// Museums in Kensington and Chelsea

The museums in Kensington and Chelsea are amongst some of the best museums in all of London! Best of all, some have no entry charge, donated by FREE next to the museum name in this list. (Note, however, that some museums may charge for special exhibitions.) Here’s our guide to them:

Museums in Kensington and Chelsea - Kensington PalaceKensington Palace
Kensington Palace State Apartments, Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX
Underground: High Street Kensington
Website: www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonPalace
The State Apartments of Kensington Palace are open to the public to visit and in 2010 were transformed into the “Enchanted Palace” exhibit, which features installations from fashion desginers including Vivienne Westwood, displayed alongside historic palace objects and two dresses once worn by Princess Diana and Princess Margaret. A renovation project is also taking place at the Palace, which is due to be finished in 2012.

 

Leighton House Museum
12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ
Underground: Kensington Olympia
Website:
www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/leightonhousemuseum.aspx
Entirely refurbished and reopened in 2010, this dramatic 19th century building with a Middle Eastern-themed interior was once home to the artist Lord Leighton. The Museum has regular exhibitions (as well as educational workshops), but be sure to take in the house itself on your visit – it’s simply stunning, especially the ground floor. There’s a delightful garden at the back too.

Natural History Museum FREE
Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Underground: South Kensington
Website:
www.nhm.ac.uk
Opened in 1881 to display the British Museum’s natural history collection, this huge museum, housed in a rather stunning building, has had several high-tech refits since. Perhaps best to go in summer to avoid the school groups (which have in the past included me!), highlights are the amazing Dinosaur collection and the Mammals (including a Blue Whale) exhibi, the Ecology display and the new Darwin Centre. There are also plenty of temporary exhibits that on display through the year – check their website for the latest details – whilst the last Friday of each month during summer offers you the chance to visit the museum “after hours”.

Science Museum FREE
Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD
Underground: South Kensington
Website: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Another London school kids’ classic, this amazing museum has plenty for grown-ups too. Learn about science techonolgy through the centuries and decades through various collections. There’s also an IMAX 3D cinema on site, showing a variety of special science-related 3D films. BUT best of all is the famous Launchpad gallery, an interactive hands-on exhibit (mainly aimed at children) with a wonderful variety of science shows and demos.

Victoria and Albert Museum FREE
Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Underground: South Kensington
Website: www.vam.ac.uk

A decorative arts and design museum, the collections on show include fashion & jewellery, furniture, ceramics, paintings & drawings, photography, sculpture, textiles and architecture. The museum is also home to some of the best temporary exhibitions in London – be sure to check what’s on during your stay in the area.

National Army Museum FREE
Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT
Underground: Sloane Square
Website: www.nam.ac.uk
The National Army Museum allows visitors to learn more about the British Army and its purpose and impact through a variety of exhibitions, covering the Army from 1066 to the present day.

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