to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Learn about the natural world or take part in family and wellbeing activities

The Reformers' Tree

The Reformers' Tree was an oak tree which became the focus of protests in 1866 by the Reform League, a group campaigning to give all adult men the right to vote. During one protest the Reformers' Tree was set alight and the charred stump of the tree became a notice board, a rallying point for meetings and a symbol of the right of the people to assemble. Today a circular black and white floor mosaic sits in its place to commemorate The Reformers' Tree. The mosaic was unveiled in 2000 by politician Tony Benn.

Italian Gardens

Near Lancaster Gate

Created in the 1860s, you can find this ornamental water garden on the north side of park, near Lancaster Gate. The gardens are believed to have been a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria. The layout of the Italian Gardens can be traced to Osborne House on The Isle of Wightwhere the royal family spent its holidays. Look out for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's initials on one of the walls of the Pump House, at the north of the gardens.

Peter Pan statue

West of Long Water

You can find the Peter Pan statue to the west of the Long Water, in the same spot as Peter lands his bird-nest boat in the story, ‘The Little White Bird. ’Peter Pan creator and local resident JM Barrie was inspired by Kensington Gardens. He commissioned Sir George Frampton to build the statue which has been a favourite feature of the gardens since 1912. Bring statue magically to life with your phone, as part of Talking Statues - swipe your phone on the nearby plaque and get a personal call-back from Peter Pan.

Diana Memorial Playground

North of Kensington Palace

A huge wooden pirate ship is the amazing centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground. This children's wonderland opened on the 30th June 2000, in memory of the late Princess. Located next to her Kensington Palace home, the playground is a fitting tribute for a Princess who loved the innocence of childhood. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures.

Serpentine

Championing the possibilities of new ideas in contemporary art since opening in 1970, the Serpentine Galleries has presented pioneering exhibitions for almost half a century, showing a wide range of work from emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists of our time.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 3XA

Exhibitions

The Serpentine Galleries are spread across two sites -- the Serpentine South and the Serpentine North just on the other side of Serpentine Bridge. They have a huge range of temporary exhibitions on at any one time and it is FREE for visitors. Check out their current programme here.

Serpentine Pavillion

Changing every year, the Serpentine Pavilion is a pioneering commission, which began in 2000 with Zaha Hadid as its chosen architect. It has presented the first UK structures by some of the biggest names in international architecture. The Pavilion is a platform for Serpentine’s programme throughout the summer (Open June til October each year).

Kensington Palace

Explore the birthplace and intimate childhood home of Queen Victoria and home to young royals for over 300 years. Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the King’s State Apartments, the beautiful Queen's Apartments and the famous Sunken Garden.

Kensington Gardens, , London W8 4PX

Kensington Palace Sunken Gardens

The beautiful Sunken Garden was planted in 1908, transforming part of the gardens previously occupied by potting sheds into a tranquil ornamental garden of classical proportions. It was modelled on a similar garden at Hampton Court Palace and celebrated a style of gardening seen in the 18th century. Today, the garden continues the tradition of rotational flower displays in the spring and summer. 

Queen Victoria statue

Outside Kensington Palace stands a statue of Queen Victoria sculpted by her daughter, Princess Louise, to celebrate 50 years of her mother's reign. It thus shows a young, eighteen-year-old Queen in her coronation robes. The exceptionally gifted Princess Louise was a most accomplished sculptor in her own right. From the memoirs of her nephew Ernst Ludwig we know she was reluctant to make the sculpture but was persuaded by the famous painter Alma Tadema. 

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens covers 265 acres and was originally part of Hyde Park. The Gardens with their magnificent trees are the setting for Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria who lived there until she became queen in 1837.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 2UH

Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial is one of London's most ornate monuments unveiled in 1872 to commemorate the death of Prince Albert in 1861 of typhoid, age 42. The memorial shows Prince Albert holding the catalogue of the Great Exhibition which he inspired and helped to organise. The memorial took over 10 years to complete. Around the base the Parnassus frieze depicts celebrated painters, poets sculptors, musicians and architects, reflecting Albert's enthusiasm for the arts. 

