Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1, London

There are over 240 museums in London and they welcome about 42 million annual visitors nationwide. This wonderful tour will lead you to the most famous and significant museums of London Bloomsbury area, such as British Museum, Charles Dickens Museum, London Canal Museum and others.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1
Guide Location: England » London (See other walking tours in London)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: Xena
British Museum

1) British Museum (must see)

The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum was first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington in 1887. Some objects in the collection, most notably the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, are the objects of intense controversy and calls for restitution to their countries of origin.

Why You Should Visit:
Home of the Rosetta Stone, ancient Egyptian artifacts, Roman statuary and much, much more.

Go early to avoid the crowds at the key famous items.
There are two entrances: the main front one and there other at the back which is often less busy.
Exhibits are paid-for, while admission to the museum is free.

Opening Hours:
Fri: 10am-8:20pm; Sat-Thu: 10am-5:20pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Cartoon Museum

2) The Cartoon Museum

The Cartoon Museum is a London museum for British cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and animation. It has a library of over 5,000 books and 4,000 comics relating to the subject. The museum issues catalogues and features a changing display of over 250 exhibits from its collection of over 1,700 original cartoons and prints. Curator Anita O'Brien noted, "There has never been a cartoon museum [in Britain]... In spite of the very strong historical tradition here, there has always been a very strong ambivalence towards comic art." It was opened February 23, 2006 by the Duke of Edinburgh. In its mission statement, the museum declares that it is "dedicated to preserving the best of British cartoons, caricatures, comics and animation, and to establishing a museum with a gallery, archives and innovative exhibitions to make the creativity of cartoon art past and present, accessible to all for the purposes of education, research and enjoyment." The museum runs a Learning Programme for primary and secondary schools in a range of subjects, including art, media, history, English and animation. With workshops for children during half-term and holidays, it also features adult courses in cartooning and graphic novels in collaboration with London's Birkbeck College. In addition to its Young Cartoonist of the Year Awards, each year the trustees of the Cartoon Art Trust give a Lifetime Achievement Award to an artist who has made a significant contribution to British Cartooning.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday 10.30 am – 5.30 pm, Sunday noon – 5.30 pm. Admission charges: £5.50 – adults, £3 - students with valid student ID, free to under-18s.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Charles Dickens Museum

3) Charles Dickens Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum is at 48 Doughty Street in Holborn, London Borough of Camden, England. It occupies a typical Georgian terraced house which was Charles Dickens' home from March 25, 1837 (a year after his marriage) to December 1839. Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine lived here with the eldest three of their ten children, with the older two of Dicken's daughters, Mary Dickens and Kate Macready Dickens, being born in the house. A new addition to the household was Dickens' younger brother Frederick. Also, Catherine's 17 year old sister Mary moved in with them from Furnival's Inn to offer support to her newly married sister and brother-in-law. It was not unusual for a woman's unwed sister to live with and help a newly married couple. Dickens became very attached to Mary, and she died in his arms after a brief illness in 1837. She inspired characters in many of his books, and her death is fictionalized as the death of Little Nell. Dickens had a three year lease (at £80 a year) on the property. He would remain here until 1839 after which he moved on to grander homes as his wealth increased and his family grew. However, this is his only surviving London house. The two years that Dickens had lived in this house were extremely productive, for here he completed The Pickwick Papers (1836), wrote the whole of Oliver Twist (1838) and Nicholas Nickleby (1838–39), and worked on Barnaby Rudge (1840–41).

The building at 48 Doughty Street was threatened with demolition in 1923, but was saved by the Dickens Fellowship, founded in 1902, who raised the mortgage and bought the property's freehold. The house was renovated and the Dickens House Museum was opened in 1925, under the direction of an independent trust. The museum has since been renamed the Charles Dickens Museum. Spread over four floors, the Charles Dickens Museum holds the world's most important collection of paintings, rare editions, manuscripts, original furniture and other items relating to the life and work of Dickens. Perhaps the best-known exhibit is the portrait of Dickens, known as Dickens' Dream by R.W. Buss, an original illustrator of The Pickwick Papers. This unfinished portrait shows Dickens in his study at Gads Hill Place surrounded by many of the characters he created.

Admission prices from December 2012: adults - £8.00; children 6-16 years - £4.00; children under 6 years – free.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Foundling Museum

4) Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum in London tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain's first home for abandoned children. The museum houses the nationally important Foundling Hospital Art Collection as well as the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, the world's greatest privately amassed collection of Handel memorabilia. The museum examines the work of the Foundling Hospital's founder Thomas Coram, as well as the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel, both major benefactors of the institution. It also illustrates how the Foundling Hospital's charity work for children still carries on today through the child care organisation Coram. The Foundling Museum was set up as a separate charitable organisation in 1998. After a major building refurbishment, it opened to the public as a state-of-the-art museum in June 2004.

The Foundling Hospital Collection includes works of art by Britain's most prominent eighteenth century artists: William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, Louis-Francois Roubiliac and many others. These paintings and sculptures, often donated by the artists themselves, were given in order to support this Britain's first home for abandoned children. These works effectively made the Foundling Hospital the nation's first art gallery available to the public. The museum also lets the visitor see furniture, photographs and other items from the days when the Foundling Hospital still accepted abandoned children to be reared and educated within its walls. Foundling tokens (coins, a button, jewellery, a poem) were given by mothers leaving their babies, allowing the Foundling Hospital to match a mother with her child should she ever come back to claim it. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of the children never saw their mothers again and their tokens are still in the care of the museum.

