Whether you're into craft, gardening, music, cinema, social history or stamp collecting, there's a London museum that's sure to fuel your passion.
These museums offer an ideal way to discover little-known facts about your favourite subjects, learn more about the history of London, and to delve into some incredible collections of memorabilia and artefacts.
British Postal Museum
Find out all there is to know about the postal service in the absorbing British Postal Museum. An assortment of stamps, post boxes and post office vehicles are just some of the artefacts on show. There's also a chance to learn about the Royal Mail and its evolution from inception to the present day. Free entry
The Canal Museum tells the story of London's canals, cargoes, boats and trade. Discover a Victorian ice well and learn about the people who lived and worked on the canal. You can even learn about the process of ice cream making – all in a charming waterside former ice warehouse near Kings Cross.
The wonderful world of the big screen is brought to life in an awe-inspiring collection of posters, projects and memorabilia at The Cinema Museum. The comprehensive collection includes an incredible 17 million feet of film, cinema designs, seats and even samples of carpet! A must see for all cinema fanatics. By appointment only.
The small Cuming Museum houses an impressive collection of artefacts documenting the history of the people of Southwark, in particular the Cuming family. The museum includes a vast array of objects including coins, textiles and art. There's something for the kids too with craft activities, trails, games and costumes. Free Entry
Fire Brigade Museum
Discover the drama in the history of the London fire service at the Fire Brigade Museum. Find out about the terrifying Great Fire in 1666, see the great leaps in technology and equipment in the years following, and browse the broad range of memorabilia on show. Visits by appointment only: tours start at 10.30am or 2pm, Monday to Friday.
Located in a converted church next to Lambeth Palace, the small but charming Garden Museum explores British gardens and gardening through its collection, temporary exhibitions and events. Don't miss the impressive walled garden, which contains an incredible 17th century-style knot garden.
Kew Bridge Steam Museum
The giant beam engines at Kew Bridge Steam Museum (the earliest was built in 1820) are the largest of their kind in the world. Housed in a Victorian waterworks, these engines pumped London's water for more than 100 years. Plan your visit for a weekend or Bank Holiday to see the steam-pumping engines in action.
Museum of Brands
The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill features more than 12,000 original items from the Robert Opie Collection. Step inside for a nostalgic journey through childhood toys, fashions, magazines and more from Victorian times, through austerity Britain to the swinging 60s.
Museum of Immigration and Diversity
The Museum of Immigration and Diversity, located at former Huguenot house 19 Princelet Street, was created by children and artists. Its central exhibition explores how immigration has shaped London, through stories of settlers from France, Ireland, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. Open scheduled days only. Free entry
Royal Academy of Music Museum
Whether you have a musical ear or are tone deaf, the Royal Academy of Music Museum is the place to go for all things melodic. On display are numerous instruments, documents, images and musical relics. There is also a large collection of rare Cremonese stringed instruments – you may even hear some in action! Free entry
London Sewing Machine Museum
Open the first Saturday of every month, the London Sewing Machine Museum in Balham houses a fascinating collection of more than 600 antique sewing machines, dating from 1850 to 1950. Highlights include a unique machine bought by Queen Victoria for her daughter, one from the Great Exhibition and the first-ever Singer. Free entry