Coalbrookdale Gates

West Carriage Drive

We finish the tour where we started. These large iron gates which mark the boundary between Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Look carefully at the bottom of the main pillars and notice a set of small plaques. They explain that the gates were made by the Coalbrookdale Company for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Exhibition, masterminded by Prince Albert, was the first international fair for science and industry. They were moved to their current location in 1871. 

The Arch by Henry Moore

The Arch is a six-metre high Roman travertine sculpture positioned on the north bank of the Long Water. It was presented by the artist Henry Moore to the nation for sitting in Kensington Gardens in 1980 - two years after his eightieth-birthday exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London. The Arch is made from seven travertine stones weighing a total of 37 tonnes. The stones were sourced from a quarry in northern Italy.

Science and Technology in South Kensington

Natural History Museum

Since 1881, London's Natural History Museum has been sharing the wonders of nature with visitors, and this is the perfect place to begin your South Kensington science experience. 

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Dinosaurs

Start your day with a visit to the Natural History Museum's world-famous dinosaurs. Meet the first T. rex fossil ever found, see the skull of a Triceratops and wander among fossils in the Dinosaurs gallery.

Mammals

Look up and see the NHM's blue whale model, seemingly swimming with the other cetacean skeletons and replicas suspended from the ceiling. On the ground examine extinct mammoths and giant elk and their living relatives, as well as giraffes, hippos and horses.

Birds

Discover an extinct dodo, the historical hummingbird cabinet, and a Victorian avian anatomy display in the Birds gallery. From endangered species to native British breeds and contemporary conservation efforts, explore the wonders of the NHM bird collection.

Earth's Treasury

Discover gemstones, rocks and glow-in-the-dark minerals in the Earth's Treasury gallery. A glittering display includes everything from gold nuggets to Stonehenge rock and kryptonite. Find out how diamonds are formed and cut, and examine royal links to precious stones.

Human Evolution

Meet your ancient relatives, trace the origins and evolution of our species, and explore what makes us human with exhibits including the Gibraltar 1 skull - the first adult Neanderthal skull ever found - and fascinating insights into the cultural practices of early modern humans in Britain.

Café

Take a quick break before you head to your next stop, with a visit to one of the Natural History Museum's Cafés for a snack or to the T. rex Grill for lunch.

Science Museum

Right next door to the NHM is the Science Museum, home to some of London's best displays celebrating science and its history.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Exploring Space

From rockets to satellites, probes to landers, this gallery showcases some out-of-this world objects. You’ll be able to see a full-sized replica of Eagle—the lander that took astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon in 1969, and even a piece of the moon itself. 

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, Crick and Watson’s DNA model and the first Apple computer.

Information Age

Enjoy a celebration of more than 200 years of innovation in information and communication technologies in the Information Age gallery. Re-live remarkable moments in history, told through the eyes of those who invented, operated or were affected by the new wave of technology, from the first BBC radio broadcast in 1922 to the dawn of digital TV.

Mathematics Gallery

This bold and thought-provoking gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, examines the fundamental role mathematicians, their tools and ideas have played in building the world we live in. The objects in Mathematics: The Winton Gallery reveal how mathematics connects to every aspect of our lives.

Secret Life of the Home

From pop-up toasters to horse-drawn vacuum cleaners, take a closer look at the development of household appliances. How do CD players, washing machines and toilets work? Interactive exhibits in the gallery will help you find out, and you can play the world’s first home video game 'Pong' too. 

Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

Level 1

Featuring three thousand objects and covers an area equivalent to 1,500 hospital beds, Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries is the magnificent home for the most significant medical collections in the world.

V&A

Throughout the halls of the V&A you can find examples of how art and science cross paths, from engineering and mathematics to the merging of design and technology.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

The Architecture Rooms

Room 127

Explore over 1 million drawings by major British architects from the 15th century to the present plus important foreign groups in rooms 127-128a. And don't forget other magnificent large-scale architectural objects around the museum, including the eighteenth-century Norfolk House Music Room, part of the colonnade from the fort at Agra and casts of antique and medieval building details.

Tipu's Tiger

The museum is home to nearly 60,000 objects from South and South-East Asia, showcasing technological developments across many industries and arts. In particular, take a look at the beautiful 'Tipu's Tiger', an 18th century semi-automaton. Rooms 41 and 47b.

