Ahhh…Britain. The very word conjures up visions of regal pomp, high tea, and royal scandal. But it’s not all high brow hoopla, there are plenty of offbeat and off-the-wall attractions if you do a little digging, and no where is this more evident than in Britain’s museums. While it still has its share of dusty displays in musty halls (what European country doesn’t?), old “Blighty” delivers when it comes oddball museums.
Check out these 5 Quirky British museums for starters.
Grant Museum of Zoology
If ghoulish-looking creatures preserved in fluid gets your blood flowing, then you’re sure to love the Grant Museum of Zoology. Piles of skeletons and various specimens of taxidermy round out the displays, which include the remains of many extinct and rare animals. Ever wanted to see a dodo bird? How about a quagga? (Picture something like a zebra, but weirder, and more extinct.) This is the chance you’ve been waiting for folks.
London Sewing Machine Museum
It’s pretty much like you’d expect it to be – a museum, filled with antique sewing machines. There are over 600 sewing machines on display here, making it a great place to get your hemming done. Kidding. These are display models only. The crown jewel of this collection is the first Singer sewing machine.
St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art
Housing religious artifacts and paintings from just about every religion on the globe, the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art is well worth a visit. Its aim is educational rather than conversion, so no need to worry about things getting too preachy. It’s also home to the first Zen garden in Britain, and if you’re up for it, the spooky Glasgow Necropolis adjacent to the museum is well worth a look too. (Note: If you’re heading to the St. Mungo Museum looking for Salvador Dali’s infamous painting Christ of St. John of the Cross, it’s now been moved to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.)
British Lawnmower Museum
Specializing in vintage lawnmowers, the British Lawnmower Museum in Southport (not affiliated with that other lawnmower museum in Cornwall…yes, Britain has two) also houses other various garden machines and artifacts.
Dog Collar Museum
Currently closed but reopening in the summer of 2013, the Dog Collar Museum at Leeds Castle in Kent is undoubtedly the oddest of the British museums on the list. With over 100 dog collars from the past 500 years, the collection ranges from vintage hunting dog work wear to more modern hound haute couture. Ironically, the museum does not allow dogs.