National Maritime Museum – Museum of the Month – March

London is home to some of the world’s most amazing museums and best of all, many of them are free. From the fossils at the Natural History Museum to the remarkable modern art at the Tate, there is plenty to explore, discover and broaden the mind. As a hotel near central London, we at Strand Palace know just about everything there is to know about visiting the city’s inspiring museums. Each month, we feature one of our favourites and share some of our insider tips on how to visit.

This month… the National Maritime Museum.

The history

This grand museum in Greenwich is set in several historic buildings that form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, incorporating the 17th-century Queen’s House and the Royal Observatory. The architectural landscape of the museum dates back to the turn of the19th century and it has been continually evolving and adapting ever since. It is the largest maritime museum in the world, filled with fascinating galleries and extraordinary objects. From Britain’s great ocean liners to Prince Frederick’s elegant golden barge, the exhibitions explore the strong traditions and profound history of maritime in London.

The collection

It is a well-known fact that Britain has a long and interesting history of exploration at sea, and this museum explores that through its collections of significant marine artefacts and naval objects. There are more than 2 million items on display including maritime art, cartography, manuscripts, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational devices, time-keeping instruments and astronomy tools.

Visitors to the museum will hear inspirational stories of Britain’s encounters at sea, learn about the history of trade across the Atlantic and the impact of the East India Company on British culture, as well as discovering the romance of Britain’s great ocean liners. If you have the kids with you, they will enjoy shooting down a pirate ship in the children’s gallery or experiencing life at sea on the museum’s ship simulator. The Cutty Sark exhibition is also a firm family favourite. Here, visitors can venture on board and underneath the iconic ship that sailed the seas more than 100 years ago.

How to visit

The National Maritime Museum is about half-an-hour from Strand Palace Hotel on public transport. Take the District line from Embankment station near Strand Palace Hotel and switch to the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) at Bank. It has free admission and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Charges apply to Cutty Sark and parts of the Royal Observatory. There are also some ticketed and free events on at the museum at different times, including lectures by curators and music nights. There are plenty of places to have lunch or a snack, with a bakery, café and brasserie located on-site.

If you’re looking for hotels near London museums, Strand Palace Hotel is the perfect place to base yourself — right in the centre of London, where you can explore the city’s top attractions right on your doorstep.

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