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Discover some unusual London attractions on a trip to the city

Published: Tuesday 11th of January 2011

London is home to a vast array of museums and many visitors to the British capital will make a beeline for the likes of the Natural History Museum, the Tate or the British Museum when they arrive.

However, there are some quirky and fascinating London attractions that offer exhibitions about everything from cartoon characters to anaesthesia, so whatever your interests, you're bound to find something that catches your attention.

Combining art with functionality, fans were once an important part of many ladies' outfits and to see an astounding collection of the fashion item, you can visit the Fan Museum.

It has the honour of being the only establishment in the world that is dedicated to the fan, with exhibitions not only showcasing some beautiful examples of the accessory, but also detailing how fans are made and how they have been used throughout history.

A selection of the museum's vast collection is put on display and changed every four months, so you could return to this London attraction many times and always find something new to see.

The exhibits are spread between two Grade II listed buildings in Greenwich, which also boast an orangery and a Japanese-style landscaped garden for visitors to enjoy.

If you are taken by the outdoor space at the Fan Museum, you may want to head to a London attraction dedicated to horticulture - the Garden Museum.

Here the focus is very much on British gardening and you can look forward to a range of temporary exhibitions, its permanent collection and of course, a garden.

Artwork relating to plants and gardens is often on display and the establishment regularly hosts exhibitions on garden design.

The garden itself is divided into two distinct sections - the wild garden, which aims to encourage environmentally-friendly horticultural practices and showcase natural garden design, and the knot garden, where you can see a 17th century design and witness authentic planting methods from the period.

After you have enjoyed all that the Garden Museum has to offer, you may want to find some light relief and the Cartoon Museum could be just the place to go.

The collection here spans British cartoons from the 18th century to the present day, as well as caricatures and comic strips.

Many examples are taken from the UK's newspapers, as well as comics such as The Beano, the Dandy and Topper. You can enjoy a blast from the past as you view the images of Desperate Dan, Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids.

If a trip to this establishment awakens your inner child, then you should follow it up with a visit to the Centre for the Magic Arts.

Home of the Magic Circle, you can only visit this museum by booking on to one of the daily tours that starts at 11.30 and lasts for around two hours.

You will be treated to a talk about the history of magic, as well as being able to see some priceless magical items, posters from famous performers and listen to stories about some of the great illusionists.

A short magic show is all part of the experience in the centre's theatre, so you can begin your day of sightseeing in London in a truly magical way.

One more unusual museum that may pique your interest when researching things to do in London is the Anaesthesia Museum, which is located on Portland Place in Marylebone and home to a collection that details the history of anaesthesia.

More than 2,000 objects are on display here and you can not only discover more about the development of anaesthetic but also find information on other forms of pain relief that were used in years gone by.

With such a wealth of interesting London attractions to visit, why not head off the beaten track a bit when you spend time in the capital?

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