Museum of London Docklands Visitor Information

  • 01 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands - Introduction

    Museum of London Docklands
    ••• Museum of London Docklands. © Laura Porter, licensed to About com, Inc.

    The Museum of London Docklands is part of the Museum of London Group, which includes the Museum of London.

    From Roman settlement to Docklands' regeneration, unlock the history of London's river, port and people in this historic warehouse. Discover a wealth of objects from whale bones to WWII gas masks in state-of-the-art galleries, including Mudlarks, an interactive area for kids; Sailortown, an atmospheric re-creation of 19th century riverside Wapping; and London, Sugar & Slavery, which reveals the city’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

    The building is over 200 years old and was used as a sugar warehouse. It has undergone excellent renovation work and was opened on 10 June 2003 by the Queen. Many original features remain including much of the timber flooring which is even older than the building.

    Find out more about No. 1 Warehouse - the building that houses the Museum in Docklands.

    If you enjoy London's waterways, you may well enjoy a visit to the London...MORE Canal Museum.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Getting To the Museum of London Docklands

    Building Canary Wharf in the Mudlarks Play Area
    ••• Building Canary Wharf in the Mudlarks Play Area. © Museum of London Docklands

    Address:
    Museum of London Docklands
    West India Quay
    Canary Wharf
    London
    E14 4AL

    Tel: 020 7001 9844

    Nearest DLR Station: West India Quay

    From West India Quay DLR station, the Museum entrance is a five minute walk.
    Turn right and walk with the water on your left. There are old warehouses, converted into bars and restaurants, on your right and new buildings across the water. You will pass the footbridge to Canary Wharf on your left. The Museum of London Docklands is at end of the pool basin on your right.

    Top Tip: The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains give amazing panoramic views of the docklands area of London and do not have a driver so children can sit at the front and pretend to drive the train!

    Use Journey Planner to plan your route to the Museum of London Docklands by public transport.

    Nearest Tube Station: Canary Wharf

    See the Museum of London Docklands website for more travel options.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London...MORE Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review
    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands Admission

    London Bridge Model, Museum of London Docklands
    ••• London Bridge Model, Museum of London Docklands. © Museum of London Docklands

    Since 1 April 2010, the Museum of London Docklands is FREE entry for all.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands - Family Activities

    Mudlarks DLR, Museum of London Docklands
    ••• Mudlarks DLR, Museum of London Docklands. © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Mudlarks

    The Museum of London Docklands has a lot for children and my favorite area is Mudlarks. This is an informative and interactive play area for the under 12s, with a soft play section for under 5s. Everything is themed around life in the London docks so the big kids can weigh cargo or load a tea clipper while the small kids get to crawl around with large foam bananas and a London bus, plus they can pretend to drive a DLR train.

    Mudlarks Opening Hours:
    Weekdays:

    • Term Time: 2pm - 6pm
    • London School Holidays: 10am - 6pm

      Weekends:
    • 10am - 6pm

      You need to get an 'invitation' from the front desk to enter Mudlarks but there is no extra charge and you can go back as many times as the kids want to throughout your visit. To stop overcrowding your time in Mudlarks may be subject to time restrictions.

      Kid's Activity Packs

      Kid's Activity Packs are available for free on the third floor. These are small backpacks full of activities for different age groups. These are free to use and there...MORE are usually plenty available but they are offered on a first come, first served basis.

      Every Saturday and school holiday the Museum holds free family events, many of which link into themes studied at school so you can learn about London's history together. Check the Events page of the Museum of London Docklands website to see what's going on when you want to visit.

      1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
      2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
      3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
      4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
      5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
      6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
      7. Museum of London Docklands Review

     

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands - Highlights

    Sailor Town, Museum of London Docklands
    ••• Sailor Town, Museum of London Docklands. © Museum of London Docklands

    The Museum of London Docklands explores the story of London's river, port and people, from Roman settlement of the port, through to the recent regeneration of London's former Docklands.

