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We’ve been to London quite a few times over the years and somewhere I’ve walked passed but not been to is the London Transport Museum. On our most recent visit we were looking for something different to do with Erin so this was a great choice!
Getting there and prices
The London Transport Museum is located right in the center of Covent Garden. Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Holborn and Charing Cross stations are all within walking distance and all take less than 10 minutes. The closest bus stops to the Museum are Strand or Aldwych (RV1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 139).
One of the great things about the London Transport Museum is that you only pay for adults over 17. At the moment (summer 2022) an adult’s ticket costs £18.50 but this gives you an annual pass meaning you can come back as many times as you want for 12 months. Children are free which is just amazing really.
The London Transport Museum is set over three floors. Once you have scanned your tickets you are directed to a lift and told you need to start from the top and work your way down. While in the lift, instead of there being a little sign for which floor it’s going to, the sign counts backwards through years until it reaches 1800! I thought this was a really nice touch and a fun start to our trip.
The first floor is dedicated to the earlier modes of transport in London such as horse and cart and steam trains. Erin especially liked seeing a train very similar to one we went on last year on the North Norfolk Railway. Although on this floor you cannot go in any of the vehicles like you could before Covid, you are able to look inside them and thing such as carriage doors are open in places so you can see as much as possible.
When you go down a floor you are taken to the forward in time. This floor also has the Hidden London exhibition, where you can learn things about places like Highgate and also disused stations. This is only a small area but one that’s really interesting and a bit different to the rest of the museum. Something I personally liked on this floor was the set up of an old waiting room and being able to look at things like old tickets and seeing how these had changed over the years.
One of our highlights on this floor was the small children’s play area which had a bus that children could sit in. There was a queue but it went fairly quickly but this depends on how long each family spend on the bus. There are opportunities to sit both at the wheel and be a driver and on a passenger seat. Next to the bus there is a ticket office play area with lost property etc.
Downstairs, on the ground floor, is the biggest part of the museum and there is a lot to see! The ground floor has some really cool things such as full size London buses, both older and newer and I personally loved seeing these lined up next to one another.
You can see right down to this floor as you work your way around the museum so Erin was quite excited by the time she got there. I think this is definitely the best floor for children. There’s a decent sized play area on the ground floor and being completely honest, Erin spent most of the time here playing once we had moved down to this floor.
At the start of our visit we were given a stamp trail to try to complete as well as a sheet for searching for certain animals around the museum. Erin really like having something to do on each floor and something to remember to look out for. The map you get given does show you where each of the stamp stations are so you can consult that if you find you’ve missed one. The animals are a bit trickier though but we found a very helpful member of staff on ground floor who helped us by telling us roughly where our last ones were.
Gift shop and canteen
Although I hadn’t been in the actual London Transport Museum before this visit I had been in the gift shop, which you can go in without a ticket. I found the gift shop to be really reasonably priced for the most part with lots of different options for all budgets. There is everything from hi-vis jackets for kids, books and transport themed toys.
The Canteen, a cafe, is located just above the gift shop and you can go to both without paying for entrance to the museum.
Something I do want to mention is that compared to some other museums we visited during this visit to London the London Transport Museum was very hot. It was a struggle to get around while wearing a mask and this meant that a lot of people didn’t wear them. However, we never felt like there was too many people and we had plenty of space while we were walking around and looking at things.
We spent 2.5 hours at the London Transport Museum and we could have easily been there longer so it would be well worth going back when we’re in London another time.
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