10 July 2014

Sir John Soane's Museum

Imagine a Victorian terrace in the centre of London that looks on to a leafy green square. If your not paying attention you could easily pass right by this hidden London gem. It looks like all the other houses on the street - except for the line outside.

The Sir John Soane's Museum is one of London's more unique museums, and one of my favourites. I initially visited quite a few years ago and was blown away with what was hidden inside its normal exterior. Egyptian Sarcophagus, shelves of books, a Monks parlour, the clever picture room and more.

Last Tuesday I decided to go back for a visit during their monthly candlelit evenings. Walking into the front room again, the glow of the candles bouncing of the mirrors and glass cabinets overflowing with leather bound books, for a moment it was as though id stepped back in time.

By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum by Derry Moore
About the Museum

Sir John Soane was the son of a bricklayer who became a distinguished architect. He designed and built 12, 13, 14 Lincon's Inn Fields. Number 13 was home to his architectural designs, artifacts and antiquities which he cultivated into an impressive collection during his lifetime. "He established the house as a museum by Act of Parliament (1833) requiring that his romantic and poetic interiors be kept as they were at the time of his death." - soane.org

By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum by Lewis Bush
For a first visit, I'd recommend going during daytime opening hours as its easier to see Soane's collection and clever use of mirrors to light different rooms than it is by candlelight. My favourite part of the house is the picture room, make sure you visit and stick around for the demo - that's all I'm saying. There is a current project to reinstate Soane’s own bedroom, bathroom, oratory, book passage and Model Room and Mrs Soane’s Morning Room so soon enough there will be even more to see.

By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum by Derry Moore

Visiting Sir John Soane's Museum
  • Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm
  • Free entry :)
  • The candlelight openings occur on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 6pm though the line outside starts forming much earlier.
  • No photography is allowed.
  • Try not to take any bulky or big bags with you.
  • Closest tube station is Holborn
  • Full address 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

Have you found a hidden gem in London?


  1. See, now this is a gem I've still yet to explore. Must get on to that!

    1. And after you visit, stop for some cake at the cafe in the park :)