Jellyfish Installation

The V&A's glass collection is one of the largest and the most comprehensive in the world, showcasing the development of design and technology in glass-making over 3,500 years. A particular highlight is Steffen Dam's Jellyfish Installation, featuring a series of glass jellyfish 'specimens'. Room 131.

Sketch Chair

The V&A has been collecting furniture and woodwork for over 150 years. This diverse collection is unrivalled for breadth and quality, spanning over six centuries of British and international furniture production, including the Sketch chair - a 3D-printed chair from Finland. Rooms 133-135.

Cafés

Take a break in one of the V&A's cafés to discuss your finds so far. With three to choose from, including the new Courtyard café, there's plenty of options - and you could even book a Victorian Afternoon Tea if you're visiting on a Sunday!

Imperial College London

Nestled deep within the cultural quarter is the Imperial College London South Kensington campus. Take a tour or catch a lecture from one of the many leading experts in their field. Imperial also hosts a wide range of adult learning courses. 

South Kensington Campus, , London SW7 2AZ

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

The Royal Geographical Society hosts public events plus a series of free exhibitions covering geography, exploration, research and art.

1 Kensington Gore, , London SW7 2AR

Exhibitions

The RGS Pavilion is home to a constantly changing programme of displays that include exhibitions created by external organisations, broadly linked to geographical themes and also by selected sponsors of the Society. The Pavilion is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 10am - 5pm unless stated otherwise.

Design Museum Kensington

The Design Museum celebrates designers and creators who have shaped contemporary society, with science often playing a big part. 

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

Designer Maker User

The museum's Designer Maker User permanent exhibition is a fascinating visit for those interested in science and technology, as you trace the origins of some of the most well-loved and well-used science and tech inventions of contemporary society. 

Exhibitions

With an ever-changing selection of exhibitions and displays, the Design Museum offers insights into a wide variety of technologies and their uses in design, art and the wider world. Take a look at their exhibitions page to see what's currently on offer.

Day out with the Kids

Institut français

Dedicated to helping children learn and discover new aspects of culture, the Institut offers year-round activities and resources for kids, families and schools, in addition to its annual festival dedicated to children’s literature, the South Ken Kids Festival.

17 Queensberry Place, , London SW7 2DT

Family Events at the Institut

Explore the year-round programme of events, workshops and films for kids and families. The Institut regularly show many of the popular newly released animated films.

Bibliothèque Quentin Blake

The library offers hundreds of books and materials for children up to 12-year-old, Bibliothèque Quentin Blake takes its name from its patron, famous illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, who donated a gorgeous mural decoration following its 2015 refurbishment! To borrow books you will need to become a member.

V&A

The V&A is one of South Kensington's iconic museums, with a huge variety of galleries as well as a changing calendar of exciting temporary exhibitions, pop-up events and exciting workshops.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Family activities

Families can enjoy free activities at the museum every day. During the school holidays, there are hands-on making events and performances to inspire the whole family. The ever-changing programme is designed for all ages and encourages play and learning through the V&A collection and temporary exhibitions.

Hands-on exhibits

Look for the hands-on exhibits symbol on the V&A map for lots to do, make, try on and find in many of the galleries.

Theatre and Performance

Rooms 103 - 106

The Theatre and Performance collections include over 3,500 stage costumes and accessories dating from the mid-18th century to today. From complete outfits to individual headdresses, they are a tribute to the creativity and skills of designers and costume makers working in every kind of performance: drama, opera, dance, musicals, pantomime, rock and pop, music hall, film, cabaret and circus.

Trails

Visit the Sackler Centre on the first level to pick up a trail guiding your kids around the museum. Or access the Secret Seekers website on your phone for a treasure hunt guided by characters from the V&A's history.

Backpacks

The V&A's award winning Backpacks are recommended for 5-12 years and are available to borrow from the Sackler Centre on level 1. For under 5s, go on an adventure to find animals, explore sounds and textures on level 1 with the Agent Animal bag.

