The London Transport Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of public transport in London. It is located in Covent Garden, and was opened on February 28th, 1977 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The London Transport Museum features rare exhibits, some up to 200 years old.
You can see Londoners’ first form of public transport, the omnibus, a horse-drawn carriage that seated 20 people. There are also the first Underground carriages: they were made of wood, and some of them were designed for smokers. There are also modern buses and trolleybuses.
London Transport Museum Tour
London Transport Museum: A Timeless Look into the History of London
The museum was created to preserve the history of public transport in London, and it has exhibits on buses, trains and trams that have been used throughout the years.
The museum is one of the United Kingdom’s major visitor attractions. With over 3 million visitors a year, it is one of Britain’s most popular museums for visitors from Europe and beyond. The collection consists of almost 80,000 pieces of transport history from coaches to trams, motorcycles to buses. Among its most famous exhibits are a Stephenson’s Rocket, the biggest engine ever built, and a replica of Penny Farthing, the first bicycle with large front wheel in the world. The museum houses an internationally significant transport collection from around the world and has a wide range of rolling stock on display including London buses, trams and trains.In addition to its transport collection, there is a large collection of military vehicles including tanks and armoured cars from all eras.
The museum also has an extensive archive of over 1 million photographs, with many rare and unique images.
Why It’s Worth Going
- The flagship of the world’s largest network of transport museums. You can also find other divisions of the museum in London
- A visual history of buses and coaches in London
- Interactivity for children
- Excellent gift shop
You can go to the London Transport Museum on your own, as you like the look of the exhibits, some of which you can sit in. But you can also take a guide who will explain in detail why there are double-decker buses, how the underground trains were steam-powered and people didn’t suffocate during that time, why special London taxi cars had to be built and how they are structurally different from other cars. The museum is in Covent Garden and can be combined with, for example, the National Gallery or a visit to the Royal Opera or any of the West End theatres.
The museum has five main galleries which are dedicated to the following:
- The Bus and Coach Gallery
- The Underground Railway Gallery
- The Road Transport Gallery
- The Street Furniture Gallery
- The River Thames Gallery.
Near the entrance there is a shop where you can buy souvenirs, books, toys, etc. There is also a cafeteria with hot meals and cold snacks on the first floor. Don’t forget to try the signature “transport” drinks, such as a cocktail with the London Underground logo.
You can also grab a bite to eat inside the museum, with a café bar offering a wide selection of sandwiches and snacks.
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