Wellcome Collection

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© Oliver Knight / Time Out
From 'Death: A Self-Portrait' – © Wellcome Library, London
© Wellcome Images
© Wellcome Images
© Wellcome Images
© Wellcome Images
Wandering Moon', shadow installation 2013 – © Wellcome Images, Courtesy B-Floor Theatre/Wandering Moon
Shoichi KOGA, "Seitenmodoki" – © Wellcome Images
© Wellcome Library, London
'Monster Soup...' by William Heath – © Wellcome Library, London
Dana Salvo, From the series 'The Day, the Night and the Dead' – © Clark Gallery, courtesy Wellcome Collection
© Wellcome Images
Cafe – © Wellcome Images
Bloomsbury Free

Sir Henry Wellcome, a pioneering 19th-century pharmacist, amassed a vast and idiosyncratic collection of implements and curios relating to the medical trade, now displayed here. In addition to these fascinating and often grisly items-ivory carvings of pregnant women, used guillotine blades, Napoleon’s toothbrush- there are several serious works of modern art, most on display in a smaller room to one side of the main chamber of curiosities. The temporary exhibitions are often brilliant and come with all manner of associated events, from talks to walks. The Wellcome remains open while undergoing a £17.5 million development project, which will open up even more areas of the building to the public: in autumn 2014, it should reopen fully with a new second gallery and the ‘Reading Room’, which will be a combination of library, gallery and event space.

Read more about The Wellcome Collection's weirdest exhibits

Venue name: Wellcome Collection
Address: 183 Euston Rd
Opening hours: Galleries: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm; Thur 10am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm Library: Mon-Wed, Fri 10am-6pm; Thur 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-4pm
Transport: Tube: Euston/Euston Square/Warren St Rail: Euston/St Pancras
Price: Free
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  • Exhibitions Until Sunday February 28 2016 Free
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  • Installation Until Sunday January 3 2016 Free
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  • Late openings Friday February 5 2016 Free
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

Came here for the 'yellowbluepink' exhibition (which was interesting) but I was actually more intrigued with the rest of the Collection. The medicine room was chock full of history and rare pieces and the medicine now exhibition was also interesting to see (the slice of human especially so). 

The Reading Room is quiet solitude. I could definitely see myself reading for a few hours there (except no food or drink allowed). Forget a book? There are plenty there to grab off the shelf. Oh and they have bean bags >.<

Did I mention the whole thing is free?

Richard N

I like their exhibitions a lot. It's got the right amount of quirky for me and I came away from the recent sexology exhibit feeling like I've been touched in all the right places. Weird and wonderful and has the best name out of all the other museums. 


This place just didn’t do it for me! Being a North Londoner, I had often passed the Wellcome Collection and thought ‘oh, I really must actually set aside some time to go there!’. I found that the hype was all in the marketing. I did not come away feeling like I had learnt anything, nor did it confirm anything I already knew. Everything seemed too cryptic and vague for me to feel engaged and stimulated. I found the Alice Anderson exhibition totally uninspiring and left very disappointed.

London Aficionado

Want to see Florence Nightingale’s moccasins? What about a fragment of Jeremy Bentham’s skin? Or perhaps a 13th century Peruvian mummified male body? This museum houses a fascinating array of artefacts, focusing on the history of medicine. Since I last visited, redevelopment work has been completed and opened up more of the building. There is a new gallery space, which is currently home to their latest exhibition ‘The Institute of Sexology’. But perhaps my favourite addition to the museum is The Reading Room, a large, spacious area in which to kick back and relax with a book. Many of the people present looked pretty chilled, sprawled out as they were, reading, on beanbags which lined both sides of the staircase at one end of the room. Add to the aforementioned the permanent galleries, the schedule of free talks (reserve a place early to avoid disappointment), Wellcome Library, café, and largely medical themed bookshop, and there’s more than enough to ensure an educating, informative and enjoyable day out.

Kritt N

I’m a little ashamed to say it but despite during all my time at UCL and despite being literally on each other’s doorstep, not once did I set foot inside the Wellcome Collection. This weekend, I did and I absolutely loved it.

The Wellcome Collection is a museum for the “incurably curious”. It houses an eclectic collection of unusual medical artefacts. It plays host to contemporary and historical exhibitions and anything that explores the connection between medicine, science and art. On my visit, I was able to explore an exhibition called ‘The Institute of Sexology” which candidly discusses themes of sex, erotica film and photography. At the end, visitors are welcome to share their views anonymously in a questionnaire on the subject, which are then used for research purposes. It feels great to share your views!

I recommend checking out the Medicine Room where you can pick up a free audio guide to make sense of the many unusual artefacts in the room. For me, the Reading Room was a real gem. You can sit on a giant beanbag on a staircase and peruse a book at your leisure in beautiful and serene surroundings. Visitors are welcome to share their personal stories too, anonymously on paper dotted around the room. Afterwards, relax in Wellcome kitchen for food and refreshments.

I definitely recommend a visit. It’s free, located right beside Euston Square station and on the first friday of every month, the museum is open late so you can ease your curious mind with a drink in hand.


An excellent collection full of interesting and informative exhibits. Especially the exhibitions that change, are always well done!

Olivia O'Sullivan

I always try to visit whenever I am in the area. I find the collections fascinating and accessible - you do not have to be a specialist of the subject to understand the exhibits. They have the perfect combination of interactive exhibits and visual displays, I particularly like the 'Life, Genes and You' exhibition. Phenomenal!