Seeing London (Day 1 of 3) – Exhibition Road

My wife and I just spent 4 days in London with our 1 year old child (although he can’t talk yet, we think he liked it!). This post is part 1 of a 3 part series, with suggestions for how to make the most of your time in the EU’s biggest city.

How do you spend 3 days in London effectively, without spending all or most your time travelling from A to B?  It’s no easy task actually. In the sprawling city of 8 million people and nearly as many things to see and do, visitors need to plan well or risk seeing very little. The best strategy, I believe at least, is to focus on one specific region per day.

V & A Museum

Our focus for day 1 in London was Exhibition Road, which is home to three of London’s largest museums and most popular tourist attractions. This includes the V&A Museum, the National History Museum and the Science Museum, conveniently located next door to one another, and all with free admission.  This part of London is called the Brompton district within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (perhaps you’ve heard of the football club?).

Budget an entire morning to explore the vast V&A Museum, which was founded in 1852 and is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, with a permanent collection of more than 4.5 million objects. Two temporary exhibitions really wowed us, the Power of Making and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion. Much of the permanent collection simply takes your breath away, and is in fact so overwhelming it takes some time to digest it all.

Outdoor Ice Skating at National History Museum

For some fresh air, we hopped across the street to the National History Museum for ice skating on an outdoor rink. Great setting!  This winter activity is a must. After a skate it was into the museum for what is likely the closest encounter one will ever have with a dinosaur, the 26 metre Diplotocus cast skeleton in the central hall, which has been on display there since 1905. Skating and the permanent exhibition are just two of the National History Museum’s exciting features.

If you are in the mood for an outdoor lunch break, take a picnic in the nearby Hyde Park, before returning to the V&A Museum in the afternoon to see more of the never-ending permanent collection. I truly believe it would take several full days to explore this entire museum.  If you have time remaining, head over to the Science Museum. We didn’t make it this trip. Next time I guess.

Anyways, there aren’t enough hours in the day to fully explore the three great museums on Exhibition Road in London. Best of all, with free admission, you can keep returning again and again until you’ve had enough.

Check out Day 2 of 3


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