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5 Fabulous Family Museums

Go against the crowd and discover London’s great museums beyond South Ken. To kick off our #WheelyFriendly campaign we checked out facilities for scooters, bikes and buggies in these 5 family favourites...

 

 

The Geffrye Museum

136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA

www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

Exterior of the Geffrye Museum  Credit:  Geffrye Museum of the Home/Jayne Lloyd

Curious kids (and their parents) will enjoy wandering round the museum’s 11 period rooms, each focusing on a family’s living space from 1600 to the present day.

One of the 18th-century almshouses in which the museum is housed has also been restored, providing an insight into the living conditions of poor pensioners in the 18th and 19th centuries.

If horticulture’s more your thing, step outside to the museum’s glorious period gardens (open April-October) and discover how domestic gardening has evolved across the centuries.

The museum also runs special activities for kids, including weekend programmes of live music, performance and storytelling.

The museum is a 15-20 minute walk from the nearest underground station so a scooter and ScooterSlingz bag will ease the journey if you’re travelling by tube...


Opening Times & Admissions

Tues – Sun 10am-5pm; Bank Holiday Monday 10am-5pm

Admission: Free


Wheely Friendly?

Scooters: Can be left at reception and will be looked after by the front of house team. No charge.

Buggies: Can be left at reception and will be looked after by the front of house team. No charge but space is limited. They can also be pushed around premises.

Bikes: 8 cycle stands inside the main entrance. Cycle docking station – Falkirk Street and Geffrye Street, Hoxton


Public Transport

Overground: Hoxton Station

Underground: Old Street, then bus 243 or 15 min walk; Liverpool Street, then bus 149 or 242, or 20 minute walk

Buses: 67, 149, 242, 243, 394

 

 

London Transport Museum

Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB

www.ltmuseum.co.uk

From driving a red bus to guiding a tube train through the tunnels, what’s not to love about this museum dedicated to our capital’s transport system? The kids’ interactive play zone also includes a fleet of mini vehicles and some buskers’ musical instruments to try out.

If you can drag your budding tube and bus drivers away to the museum’s historic exhibits, you’ll discover an early 19th century horse drawn omnibus, iconic London Transport posters and the first underground, steam-powered engine.

Opening Times & Admission

Sat – Thur 10am – 6pm, Fri 11am – 6pm

Admission: Adults: £16, Concessions: £13.50, Under 18s free

(tickets valid for 12 months unlimited admission)


Wheely Friendly?

Scooters: Space in the cloakroom for foldable scooters to be stored. No charge.

Buggies: Storage space in the buggy park and also in the cloakroom. No charge for either. Buggies can be pushed around the museum. There are lifts and ramps throughout the museum to increase accessibility for parents pushing buggies, as well as wheelchair users.

Bikes: No bike parking or storage facilities at the museum. But a public cycle rack a few minutes walk from the museum in Russell Street. Also details here about cycling facilities in Covent Garden -  www.coventgarden.uk.com/getting/Covent-Garden-by-bicycle.html


Public transport

Overground: Charing Cross, Waterloo

Underground: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Embankment, Charing Cross

Buses: Strand or Aldwych – RV1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 139

Boat: Embankment Pier, 10 minute walk

 

 

Horniman Museum & Gardens

100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

horniman.ac.uk

 

Horniman Museum and Gardens.  Credit Cliff Van Coevorden.

Opened by Frederick John Horniman in Victorian times, to display his extraordinary collection of objects, the museum today includes internationally acclaimed collections of anthropology and natural history. It also features one of the UK’s largest collections of musical instruments.

There’s loads going on for kids at the Horniman, including the Hands on Base Gallery where they can touch, wear and discover museum objects for themselves. There’s also an Aquarium, an animal walk and 16 acres of gardens.


Opening Times & Admission

Museum: Daily 10.30am – 5.30pm, closed 24-26 December

Gardens: Mon – Sat 7.15am – sunset; Sun  & Bank Holidays 8am – sunset, closed 25 December

Admission: free, except charge for Aquarium


Wheely Friendly?

Scooters: Can be left in the locker room or buggy park but this isn’t secure. No charge. Visitors can also carry scooters with them.

Buggies: Buggy park in museum. No charge. Buggies can also be pushed round museum.

Bikes: Bike racks outside the museum near the main entrance on London Road.


Public transport

Overground: Forest Hill

Buses: 176, 185, 197, 356, P4 – stop outside museum. 122, P13, 363 stop near the museum.


 

National Maritime Museum

Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum


For more intrepid travel experiences, kids will love the largest maritime museum in the world, with nearly two and a half million nautical objects in its collection.

Exhibits include the jacket Nelson wore when he died and a giant ship in a bottle. But, for a true nautical adventure, seek out the Ship Simulator, where visitors can experience steering a frigate, ferry or fishing boat.

There’s even a new children’s gallery for under 7s where young kids can play at being sailors, pirates and polar explorers.

The museum is also currently staging an interactive maritime adventure for 6-12 years, Against Captain’s Orders: a Journey into the Uncharted, which runs until 31 August 2015.

Storage facilities are limited in the buggy park so a ScooterSlingz bag might come in handy if you’re travelling by scooter and need to carry it round the museum.



Opening Times & Admission

Mon-Sun 10am – 5pm, closed 24-26 December

Free, Against Captain’s Orders show £19.75


Wheely Friendly?

Scooters: Can be left in the buggy park.

Buggies: The museum is accessible to buggies. They can also be stored in the buggy park but storage facilities are limited.  

Bikes: For cyclists visiting the museum, there are free bike racks provided in the museum car park on Park Row. Scooters or bikes are not permitted within the museum.


Public transport

Overground: Cannon Street

DLR: Bank, Tower Gateway

Boat: Greenwich Pier

Buses: 177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 386



V&A Museum of Childhood

Cambridge Heath Road

London E2 9PA

http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/


Perfect for kids of all ages and bringing a strong sense of nostalgia to most adult visitors (“I had one of those!”), the Museum of Childhood is set in a beautiful building in Bethnal Green.

This enchanting museum houses the UK’s national collection of childhood objects, ranging in date from the 1600s to the present day. As well as toys, teddies, games and dolls of all shapes and sizes, it displays a range of different objects relating to play, learning, clothing and childcare. It also has a changing free exhibition.

The museum is a manageable size for a half day visit with little ones. There’s lots to keep them entertained, including a sand pit, sensory area, rocking horses, play kitchen and interactive touch screen information displays. And, if that’s not enough to amuse them, the museum also runs daily craft and storytelling sessions.


Opening Times & Admission

Open daily 10.00-17.45 (last admission 17.30)

Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January.


Wheely Friendly?

Scooters: Can be left in the museum lobby at owner’s risk or carried in the museum.

Buggies: The museum is accessible to buggies. They can also be left in the foyer.

Bikes: For cyclists visiting the museum, there are free bike racks provided in front of the museum.


Public transport

Underground: Bethnal Green (no lift)

Rail: Cambridge Heath and Bethnal Green (10 mins walk)

Buses: D6, 106, 254, 309 and 388 stop outside 8,26,55 and 48 stop nearby

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Would a ScooterSlingz bag make your museum trips easier?  You can buy one here.