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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.
Craig’s review of Sir John Soane’s Museum – “Whenever I visit Sir John Soane's Museum I'm always reminded of those old cop show episodes where they beat on a front door and get no answer, so they shoulder-barge it open and find a skyscraper stack of newspapers piled up behind it. Ten years' worth of papers and magazines all tied up in string, and a mountain of carrier bags stuffed inside more bags, all packed wi… continued”
The Architecture Drawing Prize – 17 Oct to 18 Nov 2018 – Sir John Soane's Museum will be showcasing the winning and commended entries for the second Architecture Drawing Prize.
Drawing by Candlelight at Sir John Soane’s Museum – 16 Nov 2018 – A rare opportunity to take a sketchbook inside Sir John Soane's Museum for a glass of wine and candelit drawing event
Christmas Crafts at Sir John Soane’s Museum – 8 Dec 2018 – Take your kids to this arts and crafts event at Sir John Soane's Museum where they can make some Christmas cards.
Princess Diana — Her Fashion Story – 24 Feb 2017 to 17 Feb 2019 – Diana's Fashion Story at Kensington Palace is an exhibition of iconic dresses that show the evolution of her style
Poster Girls — A century of art and design – 13 Oct 2017 to 1 Jan 2019 – Poster Girls celebrates the work of female designers who worked for London Transport over the last 100 years
Superbugs — The Fight For Our Lives – 9 Nov 2017 to 10 Mar 2019 – Learn how scientists are fighting back against the bacteria that are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics
Dream On — V&A Museum of Childhood – 10 Feb 2018 to 20 Jan 2019 – The Dream On exhibition will be exploring the imaginary world that exists in our head between sleep and wakefulness
Look for more museum exhibitions this month
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
If you enjoy Sir John Soane’s Museum then you might like to visit British Museum (you can walk it in 7 mins), Petrie Museum (walk it in 18 mins or catch the tube from Holborn to Goodge Street) and Wallace Collection (catch the train from Holborn to Bond Street)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans