Newest Review: ... Light Railway) which is easily accessible from various tube stops and get off at the Cutty Sark stop. This probably takes about 20 mi... more
Sailing the Seas!
National Maritime Museum (London)
Member Name: Whizz11
National Maritime Museum (London)
Advantages: Free, interesting
Last week on my way to a concert at the 02 arena we decided to spend the afternoon in Greenwich and look around some of the museums there. We ended up at eh National Maritime Museum and I'm really glad we did.
The National Maritime Museum is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may possibly be the largest museum of its kind in the world. According to the leaflet guide you get when you enter the museum, the museum, "explores the continuing effects of the oceans on the world today by detailing stories of discovery and endeavour from Britain's seafaring past."
The great thing about this museum is that it's in such a strikingly beautiful building. You walk up a long gravel path to get to the entrance and it really looks magnificent. The building was actually the former Royal Hospital School (or Royal Navy School) and the other buildings around it also include the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory. The Queen's house dates from the 17th century and in 1997 was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
The museum is extremely easy to find and fairly easy to get to if you don't mind using public transport. You have to take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) which is easily accessible from various tube stops and get off at the Cutty Sark stop. This probably takes about 20 minutes from Central London, so not very long. Once you get off the train there are very good signposts pointing you in various directions and the National Maritime Museum is prominently written on the signs to help you get there. It's a short walk from the train (about 5 minutes) and then you will see the big white building on your right hand side. It is surrounded by the beautiful Greenwich Park which is a great open space and perfect for picnics before or after you go to the museum.
I think the best thing (well there are great things inside but...) about the museum is that it is free. I think this really encourages people and kids to learn about history and basically things are country was built on and is a great benefit to the people of England. Not too many things are free these days so we should definitely grab them when we can.
The museum itself is bright and airy and quite big, you definitely need a few hours to look around it properly.
A great display that I really enjoyed is a ship model of the Mauretania with examples of first and third class passenger cabins. There are some great artefacts from the Titanic that we saved when they found the ship such as postcards, personal items etc. It's wonderful to look and them and think that they actually came from the Titanic.
A must see is the uniform coat worn by Nelson when he fell at the battle of Cape Trafalgar, how amazing that you can be that close to history. The restored stained glass from the old Baltic Exchange is housed in another section in a dome shape and is really quite beautiful. They have a big selection of maritime instruments such as sextons, globes etc. These are very impressive but there were quite a lot of them. Not being an enthusiast I thought there were a few too many (i.e., seen one, seen them all) but if you like that sort of thing then you will be in your element.
For those of you that are looking for a bit of nostalgia and enjoyed the days of holidays by the seaside there is a great little exhibition with photographs from family holidays around the coasts of England. Look closely and you may see one that looks just like your old holiday snaps. There is a Punch and Judy short movie which you can watch from deckchairs and feel just like you are byt the seaside although beware, that song will come into your head and stay there all day.....oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea!!
This is a really great museum for kids too. There is a section of the museum where it actually looks like The Bridge of a ship which has a hands on interactive gallery and a ship simulator, brilliant for the kids to play with and have fun. They also have a lots of exhibits with questions posted on the walls to challenge kids and make the museum more fun and may actually teach them something.
Although we didn't go into this section I still think it's worth a mention, a library and e-library where they house books, periodicals and internet access in order to make learning resources more available to you. I think the museum caters for a lot of school groups as well so this is a great benefit.
There are a few cafes if you get peckish with reasonably priced food and beverages. There is also a really good gift shop near the entrance/exit of the museum. They sell some great books and lots of interesting gifts too
I would say if you are looking for a great, free day out in London then head to Greenwich where you will find some fabulous museums. If you want to know more I suggest checking out their website which can be found at: http://www.nmm.ac.uk/
Summary: The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich
More reviews in the field of Museum National
- Snapshot to Edwardian life in Glasgow
- Free museum....great day out for the whole family!!!
- hmmmm yummy chocolate!
- Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate
- The best things in life are free
- A Hidden Treasure(r)
- The Hunterian Museum
- Lions, bears and Highland cows
- A fabulous Freebie Day Out for the family
- Behind the scenes of Harry Potter - Phenomenal
- Grey Point Fort (Northern Ireland)
- Birnham Arrts & Conference Centre
- The Dinosaur Museum (Dorchester)
- Dinosaurland Fossil Museum (Dorset)
- Life and Death Pompeii and Herculaneum (London)
- Hancock Museum (Newcastle)
- The Bronte Parsonage Museum (Haworth)
- Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre (Great Missenden)
- Doctor Who Museum (Blackpool)
- The Lighthouse (Glasgow)