Check out old posters and maps, see models of London’s 19th-century transport systems and watch your kids guide a Tube train through a simulator.
The London Transport Museum is an entertaining complex tracing the development of transportation in this historic city. From horse-drawn carriages to the London Underground, this museum has a range of interactive exhibits for the whole family. Enter the museum to the sights and sounds of transportation systems in Shanghai, New Delhi, Tokyo, Paris and New York, before delving into London’s tapestry of transit.
Ride the elevator to the second floor, where you’ll be presented with the travel contraptions of 19th-century London. See the model of a sedan chair, the city’s first licensed transport. It comprises a small windowed compartment with poles that were hoisted by porters.
Marvel at the old-fashioned modes of transportation, such as the horse-drawn omnibus, with its bright floral design. Learn about London’s first passenger railway that ran from London Bridge to Greenwich in the early 1800s.
Descend to the first floor, where the origins of the London Underground become clear. A steam-powered engine and a wooden railway coach show how far the transportation system has come. Inspect old posters and maps that evoke nostalgia for a bygone age.
Let kids explore the play area, where they can clamber over small vehicles and piece together a model train. Bring toddlers to the fun building blocks and interactive wall.
Browse the gifts, books and other souvenirs on display in the museum shop, which stands in the former entrance to Covent Garden’s Victorian flower market.
The museum is open daily from morning until early evening. Pay a fee for a year-long ticket. Youths and kids can enter for free, although those under 12 must be with an adult.
Travel west to Acton for the Museum Depot, which holds more than 320,000 transport-related artifacts. Check the official website’s schedule, as the depot’s opening times vary.
The London Transport Museum is in Covent Garden in London’s West End. Arrive at the Tube stations of Covent Garden, Leicester Square or Temple. Once you’re here, stop in at the Lyceum Theatre, the Royal Opera House and Somerset House too.