Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes of the UK’s largest sporting and music venue? You can find out with a Wembley Stadium Tour. Approximately 75 minutes in length, the fully guided tour includes locations such as the England Dressing Room, Players Tunnel and Press Room. You’ll get to take photos from some of the best views in the stadium bowl and see fantastic memorabilia like the 1966 World Cup crossbar, the Jules Rimet Trophy commemorating England’s World Cup glory and the original flag from London’s 1948 Olympic Games. Wembley is only two stops from Baker Street (Metropolitan Line).
Perhaps no story in the history of East London in Victorian times is as gripping as Jack the Ripper. At the Jack the Ripper Museum on Cable Street, six floors recreate scenes from the time, such as the murder scene in Mitre Square, the Whitechapel police station, Mary Jane Kelly’s bedroom, the mortuary and more. The museum explores East London during Victorian times, exploring the crimes within the social context of the period. The facility is just seven minutes away from Tower Hill Station.
What’s a collector to do with a motley assortment of historic anaesthetic apparatus? Why, donate it, of course. That’s what Charles King did in England when he donated his collection to the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) in 1953. That conveyance formed the basis for the development of the Anaesthesia Museum, part of the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre in London. The earliest object in their collections is a resuscitation set from 1774. A unique resource for research into the history of anaesthesia, the museum also contains Morton’s demonstration of ether inhalation in 1846 as well as modern anaesthetic machines. As part of their World War I commemorations, the AAGBI has compiled an extensive oral history from interviews with anaesthetists who served in wars from Vietnam to the recent day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Open Monday to Friday, admission to the facility on Portland Place is free.
The Musical Museum at Kew Bridge contains one of the world’s foremost collections of self-playing musical instruments. In addition to the tiniest of clockwork music boxes and the Mighty Wurlitzer, the collection includes an array of sophisticated reproducing pianos, orchestrions, orchestrelles, residence organs and violin players, along with 30,000 historic musical rolls. Tours with live demonstrations of self-playing instruments and the Mighty Wurlitzer take place on open days throughout the day. The facility is located in Brentford, London Borough of Hounslow, a few minutes’ walk from Kew Bridge railway station.
The Royal London Hospital Museum is located in the former crypt of St Philip’s Church at Newark Street. Once Britain’s largest hospital, it counts amongst its legendary patients Joseph Merrick (the “Elephant Man”). Given its location in the heart of Whitechapel, it’s no wonder that the museum showcases original material on the Jack the Ripper murders. There’s also a tribute to Edith Cavell, a nurse who worked tirelessly to improve healthcare standards whilst training nurses in London and abroad. She cared for soldiers in Belgium during the First World War and ultimately was executed for helping some escape occupation. Admission to the museum is free but donations are welcome.
Freemasonry began in medieval Europe as a guild for stonemasons who built the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Today it is one of the largest fraternal and charitable organizations in the world. The United Grand Lodge of England at Great Queen Street in London, over 300 years old, boasts The Library and Museum of Freemasonry. Open to the public, it’s located on the first floor of Freemasons’ Hall, where guided tours of the Grand Temple and ceremonial areas are provided when the hall is not in use. The free museum displays one of the world’s largest collections associated with Freemasonry, including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture, clocks, jewels, regalia and items belonging to famous Freemasons like Winston Churchill and King George IV (the first Royal Grand Master). The closest tube stations are Holborn, Covent Garden and Leicester Square.
The only London museum related to inland waterways, London Canal Museum explores not only how canals came to be built but also teaches about the lives of the workers, the cargoes, horses and how canals work. Situated at King’s Cross, this unique waterways museum is housed in a former ice warehouse built around 1862 for Carlo Gatti, the famous ice cream maker, and features the history of the ice trade and ice cream as well as the canals. Consider adding a guided towpath walk to your visit via a free audio walking guide that starts from Camden Town and guides you to the museum.