The United Kingdom boasts an impressive amount of free museums and galleries for kids, adults, and families. Below we detail a few of our favorites:
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5PM
Created in 2006 with the merger of the New Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum, this museum features a variety of exhibits for children and families that tell the fascinating Scottish history in chronological order. The new building presents the country’s history beginning at the lowest level and the Victorian Building tells history of world cultures in separate zones: South Pacific, East Asia, and Ancient Egypt (each with various galleries). The museum’s Grand Gallery contains large objects with a display called the “Window on the World” rising four stories high.
V&A Museum of Childhood, London
Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5:45PM
This museum boasts an impressive collection of teddy bears and a display of different Victorian doll houses very intricately made. The museum also has an impressive collection of china dolls. The museum’s mission is “to enable everyone, especially the young, to explore and enjoy the designed world, in particular objects made for and by young children.” The museum houses a cast iron statue by John Bell from the Great Exhibition in 1851.
Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry
Millennium Place, Hales Street, Coventry CV1 1JD, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5PM
This museum houses a collection of British made road transport and is located in Coventry because it was once the center of the British car industry. The museum houses more than 240 cars and commercial vehicles, 100 motorcycles, and 200 bicycles. The notable exhibits in the museum include Thrust2 and ThrustSSC, which are the British jet cars that broke the land speed record in 1983 and 1997, respectively. The museum displays many Jaguars and other Coventry built vehicles like the Triumph, Humber, and Standard.
Royal Armouries, Leeds
Armouries Drive, Leeds LS10 1LT, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5PM
This museum displays the National Collection of Arms and Armour. It is part of the Royal Armouries family of museums, the other sites being located in London. This museum houses over 70,000 weapons used historically by medieval, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century soldiers. The museum is a dedication to the innovative and creative tools used by the United Kingdom.
World Museum, Liverpool
William Brown Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 8EN, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5PM
The World Museum in Liverpool is definitely a great museum for kids and families to spend their day exploring. It has as an impressive collection of archaeology, ethnology, and the natural and physical sciences. The special attractions include the Natural History Centre and the Planetarium. Another famous exhibit is The Bug House, which is the museum’s research collection of bugs. The museum also boasts and aquarium.
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP, United Kingdom, Open from 11AM-4PM
The Weston Park Museum is the largest museum in Sheffield and was opened in 1875. The museum is home to one of the longest serving weather stations in the country which has provided data to Sheffield since 1882. The museum has an impressive child exhibit allowing children to build an igloo in a section devoted to the Ice Age as well as an impressive zoological collection.
National Football Museum, Manchester
Cathedral Gardens, Todd Street, Manchester, M4 3BG, United Kingdom, Open from 10AM-5PM
As the home of Manchester United and Manchester City, you know that the U.K.’s football museum was bound to be in this city. The Football museum has a various attractions and a vast collection of football memorabilia, player profiles, and jerseys. The Discovery Zone is a place where children can dress up as their favorite footballers and can listen to the achievements and triumphs of their favorite teams.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG, United Kingdom, Open from 11AM-5PM
One of the more popular institutions outside of London, this museum houses 22 galleries and more than 8,000 objects. The museum’s art collection includes many impressive European artworks including the works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, and Mary Cassatt. The museum also houses Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali. A truly impressive collection for no cost.
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