Cafés

Start your day in one of the V&A's cafés whilst you plan your route through the museum. With three to choose from, including the new Courtyard café, there's plenty of options.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum has plenty of exhibits that kids can explore, including hands-on activities that look after themselves.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Dinosaurs

Blue Zone

The Museum's dinosaurs are world-famous. Meet the roaring T. rex, see the skull of a Triceratops and wander among fossils in the Dinosaurs gallery. 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.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Red Zone

Through dramatic film footage, exhibits, interactive games and our famous earthquake simulator, explore how the powers within shape the world in which we live in the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery. Examine fossils from a time when all Earth's continents were joined, and the animals that evolved after the continents separated. See lava bombs, volcanic glass hair, and crystals created under intense pressure beneath Earth's surface.

Wildlife Garden

Open from the 1st April to early November, the NHM Wildlife Garden is a tranquil haven for plants and animals in the heart of the city, and hosts regular free family events.The garden is home to thousands of British flora and fauna. More than 3,130 species have been identified in the garden since it opened in 1995.

Investigate

Drop in to the NHM's hands-on science centre Investigate, where children and adults can explore animal, plant and geological treasures from the museum's collection. Designed especially for families with children aged 5-14, Investigate has over 300 specimens to explore and spark your curiosity. You'll discover remarkable objects ranging from trays of fossils and beetles to larger bones, skins, minerals and much more. 

Spirit Collection tours

Darwin Centre

Go behind the scenes with the Museum's knowledgable science educators for a look at their fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit. Explore some of the Darwin Centre’s 27 kilometres of shelves and encounter treasures among the 22 million animal specimens housed here. Meet Archie, the 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin and learn more about cutting-edge research. Suitable for children over 8, ticketed.

Dinosaurs

One of the Natural History Museum's most popular exhibitions, you can take a look at the first T. rex fossil ever found, an Iguanadon or real dinosaur eggs.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.

Science Museum

The Science Museum has activities for every occasion, or if you're looking for something a little laid back, the museum has you covered too.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

The Garden

Level -1

Down in the basement of the museum, you'll find an exciting interactive space, created especially for children aged 3–6 and their parents and carers. It's an ideal place to discover science through play, exploring construction, water, light and sound.

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Level 3

Open daily on level 3, the Wonderlab has over 50 mind-blowing exhibits, shows and demonstrations to enjoy with loads of opportunity to get hands on with scientific phenomena. The gallery reveals the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives Tickets required.

Pattern Pod

Level 0

An amazing multi-sensory area for children under 8 years old, the Pattern Pod is full of interactive exhibits encouraging them to recognise and copy patterns—or create entirely new ones of their own.

IMAX: The Ronson Theatre

Wellcome Wing, Level 0

If you want to give your feet a break, sit down and enjoy a film in the Science Museum's IMAX: The Ronson Theatre - one of the largest screens in the UK. 

Hyde Park

Enjoy a picnic in the sunshine in Hyde Park, take a trip across the boating lake, or have a look at the park's range of children's outdoor activities.

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

Diana Memorial Playground

Inspired by the story of Peter Pan, kids can enjoy a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There's plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too.

Boating

Enjoy Hyde Park from a different angle, with a trip out on the Serpentine. Hire a rowing or pedal boat for up to 4 people between April and October.

Diana Memorial Fountain

On warmer days, take a picnic and sit by this unique memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales while the family enjoy dipping their toes in the cool water.

Outdoor activities

Head to The LookOut in Hyde Park for a range of children's activities with Discovery Days every Wed and Thurs during school holidays, occasional Nature Explorer holiday sessions and walking tours to enjoy as a family.

Serpentine Bar and Kitchen

If you haven't brought your picnic (or if the weather's not quite what you wanted!) head to the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen for lunch. With a wide menu, including a good kids' selection, it's a great place to stop for a snack.

Design Museum Kensington

Finish your day at the Design Museum, situated on High Street Kensington and right next to Holland Park. It's full of fascinating exhibitions, with plenty of activities for kids.

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

Designer Maker User

Designer Maker User uses the museum’s collection to look at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles. Find out more about how things are made and experiment with designing things for yourself in this free permanent exhibition.

