See some of London’s best-loved heritage sites in a new light this month as Museums at Night (17-20 May) returns to the capital. This popular, biannual four-day festival sees several museums, galleries and cultural landmarks stay open late to enable visitors to delve deeper into fascinating subjects.
Highlights include workshop Neuroscience – Why People Buy at the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising (17 May); Vices and Virtues: Life Drawing in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, in which you can sketch ‘gods and goddesses’ to the sounds of atmospheric music (18 May); Victorian Variety, live folk music at Fulham Palace (18 May); music and dance in Rituals to Mould Her With at Handel & Hendrix in London (19 May); a celebration of all things gin at The Geffrye Museum (19 May); and a course on Michelangelo at The National Gallery (19 May). Also at The National Gallery, you can immerse yourself in interactive workshops, live music and a ‘secret bar’ as part of the Renaissance Late event (19 May). Alternatively, let the Horniman Museum and Gardens entertain you with music, performances, ﬁlm, dance and tours inspired by the south London building’s collections (18 May).
For something different, the London Canal Museum will be lit with candles and fairy lights (20 May). If the idea of seeing a museum lit by candlelight appeals, tour Benjamin Franklin House, the American founding father’s last remaining residence, with a ﬂame guiding you (18-19 May).
BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM
Explore the story of the Bank of England. From 2 May: 20th Anniversary of the Bank’s Independence. Display from the bank’s archives. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; closed bank hol. Admission free. Threadneedle St, EC2R 8AH. T: 020-7601 5545. www.bankof england.co.uk/museum. Station: Bank. D10.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HOUSE
This charming 18th-century townhouse is the last remaining home of American hero Franklin. 18-19 May: Museums at Night Candlelit Architectural Tours. See the building in evening light. Historical shows Wed-Sun noon; 1pm; 2pm; 3.15pm and 4.15pm. Tue advance booking required. Shows adult £8; under 16s free. Mon guided tours adult £6; under 16s free. 36 Craven St, WC2N 5NF. T: 020-7925 1405. www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org. Station: Charing Cross. E8.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Unrivalled collection of antiquities, plus the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. Huge number of permanent displays and treasures from the Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt and India. From 25 May: Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave. Works from the ﬁnal 30 years of his career.To 18 Jun: The American Dream: Pop to the Present. Timely major art exhibition tracing 60 years of a superpower. Sat-Thur 10am-5.30pm; Fri 10am-8.30pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG. T: 020-7323 8299. www.britishmuseum.org. Station: Tottenham Court Road/Russell Square. D7/8.
THE CARTOON MUSEUM
Dedicated to British cartoons, caricature and comic art from the 18th century to today. To 24 Jul: The Inking Woman. Focus on female cartoon and comic artists. Mon-Sat 10.30am5.30pm; Sun noon-5.30pm. Adult £7; child free. 35 Little Russell St, WC1A 2HH. T: 020-7580 8155. www.cartoonmuseum.org. Station: Holborn. D8.
CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM
Former home of Victorian novelist Dickens. From 11 May: A Dickens Whodunnit: Solving the Mystery of Edwin Drood. Exhibition on the legacy of Dickens’ ﬁnal, unﬁnished novel. Tue- Sun 10am-5pm. Adult £9; child £4. 48 Doughty St, WC1N 2LX. T: 020-7405 2127. www.dickens museum.com. Station: Russell Square. C8.
CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS
See the fortiﬁed basement where Sir Winston Churchill worked with his ministers during World War II. Daily 9.30am-6pm. Adult £17.25; child £8.60; under ﬁves free. Clive Steps, King Charles St, SW1A 2AQ. T: 020-7930 6961. www.iwm.org.uk. Station: Westminster. F7.
CLINK PRISON MUSEUM
This former prison dating back to 1144 houses an exhibition about London’s penal past. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7.30pm. Adult £7.50; child £5.50. 1 Clink St, SE1 9DG. T: 020-7403 0900. www.clink.co.uk. Station: London Bridge. E10.
One of the world’s leading museums of design. From 24 May: California. A look at counterculture from the 1960s up to Silicon Valley’s tech.. Daily 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm). Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. 224-238 Kensington High St, W8 6AG. T: 020-3862 5900. www.designmuseum.org. Station: High Street Kensington. Off map.
THE FAN MUSEUM
Unusual museum dedicated to the art of the fan. To 21 May: Biblical Fans. More than 80 fans which touch upon signiﬁcant Bible stories. Tue-Sat 11am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm. Adult £4; child £3; under 7s free. 12 Crooms Hill, SE10 8ER. T: 020-8305 1441. www.thefan museum.org.uk. Station: Cutty Sark. Off map.
