Home to many of London’s greatest thinkers and intellectuals, Bloomsbury has always been an important area of the city for the culturally inclined. Aside from seminal learning institutions such as the iconic British Museum, there are several boutique museums to discover, many containing unique collections of extraordinary artefacts. While you’re staying at the refined Montague on the Gardens, why not explore some of these lesser-known Bloomsbury museums for a fresh perspective on this dynamic city.
Comic book fans and animation aficionados will love the Cartoon Museum. Featuring three galleries with original artwork from British comic artists past and present, the museum is a temple to much-loved witty illustrations. Showcasing historical works from the Victorian era, cherished childhood classics like The Beano and The Dandy, plus contemporary doodles, the Cartoon Museum is a must-visit for all ages.
The British Museum may be famous for its marvellous ancient Egyptian mummies and artefacts, but the nearby Petrie Museum gives it a run for its money. With a catalogue of over 80,000 Egyptian relics including jewellery, clothing, tablets and pottery, the museum is a truly captivating archive of antiquities. Its namesake, archaeologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie, conducted many excavations, acquiring the incredible array of historical treasures on display today.
Established in the eighteenth century, Foundling Hospital was Britain’s first ever home for abandoned children. Today, it’s a museum and art gallery that celebrates the many ways that artists have improved the lives of children, via a dynamic programme of events, exhibitions and activities. You’ll find multi-disciplinary art displays, family workshops, musical concerts and talks from inspiring figures at the Foundling Museum.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
The former home of 19th Century neo-classical architect Sir John Soane, this museum is a treasure trove of not only Soane’s hand-drawn designs but also his collection of remarkable curios, furniture and sculptures. From Egyptian king Seti’s sarcophagus discovered in the Valley of the Kings, to Roman mosaics and Greek vases, the labyrinthine Georgian townhouse is a fascinating anthology of historical artefacts and eccentricities.
Pollock’s Toy Museum
Small in size but big on fun, Pollock’s Toy Museum is a time-capsule of playthings from the Victorian era. With six rooms connected by creaky staircases, the characterful Georgian townhouse displays everything from dolls and teddies to puppets and board games. Named after legendary toy manufacturer, Benjamin Pollock, the museum’s comprehensive assemblage of weird and wonderful toys is a must-see.
After soaking up Bloomsbury’s magnificent culture and history, live like the literary set with a luxurious stay at The Montague on the Gardens.
Image Credits: Main image Sir John Soane’s Museum © Sir John Soane’s Museum/Gareth Gardner. Cartoon Museum: H.M. Bateman Designs. Foundling Museum © GG Archard. Petrie Museum © Laika ac via Wikimedia Commons. Pollock’s Toy Museum © Pollock’s Toy Museum. Sir John Soane’s Museum © Sir John Soane’s Museum/Gareth Gardner.