Kids: Rainy days in South Kensington

V&A

With a direct entrance from South Kensington station's pedestrian tunnel, the V&A is the perfect place to start a rainy day out. With 7 miles of galleries, there is plenty to explore and discover.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Back-Packs

Discover curious ceramic objects, architectural inventions and incredible interiors with these award winning Back-Packs for 5-12 years. For under 5s, go on an adventure with the Agent Animal bag.

Trails

You'll find a huge variety of exciting family trails to guide you around the museum, exploring different galleries, levels and themes.

Secret Seekers

Meet a cast of characters, collect gems and reveal the Museum's secrets in this interactive online game.

Fashion

Room 40

This display is full of beautiful clothes from throughout the ages - wander round to explore history in a wonderfully unique way. Spanning five centuries, the Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dresses in the world.

Jewellery

Rooms 91 -93

Dazzle your kids (and yourselves) with this extraordinary collection with over 3,000 jewels telling the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day.

Theatre & Performance

Rooms 103 -106

Find out about the fascinating past of theatre and performance, including displays on costumes, set design, puppetry, musical theatre and much more.

Food and Drink

Start your morning with snacks and drinks at one of the V&A's cafes - there's one in the courtyard as you enter or head through to find the world's first museum cafe.

Natural History Museum

Come to the Natural History Museum and explore 4.6 billion years of our planet. Walk amongst meteorites and dinosaurs, feel the ground shatter beneath your feet in an earthquake simulator, or say hellooo beneath the largest creature to have ever existed.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Red Zone

Enter the museum from Exhibition Road and you'll find the stunning entrance to the Red Zone in front of you. Discover earthquakes, fossils and volcanoes and, for a comprehensive tour, use this trail.

Mammals

Blue Zone

Head to the Blue Zone for this spectacular collection exploring the diversity of mammals including a blue whale model, extinct mammals alongside their living relatives, and insights into dolphins, narwhals and evolution.

The Vault

Green Zone

Some of nature's most unique and valuable treasures are on display in the Vault gallery. See the world's largest collection of coloured diamonds, discover gems that glow in the dark, and marvel at rare meteorites from out of this world.

Food and Drink

If you fancy stopping for a snack there's plenty of options - tea and cake at The Coffee House, a light lunch at the Central Cafe or The Kitchen or a full meal to warm you up in the T. rex Grill

Science Museum

The Science Museum tells the stories of extraordinary human achievement & technological advances, inspiring future generations. From iconic objects & galleries to the interactive Wonderlab experience & the immersive IMAX cinema, the Science Museum is a fun day out for the whole family.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Exploring Space

Level 0

From rockets to satellites, probes to landers, this gallery showcases some out-of-this world objects. You’ll be able to see a full-sized replica of Eagle—the lander that took astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin to the Moon in 1969. Then discover how we are able to live in space—to breathe, eat, drink and go to the toilet.

Pattern Pod

Level 0

Visit Pattern Pod on the ground floor of the Museum—it’s a fun and stimulating place where children can learn through play to develop their science skills. Children can explore water ripples without getting their feet wet, create symmetrical images on touch screens, follow robot trails and much more. 

Food and Drink

Stop to regain your energy at one of the Science Museum's family friendly cafes and restaurants. There's a diner, several cafes, and even the Shake Bar up on level 3, where you can design your own ice cream tub or get a delicious made-to-order milkshake.

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Level 3

Fuel your imagination and immerse yourself in a world of wonder at the most spectacular interactive gallery in the world. Revealing the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives, this unmissable experience will ignite your curiosity and fuel your imagination.

The Garden

Level -1

For children aged 3-6, this fun interactive gallery is a great way to discover science through play. Your kids can explore the main areas—construction, water, light and sound. While playing, they can find out about floating and sinking, shadows and reflections, and much more.

Space Descent VR

Media Space, Level 2

The European Space Agency's first British astronaut, Tim Peake, is your guide for an out-of-this-world virtual reality mission that puts you in the pilot's seat of a Soyuz capsule. Book online to make sure everybody gets a go!

Kensington Palace

As one of central London’s royal residences, Kensington Palace has been a home to the royal family since the 17th century. It is one of London’s most exquisite palaces and comes with acres of manicured gardens.

