The weirdest free tourist attractions in London
Sick of the same old tourist attractions? Want to do something different? Here at Astor Queensway we like to promote weird and wonderful places in London – and this week we are here to tell you about some of the weirdest!
Hunterian Museum 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3PE
First on my list (because it’s one of my favourites as an archaeologist) is the Hunterian Museum – a museum dedicated to the history of surgery (sounds cool and gruesome right?). Well, it IS cool and gruesome. The items on display in the museum consist of human limbs, skeletons and preserved foetuses. Some special items of interest to note are teeth retrieved from soldiers on the battlefield of Waterloo, a necklace of human teeth brought from the Congo by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley and a denture belonging to Sir Winston Churchill.
Anaesthesia Heritage Centre, 21 Portland Pl, W1B 1PY
To continue the weird medical theme (we have had a lot of doctors and medics staying here at Astor Queensway recently – we blame them for this one) we move onto the London museum of Anaesthesia. The joy of this tiny museum lies partly in its location, in the basement of an old London townhouse that is now home to the Association of Anaesthetists – even if you’re unsure of whether to go to this tiny museum, the traditional London town house in which it lies is worth a visit in itself. The weird and wonderful medical objects in this museum all come with a story – the earliest dating from the early 1700’s. Most of the older objects make you wonder how the patients survived after being treated with such medical appliances! (Maybe they didn’t).
(Be warned you just have to give them a call before you visit – as usually they have a free guide to take you through).
Time: Tattoo Art Today, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
This last exhibition I will tell you about is not as strange as the others – but as a fan of art and tattooing – I can tell you that this is very, very special (and something you can’t see in any other city in the world). This exhibition has been composed of specially made artwork from tattoo artists across the world – and they were all given one theme for this exhibition: time. This is an insight not only into tattoo art but also into the different perspectives of time. Common themes and imagery usually run through the artwork; for example, the popular inkings of butterflies, blossoms and the handled cross signify life, while skulls or the goddess Kali denote death. Many of these symbols are also present in the original pieces displayed.
Head there, see some of the best tattoo artists in the world give their visual explanation of time, life and death.
Have a weird summer,
Brit – Astor Queensway