Museums & Galleries

Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road





British Museum:

A must-see attraction for guests staying in one of our Bloomsbury Hotels. Renowned for being one of the world’s most inspiring historical museums, exhibits in the British Museum date back thousands of years. With mummies, pottery, jewellery and sculptures (and interactive exhibits for the more techie visitors), this is a museum for all ages.

Currently renowned for its glass roof and Grecian façade, the British Museum was first established in Bloomsbury in 1753. It was the first museum of its kind – not belonging to the Church or the Monarchy and open to the public.

Over the next 250 years, the Museum’s collection grew and the Bloomsbury site developed. The 43 Grecian columns that we recognise today were completed in 1857 and the Great Court opened in the year 2000.

Some of the famous permanent collections include:

  • Rosetta Stone – the Rosetta Stone was used to decipher ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Split into 3 sections (Ancient Greek, Hieroglyphics and Demotic Egyptian), translators used the Greek and Egyptian texts to decipher the hieroglyphic code.
  • The Elgin Marbles – these sculptures were originally built to honour the Goddess Athena at The Parthenon in Ancient Greece. They were acquired by Lord Elgin in the 19th Century and purchased by the British Museum in 1816. Over the years there has been some controversy about whether these sculptures should be returned to Greece or remain at the Museum.
  • Mummy of Katabet – the British Museum is home to many amazing mummies but the Mummy of Katebet is one of the most impressive. She wears a striking golden mask, was found at Thebes and dates back to 1300BC.
  • Samurai Armour – the Japanese exhibition at the British Museum covers everything from ancient flame pots to Samurai armour to manga exhibits. The large Samurai armour collection is impressive and includes 16th century bulletproof breast pieces and elaborate neck and leg pieces from the 18th Century.

The British Museum has free entry to its permanent collections, but booking is required for special exhibitions and tours. We recommend booking early to secure your spot. Audio guides are also available. The museum is visited by approximately 7 million people per year.

Website: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

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Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street



National Gallery:

Looking to see some European Masterpieces on your trip to London? Head to Trafalgar Square and marvel at the National Gallery (both inside and out!). You’ll see household names such as Da Vinci and Van Gogh but also more modern artists like Bridget Riley. Don’t forget to check out the sunflowers!

Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN, 20 minutes walking distance from our Gower Street Hotels.

The Crown Group Top Five paintings to see in the permanent collection of The National Gallery are:

  1. The Entoumbment by Michelangelo. An unusual piece as it was never finished however it is widely accepted to have been one of Michelangelo’s pieces. The preliminary drawings for the painting can be found at The Louvre in Paris.
  2. The Haywain by John Constable. Once of Constable’s most well- known pieces depicting the English countryside – The Haywain shows Willy Lott’s Cottage in Suffolk. 
  3. Sunflowers by Van Gogh. No introduction needed for this one! There are many sunflower paintings by Van Gogh all over the world but this version has a special place in the heart of the British.
  4. The Water Lily Pond by Monet. A beautiful painting of Monet’s water garden in Giverny – with the infamous Japanese bridge!
  5. The Fighting Temeraire by Turner. Voted Britain’s most favourite painting on multiple occasions, The Fighting Temeraire highlights the Temaraire being towed to be scrapped. The Temeraire was one of the ships that led the Brits to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar (1812) but was scrapped as we moved into the age of steam.

The National Gallery continuously hold special exhibitions. The current exhibition list can be found here: 

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions

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Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street



Sommerset House:

This neoclassical building dates back to the Gregorian era and is one of London’s most beautiful landmarks. Originally belonging to the Duke of Somerset and designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776, it is now home to numerous exhibitions, art shows and special events.

Strand, London, WC2R 1LA, 22 minutes walking distance from our Gower Street Hotels.

Crown Groups’ favourite annual events at Somerset House include:

  • The Film4 Summer Screen. A big open-air cinema is set up in the courtyard and the Film4 team organise a mixture of summer classics and newer films
  • The Winter Skate Session. The courtyard is lit up for Christmas and Somerset House is often voted one of London’s prettiest outdoor ice rinks
  • Courtauld Gallery Exhibits. The permanent exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery covers Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work including Manet, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne (currently under refurbishment)

For the first two, tickets sell out very quickly so remember to book ahead!

Website: https://www.npg.org.uk/ 

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Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street



London Transport Museum:

Showcasing transport systems from the last 200 years, the London Transport Museum is home to horse and carriage systems, the London tram system and the first London Tube! With over 450,000 artefacts, this is not one to be missed. 

Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BB, 19 minutes walking distance from our Gower Street Hotels.

The Crown Group top exhibits are: 

  • One of the first wooden Metropolitan line railway coaches
  • A horse drawn omnibus
  • The original tube map designed by Harry Beck
  • The First underground steam- powered engine
  • The All Aboard family play zone

A favourite with parents and young children (who didn’t love trains as a child!), do keep an eye out for little ones running around. 

Website: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/ 

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Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street



Wellcome Collection:

The Wellcome Collection aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. With a free museum, a regular programme of events and a free library they hope to improve health by enabling the big conversations about it. 

183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE, 10 minutes walking distance from our Gower Street Hotels.

The main permanent exhibition, ‘Being Human’, explores what it means to be human in the 21st century. Split into Genetics, Mind and Bodies, Infection and Environmental Breakdown, there are some very unusual pieces including a refugee astronaut and a flooded fast food outlet.

The library has one of the best health, medicine and medical history with over 1,000 different titles, featuring fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, magazines and even pop-up books. Filled with sofas and beanbags, it’s a comfortable place where you can easily lose the hours! 

The library is closed over bank holiday weekends and between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

Website: https://wellcomecollection.org/

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Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street



National Portrait Gallery:

With one of the most extensive collections of portraits in the world, the National Portrait Gallery Collection holds over 215,000 portraits. The artwork and photography in this gallery spans time – with 150,000 of pieces from the 16th Century onwards. Some of the more famous pieces in the collection include William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters and Queen Elizabeth II.

Closest Crown Group Hotels: Bloomsbury Palace Hotel, Arran House Hotel, Hotel Cavendish, London Gower Street