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Top museum exhibitions in London

From blockbuster shows at iconic museums to exhibits in quirkier spaces, catch the best museum exhibitions in London right now from the comfort of your own home.
Four members of Songhoy Blues stand in a street with their instruments.
The story of African desert blues band Songhoy Blues featured in Rebel Sounds at IWM London (5 July 2019 – 5 January 2020) © Andy Morgan. Image courtesy of IWM London.

Although museums are currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, you can still enjoy culture from your couch with these free virtual exhibitions from museums across London. See new exhibitions as they’re transferred online, revisit past London exhibitions or explore some of the best museums in London in a new way with virtual tours.

Virtual exhibitions to enjoy at home

200 Exhibits at Florence Nightingale Museum

If you didn’t have a chance to see the Florence Nightingale Museum’s exhibition celebrating the bicentenary of the “Lady with the Lamp’s” birth, don’t worry. Take a journey through the pioneer’s life and work with 200 of her most treasured objects in museum’s interactive 200 Exhibits exhibition.

London Calling at Museum of London

Delve into music history with one of the most famous albums of all time. The Clash’s legendary London Calling album is put in the spotlight by the Museum of London, with personal items from band members, lyrics, images and more. Download the free Smartify app to access the exhibition virtually.

Culture Under Attack at IWM London

If you missed IWM London’s recent Culture Under Attack season, check it out online with Google Arts and Culture. Learn how conflict has hindered and even helped culture, uncover plans to hide famous artworks during wartime and follow the tales of musicians who played on during the Second World War.

Find out more about the exhibition, alongside lots of other documentaries and videos, on IWM London's YouTube channel.

Industrial Islington at London Canal Museum

The Regent’s Canal may nowadays be a hub for pleasure boats, but it’s had a long history of industry as well as recreation. Discover how the canal has touched the lives of those living and working along the its banks in Islington with the London Canal Museum’s online exhibition Industrial Islington.

Natural History Museum's digital exhibitions

Access 14 virtual exhibitions from the Natural History Museum, which span butterflies to dinosaurs and most things in between. You can also take virtual tours of key spaces, say hello to Hope the whale and even let Sir David Attenborough guide you through Hintze Hall – all from the comfort of your sofa!

Science Museum's virtual exhibitions

Pick from the virtual exhibitions on offer from the Science Museum including coins, cosmonauts and computers. If that’s not enough scientific immersion, there’s also a virtual tour and an online collection made up of more than 325,000 objects, photographs and archived material. Better put the kettle on…!

The Design Museum's past exhibitions

Step back in time to explore some of The Design Museum’s most popular exhibitions over the years. Take to the virtual wheel with Ferrari: Under the Skin, featuring memorabilia and £140m worth of supercars; check out the very first Designs of the Year exhibition; or revisit 1982 exhibition Art and Industry which was housed at the museum’s former home.

Hidden London Hangouts and Poster Art 150 at London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum’s Hidden London exhibition may be temporarily closed, but its curators and experts are using their talents to highlight hidden spots of the Underground and key facts from the exhibition with weekly Hidden London Hangouts on YouTube.

You can also revisit the museum's Poster Art 150 exhibition online, which features 150 of the most iconic posters from its wide-ranging collection.

Voices from the Deep at The Postal Museum

Discover objects uncovered from a shipwreck with Voices from the Deep, as part of The Postal Museum’s Make a Connection virtual series. Hear accounts from letters sent home by troops in India and discover objects that were being transported by the SS Gairsoppa before it was sunk in 1941 by a German U-boat.

Fatberg! at Museum of London

Up for something fascinating if a little yukky? The Museum of London’s much talked-about Fatberg! exhibit may have ended in 2018, but you can still keep an eye on the infamous Whitechapel fatberg with the live FatCam. The huge clump of fat, sewerage and other waste dragged up from London’s sewers is continuously evolving – recent changes include the growth of a toxic yellow mould.

Virtual tours and online museum collections

Discover more cultural things to do at home by exploring museum collections, virtual tours of London museums and online archives.

British Museum virtual tour

Explore the British Museum’s many galleries with Google Arts and Culture's British Museum virtual tour. Wander around the exhibits as if you were there in person, and spot some of its most famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian sculptures. Also check out the vast online collection at the British Museum, including virtual galleries of worldwide art and sculpture.

Household Cavalry Museum virtual tour

Get a glimpse into the workings of the Queen’s official bodyguards on a virtual tour of the Household Cavalry Museum. Marvel at the red tunics and stop by the display cases for stories and items from the regiment’s history, which stretches all the way back to 1661.

Churchill War Rooms virtual tour

Navigate your way around the corridors and chambers that made up Winston Churchill's wartime bunker, at Churchill War Rooms. Learn how the Prime Minister masterminded victory from this secret location, discover more about Britain's Second World War efforts alongside its allies, and delve into the life and work of the heroic leader in a special exhibition.

Sir John Soane's Museum virtual tour

Set foot in the quirky former home of 19th-century architect Sir John Soane and explore some of the many objects on display. On this interactive virtual tour of Sir John's Soane's Museum, you can learn how models provided inspiration with a peek in the Model Room, or gaze at the sarcophagus of Egyptian King Seti I, which was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1817.

Royal Museums Greenwich online collection

Work your way through maritime marvels, historic artefacts and items relating to time and space as part of the Royal Museums Greenwich’s online collections. Encounter 300 ship figureheads, look through crew lists and see Nelson’s ship in a bottle from the group of museums including Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and Queen's House.

Tune in to the Royal Museums Greenwich's Facebook live streams every Thursday to hear museum curators and experts delve further into stories of sea, space, history and creativity.

The V&A online collection

Design lovers will find a treasure trove of items within the Victoria and Albert Museum’s well-stocked online collection. From Alexander McQueen dresses to antique wallpaper, the Raphael Cartoons to rings of all shapes and sizes, there’s plenty to uncover in its archives.

Wellcome Collection online collection

Fusing medicine, art and science, the Wellcome Collection is a great place to learn how our lives and health are influenced by the world around us. While its thought-provoking exhibitions are closed, take the time to trawl through hundreds of images and artworks housed in the Wellcome Collection online.

Discover more cultural highlights with the capital's top virtual art exhibitions, find plenty more things to do when you’re bored at home with our Virtually London guide, pick up a new skill with online learning experiences and keep in shape with online exercise classes.

Make sure to download the Visit London app for more virtual exhibitions in London.

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