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.