Founded in 1857 by Bennet Woodcroft from a collection of the Royal Society of Arts and items left over from the Great Exhibition, the Science Museum is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK, drawing some three million visitors each year.
It forms part of the museum complex that includes the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National History Museum, and was called the Science Museum in 1909.
Science Museum Collection and Events
The current building was designed by Sir Richard Allison and opened between 1919 and 1928. It now houses some 350,000 items. Some of the most famous pieces include Stephenson’s Rocket, the oldest surviving steam locomotive, the Apollo 10 command module, the first jet engine, and a reconstruction of Crick and Watson’s DNA model.
The museum has moved with the times and now contains hundreds of interactive exhibitions, as well as a IMAX 3D Cinema, which shows science and nature documentaries often in 3-D. There is also a dedicated library, and the Dana Centre bar and café. The museum is not just for kids, and often organises adults only events including lectures and even silent discos.
Like many of the museums and galleries in London it is free to enter, although donations are welcomed.
What’s On at the Science Museum
The museum holds exhibitions and events throughout the year, including a series of Climate Talks. Until September 2022 it will hold the Our Future Planet exhibition, which will consider how science can help tackle climate change.
When is the Science Museum Open?
From wednesday to sunday, 10am to 6pm (last entry 5:15pm). Galleries close 30 minutes earlier.
Getting to the Science Museum
South Kensington (Circle and District lines) is a five-minute walk away.
The museum is close to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. It is also a short walk to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, two of the great central parks in London.