Self-Guided Walking Tour: South Kensington

South Kensington is one of London’s most famous neighbourhoods, and there is enough for visitors to see and do there to fill an entire day (or more, if there’s time). With world-class museums, famous parks and gardens, and great cafes and shops, the area is the perfect place to explore on foot.

This self-guided walking tour of London’s South Kensington will take you around to all the sightseeing highlights and allow you to explore everything the neighbourhood has to offer. You can use the interactive map below to guide you as you go.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of South Kensington
Starting Point: South Kensington tube station (District, Circle, Piccadilly lines)
Duration: 2-4 hours

Start your tour at the South Kensington tube station, one of the prettiest stations in the city. Exit onto Onslow Square and walk down to Fulham Road. Some of London’s best shopping can be found here, and it’s worth exploring if you want some retail therapy.

When you’re done, make your way back up Cranley Gardens and down Old Brompton Road to the tube station. Around the corner on Exhibition Road is a pedestrianised area lined with all kinds of cafes and restaurants. If you’re hungry or want to stop for a coffee, Le Pain Quotidien and Fernandez & Wells are great for light fare, and Le Comptoir Libanais and Casa Brindisa are perfect for more substantial meals. If the weather is nice, you can sit outside.

Once finished, continue your walk up Exhibition Road to Cromwell Road, where you will see the Natural History Museum on your left, the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) on your right, and the Science Museum straight ahead. Take your pick of the museums (or visit all three if you have the stamina) and wander through to learn more about your topic of choice.

When you’re done, continue up Exhibition Road, passing by Imperial College, one of London’s top universities, on your left. Turn left on Prince Consort Road and then right on Kensington Gore, which will lead you to Royal Albert Hall, one of the city’s most famous (and beautiful) concert venues.

Royal Albert Hall sits along Hyde Park, one of London’s largest and most famous green spaces. Cross Kensington Road to the Albert Memorial, a monument to Queen Victoria’s husband, and spend some time walking through the park. If you want to, you can go to Kensington Palace and explore the rooms and gardens.

When you’re finished walking in Hyde Park, you can continue to another area of London or walk back down Exhibition Road to the South Kensington tube station, where your self-guided walking tour will end.

Best Small Museums in London

V&A Museum of Childhood in London
Museum in London

London has no shortage of great museums, from the world-class art at Tate Modern to the works of the Old Masters at the National Gallery. But the city has a number of small museums that are no less important than their larger counterparts, and often specialise in a particular area that appeals to people with a passion for it. Below is a list of London’s best small museums to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Sir John Soane’s Museum
A miniature version of the nearby British Museum, the Sir John Soane’s Museum is home to its namesake’s stunning collection of everything from art to antiquities. Sir John Soane himself was an architect, and the museum also showcases his drawings and models.

Cartoon Museum
Also near the British Museum, the Cartoon Museum in London features the highlights of British cartoon history. Lovers of iconic characters like Dennis the Menace can enjoy the museum’s permanent collection and rotating exhibitions.

Leighton House Museum
Over in Holland Park, the Leighton House Museum not only showcases the paintings of 19th century artist Frederick, Lord Leighton, but also serves as a work of art in itself. Its stunning Syrian tiles and Turkish decor make it worth a visit in its own right.

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
Anyone that loves pop culture will enjoy a trip through time at the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill. Packaged goods from the Victorian era to the recent decades show the progression of branding and advertising in the UK.

Geffrye Museum
The Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch is dedicated to the British middle class home as it has evolved over the centuries. With interior models of sitting rooms and living areas as well as beautiful gardens dedicated to the country’s gardening passion, the museum is a great place to visit for a look at Britain’s domestic history.

Bank of England Museum
Lovers of banking and finance will find plenty to entertain them at the Bank of England Museum in the City of London. From educational exhibits about the bank’s founding and function to special exhibitions covering specific periods in the bank’s history, the museum offers a range of activities and exhibits.

Florence Nightingale Museum
Located in St Thomas’ Hospital in Waterloo, the Florence Nightingale Museum is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Crimean War nurse. Interactive exhibits take visitors through Nightingale’s life, from her childhood home to her later work, focusing on her nursing career and medical achievements.

Pollock’s Toy Museum
Not far from Oxford Street, Pollock’s Toy Museum is dedicated to children’s toys throughout the decades. It’s less a place to play than a place to admire the collection, and is one of the best small museums at which to supplement a trip to Bethnal Green’s V&A Museum of Childhood.

Freud Museum
Up in Hampstead, the Freud Museum is the former home of Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis. Visitors can learn about his life and work in London, and see the famous chair where his patients sat while he analysed them.

Wallace Collection
Just off Oxford Street, the Wallace Collection is a good place to stop during a day of shopping in London. The museum offers a great collection of paintings and armour, and its manageable size means that it won’t take all day to explore.

Brunel Museum
Civil engineering fans can head to Rotherhithe in southeast London to explore the world of the most famous Victorian tunnel at the Brunel Museum. The museum also offers tours of the tunnel under the Thames on certain days.

The Guards Museum
Right near Buckingham Palace, The Guards Museum has a surprisingly extensive collection featuring royal military memorabilia. The museum offers a glimpse into regimental history of the Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry, and is a good place to supplement a visit to larger museums like the Imperial War Museum or Churchill War Rooms.

Top 5 Museums in Glasgow

Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow hasn’t always been the cultural hub of Scotland, but in recent years it has challenged neighbouring Edinburgh for the title. With a lively arts scene and plenty of new galleries and museums opening all the time, the city is emerging as a force on Scotland’s cultural stage.

With so many choices and types of museums to choose from, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time when you are visiting. To help you with your decision, here is a list of the best museums in Glasgow.

Glasgow School of Art
The Glasgow School of Art is one of the best known museums in Scotland. The school was designed by the country’s most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and is a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture. Visitors can take guided tours of the Glasgow School of Art for a nominal fee, and it is worth booking one to see the stunning interiors and learn about the architect’s impact on the cultural scene in Glasgow.

Hunterian Museum
The oldest public museum in Scotland, the Hunterian Museum is home to an extensive collection of minerals, dinosaur bones, fossils, and other rare cultural objects. The neighbouring Hunterian Art Gallery is also worth a visit. It showcases masterpieces by artists like Rembrandt, Whistler, and Rubens. It also has a Mackintosh House in which the main interiors of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s home have been reassembled for public viewing.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Home to one of the best art collections in the country, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has artworks by Scottish artists, French Impressionists, Dutch Old Masters, and more. There are also great rotating exhibitions on throughout the year. The Kelvingrove is one of the most visited museums in the UK outside of London, and offers free entry.

Burrell Collection
​​​​​​Located in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park, the award-winning Burrell Collection showcases one of the most impressive array of objects ever collected by one person. With over 8,000 pieces, the museum has everything from ancient Egyptian artefacts to 19th century French paintings. There are also great displays of armour, tapestries, stained glass, and more.

Riverside Museum of Transport
The Riverside Museum of Transport is one of Glasgow’s newest and most eye-catching museums. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the museum is home to all things relating to transportation, including classic cars, bicycles, ships, and trains. It offers free entry, and is a great museum for families.