Sir John Soane's Museum is one of the most interesting houses in the whole of London... and that is not an exaggeration. Until you've actually seen what it's like inside, then trust us: you will never fully appreciate how unique it is. People can tell you it's an Aladdin's cave of ancient treasures, chocablock with statues, stones and paintings, but until you've tiptoed down the corridors with the thousands of artefacts two inches from your nose you will not realise how extreme it is -- it's amazing!
Every single shelf and spare inch of wall-space is filled with something Soane collected, whether it be an ancient piece of jewellery, and Egyptian sarcophagus, Greek statue, Roman plate, or landscape painting by the likes of Canaletto, Turner and Hogarth... he seems to have been the biggest hoarder of ancient artefacts in history!
The townhouse has been left exactly as it was when he died (with a few unfortunate changes along the way, which are detailed in the exhibition), and once a month you get the opportunity to see it bathed in golden candlelight -- for free!
Craig has visited the house during the daytime, and written a review on his blog. He's never actually seen it in the evening, though, but hopefully his review will give you a feeling for what the claustrophobic corridors are like inside.
You should be aware that this tour is extremely popular and cannot be booked in advance. Long queues form well before the start, and you probably need to get there before 5 PM to have a chance of getting inside. When 5.30 PM comes around they will issue tickets to the first 200 people in the queue, and only these people will be guaranteed entry. After that it's strictly on a one-in, one-out basis until 8.30 PM. Bear in mind that it's strictly one ticket per person (no exceptions!), and they don't allow you to reserve a place in the line for late-comers either -- that's how busy this event is. If you manage to get inside then you can consider yourself lucky.
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