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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Museums in the United Kingdom

British Houses of Parliament

Museums in the United Kingdom

The “United Kingdom” (UK) commonly known as Britain consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has many great cities with some fabulous museums.

London Museums

Edinburgh Museums

Glasgow Museums

Liverpool Museums

Manchester Museums

Bath Museums 

Birmingham Museums

British Museums

The term “Great Britain” is often used to include the whole of England, Scotland and Wales including their component adjoining islands.

London Museums

  • The British Museum
    • The British Museum is one of the oldest public museums in the world. It was established in 1753, the English Parliament founded it and set the model for all other public museums that followed. Before the introduction of the British Museum as an open museum, museums were private collections of kings, wealthy people, the church or universities. The British Museum Act of Parliament in 1753 states that it was founded so that it may “be preserved and maintained, not only for the inspection and entertainment of the learned and the curious but the general use and benefit of the public.”
  • The National Gallery, London
    • The National Gallery, London is an art museum founded in 1824. Its collection includes over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th century to the 20th century. It is one of the most visited art museums in the world, and its main building facade facing Trafalgar Square has not changed for two-hundred years.
  • Tate Britain
    • Tate Britain is part of the Tate network of galleries in England, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, having opened in 1897. Tate Britain houses a significant and large collection of the art of British art from 1500 to the present day and has extensive holdings of the works of J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed all his collection to the nation.
  • The Wallace Collection
    • The Wallace Collection is an art collection housed at Hertford House in Manchester Square, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford. Its collection comprises a remarkable range of fine and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th centuries with a significant collection of French 18th-century paintings, furniture, porcelain and Old Master paintings.
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
    • The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is one of the world’s largest museums of decorative arts and design. Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A is located near the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall in London,
  • Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
    • The Queen’s Gallery is an art gallery at Buckingham Palace, home of the British monarch, in London. It exhibits works of art from the Royal Collection on a rotating basis with about 450 works are on display at any one time. When not on display at the Queen’s Gallery, the masterpieces of the Royal Collection maybe spread among many historic royal residences in the United Kingdom.
  • Courtauld Gallery
    • The Courtauld Gallery is an art museum that houses the art collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art, a college of the University of London specialising in the study of the history of art. The Courtauld collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works from medieval to modern times; it is particularly known for its French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.
  • Tate Modern, London
    • Tate Modern is Britain’s national gallery holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art. Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world.
  • Science Museum, London
    • The Science Museum is a major museum in London, which was founded in 1857 and today is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. The Science Museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items; it also contains hundreds of interactive exhibits.
  • National Portrait Gallery, London
    • The National Portrait Gallery houses a collection of portraits of historical importance and more recent famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world, established in 1856. Since then it has expanded include regional centres at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset.
  • Natural History Museum, London
    • Natural History Museum, London exhibits a vast range of life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. Many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin. The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture.
  • Charles Dickens Museum
    • The Charles Dickens Museum is the author’s house turned to into a museum about Charles Dickens. The museum is housed in a Georgian terraced house which was Charles Dickens’s home from 1837 to 1839. Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine Dickens lived here and the older two of Dickens’s daughters, Mary Dickens and Kate were born in this house.
  • Hampton Court Palace
    • Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace 11.7 miles (18.8 kilometres) south-west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. The palace building project began  Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1515, however, in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the King seized the palace for himself and enlarged it to cater for his royal court.
  • Sherlock Holmes Museum
    • The Sherlock Holmes Museum is dedicated to the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Situated in Baker Street, bearing the number 221B by permission of the City of Westminster, although it lies between numbers 237 and 241. The Georgian townhouse which the museum occupies was formerly used as a boarding house during the period of 1881 to 1904 when the stories that describe Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson residing at that approximate location as tenants of Mrs Hudson.

Edinburgh Museums

  • National Museum of Scotland
    • The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new “Museum of Scotland” and the “Royal Museum”. The joint collections include Scottish antiquities, culture and history,  plus science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other in central Edinburgh.

Glasgow Museums

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
    • The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum armor in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin. It is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow. There is a myth in Glasgow, that the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum building was accidentally built back-to-front. This is only an urban myth. The grand entrance was always intended to face into Kelvingrove Park

Liverpool Museums

  • Walker Art Gallery
    • The Walker Art Gallery houses one of the largest art collections in England, outside of London. It is part of the National Museums Liverpool group and is promoted as “the National Gallery of the North.” The Walker’s collection includes European art from 1300 – 1900, 18th and 19th-century British art, including a major collection of Victorian painting and many Pre-Raphaelite works, 20th-century works and a significant sculpture collection. The collection of decorative arts covers a wide range, from Gothic ivories to British ceramics up to the present day.

Manchester Museums

  • Manchester Art Gallery
    • The Manchester Art Gallery houses many works of local and international significance and has a collection of more than 25,000 objects. The gallery has an excellent art collection consisting of more than 2,000 oil paintings, 3,000 watercolors and drawings, 250 sculptures, 90 miniatures and around 1,000 prints. It owns many decorative art objects including ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, arms and armour.

Bath Museums 

  • Roman Baths (Bath)
    • The Roman Baths complex is a site of a well-preserved ancient Roman public bath and museum. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level. There are four main parts to the complex: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the museum, holding finds from Roman Bath. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century.

United Kingdom

Explore British Proverbs and Quotes

United Kingdom Map

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“Rule Britannia, Britannia, rule the waves; Britains never will be slaves.”
– James Thomson

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Photo Credits: By Maurice from Zoetermeer, Netherlands (The British Parliament and Big Ben) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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