A complete guide to London in 8 exhibitions
Escape the blazing heat this summer and step into London days gone by at these eight exhibitions. Whether it’s standing on the meridian line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich or commemorating the lives of those who served in the army at the Churchill War Rooms, leave these must-visit exhibitions with a greater understanding of London’s history, culture and identity.
Best exhibitions in London
Beasts of London
Journey through the capital’s history with interactive animals at Beasts of London, one of the newest exhibitions from the Museum of London. Detailing history from the Roman era to the present day, learn what caused of the spreading of the Great Plague, as well as the creatures that you may see roaming around the streets today. While you’re walking around the exhibition, listen out for voiceovers from some of Britain’s biggest stars, including Stephen Mangan and Brian Blessed at an exhibition where the animals can finally come out to play.
Tower Bridge and the Monument
See two London exhibitions in one with a ticket to Tower Bridge and the Monument. Kickstart your adventure at Tower Bridge and walk across the glass floor, where you’ll be able to look down and see the River Thames, learning about the boats and ships which have journeyed down the capital’s waterways. Once you’ve experienced the iconic bridge, scale the dizzying heights of the Monument. Erected to celebrate the rebuilding of the Great Fire of London, receive a personalised certificate once you’ve climbed the 311 steps to the top.
Summer Exhibition 2019 at the Royal Academy
Jock McFadyen RA and Grayson Perry co-ordinate this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, a celebration of London’s finest visual arts which has run continuously since 1769. Take in artwork by the country’s most respected artists, as well as pieces by up and coming talent. Paintings, drawings, visual arts and architecture can be viewed at the prestigious location throughout the summer months, so don’t miss your chance to be a part of art history at the Summer Exhibition.
Churchill War Rooms
Be immersed in WW2 history at the Churchill War Rooms, where Winston Churchill helped to co-ordinate plans that would eventually see the Allied Force win the war. With a bespoke audio guide created by the Imperial War Museum, learn about the global impact of the war, as well as the infamous word uttered by the wartime prime minister including “Blood, toil, tears and sweat”, and “We shall fight them on the beaches”. Take a look at intelligence reports, read the maps and appreciate the hard work of generations who served during the war.
Household Cavalry Museum
Right in the heart of London sits the Household Cavalry Museum, dedicated to telling the regimental history of those who have served in the armed forces, as well as the animals that stood by their side. Take a walk through the stables and find out about the training that goes into fighting for the country, as well as the criteria needed to be a part of the Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard regiment. Finish your day out at the museum with a photo in the iconic red tunic and live your Beefeater dreams at the Household Cavalry Museum this summer.
Royal Observatory Greenwich
With plenty to explore at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, you’ll be able to find out about London’s history as told in the stars. Balance in the Eastern and Western hemispheres at the same time on the Meridian line and experience the past, present and future of space by looking through telescopes. Don’t miss out on the Peter Harrison planetarium, which offers visitors the chance to see how the universe was formed, which opportunities to test your abilities of leading a space mission. So, whether it’s experiencing London on the ground or seeing what’s in London’s cosmos, visit the home of British astronomy in Greenwich this summer. Situated away from the heart of central London, why not take a look at these parts of the capital away from the beaten track.
Celebrating its 150th year in 2019, the Cutty Sark is one of London’s greatest ships, currently docked on the South Bank. Hop aboard and learn about the ship’s voyages around the world, finding out about British trading and what it meant to live on the seas. Smell samples of the original cargo and taste Cutty Sark teas on board and walk the deck of the last surviving ship of its generation.
Permanently docked by London Bridge, HMS Belfast stands tall as one of the finest British ships. Having sailed around the Arctic waters and the tropical climates, as well as carrying soldiers to fight during WW2, relive the greatest historical battles in recent years on this vessel. Climb aboard the Flag Deck and imagine what it would have felt like to spot enemy ships at a must-visit cultural exhibition in the capital, where history comes alive.