The best East London museums to explore
Although the East of London may not be famous for its museums, there are some small hidden gems that are just a tube ride (or gentle walk) away from Stratford.
Very soon though, Stratford will be home to world renowned V&A as they open a new museum in partnership with The Smithsonian Institute – the largest museum and research complex in the world.
Due to open in 2023, the V&A East will provide a new space for academia in their new research centre as well as space for over 250,000 objects.
To keep you cultured and curious until then, we’ve rounded up the most popular East London museums for you to explore.
V&A Museum of Childhood
Where: Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PAThe V&A Museum of Childhood is also the UK’s National Museum of Childhood, and the largest institution in the world. It holds collections of childhood items and hosts regular workshops to educate and engage the community in experiences of childhood from years gone by.
They hold regular rotating exhibitions to educate and inspire, including musical performances, museum sleepovers and large-scale community art projects.
The museum is free to visit and is open daily from 10am to 5.45pm*.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
Where: 11 Mare Street, E8 4RP
If you’re looking for something a little…different, then visit The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities at The Last Tuesday Society.
The purpose-built studio supports the careers of both emerging and established artists to curate a unique selection of items at its Mare Street gallery.
Expect to find a seemingly random collection of items that make little sense when displayed together – like the rare Dodo Bones or McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys. The only way to understand the gallery is to visit, or book a guided tour.
They also hold regular events to offer an insight into the pieces on display. To find upcoming events and learn more about the museum, visit The Last Tuesday Society’s website.
The museum is currently only open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm-10pm. Entry is £8 with a free cup of tea on request. Discounted entry for just £2.50 is available every Thursday evening from 5pm. You’ll also find a cocktail bar here so it’s perfect for an alternative date night!
Where: 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ
The Hackney Museum will teach you about the history of Hackney through the ages – from the Anglo-Saxon settlers to recent refugees.
Through interviews, photographs, objects and images, you can find out more about the people who made Hackney their home as well as sharing what it means to you.
There are regular exhibitions and displays to explore as well as community engagement programmes.
View opening hours and contact information on their website and find out how to reach them via public transport.
*opening hours may differ on bank holidays and weekends.
The House Mill
Where: Three Mill Lane, E3 3DU
The House Mill is a grade 1 listed 18th century tidal mill, located in Three Mills Island. Built in 1776, it’s the world’s largest surviving mill of its kind and is now home to a museum, heritage tours, concerts and more.
The museum offers regular tours of the House Mill (the only way to visit) for just £4. As the tours are planned on a demand basis, opening hours are limited so contact them for more information.
The museum is closed for winter and will reopen in March.