Our favourite alternative museums
Be warned: the UCL’s museum of zoology isn’t for the faint of heart. Elephant skulls, jars of moles, shark vertebrae and bisected heads are among the gruesome exhibits on display. For added shivers, head to one of their evening events, like their regular ‘Dead Life Drawing’ sessions (£8), where you can improve your drawing skills by sketching something stuffed or pickled.
This Victorian house is probably so under the radar because it’s only open for a couple of months each year, when hosting one of its quirky temporary exhibitions (the current show, Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion, runs until April 23). But with its magnificent neo-Gothic halls, hangings and stained glass, this place has plenty to captivate on its own terms.
Don’t expect anything you see to make a lot of sense – instead, just let your jaw drop to the floor when you see all the bizarre things piled together in this weirdest of wunderkabinetts, including Happy Meal toys and celebrity stool samples. Their regular menagerie nights give you the chance to pet some interesting creatures too, like lizards and tarantulas. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Venue says London’s most intriguing museum was the final home of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Visit and see Freud's iconic couch.
Please note the museum is currently closed while it is being relocated.First a resource for medical students, this institute turned into a public museum in the 1930s. Its staggering collection of over 45,000 objects tells the long story of pharmacy and medicine, from leeches and mummified hands to the discovery of penicillin.
More reasons to visit London's museums
Not only do London’s museums hold some of the world’s most dazzling collections, they’ve also upped their game when it comes to temporary exhibitions. Here are the shows we're getting excited about in 2017.
This independent shop in Blackheath stocks all manner of carefully chosen items that will delight children and parents alike. Within the bright and inviting south London shop visitors will discover Japanese collectables and creative comics alongside traditional toys, beautiful books and colourful party goods. They also run regular events and workshops for a variety of age ranges in activities such as superhero cape decoration, dreamcatcher-making and journalism. Check the Ottie and the Bea website for details.
Venue says We are a modern children's shop in Blackheath. Our focus is on toys, books and games for children that inspire and encourage them to play.