What?: Stylish museum, library and event space themed around the connections between medicine, art and life in the past, present and future. Wellcome Collection houses an impressive miscellany of weird, wonderful and frequently gross medical objects in its permanent galleries, as well as curating consistently compelling special exhibitions. Bab and I recently visited the Bedlam exhibition, which was great but probably a bit close to home given that at present our lives parallel scenes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Where?: Euston Road, next to UCLH should anything go horribly wrong and close to Euston (Victoria, Northern, Ginger), Warren Street (Victoria, Northern) and Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan) stations.
Facilities: Very chilled Benugo cafe on the ground floor complete with fancy Stokke highchairs; super-civilised tearoom on level 2; baby changing on every floor; lifts – although the lift from the entrance level to the ground floor is basically a glorified Stannah Stairlift; brilliant Blackwell’s shop selling an amazing selection of books and cool, designy gifts.
Best Bits: This is just a really nice, peaceful place to hang out. Bab is a
walking stumbling disaster at the moment for one reason or another and it’s stressful for everyone involved. Just being able to get out the flat and go somewhere beautiful and calm where I can forget myself and she can forget she has teeth is really lovely and restorative for both of us.
Worst Bits: I read an old review that said this place had lots of interactive displays for little ones to smash up and dribble on, but all we found were a lot of “please do not touch” signs and hazards for Bab to try her best to injure herself on, only for me to have to repeatedly drag her away kicking and screaming. Not the absolute best place to take a crawling baby, or probably the most captivating museum for a toddler, though very lovely and thought-provoking for adults nonetheless.
Cost: Wellcome Collection styles itself as “The free destination for the incurably curious”, and it stays true to its word with not one donation box or guilt-monger in sight.
Would We Come Back?: Due to its size the museum probably won’t keep you and your small ogre amused for more than an hour or two, so on that basis we probably wouldn’t come back just to hang out. We will, however, keep an eye out for upcoming child-friendly exhibitions.
Bab ponders some of life’s big questions at the Wellcome Collection