Kensington Gardens, , London W8 4PX

Family Trails

Pick up a family trail from the trail stand in White Court to explore the secrets of Kensington Palace with childen aged 5 to 11 years.

Food and Drink

Before you leave the Palace, take a quick stop at one of the cafes - the beautiful Orangery or the Palace Cafe at the front of the building.

Design Museum Kensington

The Design Museum's move to Kensington creates the world's leading museum devoted to architecture and design, encompassing all elements of design including fashion, product and graphic design.

Kensington High Street, , London W8 6NQ

Designer Maker User

Enjoy the museum's free permanent exhibition, Designer Maker User. An introduction to the museum’s collection, this looks at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles. Plus find Explorer Kits for ages 5-11 on the Work in Progress table.

Create and Make

Each month the Design Museum holds a Sunday drop-in activity for families inspired by the museum and its exhibitions. These informal sessions focus on light-touch design and making activities for children aged 5–11. Check their website for dates and details.

Institut français

The Institut's cinema is a great place to escape the weather with a wide range of films from watching the latest films with your baby to films catering for children aged 4 and for teenagers as well as screening for children with sensory difficulties.

17 Queensberry Place, , London SW7 2DT

Students in South Kensington

V&A

Start here to take your pick of amazing displays covering a huge number of subjects across history, with free entry.

Cromwell Road, South Ken, London SW7 2RL

Tours

If you fancy taking a more logical route through the miles of galleries than just wandering freely, there are a wide variety of free tours to introduce you to the museum's amazing exhibits, with a general intro tour or some more specialised topical ones.

Asia

The Asia section is huge (take your time with this one!) and incredibly beautiful, ranging across history and telling stories through extraordinary objects from East Asia, South and South-East Asia, and the Middle East. 

Fashion

Next door to the Asia section, Fashion traces clothing through time, explaining how what we wear has always been influenced by the world around us, from politics to colonialism. Spanning five centuries, this is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world. 

Lates

Join the V&A on the last Friday of every month for a drop-in late event from 6.30-10pm to enjoy an ever-changing, programme of live performances, fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food, and late-night exhibition openings.

Food and Drink

Start your day with coffee in the V&A's Courtyard Cafe, right at the Exhibition Road entrance and open from 8.30.

Natural History Museum

Pop over the road to indulge your interest in the natural world at this stunning museum.

Cromwell Road, , London SW7 5BD

Hintze Hall

You'll find the famous skeleton of 'Hope' the blue whale in this stunning entrance hall, Hinze Hall, and it's a great place to start exploring everything on offer in the amazing Natural History Museum.

Trails

If you don't know where to start with the musuem's huge range of collections, check out these suggested routes and take a wander through your favourite section.

Zones

To help you navigate, there's four zones - blue (animals from dinosaurs to humans), green (fossils and minerals), red (human evolution, volcanoes and earthquakes) and orange (the Darwin Centre and Wildlife Garden).

Fossils

Enjoy a traditional museum experience by taking a look at the Fossils collection - see some of the most complete fossils of these prehistoric sea animals, including ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, and learn about the work of pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning.

Behind-the-scenes Tour

Go behind the scenes with the Museum's knowledgable science educators for a look at the fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit. You’ll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here including Archie, the 8.62-metre-long giant squid.

Lates

Another late night option, these events are free entry on the last Friday of every month (with some paid activities) and allow you to enjoy exhibitions, talks, science demos, food and drinks by night

Science Museum

Next door, you'll find this collection of amazing science exhibitions and interactive displays.

Exhibition Road, South Ken, London SW7 2DD

Who Am I?

Who Am I? invites you to explore the science of who you are through intriguing objects, provocative artworks and hands-on exhibits. Discover what your voice sounds like as a member of the opposite sex, morph your face to see what you’ll look like as you age, or collect DNA to catch a criminal in our brand-new interactive exhibits.

Lates

Science Museum Lates are adults-only, after-hours theme nights that take place in the museum on the last Wednesday of every month. Each month tackles a different theme as well as regular events such as a silent disco, museum highlight tours, hidden gems - items from the museum's collection not normally on display and discounted rates on the simulators. Entry is free.

