Take a wander through the world
rom toys to taxidermy, fashion to football and Vikings to viaducts, England has museums for pretty much every subject going. Best of all, though, is that many of them are free.
As you’d expect, London has some real big hitters – the V&A , the Natural History Museum and the British Museum being just a few – but the smaller, off-the-beaten track establishments are worth a visit, too.
In Shoreditch, East London, for example, you’ll find the Geffrye Museum – a row of beautiful old alms houses that have been decorated to reflect England’s changing interior design trends, from Elizabethan times to the prsent day. And just down the road in Bethnal Green you’ll find the V&A’s Museum of Childhood , which has a rather cool selection of children’s toys - don’t miss the giant dolls’ houses.
Maybe Roald Dahl's more your bag, though? In which case you’ll love the museum that’s dedicated to his life and writing, in Buckinghamshire. Or for something slightly different try Tring’s Natural History Museum , which houses the vast taxidermy collection horded by eccentric Edwardian, Walter Rothschild. Not the kind of place you’d want to be left alone in overnight…
If you prefer football to fiction, pull on your home strip and head to The National Football Museum in Manchester, one of the best collections of footy memorabilia in the world.
And who can resist a spot of time travelling, to the year 975 to be exact, at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. Here, you can discover gruesome tales about the Nordic warriors, dig for Viking treasures in the excavation pit, learn cool Norse words and see how much Viking blood runs through your veins.
And sticking with the warrior theme, the
Great North Museum: Hancock
in Newcastle lets you explore Hadrian's Wall without a drop of rain in sight. Its interactive model details the history of the epic roman fortification, as well mapping all the forts, milecastles and museums you can visit.
Meet a Dalek, the Wombles and try your arm at presenting the news - harder than it looks.
Tells the story of the people of North East England in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times.
See some of Britain's wartime heroes up close.
An intriguing collection of antiquities, artworks and architectural salvage.
The Museum houses everything from the royal armours of the Tudor and Stuart kings right up to present day weapons.
There were 14 of these cables connecting us to the rest of the world.
Head to Yorkshire for all you need to know about England's greatest mariner.
Impressive museum with costumed guides and firing demonstrations.
Discover the cramped and hazardous world of a Derbyshire lead miner.
A previous winner of the European Museum of the Year award.