on August 11, 2013
Open Daily: 10am to 5pm (Fridays until 8.30pm). Admission: FREENearest Tubes: Holborn (Central & Piccadilly Line), Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern Line), Goodge Street (Northern Line) and Russell Square (Piccadilly Line). There are about twenty different bus routes that come through the roads neighbouring the museum, where you will also find cycle racks and ‘Boris Bikes’. The Times newspaper recently claimed this was the second best museum in the world (after the Smithsonian in Washington, USA) and whist I have not visited all the museums on the list (or even all the museums in London, I do think this museum gives many of them a run for their money. But, as it is free to go in, it won’t cost you any money! It would be impossible to see everything currently exhibited in a day, and I would recommend breaking the day up into manageable chunks, that fit in with your own time and interests. Saying that, I last turned up on a Friday evening and ‘winged it’, but this may mean museum fatigue could set in before you have got to your favourite parts. One area that is always popular, especially with school parties, is the Egyptology section (best avoided during the day, during term-time) and there is a very good range of mummies and coffins. The Ancient Greece and Rome section is also quite vast. I picked up a free map and used their suggested eleven highlights as a guideline route around the museum. Not all of their highlights were my highlights, but the route took me round much of the museum, including some of the less visited galleries, which I enjoyed. For me, highlights included an ivory plaque depicting a lioness eating a boy from Ancient Levant (the western part of the present Middle East), a 1901 Tiffany cash register, Chinese porcelain dragons, an Easter Island statue and virtually the entire African collection. This really is just touching the surface of everything the museum has to offer.I’ll be the first to admit that the layout isn’t always cohesive and can sometimes be confusing, so I recommend comfy shoes! There are lifts so the entire museum can be accessible, and support for the visually impaired is also available. Families are encouraged with special activities available from the family desk and free kids meals (when an adult eats) in one of the cafes. There are several eating options from a sit down served meal, to kiosks selling drinks and snacks, both in the museum and in its grounds. There is also a large gift shop in the Great Court.A visit to the British museum is well worth doing, as there is so much to see, but the sheer vastness of the collection can be overwhelming, so I recommend choosing a few sections of interest at a time, but allow some additional time for new discoveries.
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