In Kensington stands three of London’s finest museums: the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V&A. Each has a different focus, and can be incorporated into a single visit, or visited separately for an interesting, entertaining school trip.
If you’re travelling inside London, it’s easy enough to hop on the Piccadilly, Circle or District London Underground line to get to South Kensington.
With its underground tunnel connecting the tube station to the museums you’re assured of a rain free day whatever the weather holds. If you’re coming from outside London, you can either get a train or hire a coach to London. There are dedicated coach drop-off points around the museums, so your class can be dropped practically to the door of your chosen museum for easy, hassle-free travel.
Whether you’re looking for a trip in time, visiting the arts or finding out just how things work, there is something suitable for everyone. Read on for which sections and exhibits are recommended for a school trip and other helpful hints and tips, such as where to go for lunch afterwards!
The National Science Museum
The Science Museum contains a huge range of interactive science displays and artefacts relating to a vast variety of science topics. From the human body to outer space to the science of technology, the Science Museum is brimming with things to see and do. The IMAX 3D cinema is a hit with all children, and there are lots of games and ways to get involved with the displays to make learning more fun.
There is always a new and exciting exhibit on for the children and other visitors to learn more about themselves and the world around them. The current exhibit is based on the Apollo lunar landings of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. With 3D computer animation that ‘sends you to the moon’ and realistic sights and scents of the atmosphere, it is a trip to space not many are likely to forget for some time.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is perfect for Geography and History trips. Learn about everything from the way rocks are formed to what the different dinosaurs look like and everything in between. There is an exciting earthquake simulator to shake everyone up, and there are often fascinating nature photography exhibitions. Your class will love the moving demonstrations of how natural processes work, such as how ripples appear in rock, and there is an amazing display of crystals and rock formations, including an exquisite amethyst geode.
Staying with the special theme alongside the National Science Museum, currently, the Natural History Museum is showing Michael Benson’s ‘Otherworlds’. Hailed as a realistic flyby tour of the universe, it is a journey through space designed to highlight and explore the beauty of our solar system. For kids and classes of any age, it is not to be missed.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Victoria & Albert Museum (otherwise known as the V&A Museum) is a museum focused on art and design, with exhibitions ranging from fashion to furniture design. With art from around the world and one of the biggest ranges of artistic design products. This isn’t a conventional art gallery; your class can expect to find mesmerising pieces of jewellery, jaw-dropping architectural plans and some intriguing physical art pieces, such as dances and plays. This would make the perfect trip for an art or design class, either to learn more about the history of art or to make some sketches for a project.
For secondary school kids and college classes, why not put a bit of fun into your trip by visiting the exhibit; A Brief History of Underwear? Designed to highlight the relationships between underwear and fashion and what part it plays in defining sex, gender, and even morality, it is a controversial exhibit guaranteed to make you think. A little risky but perhaps very educational for the older students.
Plus there are a wide range of shops and restaurants nearby, although if you are really stuck for options you can always hop on the tube to nearby Earls Court or Shepherd’s Bush, where there are a huge selection of shops and restaurants where you can buy food. A lunch box is often recommended for school outings, but you never know when you might need to get to a restaurant.
Whatever topic you’re looking to cover on your school trip, the Kensington Museums are your best bet for something the children will be talking about for the rest of the year. They’ll learn and be entertained; what more can you ask for?
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Best London Coach Hire; the transport group’s specialist coach service covering London and the whole of the UK.
Deep Blue Cafe in the Science Museum by Heather Cowper (CC BY 2.0)
Entrance Hall Natural History Museum by Heather Cowper (CC BY 2.0)
Sculpture Gallery Victoria and Albert Museum by Heather Cowper (CC BY 2.0)
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