London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum is an often-overlooked jewel in the heart of London. Travel through three stories and over 200 years of history covering the amazing evolution of public transport in London, as well as the social history, engineering, architecture and design that grew and changed alongside it.
Located at the edge of the Covent Garden Piazza, the London Transport Museum is nestled inside the historic Flower Market, a Grade II listed building built back in 1670. Inside are thousands of facts, hundreds of exhibits and dozens of authentic, historical vehicles – many of which you can get hands on with, experiencing a little of what it was like to get around London many years ago.
The museum is designed and laid out in a way that’s engaging and entertaining for children and adults, with dozens of interactive displays and volunteers on hand to discuss the history of different pieces and time periods from London’s long history as a bustling hub of innovation and commerce.
Laid out around the route is the Stamper Trail, a series of 13 numbered stamping stations where kids (and adults!) can stamp the card that they’ve been given at the entrance. This harkens back to the days when tickets were actually stamped on public transport, and helps keep children engaged during their time at the museum. There is a lot for them to see, do and interact with, but the Stamper Trail can really help make a visit to the London Transport Museum more fun for everyone.
The museum gives out are free activity packs for children of all age groups, with fun things to do in and around the museum, from colouring in to drawing a new type of bus or tube station. Plenty of seating is provided throughout – including some very retro sofas in the ‘Metro-land’ area on the first floor – so you and your kids can take a break and relax.
All the way through the museum the displays are catered to showing the progression of transport throughout the city, with dioramas and models, interactive quizzes, weird facts and vehicles you can climb aboard and sit in. Double decker trams, horse-drawn omnibuses, steam trains and old underground carriages are there to be explored, as well as modern buses, taxis and trains – you can even get behind the controls of a modern tube train!
The scope of the museum goes far beyond transport, too. If offers a wealth of information about how society, engineering, architecture, design and even fashion has changed and grown alongside London’s transportation, meaning that there will be information and displays to interest everyone and anyone. Take a look at old tube maps, historic public information posters, vintage advertisement posters, old uniforms and even samples of tube seat fabric going back decades. A whole section, tucked away on the ground floor, shows how Londoners toughed it out during the Blitz of World War Two. There’s a small air-raid shelter where you can watch a public information film in the dark, and check out the posters advising Londoners how to commute during a blackout.
So much history is covered, so many vehicles proudly displayed, and so much information available that a trip to the London Transport Museum is sure to keep people of all ages entertained for hours. When it is time to leave, there’s a great café and gift shop at the end, where you can buy everything from a vintage tube poster to a plush toy of a London Underground carriage!
Adult tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.