When I was living in London a few years ago, my schedule worked out in such a way that I would often have free time on Wednesday afternoons. “Museum Wednesday” quickly became a beloved tradition that has carried on through the years.
London is stuffed to bursting with world class museums, but one of my very favorite places to visit in the city is a lesser known museum called the Wallace Collection. The relative obscurity of the museum makes it a perfect stop to enjoy a peaceful day exploring some art.
Out of over 5,000 items, the museum is most well known for its collection of 18th Century paintings, furniture, and its disproportionately large arms and armory display. As a huge fan of armor, this collection is an absolute delight- and its always a gift to see Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s “The Swing” in person.
Though technically one of London’s smaller museums, the 25 gallery collection holds plenty of items to interest even the most casual of museum-goers, plus it has a cafe in it’s inner courtyard! I personally like to treat myself with a cream tea break in the glass-roofed courtyard before continuing on my way through the collection. I do find the cafe to be a little expensive, but given that the museum itself is free, I can’t say I’m overly concerned with the pricing.
Upon exploring the collection for a time, you may find yourself thinking: “gosh, rich people have a lot of stuff”, and that’s right- they do. This museum displays what was once one of the greatest private art collections in the world, built over multiple generations, and donated to the nation upon the death of Sir Richard Wallace with the condition that no item will ever leave the collection.
While there are both free and paid group tours available to book, the museum also has a fairly extensive digital guide available through a free app- or you can just flit around from piece to piece!
Every time I visit this museum, I find something beautiful that I’d never noticed before. This time around, I circled back to the Oval Drawing Room enough times that I think I made security nervous.
Hours: 10am-5pm, 7 days a week
Highlights: Armory, 18th Century paintings
4 thoughts on “Museum Spotlight- Wallace Collection”
Looks like a great museum!
Definitely one of my favorites!
Oh, to live in a place where there are so many fabulous museums! This one looks amazing…”The Swing”!!…it’s always interesting to see how the other half live(d). Thank you for sharing The Wallace Collection. I enjoyed the post.
Definitely worth a visit! There’s so many interesting things packed into that museum!