London Drum

Design Museum – Gallery of Graphic Design

Design Museum
Where? Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington · Web: Opening times? 10 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Thu & Sun); 10 AM to 9 PM (Fri-Sat) Visiting hours may change Price? Free Time required? A typical visit is 45-60 mins Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 9, 10, 27, 28, 49, C1 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is High Street Kensington Circle District Train fares

Craig’s review… I’ll be honest, I didn’t much like the old Design Museum when it was situated by Butler’s Wharf but at least it had one thing going for it: a great view of Tower Bridge. But now they’ve shifted it to South Kensington it hasn’t even got that.

The inside of the building is definitely better but it’s the objects that let it down. I’m standing in front of a load of teapots from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, then a load of seats, stools, road signs, desk lamps, lights, a collection of spoons (teaspoons, dessert spoons, plastic spoons). Not amazingly great spoons, I hasten to add, but normal spoons. Actual spoons. Like the ones you’ve got in your kitchen drawer at home.

Luckily things get better when you reach the electronics because you can re-visit everything you had as a kid: Casio calculators, Sony Walkmans (my god they are huge – how did we ever fit them into our pocket?), the very first PlayStation, Apple’s first iBook… if you remember all of these things from your youth then it’s quite amusing to see how big they were.

They’ve got a BBC Micro (I remember using that at school), ZX Spectrums (I played on that), Game Boys (had that), those ten-tonne ribbon typewriters that went clackity-clack, 3-inch floppy disks, green screen monitors… it’s all there. This is easily the best bit of the Design Museum because it’s like taking a trip down memory lane. It’s not so much fun when you’re just looking at tables and chairs and trainers and teapots, because you don’t have any childhood memories associated with those.

I still don’t think I’d recommend a visit, though. If you want to learn about the history of design then visit the V&A Museum instead, or the Science Museum, which are a million times better.

Worth a visit? Value for money? n/aGood for kids? Easy to get to?

I also recommend… If you enjoy this then try Science Museum (walk it in 24 mins or travel from High Street Kensington to South Kensington via tube) and Victoria & Albert Museum (walk it in 26 mins or travel from High Street Kensington to South Kensington via tube). Whilst you’re in Kensington you might like to visit the Leighton House Museum and Linley Sambourne House at 18 Stafford Terrace

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Your comments and questions

Ong How far to walk from train station?

Craig Hi Ong. It's just a straight walk from High Street Kensington station down Kensington High Street. From memory it takes about 5 minutes, maybe a tiny bit more

Bev Is it free?

Craig Hi Bev. The main gallery is free but you have to pay to see their special exhibitions.

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