Science Museum Updated: 11 days ago

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The Science Museum in South Kensington is one of many museums in the surrounding area. It displays items and machines from many areas of science, such as space exploration, medicine, mathematics, computer science, and chemistry.

The area has several famous museums, including the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

History

The Science Museum’s collection was initially part of the same collection as the Victoria & Albert Museum in the South Kensington Museum (established 1857). The science-related items were split into its own collection when the construction of the Science Museum started in 1914.

Building

The building on Exhibition Road was opened to the public between 1919 and 1928. It was extended several times, the latest being the Wellcome Wing in 2000. The museum has five floors, each hosting several galleries. There’s an open space in the centre of the building, from which you can see up or down the other floors. The museum has several food and drink options on the different floors.

The Collection and Galleries

The museum has numerous exciting ways of showcasing information about science. There are items to see, listen to, read about specific topics, or try one of the interactive displays. There is also an IMAX 3D theatre, particularly for space-related shows.

The Wonderlab is an interesting place for children between the ages of 7 and 14. Here, they can see and interact with different scientific phenomena.

Here’s a summary of the galleries and exhibitions on each floor.

Basement

  • The Secret Life of Home - Evolution of Household Objects
  • The Garden - Learn and Explorer through Play, ages 3-6
  • Power Up - An interactive gallery where you can try games from the past 50 years using one of the 160 consoles available

Ground Floor

  • Energy Hall - How steam machines affected British industry
  • Exploring Space - Space exploration exhibits, read more below
  • Making the Modern World - Iconic objects that changed our lives
  • IMAX The Ronson Theatre - Different IMAX films
  • Pattern Pod - Interactive area for children aged 3-8
  • Exhibition: Injecting Hope - Developing vaccines

First Floor

  • Engineers - Iconic engineering innovations
  • Technicians - Interactive gallery with several exciting exhibits
  • Medicine - History of medicine and health
  • Who Am I? - Interactive gallery with hands-on exhibits
  • Exhibition: Turn it Up - How and why music shapes our lives?

Second Floor

  • The Clockmakers’ Museum - Unique watch collection from 1600 - present
  • Science City 1550 - 1800 - Scientific history of London
  • Mathematics - How mathematics connects to our lives
  • Information Age - History of information and communication technology
  • Exhibition: Zimingzhong - Clockwork technology from China
  • Energy Revolution - Sustainable energy

Third Floor

  • Wonderlab - Interactive science gallery for 7-14 year olds
  • Flight - Aviation History

Gallery: Exploring Space

The museum has a collection of items in the fields of science. One of the most fascinating fields is space and space-related items. In the Exploring Space gallery, you can see and learn about objects from rockets to satellites, and you can find a full-sized replica of the Eagle, which landed on the moon in 1969. With the moon lander, you can also see the descent module that carried astronauts from the ISS back to Earth in 2016. There is also a 4.6 billion-year-old sample from the asteroid Ryugu on display.

Visiting

Admission to the museum is free, but pre-booking is required. Some exhibitions require a ticket.

There is a lot to see in the museum, and you should reserve at least two hours, although spending the whole day there is easy. The museum has several places for coffee or food, making it convenient to take a break from exploring and recharging.

While in the area, if you still have energy, the Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum are very close, making it easy to visit all three on the same day.

Getting there

South Kensington underground station is about 5 minutes, and Gloucester Road station is about 10 minutes walking distance away.

Nearby

Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum are right next door. Harrods is also 10 minutes away by foot.

Nearest Stations

Gloucester Road - 7 min

District Piccadilly Circle London Underground Zone: 1

South Kensington - 8 min

District Piccadilly Circle London Underground Zone: 1

High Street Kensington - 14 min

District Circle London Underground Zone: 1

Activities from Get Your Guide