Founded in 1853, The Victoria and Albert Museum is named after Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. Until recently, Victoria was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The world’s largest applied and decorative art and design museum, The Victoria and Albert is home to over 2 million objects going back over 3,000 years.
The museum is a fascinating place to visit, full of exciting and eclectic permanent exhibitions including fashion, furniture and furnishings. Visitors can also explore exhibits on architecture, photography, music and jewellery.
And while this sounds like a lot for visitors to take in, it is so well curated it all fits together perfectly. In part, this is thanks to a restoration programme undertaken by the museum in recent years. As a result, visitors will find themselves walking through imaginative and engaging galleries.
These permanent exhibits sit alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Current temporary exhibitions include Queen Victoria & Prince Albert’s Bicentenary and Food: Bigger than the Plate.
One of the best things about the Victoria and Albert Museum is how much is free for visitors. Not only are the permanent and temporary exhibits free so are a whole host of free tours too.
Visitors can take daily introductory tours giving them an overview of the Museum and what they can expect. Then there are specialist tours. These include the Medieval and Renaissance tour, Theatre and Performance tour, Britain 1500-1900 tour, and the African Heritage tour. All these tours are free.
The Museum runs a range of courses, workshops and events too. Visitors will generally pay for these, and it’s recommended they book in advance. Current courses include The Classical World and Its Afterlife, Mexican Textiles and Ceramics, and The Later Dutch Golden Age. Workshops include Drawing Gems and Constructive Fashion Illustration.
Entrance to The Victoria and Albert Museum is free, and visitors can go any time between 10 AM and 5:45 PM every day, with a late opening till 10 PM on Friday. The only days the Museum isn’t open are 24 to 26 December because of Christmas.