London Blog

Museums at Night: the highlights

A rare chance to see some of London’s most interesting haunts in another light this weekend with the annual Museums at Night. A national event co-ordinated by Culture24, this weekend, 18-20th May, will see over 200 museums nationwide open after hours for special events and activities. What’s particularly interesting about this event is that it isn’t only the large museums doing it. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum of course already have their own late night events, but this is an opportunity to see some of the lesser known, but no less fascinating, museums.

For the full list of museums opening, see the Museums at Night listings; for those of you in London, we have put together a short selection of our personal London highlights:

1. The Royal Observatory, Greenwich. One of our favourite museums in London, the Observatory will be open until 8pm on Saturday 19th for a whole range of family and adult activities including a talk entitled, “Space is big…”, a planet-finder making workshop for kids and the opportunity to talk to astronomers about their work. All events are free except the planetarium shows.

2. The Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. Nature London has posted about the Hunterian Museum before because it really is one of London’s hidden gems. This Friday evening, 6-9pm, there will be a host of talks, activities and archival displays that will look at the life of Thomas Wakley, surgeon, Lancet founder and medical crusader. Free; not suitable for children.

A photo always worth a second posting by O.F.E on Flickr

3. The Old Operating Theatre. Another one previously visited by Nature London, this tiny museum is tucked away at the top of a flight of stairs near London Bridge station and features the most amazingly bizarre collection of medical miscellany I think I have ever seen. On Friday night, it promises to allow you to experience the fear and the emotion of a patient in the 19th century – come and have your leg amputated in the oldest surviving operating theatre in England. 6-8pm, shows on the hour, £9 tickets, suitable for children and adults.

For more on museums in general, if you missed it the first time you must see the map of the world’s science museums created by our sister blog Of Schemes and Memes: hundreds of science museums all over the world mapped on a Google map, as well as eleven city-specific maps. A must read when you need to be inspired or have a holiday begging for a little culture.


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