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Old 28.04.2012, 22:55
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British museum or national gallery??

Hello British people,

I am in London this weekend for a very short trip and want to see only one museum. Which one do you recommend? British museum or national gallery?

Thanks
A
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Old 28.04.2012, 23:02
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

Not British, but preferred the British Museum ( finished it in two visits - 2nd visit had in Jan 2012 some interesting exhibitions ).
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Old 28.04.2012, 23:06
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Aaah you're right! Should not have limited it to Brits!!thanks!
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Old 28.04.2012, 23:13
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

Neither of those, unless you're really keen on their specific offerings.
Instead, pop down to West Ken. - 2 museums in one: Natural History, then direct connection to the Science Museum.

Or, cross the wobbly bridge to the Tate Modern.
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Old 28.04.2012, 23:23
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

They're both different. One's more of an art gallery and one's more of a history artifacts collection. But they do overlap. Pick the one which seems to fit your interests better.
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Old 29.04.2012, 00:07
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

For me, as a Brit, I've always found the British Museum just too much. Don;t get me wrong -- it's brilliant. But huge. And (some might say) not really that much to do with Britain. More a collection of global artefacts that just happens to be housed in Britain. It's not an ideal place for a quick visit as there is so much to see.

Personally I prefer the National Gallery (and the National Portrait Gallery is just across the road - highly recommended too). The National is a great art gallery, and ranks with pretty much any in the world.

The suggestion re Science and Nat History was a good one, and also close by is the fabulously eclectic Victoria and Albert Museum - http://www.vam.ac.uk/

And yeah - the Tate Modern recommendation was good too, and right across the river from St Paul's.

It just depends what sort of art you like. All of these places have great collections.
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Old 29.04.2012, 00:28
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

Both are amazing to see if you have the time. I would choose the British museum over the gallery. The only "issue" with choosing the museum is that you should devote the whole day to it. It is massive and houses a giant collection of works throughout it's galleries. It makes for a marvelous but exhausting day if you are to see it all. It does house some art as well but nothing comparable to the gallery.

Either-way, whatever you choose you'll always have a good reason to come back for more to see! That's always the approach I take when I'm traveling. Always look for a reason to come back!

Oh and I guess this is coming from a Canadian, no Brit on this side so you may disregard my suggestions if you wish. I've only spent a great week in April a few years back and managed to see both and plenty more in the Capital.

Whichever you choose, you wont be dissapointed!
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Old 29.04.2012, 07:33
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

British Museum is a large box of very very rich chocolates, and as such should be dipped into repeatedly, not scarfed down in one or two goes. Choose a theme (eg Greek marbles) and explore that theme, you'll get more out of it than if you try to do it all at once.

Natural History Museum - still a beautiful and interesting museum and the modernization has been done quite well, for the most part. They have introduced a number of new things in the time I've been away from London and the Darwin Centre is excellent.

Science Museum: AVOID! Once a fantastic museum, it's been dumbed down, made "relevant" and made "interactive" (which either doesn't work or costs you extra money) the ground floor has been turned into a large shop aimed at separating the kiddies from their money. Not only has a huge part of the Science Museum collection on display until the 80s disappeared, but what little of the science they do have on display is very dated apart from the (pay to get in) "special" exhibitions (of varying quality). For example, as of 2011 the most modern aircraft model they had on display was a Boeing 747-100 (@ 1970s)!

Victoria and Albert: another museum worth dipping in to. Their special exhibitions range from the OK to the superb.

Imperial War Museum, in addition to a nice collection of war machines (tanks, planes, guns) it has many thought provoking galleries (the gallery dedicated to the Holocaust is particularly sobering - the extremely large [small] scale model of a corner of the Auschswitz-Birkenau camps really rams home how big the Nazi death machine was). They also have some interesting interactive items and special exhibitions.

National Galleries: well worth the vist, apart from superb paintings (including two amazing Turners I would unhesitatingly "acquire" [hem, hem], no questions asked...), they offer - twice a day - a curator led tour of about 6 paintings. The curator will explain and critique each painting and every tour is different. The tour is free. Incidentally, the National Gallery Dining Rooms (their restaurant) is consistently rated as being very, very good and they do an amazing Sunday lunch.

Tate Modern: I can't advise as I believe that the majority of modern art is rubbish made by the untalented and foisted on the unknowing by the unscrupulous....

TD
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Old 29.04.2012, 08:41
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

Of the two you suggested I prefer the National Gallery, I found that the British museum was just exhausting, excellent but just too big for one day.
The National gallery is just stunning.
I second train doctors suggestion of the Imperial War museum, the holocaust section is heartbreaking but it's well worth a visit, it's probably the most memorable museum I've been to in London.
Also, not exactly a museum but I have great memories of the Tower of London from when I was a child, I don't know if it's changed but it was a very interesting place to visit.
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Old 29.04.2012, 12:40
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

I'm feeling homesick....

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Old 29.04.2012, 12:57
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Re: British museum or national gallery??

I won a London Pass and visited many interesting museums in London ( and in the Greater London Area ).

http://www.londonpass.com/london-att...n-museums.html

http://www.londonpass.com/london-att...is-museum.html
http://www.londonpass.com/london-att...xperience.html
Can someone suggest an affordable key cutting service in London ?
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