Museums

The Royal Borough has a wealth of museums ranging from the world famous institutions in Exhibition Road to private houses and quirky collections.

Exhibition Road Museums, South Kensington


Natural History Museum

The museum’s collections promote the whole of the natural world, but really for most visitors it’s about the dinosaurs, so be prepared to meet a full-sized moving dinosaur. Most British children probably visit this museum at least once, so queues can be long during school holidays. The museum has an outdoor ice rink from November to January. For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the Natural Hisory Museum website (opens another window)

V&A

Once advertised as an ace café with a museum attached, the V&A is the world's greatest museum of art and design, with collections including ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewellery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings. It also has a lovely courtyard garden with a pool that’s great for kids to paddle in, and an ace café. For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the V&A website (opens another window)


Science Museum

The museum has hundreds of thousands of objects showing the development of the modern industrial world; steam engines and rockets are the major attractions. For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the Science Museum website (opens another window)

Other museums in the Royal Borough


Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

The museum is a fascinating nostalgia-fest featuring a ‘time tunnel’ of over 12,000 products from Victorian times to the present day. Almost guaranteed to make all but the youngest visitors say, “Oh, I remember those!” For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the Museum of Brands website.  

Tiling in Leighton HouseLeighton House Museum

Once the home of Frederic, Lord Leighton who designed it as a private palace of art. Be blown away by the magnificent collection of over 1,000 Syrian tiles in the Arab Hall. For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the Leighton House Museum website (opens another window)

See the collections
See the house
Virtual tour


18 Stafford Terrace18 Stafford Terrace

Originally the family home of ‘Punch’ magazine cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne this is a unique example of a late Victorian townhouse with almost all of its original furniture and fittings. At weekends you can be shown around on costumed tours. For opening hours, directions and other visitors’ information, please visit the 18 Stafford Terrace website (opens another window)

Visiting the House
View an actor's tour of the house


National Army Museum

There is a stunning 420 square foot model of the Battle of Waterloo (complete with over 70,000 model soldiers) and over 200 vehicles, tanks, armoured cars and artillery pieces on display, including a bronze Tudor cannon.

Baden Powell House

The home of the Scout and Guide movement has a small permanent exhibition telling the life story of  the founder Robert Baden-Powell. It describes the birth and growth of scouting from its origins on Brownsea Island to becoming a worldwide movement by the time of his death in 1941. It also tells the story of Baden-Powell's childhood, his army career and the siege of Mafeking.

Carlyle's House

The Chelsea home of the Victorian historian and writer Thomas Carlyle known as ''The Sage of Chelsea''. The house contains original furnishings, books, pictures and personal items of Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane, and vividly depicts their lives. The small walled Victorian garden is also open to visitors.