5 London Art Museums You May Have Missed

It’s no secret London has a bevvy of world-class museums. So many that a lot of them fly under the radar.

If you’re in the UK or are visiting for a long time, check out Art Fund’s National Art Pass. They do amazing things. And it’s easy to make up the price.

This first post will focus on more art-related museums.

1. Frederic Leighton House Museum


Step right into an aesthetic Victorian man’s Orientalist fantasy. It’s gaudy and bright and all pre-raphaelite. Love it or hate it – it’s a place that leaves an impression. Upstairs though is the envious studio room. It’s massive. Leighton’s enormous easels still stand today.

2. Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection
Large Drawing Room CC M.chohan

Every room in the Wallace Collection is astonishing. Here you’ll find a wealth of masterpieces, like The Laughing Cavalier.

The Laughing Cavalier, Frans Hals, 1624
The Laughing Cavalier, Frans Hals, 1624

Its 18th-century French pieces and decorative arts are unrivalled – except by a few notable museums in France.

The Swing, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1767

This painting will never cease to delight me. It’s a lot smaller than you might expect though.

3. The Courtauld Gallery

Somerset House, CC Stephen Richards
Somerset House, CC Stephen Richards

Find this gallery immediately to the right when you enter Somerset House. It has excellent Impressionist and Late-Medieval collection. There’s almost always an excellent special exhibition going on too.

A Bar at the Folies Bergère, Edouard Manet, 1881-2
A Bar at the Folies Bergère, Edouard Manet, 1881-2
Self Portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1889
Self Portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Take the staircase up. It’s one of the most famous in London.

There is tons to explore here, so make sure and check their website and what else is on.

4. Guildhall Art Gallery


Loads of sentimental Victorian art is here to be found!

La Ghirlandata, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1873
La Ghirlandata, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1873

But wait, there’s more! Go to the basement and you’ll be rewarded with the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre. Not much of ancient Londinium exists, so this is a treat.


5. House of Illustration


If you love illustration this new gallery has a revolving array of exhibits. There are also chances to hear lectures, take classes, or attend family-friendly events.

KingsCrossPark-Allison Arieff

The surrounding area, King’s Cross, is also a delight. Dancing fountains, hidden gardens, and trendy boutiques can be found nearby. Admittedly, it’s not a must-see. But it’s a perfect little getaway if you need somewhere quiet and family-friendly.