    Free Guided Tours

    Take a journey through London's history with this guided tour of the Museum of London Docklands.
    Every Wednesday and Saturday, 3-4pm.
    Check for more gallery tours.

    Floor 3
    • London, Sugar & Slavery Gallery
    • Models of London Bridge (1440 and 1600)
    • The Gibbet – after public execution, pirates were hung on a wooden gibbet and in an iron cage!
    Floor 2
    • Beatles photos taken in 1968 on display in the New Port New City Gallery
    • Reconstructions in Warehouse of the World gallery:
      • Sampling Office – tea, spices, etc
      • Dock Cooperage (barrel-maker) – listen to the East London accent on the video!
      • Bottling Vault for wines and spirits
      • Tobacco Weighing Station
    • What in the World : Where in the World - Touch screen interactive quiz
    • Hydraulic Jigger – try this simple interactive model (turn the...MORE handle)
    • Small cinema room in Docklands at War gallery brings the subject to life

    Also on the 2nd floor you will find Sailor Town - a full size reconstruction of the streets of Wapping, east London in the 1840s. It's dark and there are side alleys for people to hide in. It's scary but also good fun. You can get an insight into the life of a sailor included a wild animal emporium, an alehouse, and sailors' lodging house.

    In City and River look out for Rituals & Races and see Doggett's Coat, dated 1833. Learn more about Doggett's Coat & Badge Race.

    Did you know, for a short time in 1821, London was the largest whaling port in the world?! See the huge whaling pot from the early 19th century, used to render blubber to oil also in City and River.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review
    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands - Opening Times

    Family and ship, Museum of London Docklands
    ••• Museum of London Docklands. © Museum of London Docklands

    Open seven days a week.

    • Opens: 10am
    • Closes: 6pm
    • Last admission: 5.30pm

    Closed: 24-26 December.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review
    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Museum of London Docklands Review

    Wearing Diving Helmet, Mudlarks, Museum of London Docklands
    ••• Mudlarks, Museum of London Docklands. © Museum of London Docklands

    Pros

    • Friendly and welcoming staff.
      Always someone near so you can ask questions or get assistance.
      Staff wear red T-shirts or jackets with 'Explainers' on the back.
    • Fully accessible building for buggies and wheelchairs.
    • Mudlarks is fantastic fun for the under 12s.
    • Lots of touch screen information so good for children.
    • 2nd floor – short repeating videos add atmospheric sounds
      (a livelier floor than the 3rd floor).
    • Free floor plan – arrows to guide you around the exhibits.

    Cons

    • Not many other attractions nearby.

    Museum of London Docklands Review

    You start your visit up on the 3rd floor where there is a cloakroom and free activity packs for the kids.

    Once settled, you can watch a short introductory film (folding stools available) which shows the Roman wood at St Magnus the Martyr Church in the City of London.

    I really liked the two enormous models of London Bridge from 1440 and 1600. I also learned on the 2nd floor about the sale of London Bridge to an American developer for £1,025,000...MORE and that US customs officials identified the bridge as 'a large antique'.

    I was pleased to see the Docklands at War exhibition has an area for quiet contemplation as it can be upsetting to see what happens during wartime.

    I read about the Coin Street area of London where the residents campaigned and set up their own building firm to redevelop the area and ended up owning 13 acres of prime real estate. Find out about the annual Coin Street Festival.

    Conclusion

    I love London and am always interested to find out more about what makes this city so great. I learned so much and had an amazing day at the Museum of London Docklands. I stayed the whole day, with a few trips into Mudlarks to entertain my daughter. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Museum of London Docklands for families and anyone wanting to know more about London's history.

    1. Museum of London Docklands Introduction
    2. Getting To the Museum of London Docklands
    3. Museum of London Docklands Admission
    4. Museum of London Docklands Family Activities
    5. Museum of London Docklands Highlights
    6. Museum of London Docklands Opening Times
    7. Museum of London Docklands Review