Visit the Science Museum

Science Museum in London
Science Museum map location

Science Museum address and telephone

Address:
Science Museum is located at: Exhibition Road, South Kensington,
London SW7 2DD
England
Telephone:
You can contact Science Museum on Work +44 (0) 870 870 4868
Website:
The Science Museum website can be visited at sciencemuseum.org.uk

Science Museum opening times and ticket price

Opening hours:
Science Museum is open to the public from: During school term: 10 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Sun) – During school holidays: 10 AM to 7 PM (Mon-Sun); Last entry 45 mins before closing
Visiting hours are subject to change, and may not apply on public holidays. Always reconfirm whether it’s open to visitors before making plans to visit Science Museum
Time required:
A typical visit to Science Museum lasts 2½-3 hours, plus another hour if you watch an IMAX movie (approx)
Ticket cost:
The entry price for Science Museum is: Adults free entry

How to get to Science Museum

When visiting Science Museum you can use the following:
Minicabs:
Find minicab and taxi firms near Science Museum
Buses:
14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430, 710, C1
London bus fares
Trains:
Gloucester Road CRC DSC PCL, South Kensington CRC DSC PCL
If you want to visit Science Museum by train then the nearest underground station to Science Museum is South Kensington
London underground fares

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Science Museum Easy to get to? Good for kids? Value for money? free Worth a visit? 303

 Science Museum South Kensington

 Science Museum South Kensington

See all events at Science Museum

 

The Science Museum explores ideas and inventions from the dawn of time to the space-age, using historic models and plenty of push-button displays.

Inside the Science Museum

Energy Hall, and Making the Modern World

The Energy Hall and Making the Modern World galleries showcase some of with machines that kick-started the Industrial Revolution, flike a Puffing Billy to Robert Stevenson’s steam-powered Rocket.

Then you move onto motor cars with a Model T Ford and British Mini.

Energy Hall at the Science Museum

On the first floor you can see early examples of telecommunications like Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine (the world’s first computer) and William Cooke’s five-needle telegraph.

Then it moves onto everyday objects that we take for granted like washing machines, TVs and kettles. There’s also a fun section of failed inventions and patents that never made the grade, which invites you to guess their intention. (Not always easy!)

Exploring Space Gallery

Space Gallery at the Science Museum

The Space Gallery is one of the most popular parts of the Science Museum for children, and contains life-size models of the Huygens space probe (the NASA probe that descended through Titan’s atmosphere) and the doomed Beagle probe (the one that bounced across the surface of Mars).

They’ve also got an Eagle lander sitting on the surface of the moon, an Apollo 10 Command Module, a V2 rocket, and some interactive exhibits for the kids where they can test out their astronaut skills.

Airplanes in the Flight Gallery

History of Flight, at the Science Museum

The Flight Gallery is fantastic for fans of aviation. They have a hangar full of airplanes and helicopters suspended from the ceiling, from the earliest flying machines made out of wood and string, to modern-day rockets and jets.

Three of the highlights include a beautiful Spitfire, Amy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth, and John Alcock’s Vickers Vimy, which was the first aircraft to fly non-stop across the Atlantic.

Science Museum entrance hall

Wellcome Wing, and 3D IMAX cinema

The Wellcome Wing deals with cutting-edge technology, nuclear physics, quantum physics, and the latest breakthroughs in medicine. The medicine section includes a few mock-ups of doctor’s surgeries throughout the ages, from battlefield tents and slop tables onboard wooden frigates, to Victorian chemists and modern-day operating theatres.

Medicine exhibition at the Science Museum

The Science Museum also has an IMAX cinema for the kids. Their 3D screen is as big as five double-decker buses and can take you into far reaches of the universe, and the deepest trenches of the sea.

Craig’s review of the Science Museum

This review originally appeared in his London blog

Stephenson’s Rocket, in the Energy Hall

I have hazy memories of visiting the Science Museum when I was a kid, and pressing every button in the building to see what it did, but I’ve grown out of that now. I still wanted to press all the buttons, but I was too embarassed to do it because there was about ten billion screaming school kids running around. The only one I pressed all day was the one on the lift.

Model T Ford, Energy Hall

It was a lot better than I remembered it to be in my youth – even the boring stuff about medicine and biology was good. But first of all you have to make a dash through the Energy Hall because that is just full of steam engines and pistons and turbines and that kind of thing… stuff that goes up and down and round and round and makes a lot of noise. Not very exciting.

But then you come to the Making the Modern World gallery and it starts to get a lot better. This whole room is filled with famous machines like Stephenson’s Rocket and the Model T Ford. They’ve got an airliner hanging from the ceiling as well, and some Minis stacked up on the wall.

Apollo moon lander at the Science Museum

Then you come to my favourite section (and probably every kid’s favourite section as well): Exploring Space. They’ve got a full-size model of the lunar landing module in there – the Apollo rocket looks so flimsy it’s a wonder that it ever made it to the moon. The whole thing is covered in gold tin foil and looks about as sturdy as a Kit Kat wrapper.