The Committee Room, one of the original eighteenth century interiors, is the room where mothers intending to leave their babies would be interviewed for suitability. It now houses several pictures and furniture, including Hogarth’s satirical and political March of the Guards to Finchley and a series of paintings by Emma King, depicting scenes from the lives of the children in the Foundling Hospital. The Picture Gallery is another original interior room. On the walls are paintings of governors and hospital officials through the ages. These portraits include Allan Ramsay’s portrait of Dr Richard Mead, Reynolds’s portrait of the Earl of Dartmouth, and Thomas Hudson’s portrait of the hospital’s architect, Theodore Jacobsen. The Court Room is where the Foundling Hospital’s Court of Governors used to meet. The room is a rococo ensemble of paintings, furniture and interior architecture, designed to make the best possible impression on all future potential governors and donors. The ceiling is a plaster work by William Wilton and paintings include Hogarth’s Moses before Pharao’s Daughter and Gainsborough’s picture of London’s Charter House. The uppermost floor of the Foundling Museum houses the Gerald Coke Handel Collection. An exhibition room presents Handel’s life and here visitors can learn about his connection to the Foundling Hospital and see the testament he left behind. A fair copy of the Messiah, left to the Hospital at his death, is also displayed. Four armchairs with built-in speakers play Handel’s music.

Opening Hours: Mondays – closed, Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 11 am - 5 pm. Admission charge includes entrance to all temporary exhibitions and displays: adult - £7.50 (£8.25 including Gift Aid), free admission for children up to 16 years.
Sight description based on wikipedia
All Visual Arts

5) All Visual Arts

Established in 2007, All Visual Arts (AVA) is well known for promoting contemporary art in the most unusual places of London, such as “The Age of the Marvellous” in 2009 at the Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone and “Vanitas: The Transience of Earthly Pleasure” at 33 Great Portland Place in 2010. In September 2010, All Visual Arts gallery finally acquired its own exhibition space at 2 Omega Place, King's Cross. The gallery is famous for supporting works of young artists as well as providing space for original themed exhibitions and group shows. All Visual Arts has gained fame as the venue which is highly pro-active in its stance towards contemporary art.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
London Canal Museum

6) London Canal Museum

London Canal Museum is situated in the King's Cross area of London, on the Regent's Canal, and is a regional museum that displays information about the history of London's canals. It was opened in 1992 and is housed in a Victorian ice warehouse that was used by Carlo Gatti. The building was constructed around 1860 to house ice imported from Norway by ship and canal barge. There are two preserved ice wells under the building, one of which may be viewed from the public area of the museum. Battlebridge Basin is accessible from the rear of the building. The exhibitions cover the following topics: introduction to UK waterways; canal life (social history); canal art; lifting and handling cargo; the ice trade; canal craft; working horses on the canals and the streets; the Regent's Canal; large scale historical map of London's canals; water and locks; the museum's Bantam Tug; Water and Locks, an exhibition about canal engineering and water supply, opened by H.R.H. The Princess Royal in October 2010. The museum has regular temporary exhibitions that change about twice a year. Oral history from the museum's own collection is used to complement the exhibitions with "listening posts" covering several topics being situated around the building.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walk around Buckingham Palace

Walk around Buckingham Palace

London is deservedly recognized as one of the cultural centres of the world. Among many cultural treasures found here are perfectly reserved ancients buildings, grandiose monuments and beautiful statues, as well as museums with wide collections of various objects, featuring traditions of different nations and epochs. This self guided walking tour around Buckingham Palace will reveal some of the most exciting London mysteries to you.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
South Bank Walk, Part 1

South Bank Walk, Part 1

The South Bank is the area in London on the southern bank of the River Thames that houses a number of important cultural buildings and is always crowded with tourists. It is now one of London's most important cultural centers. Take this tour to reveal all of the South Bank secrets.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Bridges of London

Bridges of London

Thirty-four bridges span the Thames in London. Each one has its own history and is worth seeing. Take this walking tour to appreciate the beauty of London bridges.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
South Bank Walk, Part 2

South Bank Walk, Part 2

Continue your cultural walk along the southern bank of the River Thames and enjoy the unique attractions it hosts. Buzzing with life and joy, London's South Bank will eagerly reveal all of its secrets. Take this tour and check it out yourself.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Holborn/Covent Garden Walk

Holborn/Covent Garden Walk

During this self guided walking tour around Holborn and Covent Garden areas you will have a chance to visit such famous and interesting London attractions, as National Gallery, London Coliseum, London Transport Museum and many others. Don't miss your chance to explore the best of the Holborn and Covent Garden areas.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Westminster Walk

Westminster Walk

London is deservedly recognized as one of the cultural centres of the world. Among many cultural treasures found here are perfectly reserved ancient buildings, grandiose monuments and beautiful statues, as well as museums with wide collections of various objects, featuring traditions of different nations and epochs. This self guided walking tour around Westminster area will reveal some of the most exciting London mysteries to you.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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