Atmosphere

Make sense of the climate in this brilliant exhibition - fascinating objects include a real Antarctic ice core, tree rings and scientists' instruments. Come to this gallery to get to grips with the latest climate news and investigate the important issue of climate change.

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

This stunning space, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, is fantastic to sit down and relax for a moment. Whilst it's less interactive, it contains some great pieces, including Florence Nightingale's little-known statistical work, and a wonderfully gruesome collection of glass eyes used in Victorian phrenology. 

Making the Modern World

Chart 250 years of science and technology and discover some of the most iconic items that have shaped our society. The Making the Modern World gallery presents some of the Museum’s most remarkable objects.

Shake Bar

Stop for a quick refreshment before you head back out with delicious made-to-order ice cream milkshakes or design your own ice cream tubs at the Shake Bar on Level 3.

Imperial College London

Nip in to this world-class university to check out the beautiful Queen's Tower and some unexpected art.

South Kensington Campus, , London SW7 2AZ

Queen's Tower

Take in some academic history by sitting in the shade of the beautiful Queen's Tower, all that now remains of the Imperial Institute, which was built to mark Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. 

Blyth Gallery

The Blyth Gallery is an artist-run space for creative exploration of ambitious visual projects, including Imperial College students and staff shows, exhibitions of postgraduate Fine Art student work and work by visiting professional artists.

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

As you head up the road, take a quick look in here to see what events and exhibitions are going on.

1 Kensington Gore, , London SW7 2AR

Exhibitions

This often-missed building contains an exhibition space home to displays that cover a vast range of subjects, often looking at the overlaps of history, science and art, and are brilliantly curated and well worth a visit. You can also book into a Monday afternoon Collections talk given by speakers whose work is closely connected to the Society’s Collections and inspired by travel, exploration, people and places. Open to non members, tickets £5.

Kensington Gardens

View the Albert Memorial and some amazing art with the backdrop of these stunning gardens.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 2UH

Albert Memorial

Looking across to the Royal Albert Hall, is the Albert Memorial . This is one of London's most ornate monuments and commemorates the death of Prince Albert in 1861 of typhoid. The memorial shows Prince Albert holding the catalogue of the Great Exhibition, held in Hyde Park in 1851, which he inspired and helped to organise. Marble figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America stand at each corner of the memorial, and higher up are further figures representing manufacture, commerce, agriculture and engineering. 

Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries sit on either side of the Serpentine, and contain a changing variety of fantastic modern art exhibitions and installations. Plus, in the summer, you'll find the Serpentine Pavilion, designed each year by a different architect.

Serpentine

The Serpentine's two exhibition spaces host seasonal exhibitions programme of eight shows per year, as well as the annual Serpentine Pavilion during the summer months. Entry is free Tue-Sun 10-6pm.

Kensington Gardens, , London W2 3XA

Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries situated in Kensington Gardens were established in 1970 and showcases emerging and established contemporary art and architecture. In the summer months the Serpentine Pavilion hosts a series of Park Nights, an annual programme of experimental and interdisciplinary evenings on selected Fridays. Entry to the Serpentine Pavilion and Galleries is free.

Hyde Park

Towards the end of your day with a wander around Hyde Park, enjoying the beautiful surroundings (and maybe a quick drink too!)

Hyde Park, , London W2 2UH

Boating

Hyde Park is lovely to walk through when it's warm, but if you're looking for some alternative activities, there's pedal boats to enjoy the park from a different viewpoint.

Lido Café and Bar

Finish up your evening with a drink whilst looking out over the Serpentine - particularly lovely during the summer months, when the Café and Bar is open until 9pm.

Institut français

Founded in 1910, the Institut français du Royaume-Uni comprises a language centre, a cinema (Ciné Lumière), a multi-media library (La Médiathèque), a children’s library (Bibliothèque Quentin Blake) and a café-restaurant.

17 Queensberry Place, , London SW7 2DT

Ciné Lumière

Hosting a wide array of events from talks, music, films, exhibitions, this is a great place to go at the end of the day. Ciné Lumière screens French, European and World cinema, combining new releases, repertory screenings, previews and exclusive on-stage events attended by directors and actors. If you are 25 or under you can grab a ticket for a fiver!