V2 Rocket at the Science Museum

I quite liked looking at the V2 rocket as well (like the ones that dropped on London). Did you know that the Nazi V2 was the first man-made object to make it into space? And it took the first photo of the Earth from space as well. Where would we be without those evil rocket-building Nazis, huh?

The space gallery also contained the only hands-on exhibit that I bothered to do (because there was no one else around). You have to stick your hands through a wall into some astronaut’s gloves, and then try and do up some nuts and bolts. I don’t mean to boast, but it was actually quite easy. Maybe I should give NASA a ring and offer them my services.

Astronaut in the Space Gallery

The next gallery I went into was all about boats. This basically consisted of a billion million model ships from Nelson’s HMS Victory to something that looked like the QE2. I’m not much into boats, but I’m guessing that they had every kind of boat throughout history, even back to the Roman galleys and oar-powered boats of Ancient times.

Next up was the medicine section. And yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking… the medicine section? You’re probably thinking that it sounds boring as hell but it was actually one of my favourite galleries. What made it good wasn’t the cabinets full of pills and needles, but the life-size mock-ups of doctors’ surgeries throughout the ages. There was probably about twenty of them in total: all life-size rooms filled with waxwork doctors and patients having their bits fiddled with.

Medicines exhibition at the Science Museum

One of my favourites was the doctor’s deck of a Royal Navy ship, around the time of Trafalgar. You could see the doc holding down a screaming patient with a big thick splinter in his leg. They had models of plague-filled streets, muddy trenches from World War I, and even a modern-day operating theatre with about ten doctors doing open heart surgery on some poor wax man lying on the table. Another good one was a Victorian shop which you could actually walk inside, and see all the pills and concoctions stacked up on the shelves. It was good! So don’t forget to visit the medicine section. That was my favourite bit.

Airplanes in the Flight Gallery

After you’ve seen all the exhibits you can visit the IMAX 3D cinema, which seems to show a lot of silly kids’ movies on for the under-5s. I’m pretty young looking, but I don’t think I could pass for under-5, so I had to give that one a miss. But I did visit the Legend of Apollo movie.

Let me sum up the Legend of Apollo movie in one word for you: it was rubbish! (Okay, so that was three words.) It was only five quid and it only lasted for 15 minutes, so you may as well give it a go, but it doesn’t live up to the hype.

Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum

When you go inside you are given some 3D glasses and the movie starts to play. When the rocket takes off the seats shake about and air is blown in your face. That is supposed to simulate what the astronauts felt when they took off in Apollo. They also blow some bubbles around the auditorium, for some reason (I still haven’t worked that one out). Then you land on the moon (more shaking) and get out and have a walk around (more shaking). Then the rocket takes off again (more shaking) and enters the Earth’s atmosphere (more shaking) and lands in the sea (water gets sprayed in your face). And then everyone gets up and goes to the cafe for a cup of tea.

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s latest review of the Science Museum  “If you are anything like me, then you will love learning about industrial-sized pistons and pipes and steam traction engines dating from the years 1715 to 1904. So when you walk into the Science Museum it will be like walking into heaven. The first hall is like a big factory floor filled with pumps and pipes and pulleys and levers, huge wheels and iron turbines, all puffing and chuffing as they rumble round and round. You can hear metal shrieks and tin whistles coming from the speakers like they are still alive. If engines are your thing then they’ve got examples dating all the way back to Boulton and Watt. If engines are not your thing (99% of us, I’m guessing)… continued.”

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If you like space then try the Royal Observatory and Planetarium. The Natural History Museum also bits about the solar system. You can find some more early inventions at the Design Museum, and airplanes at the RAF Museum and Imperial War Museum. For more about medicine try the Fleming Museum, Florence Nightingale Museum and Old Operating Theatre.


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> How do you rate it?  Talk about the Science Museum in the forum

 
Awful 17% Poor 0% Okay 33% Good 33% Great 17%
  •  Guest – “Would like to know, based on your experience, if kids can still "press those buttons" and conduct hands-on activities as was the case many years ago. I surmise in the technologically developed times children are lining in today, such a museum is compelled to offer 3d movies and other modern day venues to keep up with the "tates".”
  •  Guest – “I remember going when I was at school and everyone running around and pressing the buttons to see what they do. I went back a few years ago and they all seemed to be still there. Not quite as much fun as I remember though (but maybe that's because I’m over 40 now!) . The best place I’ve been to with buttons to press that I good for people in my age bracket is the cabinet war rooms. If you go into the churchill museum bit, then you can bring loads of stuff up on maps, like the front lines and were the troops were, and other stuff like pictures and his quotes.”

> Exhibitions at the Science Museum

   to Science Museum South KensingtonThe Science Museum's 'Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care' exhibition will look at medicine during the Battle of the Somme.

   to Science Museum South KensingtonThe Science Museum will be exploring the last 500 years of robots, with over 100 robots on display, plus 12 working models.

If you enjoy visiting the Science Museum then try these other science-related places in London…

> Royal Observatory The Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, marks the point where Greenwich Mean Time began.
> Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum covers everything from long-dead dinosaurs to erupting volcanoes.
 

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