FASHION AND TEXTILE MUSEUM
Contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. From 26 May: The World of Anna Sui. A look at the American designer and her quirky style. Tue-Sat 11am-6pm; Thur until 8pm; Sun 11am-5pm. Adult £9.90; child free. 83 Bermondsey St, SE1 3XF. T: 020-7407 8664. www.ftmlondon.org. Station: London Bridge. F11.
FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM
Museum about the work of this pioneering 19th-century British nurse and health reformer, known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’. Daily 10am- 5pm. Adult £7.50; child £3.80. 2 Lambeth Palace Rd, SE1 7EW. T: 020-7620 0374. www.ﬂorencenightingale.co.uk. Station: Waterloo. F8.
GALLERY IN THE CRYPT
Find modern art and photography in this church. Mon, Tue & Fri 8.30am-6pm; Wed 8.30am-5pm; Thur 8.30am-6pm; Sat 9.30am-6pm & Sun 3.30pm-5pm. Admission free. Euston Rd, NW1 2BA. T: 020-7766 1100. www.cryptgallery.org. Station: Charing Cross. C6.
Recreating English interiors from 1600 onwards. To 4 Jun: Teenage Bedrooms: ‘Like a House Inside of a House’. See inside the rooms of 26 teenagers. Tue-Sun & bank hol 10am-5pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. 136 Kingsland Rd, E2 8EA. T: 020-7739 9893. www.geffryemuseum.org.uk. Station: Hoxton. Off map.
THE GUARDS MUSEUM
History of the ﬁve regiments of the Foot Guards. Daily 10am-4pm. Adult £6; child free. Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, SW1E 6HQ. T: 020-7414 3271. www.theguardsmuseum.com. Station: St James’s Park/Westminster. D5.
HORNIMAN MUSEUM & GARDENS
Collection of the adventurer Frederick John Horniman. Daily 10.30am-5.30pm. Admission free; charges for aquarium and special exhibitions. 100 London Rd, SE23 3PQ. T: 020-8699 1872. www.horniman.ac.uk. Station: Forest Hill. Off map.
HOUSE OF ILLUSTRATION
A gallery dedicated solely to illustration, founded by Sir Quentin Blake. Adult £7.50; child £4. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. 2 Granary Square, N1C 4BH. T: 020-3696 2020. www.houseoﬁllustration.org.uk. Station: King’s Cross St Pancras. Off map.
HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY MUSEUM
See behind the scenes of ceremonial duties and roles of the Household Cavalry Regiments. Changing the Queen’s Life Guard daily on Horse Guards Parade at 11am; Sun 10am; plus inspection at 4pm. Daily 10am-6pm. Adult £7; child £5. Horse Guards, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX. T: 020- 7930 3070. www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk. Station: Westminster. E7.
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
Huge displays of conﬂicts, particularly those that involve Britain. To 28 Aug: People Power: Fighting for Peace. Explore how peace movements inﬂuenced war. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for some special exhibitions. Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ. T: 020-7416 5000. www.iwm.org.uk. Station: Lambeth North/Waterloo. E5.
Jewish history and culture from 1066 onwards. To 24 Sep: Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait. Discover the women behind the music. Daily 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-2pm. Adult £7.50; child £3.50. Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert St, NW1 7NB. T: 020-7284 7384. www.jewish museum.org.uk. Station: Camden Town. Off map.
LEIGHTON HOUSE MUSEUM
Restored former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton is a museum of his life and work. Permanent collections include ﬁne paintings, drawings and sculptures. Wed-Mon 10am5.30pm. Adult £12; child free. 12 Holland Park, W14 8LZ. T: 020-7602 3316. www.rbkc.gov.uk/ subsites/museums/leightonhousemuseum1.aspx. Station: Kensington Olympia. Off map.
LONDON FILM MUSEUM
Bond in Motion is the official exhibition of James Bond vehicles that feature in the ﬁlm series. Mon-Fri & Sun 10am-6pm; Sat 10am- 7pm (closed 4 May). Adult £14.50; child £9.50. 45 Wellington St, WC2E 7BN. T: 020-7202 7042. Station: Covent Garden. E8.
LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM
Explore the history of London’s transport system. From 19 May: Sounds of the City. The best 100 entries from the Prize for Illustration 2017, looking at the sounds in otherwise quiet spaces in the UK’s cities. Sat-Thur 10am-6pm; Fri 11am-6pm. Adult £17.50; child free. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. T: 020-7379 6344. www.lt museum.co.uk. Station: Covent Garden. E8.
