Visit the Science Museum London and experience the wonder of discovery
The Science Museum in London evolves as rapidly as the world. There are new exhibitions, upgrades and shows, and something for every curious mind.
There are the classics, such as space rockets, lunar modules and early passenger locomotives. A poignant subject today is our health and disease. The Welcome Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum is the largest of its kind and explores our desire to know more about the human body, and how we preserve our health.
For the most part, you do not require a guide to visit The Science Museum. You may find it enlightening to have an expert guide who can explain in simple language the highlights of the museum, please don't hesitate to ask.
Stories of great scientific achievement
A brief history of the Science Museum
Originally the collection was a hotchpotch of a variety of objects, such as books and models. It was called the Ornamental Art Museum, founded in 1852, a year after the Great Exhibition. The Great Exhibition was the first-ever world's fair and was an incredible success. The event took place in Hyde Park and spawned Albertopolis, a huge learning centre, encouraged by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's beloved husband. The legacy of the exhibition was museums and colleges. The Science Museum is one of them.
Queen Victoria requested the museum be called The Victoria and Albert Museum, which it was, but, later the science department of the Victoria and Albert Museum separated. The first displays were machines, locomotives and scientific discoveries that fuelled Britain's industrial revolution. Early exhibits included Fox-Talbot's first camera; you can learn more about him at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.
The museum became more international with displays such as; Edison's original phonograph, more commonly known as a gramophone, an early telephone and the Vickers 'Vimy' aircraft which made the first Atlantic crossing in 1919.
Today the Science Museum has all the modern facilities you would expect from a world-class institution and a fabulous shop with many science-based toys.
The Welcome Galleries
The Welcome Galleries displays over three thousand objects and is the world's largest medicine gallery. What strikes you most about the gallery is the realisation of our endless quest for knowledge of the human body. Discover how post-mortems are conducted, see the world's first MRI scanner and see bizarre historical items collected by Henry Welcome (1853-1936), a pharmaceutical businessman, who left a vast amount of money to charities. See many fascinating and strange objects, including trepanned skulls (hole drilled into skulls) and leech jars.
Finally, you can enter a real Victorian pharmacy and learn how we deal with deadly epidemics today.
Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery
Here is a chance to interact with science at work. Discover the power of lightning and see it strike. Learn about gravity on the giant slides and stroll under a canopy of stars. Young people can make structures in the maths zone.
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery
The story of mathematics told coherently and interestingly. Mathematical calculations penetrate everything. See the Handley Page aeroplane, built by engineers and mathematicians to make a super-safe aircraft. See an Enigma machine, used by German high command during World War Two to send coded messages to the front. You never knew how fascinating mathematics could be; this is a must-see gallery.
Stephenson's Rocket – and old favourite now in the Railway Museum, York.
The Rocket was the locomotive that won the prize (1829) to haul passenger filled carriages on the world's first inter-city railway. The two cities in question were Liverpool and Manchester. It reached a top speed of 30 MPH. The Rocket is one of the museum's iconic items and set the standard for the entire railway network in the early 19th century.
Other collection highlights
See Helen Sharman's spacesuit, which she wore on a mission to the Mir space station. See the Black Arrow R4 launch vehicle (1971), an advanced British rocket to launch satellites. See Crick and Watson's DNA molecular model. The Wells Cathedral clock (1390) is a wonderful piece of medieval tech, one of the oldest working clocks in the world. See the Marconi transmitter used by the BBC to transmit its first radio program in 1922.
There is so much more, with revolving exhibits, shows and upgrades. Please include a visit to the Science Museum on your next Private tour of London. Bear in-mind we can provide, if required, an expert museum guide to bring it all to life and help manage your day, contact us for details.
Touring and accommodation
We can tailor a museum-day for you and your family and provide a specialist tour guide for your convenience. You could visit up to three museums in a day with stops for tea and lunch. Please contact for further information.
South Kensington has three famous museums, The Science, Natural History and Victoria and Albert Museum. If you would like to make a point of visiting, then staying in the area would be convenient. The world-famous department store Harrod's is also in the neighbourhood.
We would recommend the five-star Milestone Hotel or 11 Cadogan Gardens, a swanky townhouse hotel near the famous Kings Road. The best places to stay in London are Mayfair, St James, and the Royal Borough of Kensington. If you are considering day tours from London, staying further west in Kensington makes sense. Harrods and Hyde Park are close. Staying in Mayfair and St James will give you easy access to Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and high-end shops. The theatre district called the ‘West End’ is a short hop too. Here is our recommended collection of the Best Four and Five-Star Hotel in London.
Our Tour Designers are here to customise your private tours of London and day tours from London. Tell us about you and your interests, and we will create a tailor-made tour. Our Old City of London tour features St Paul's Cathedral. However, we can tailor a tour of London for you.
If this is your first time in England, we would recommend a custom version of your Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting off the beaten path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. Merging Wales with England makes for a dynamic experience of mountains, stately homes and cosy country pubs.
The Wonder of Science
Britain's foremost museum of Science
- Expert guided tours available
- See the world's largest medical gallery
- Excellent museum shop
- Discover the birth of space travel
- Hear the story of DNA
Tim Peak's Scorched Spacecraft
Skulls of our Ancestors
Human Evolution Exhibit
Discover Planetary Evolution
Inside Tim Peak's Spacecraft
The Imax Theatre
The Earth Galleries
19th Century Horse Drawn Carriage
Motorcar from 1895
Aviation and Transport
Help us make your trip exceptional
Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.
Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.
We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.
We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.