The Grant Museum is one of London’s secret gems.
It’s free. It’s small. It’s central.
And it’s full of skeletons. Plus the odd brain. And heart.
We love it!
And if you’ve got 7 to 12s, who like the weird and wonderful – and aren’t too squeamish – I can’t recommend it enough.
Exploring the Grant Museum
Housed in just one large wood pannelled room, it’s very atmospheric.
As you enter, you’re immediately confronted by jars of brains.
And cabinets crammed full with small creatures from moles to lizards.
It’s all a bit Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket.
As you explore the room, you’ll discover everything from the tiniest birds and sea creatures to a mighty tiger skeleton and humungous elephant heart.
And although, kids will delight in being freaked out – or freaking out mum – the Grant Museum is actually a really important zoology collection.
And children can learn loads in even a short visit.
The museum was founded way back in 1828 by Robert Grant, who was Darwin’s professor.
And Grant’s collection played a massive part in Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution.
Seeing the skeletons close up, it is striking how much we share not only with other apes but with other mammals – we all have a common structure of rib cage, back bones and rotary hip joints.
And the 30kg elephant heart may totally outsize ours but it serves the same function.
So, if you’ve got a budding Darwin. Or just want to get your kids talking. Head to the Grant Museum.
Don’t go expecting special interactive stuff for kids.
The collection speaks for itself.
And the super friendly museum staff, who all work in the zoology department, are full of interesting answers for just about any question, your kids can come up with.
Getting to the Grant Museum
The Grant Museum is on Gower Street, up by UCH hospital.
You can be in and out in an hour.
There’s nowhere to eat. And NO loos!
But there’s plenty of both 2 minutes walk away on Tottenham Court Road.
And if you take a picnic, you can eat it in the lovely Gordon Square gardens where there’s a very moving memorial to WW2 heroine Noor Inayat Khan.
You could combine a visit to the Grant Museum with the nearby Petrie Museum – similarly small, free and brilliant.
Or you could head off for a play in either Corams Field Playground or Regents Park. Both are about 15 minutes walk. And you can hop on a bus at the top of Gower Street to Regents Park.
I do hope you enjoy the Grant Museum as much as we do.
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