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Venture off the tourist trail to see some of the most interesting London attractions
Published: Monday 25th of February 2013
There are plenty of fantastic London attractions to explore on a trip to the capital, but many of the most interesting places to visit are somewhat off the beaten track, meaning that some tourists may never have heard of them.
The Fan Museum
The Fan Museum brings back to life an old art form that is largely forgotten. While fans were once used to keep people cool, they were also the medium used for many artists to express themselves on.
Visitors to the Fan Museum will find that it is located in two grade II listed buildings – which is appealing in itself. These houses, dating from the 1720s, have been sensitively restored to their former grandeur, allowing visitors to view the fans in the stunning surroundings similar to those they would have been featured in during their heyday.
The museum does not simply just show off fans, it also gives the history and context of each of its collections, providing a new way for history buffs to look at the past. Both the status and practical use of the fans is taken into consideration, as well as the fact that their purpose has changed dramatically over the course of history.
As well as a permanent collection, the museum often puts on temporary exhibitions which study the fans from many different perspectives.
Pollock’s Toy Museum
Pollock’s Toy Museum is a delightful tourist attraction which allows visitors to step back in time and get a glimpse into the lives of the children of the past.
It is named after Benjamin Pollock, who was a famous printer of toy theatres in the Victorian era. These ‘paper theatres’ were most popular in the 1800s. Children would use them to stage their own productions at home, with many of these pieces showing off an incredible level of detail.
The museum is famed for its collection of traditional English toy theatres, but it also has an extensive selection of other toys. It names board games, optical, mechanical and construction toys, English tin toys and puppets among its collection. There are also wax and composition dolls, teddy bears, china dolls, lead miniatures, doll’s houses and folk toys from Europe on show.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum
This tourist attraction is a great one for people who are into anything a bit gruesome – but it also comes with a great dose of history.
Visitors will have to climb to the roof of St Thomas’ Church in order to access the attraction – but it is well worth the walk! This 300-year-old herb garret houses an operating theatre from the days before anaesthesia was a viable option. It features a wooden operating table and observation stands, where spectators would sit to witness surgeries.
The operating theatre used to be attached to St Thomas’ Hospital, and placing it in the Herb Garret gave it separation from the ward, as well as having a different entrance for medical students. Until 1846 no anaesthetics were used, and surgeons instead depended on swift technique, alcohol or opiates to dumb the patient’s senses, as well as their mental preparation.
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Tuesday 18th of December 2012 The Jewel Tower is a delight for people who are into history or architecture.
Monday 17th of December 2012 People looking for things to do in London could opt for a trip to Apsley House, at one of the premier addresses in London.
Sunday 16th of December 2012 A Twickenham Rugby Museum & Stadium Tour allows sports fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the sport.
Saturday 15th of December 2012 The Orangery offers visitors an elegant lunch.
Friday 14th of December 2012 People looking for London attractions that will give them a glimpse into the life of Her Majesty should consider a trip to Windsor Castle.
Thursday 13th of December 2012 The Fan Museum is hosting an exhibition to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.
Wednesday 12th of December 2012 The Royal Air Force Museum has plenty of highlights for aviation fans.
Tuesday 11th of December 2012 The Courtauld Gallery is one of the best London attractions for art lovers.
Monday 10th of December 2012 Pollock's Toy Museum gives people a glimpse into the lives of the children of yesteryear.
Thursday 6th of December 2012 The Jewish Museum is currently displaying a particularly moving exhibition of work from Adi Nes.