Science Museum, London

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Science Museum

The Science Museum (map) is a major museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London. It is one of the five museums in the Science Museum Group.

The museum was founded in 1857 under Bennet Woodcroft from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts and surplus items from the Great Exhibition as part of the South Kensington Museum, together with what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Science Museum consists of two buildings – the main building and the Welcome Wing. Visitors enter the main building from Exhibition Road and the Welcome Wing is accessed by walking through the Energy Hall.

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The Energy Hall is the first area that most visitors see as they enter the building. On the ground floor, the gallery contains a variety of steam engines, including the oldest surviving James Watt beam engine, which together tell the story of the British industrial revolution.

Exploring Space is a historical gallery, filled with rockets and exhibits that tell the story of human space exploration and the benefits that space exploration has brought us.

The Secret Life of the Home shows the development of household appliances mostly from the late 19th and early 20th century, although some are earlier.

The Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries is a five-gallery medical exhibition which spans ancient history to modern times with over 3000 exhibits and specially commissioned artworks.

The Clockmakers Museum is the world’s oldest clock and watch museum which was originally assembled by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London’s Guildhall.

The Equinor Gallery. One of the most popular galleries in the museum is the interactive Wonderlab:The Equinor Gallery, formerly called Launch Pad. The gallery is staffed by Explainers who demonstrate how exhibits work, conduct live experiments and perform shows to schools and the visiting public.

Public transport

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TRANSPORT FOR LONDON – is a government organisation responsible for all public transport. Their website contains maps plus an excellent journey planner. The Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. (+ Connections map)

+ Getting around (visitlondon.com) • Transport (london.gov.uk) • Travel to and around England (visitengland.com)

 BUS >   National Express. By far the largest domestic coach operator and operates services throughout Great Britain. London’s coach hub is Victoria Coach Station (map), an Art Deco building opened in 1932.

 RAIL >   National Rail network, with 70 per cent of rail journeys starting or ending in London. + Train – Planning trip >> *Rail travel in Great Britain

 AIRPORTS >   Heathrow Airport, in Hillingdon, was for many years the busiest airport in the world for international traffic. Gatwick Airport is second airport, also serving a large spectrum of places world-wide. >> airportguides.co.uk – list of airports.

 WATERWAYS >   River boat services on the Thames known as Thames Clippers, which offers both commuter and tourist boat services. + River Transport Services.

Bicycles may be taken on car ferries and on Eurotunnel shuttle trains. Eurostar allows folding bikes on all its trains, and offers a more restricted service for other bikes, but has quite strict and specific rules that are worth reading up on before you travel.

Useful links

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