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HMS Belfast – Imperial War Museum

Get a tour of the HMS Belfast and see what life is like living on board a ship during war.

London Bridge and Monument Stations are closest. Just walk along the Thames, you can’t miss it!
£12.25 (£13.50 with donation).

Open daily
1 March – 31 October – 10:00~18:00 (last admission 17:00)
1 November – 28 February – 10:00~17:00 (last admission 16:00)
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

Sherlock Holmes Museum

The World’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his associate Doctor John H. Watson, lived at 221b Baker Street, London, between 1881-1904, according to the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is in an old Victorian Boarding house, and while it bears the sign of 221b, it is actually located between 237 and 241 Baker street.

Being a fictional character (sorry to those who believed he was real!) the contents of the museum are more a reference-to, rather than actual belongings-of, S. Holmes. However you can easily imagine the pair living there, with all the furniture, antiques, books, artifacts and mannequins. There’s also a guest book with letters to Holmes, from people all over the world. Next to the Museum is a shop selling all sorts of Holmes merchandise, and where you must buy your tickets from before joining the queue. It gets very busy here, but most people only spend about 20min inside so the line moves quickly.

If you’re a fan of Holmes then you will enjoy it, and at £6 its not expensive. If you’re not that interested you could just visit the souvenir shop!

They are currently finishing off a Library room downstairs from the shop and they hope to open this soon. Also look out for the Sherlock Holmes wall patterns inside Baker Street Station, which is just down the road from the museum.

Daily 09:30am~18:00

Greenwich

Greenwich is home to the O2 Arena, Greenwich Park, Greenwich market, Cutty Sark, The National Maritime Museum, Queens House, and the Royal Observatory where you can stand on the line that divides between the East and West side of GMT, Greenwich Mean Time!

Unfortunately there is a lot of construction going on at the moment to prepare for the Olympics in 2012, so Cutty Sark is currently closed, and the lower area of the park is also closed, but you can still see everything else.

Getting off the DLR you are close to Greenwich Market, selling food, clothes, art etc. There is a Vegetarian Ethiopian Food stand if you’re looking for lunch. Outside, head towards the National Maritime Museum. This is FREE entry but it’s more of a “bits from ships” museum as opposed to ships themselves. So if you are expecting to see full ships here, you will be disappointed, and you’re better off heading to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for that.

The 17th Century Queen’s House is next to the NMM, also FREE entry, displays fine art, and is some times a venue for weddings and private events.

From the NMM you can enter Greenwich Park and walk up the hill to the Royal Observatory with great views of Canary Wharf, the O2 Arena and Central London. Inside are Flamsteed House and the Meridian Courtyard where you can stand right on the Greenwich Meridian Line, which represents the Prime Meridian of the World – Longitude 0º. Entrance to these two is £7. The Planetarium is now also part of the Royal Observatory, via the South building. You must book ahead for shows, £6.50.

If you’d rather not go inside, the marked line does continue outside the gate & down the wall, so you can still take a photo there for free if that’s all you’re after. Also in the corner of Greenwich Park is a wildlife enclosure with Deer, Bats, Foxes and Birds.

Take the DLR from Canary Wharf to Cutty Sark or Greenwich Station. Or you can take the River Service from Canary Wharf Pier to Greenwich Pier for £3.00 (with an Oyster card).

The NMM, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House are open daily 10:00~17:00 (last admission 16:30)
The Meridian Courtyard and Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory stay open till 19:15 during summer.

London Science Museum

Just next to the NHM is London’s Science Museum. It’s kind of targeted towards kids, but there’s enough to keep adults interested with some old cars, a plane, trains, big engines, the Apollo 10 Command Module, and some of interactive displays.

FREE entry! Go to South Kensington Tube Station and follow the signs.
Open Daily 10:00 ~ 18:00

Natural History Museum, London

The main entrance to the Natural History Museum lands you in the “Green Zone”, which, along with the “Blue Zone” holds the best displays at the museum, including a full Diplodocus Skeleton in the entrance hall! As the museum is popular, there can also be a huge line to get in here, so you might be better off walking around the corner to the side entrance (right near the Science Museum entrance) that starts in the “Red Zone”. However once you go up the escalator and into the Earth sculpture (made from iron, zinc and copper), this section is pretty boring, so you will probably head straight back to the Green Zone, but you’ve managed to bypass the the queues.

General admission is FREE, but you need tickets for temporary exhibits which are often worth the money, like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Open Daily 10:00 ~ 17:50
Closed Dec 24-26

British Museum

The British Museum near Russell Square is massive, containing over seven million historical & cultural objects from around the world. You’ve got Egyptian mummies, Japanese Armour, Chinese Jade, and artefacts from the Incas! If you have any interest in history at all, you will enjoy the British Museum. If not, well even the building itself is impressive, and like other London Museums, its FREE! So check it out anyway! Don’t forget to see what current special exhibitions (ticketed) are on too.

Sat – Thurs 10:00 ~ 17:30
Fri – 10:00 ~ 20:30