Looking a proper cultural fix, or simply somewhere to explore during your spare time? We’ve created this short list of some of the best museums in England you must visit!
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
Located at Trafford Park in Manchester, an area that was a main target during the Manchester Blitz, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) North tells powerful stories of over a century of war. With exhibitions and a vast collection of over 2,000 objects from the First World War, to rubble of the World Trade Centre in New York, the IWM guarantees an emotional and thought-provoking experience. The building itself has become an iconic part of Manchester’s skyline since it was built in 2002 with its jutting aluminium-clad edges, which make it also worth checking out if you’re into fascinating architecture. The IWM North is just one of five branches of the Imperial War Museums in the UK.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Founded in 1816, the Fitzwilliam Museum in central Cambridge is home to over half a million world-renowned antique objects and artworks – one of the best collections of antiques and modern art in western Europe. Here, you’ll find ancient Egyptian coffins and medieval coins, to artwork by the likes of Monet, Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. Some work even dates to 2500BC. Better yet, you can browse the amazing artefacts here all for free. If you’re lucky enough to visit the museum on the first Saturday of the month, your children can take part in range of fun activities.
The British Museum, London
No trip to London is complete without a visit to the British Museum, voted as one of the best museums in England in Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards. Having opened in 1752, the British Museum was the world’s first national public museum. Inside is dedicated to human history, art and culture, with a spectacular collection of over 8 million objects. The museum sees over 5 million annual visitors, making it the third most visited museum in the world! If you do visit this museum, be sure to check out room 4, the Egyptian Galleries, and room 18, the Parthenon Sculptures, where you’ll see some world-famous objects.
National Railway Museum, York
Are you curious about the people, places and engineering geniuses behind railways? If so, the National Railway Museum in York is a must. See iconic locomotives, like the Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive, jump on board the infamous Japanese bullet train, and learn about how railway shaped the world we live in today. The National Railway Museum is the world’s largest and best-preserved collection of train cars and locomotives, with hundreds of every sort. It’s also been voted as one of the best museums in England.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace and The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Visit and explore the actual birthplace of Shakespeare himself – part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, a charity dedicated to the care of Shakespeare’s heritage. Shakespeare’s Birthplace and The Shakespeare Centre are two separate museums. Shakespeare’s birthplace was inhabited by the descendants of his windowed sister, Joan Hart, for more than 200 years after his death. Now, it’s open for public visits, with exhibitions that recreate a picture of his family life. The centre is just beside the house where you can find costumes and textiles, and decorative and applied art.
World Museum, Liverpool
Take a step back in time when you visit the World Museum in Liverpool and discover millions of years of Earth’s history. With over 5 floors, the World Museum covers all things archaeological, ethnological and natural and physical sciences through thousands of exhibits and hands-on-activities. The award-winning Clore Natural History Centre within the museum lets you discover the wonders of the natural world, with unusual items such as a hippopotamus skill and a mammoth tooth! Or there’s the aquarium, featuring an array of stunning tropical fish.
Science Museum, London
With interactive and thought-provoking objects and exhibitions, the Science Museum helps to make sense of the science that shapes our lives. This museum has quite an extensive history, with origins dating back to 1857 when a collection of items from the Royal Society or Arts and the Great Exhibition were pieced together. In 1885, the ‘Science Collections’ was renamed the ‘Science Museum’, making the museum what it is today. Over 3 million visitors now fill the seven floors of the museum each year. The museum is so big, it even has an in-house IMAX cinema which shoes scientific films in 3D – it’s quite the experience!
National Football Museum, Manchester
If you consider yourself a die-hard football fan, make the National Football Museum in Manchester a priority. The museum is home to over 140,000 football boots, balls, programmes, paintings, postcards and ceramics. Here, you can even test your own football skills, from penalty kicks to commentating. Former English player, Sir Bobby Charlton is the President of the museum, and Vice Presidents include other ex-football players and managers, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Trevor Brooking and Sir Geoff Hurst.
Visit and explore the best museums in England museums when you book our England’s Arts and Culture package. Find more information about it here.
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