The British Museum
If you only have one reason to visit London....
You may be familiar with a famous line that begins with 'It was the best of times, it was the....'. Normally, this sentence would end with 'worst of times'. However, when it comes to the British Museum, the sentence would undoubtedly be 'It was the best of times, it was the best of times'. Why?
To visit the British Museum in London is to see the very best of the best. What I mean by this is that you will see the very best of the best empires that the World has ever seen. To visit the British Museum, clearly one of London's Premier attractions, is to literally place yourself in the history and culture of the best(and worst) who have gone before.
What you'll see at the Museum
One of the great things about the Museum, is that it is one of the most central of London's attractions. With close proximity to Hyde Park, Holborn, and the Thames River, the British Museum is close enough to other attractions, that it can be one of many sight-seeing treats that you will be able to fit into a single day...not that you will probably have time to visit other venues, the Museum is massive!
Be that as it may, this is what the Museum looks like when you approach from the outside:
I found the Museum strangely tucked away, almost off of the main roads. As such, despite it's previously mentioned 'central location', it wasn't the easisest to find for me. I recommend getting your bearings fully tuned in before visiting, or using any of the numerous London Taxis that patrol the streets.
However, once you can actually locate the entrance, the first thing that captures your thinking is how much the building encapsulates the history and culture of London, and it's rich and varied history. For me, the ideal temperature when visiting the Museum, is no more than 22 degress Celcius. The city can become quite hot in summer as there is little breeze, so you'll want to feel cool enough to immerse yourself in the extensive walking that you will face when you visit the Museum.
There can be no single picture that captures the enormity of the inside. However, here is one of the more famous shots:
When you visit, bear in mind that although this picture suggests ample room for walking around, in reality the interior can become quite busy, and crowded. To that end, try to visit outside of peak hours, such as lunchtimes, or holiday periods. In addition, because the amount of walking that you'll do will be quite substantial, wear comfortable and hard wearing shoes.
The displays are spread over several levels. This means that you will need to be familiar with where you're going, and how to reach there. Bear in mind that the stairs between levels, whilst not especially steep, could be tiring for those who are unwell, or advancing in years.
Some of the real Gems that you'll find
If you are still wondering whether the Museum is really worth a visit, have a look at some of the Historic Gems that you'll find there:
These are just some of the many magnificent Egyptian artifacts that the Museum has to offer. The bottom picture was the tomb of a poorer member of Egyptian society. Whilst some of the poorer members did have mummification, the tombs were a few levels below the Pyramids that we associate so easily with that era.
The Roman era is also well represented. The Museum's exhibits show a strong emthasis on the civilization that Rome tried to build wherever it went. Especially noteworthy are the use of currency, including Gold and Silver. The large number of mosaics and building refinements on display likewise show that Rome set itself a task of being innovators in society, at a time when large areas of the World were more reflective of brawn than brains in their approach to Empire.
The Take Away
Suffice it to say, London has a great number of worthwhile places to visit, including Art Galleries, and Palaces. The best for those whose angle is societal history is probably the British Museum. I thoroughly recommend scheduling time for a visit when in London. The information that you will absorb gives a strong sense of how society has developed, and the underlying emotions that have been the foundation of society, no matter what age we live in.
Before planning to come, there are numerous articles on line that should be referenced, in order to understand how our education will grow, and what will be on display. One such article that I found interesting was this article in Reuters about the Natural History Museum.