One of the world’s oldest museums with an impressive collection of historical artifacts, paintings and sculptures, the British Museum was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1753. According to this Act, the museum and its collection was made available free of charge to “all studious and curious people”. It was physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane, who is credited for laying the foundations of this museum.
The British Museum houses a vast collection which has further been segregated into various departments, for easy viewing of the visitors. The museum has exhibitions of Egyptian, Roman and Assyrian architecture, 4th- and 5th-century antiquities outside Greece, Egyptian mummies, head of Rames 2, the Rosetta Stone, Lindow Man and Elgian Marbles, which are popular among visitors.
As far as accessing British Museum is concerned, the first step for tourists is to reach London, which is really simple as there are numerous flights from all over the world connecting to London. Tourists can book a ticket in any of these flights, depending on their budget. Once in London, it is important to note that British Museum is located on Great Russell Street of London. Tourists have the option of choosing from underground tube, bus, bicycle or car to reach here. The nearest underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Russell Square. The nearest car park to the Museum is located at Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2RJ.
Tourists should note that British Museum is open all days except for 1 January and 24, 25, 26 December. The museum galleries are open daily from 10.00–17.30. On Fridays, the museum is open until 20.30. The Great Court is
open 9am-6pm. Also, entry to the museum is free. So tourists can plan their visit to British Museum accordingly. There are multimedia guides, exhibitions and interactive tours also available for the perusal of tourists, to understand the museum better.
As far as the best time to visit London is concerned, where British Museum is located, travel experts suggest that ultimately, it all depends on what your interests are. The months of July and August have the best weather in England, but this the peak season with a lot of crowds travelling to London. Autumn can also be a lovely season to visit London. It is easier to find cheap London accommodation options during this period. During winters, due to Christmas and New Year celebrations, the festive spirit is in the air, revealing another aspect of London to its tourists.
When in British Museum, some exhibitions which are must see include:
• ‘Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the 18th Century’: This exhibition showcases 5,000 objects to depict what the period of Enlightenment was, as the name rightly suggests. Tourists can enjoy this display in the restored former King’s Library.
• ‘Living and Dying’: A display in the Wellcome Trust Gallery which showcases how people have diagnosed and treated disease and tackled death.
• The Great Court: A beautiful covered piazza, designed by Foster and Partners, which is another major attraction for tourists visiting British Museum.
• Study Room in the Prints and Drawings Department: Home to original drawings by Michelangelo, Durer, Leonardo, Raphael, William Blake and other renowned personalities.
So for an exciting history lesson, plan a visit to British Museum as soon as possible!