London Drum

Hunterian Museum – Royal College of Surgeons

Hunterian Museum
Where? Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, 38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields · Web: Opening times? The museum is currently closed for renovations, and is not expected to re-open again until early 2023 Time required? A typical visit is 30-60 mins Parking: Nearby car parks Buses: 1, 11, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 91, 168, 171, 172, 188, 243, 521, X68 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Holborn Central Piccadilly Other nearby stations: Chancery Lane and Temple Train fares

Craig’s review… Come and see the severed head of Winnie the Pooh!

If that doesn’t entice you into visiting the Hunterian Museum then nothing will. I’m not sure that I’d recommend it to tourists though. It’s more for biology students, I think, and for local Londoners who’ve already seen all of the obvious attractions and are searching for something a bit different to do. It’s housed inside the Royal College of Surgeons so it’s there for the students. And people who like horror movies.

It’s basically just a big collection of pickled heads and skeletons. They’ve even dissected some birds and bees and slit open their throats so you can see all their muscles, blood and bones. Some of them are truly gruesome. You’ll be walking past glass jars filled with foetal pigs, hairless rodents and the severed head of Winnie the Pooh. I’m being serious! They’ve pickled the brown bear from London Zoo that inspired AA Milne to write his children’s tale.

The worst ones are the pickled humans. You might think that I’m joking but I’m not – they’ve got hold of some babies who died before birth and you can follow them along from conception, watching their faces forming and arms and legs stretching and bending into limbs, and finally into a fully formed stillbirth that didn’t quite make it. (I don’t recommend this museum for kids.) If that kind of thing interests you then you’ll probably love their collection of excised tumours.

I see this place as a sister to the Natural History Museum, because that place displays the animals with their clothes still on (with their feathers and fur intact), whilst the Hunterian strips off all their skin and shows you their blood vessels and bones.

Worth a visit? Value for money? freeGood for kids? Easy to get to?

I also recommend… If you enjoy this then try Natural History Museum (take a tube journey from Holborn to South Kensington) and Wellcome Collection (walk it in 22 mins or catch a tube from Holborn to Euston)

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

emma I have an interest in biology and medicine so I have always wanted to visit the Hunterian Museum and it didn't disappoint me. It has a wonderful collection of specimens and interesting medical equipment. I recommend a visit

Leave a comment