Emily Barber, author of Blue Guide London, recommends five main museums:
1. “V&A” – the Victoria and Albert Museum – for its architecture and varied content. It is also home to the National Art Library which is a peaceful place to read or study overlooking the courtyard. And the V&A houses one of best collections of jewellery in world.
2. National Gallery – as the best place just to wander and see some of the finest paintings in the world.
3. National Portrait Gallery – where the galleries aren’t too large so feel personal. The brilliant portraits are stunning as art and fascinating as history.
4. The Tower of London – where the Norman White Tower still retains a sense of its impressive ancient past. The pure austerity of the Chapel architecture gives a peaceful sanctity (if there aren’t too many tourists). The gems in the Crown Jewels are legendary. Have a chat with the famous ravens who are excellent mimics.
5. Hampton Court – a perfect palace in gorgeous setting by river. It still conveys a sense of wonder as you approach and see twisted Tudor chimney stacks. The Stuart part of the palace has one of the finest 17th century interiors in the UK.