MUSEUM OF BRANDS, PACKAGING & ADVERTISING
An insight into advertising over the past 200 years. To 25 Jun: Celebrating Women in Advertising. Talks and events about gender roles. Tue-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm. Adult £9; child £5. 111-117 Lancaster Rd, W11 1QT. T: 020-7243 9611. www.museumofbrands.com. Station: Ladbroke Grove. Off map.
MUSEUM OF LONDON
The world’s largest urban history museum. To 8 May: Perspectives of Destruction: Images of London, 1940-1944. Paintings and photographs of the city during the Blitz. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. T: 020-7001 9844. www.museum oﬂondon.org.uk. Station: Barbican. D10.
MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS
The intriguing history of the meandering River Thames, from its time as a Roman thoroughfare to the regeneration of the Docklands. To 3 Sep: Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail. The range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free, charges for special exhibitions. No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. T: 020-7001 9844. www.museumof london.org.uk/docklands. Station: Canary Wharf/ West India Quay. Map inset.
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
Admiral Nelson’s coat with the hole in the left shoulder made by the musket ball that killed him at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
The world’s largest maritime museum, which is spread over several sites, originally part of a 19th-century school for seafarers’ children. Includes a vast collection of maps, artwork and memorabilia including the Maritime Galleries, plus The Great Map, a huge interactive world map revealing stories from maritime history. Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free; charges for events and exhibitions. Romney Rd, SE10 9NF. T: 020-8858 4422. www.rmg.co.uk. Station: Greenwich/Cutty Sark. Map inset.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Astounding family-friendly collections, with exhibits including dinosaur skeletons. To 10 Sep: Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Illustrating the vulnerability of life on our planet. To 17 Sep: Sensational Butterﬂies. Escape into the butterﬂy house. Daily 10am-5.50pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD. T: 020-7942 5000. www.nhm.ac.uk. Station: South Kensington. F4.
This 17th-century house, once home to Charles I’s queen Henrietta Maria, was designed by Inigo Jones. Daily 10am-5pm; closed bank holidays. Admission free. Queen’s House, Romney Rd, SE10 9NF. T: 020-8858 4422. www.rmg.co.uk/ queens-house. Station: Cutty Sark. Map inset.
ROYAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM
National aviation museum focusing on the Royal Air Force, with more than 100 historic aircraft on show. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free. Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL. T: 020-8205 2266. www.raf museum.org.uk. Station: Colindale. Off map.
Space Capsule at London Science Museum
A museum dedicated to science, great for kids. To 3 Sep: Robots. Explore the 500-year story of humanoid robots. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD. T: 0870-870 4868. www.science museum.org.uk. Station: South Kensington. F4.
SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM
The architect Sir John Soane’s former home. To 23 Sep: Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life. New ethereal sculptures. Museum tours daily; times vary. Tue-Sat 10am- 5pm. Closed bank holidays. Candlelight opening ﬁrst Tue every month, 6pm-9pm. Admission free. 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. T: 020-7405 2107. www.soane.org. Station: Holborn. D8.
This neo-classical 18th-century building houses the Courtauld Gallery and Embankment Galleries. 18-21 May: Photo London. Showcases more than 80 exhibitors. Galleries daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. Strand, WC2R 1LA. T: 020-7845 4600. www.somersethouse.org.uk. Temple. E8.
Get a taste of the tea maker’s 300-year history at the in-store museum. Mon-Fri 9.30am-7.30pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 10.30am-4.30pm. Admission free. 216 Strand, WC2R 1AP. T: 020-7353 3511. www.twinings.co.uk. Station: Temple. D9.
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
The V&A’s collection of ﬁne and applied arts spans 3,000 years and includes ceramics and fashion. From 13 May: Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains. Audio-visual journey through the music of the rock band. Daily 10am-5.45pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL. T: 020-7942 2000. www.vam.ac.uk. Station: South Kensington. F4/5.
THE WALLACE COLLECTION
Former family home, with a collection of Rococo art, including Frank Hals’ Laughing Cavalier. Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free. Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN. T: 020-7563 9500. www.wallacecollection.org. Station: Bond Street. D6.
Wellcome Trust’s public venue houses more than 1,500 fascinating artefacts of medical interest. Tue-Wed & Fri-Sat 10am-6pm; Thur 10am-10pm; Sun 11am-6pm. Admission free. 183 Euston Rd, NW1 2BE. T: 020-7611 2222. www.wellcome collection.org. Station: Euston. C7.