For the last ten years, to this day, more than 50 museums in the UK totally scrapped their entrance fees. It was all thanks to a government movement to make culture and heritage more accessible to the entire population. Today we celebrate 10 years of free museums!
10 years of freedom
Unsurprisingly museum numbers have soared since the plan to make national museums in the UK free was put into action on December 1st, 2001. Ten years ago combined visitor numbers to museums and galleries was at around 7 million, today they’re pushing 18 million!
According to Culture Secretary Baron Smith who reinstated free museums,
“It was about opening up the great institutions, making history, and art and culture, available to the widest possible number of people – and bringing a sense to everyone that these were possessions that we all owned and shared.”
Despite the government cutting funding by 15% to national museums, we can still expect them to remain free into the future. At this point it’s become part of the British cultural life, one that won’t be passed up too easily by the pubic! Free museums is a definitely incentive for travellers arriving on flights to London. As one of the most expensive cities in Europe, it’s a relief that at least some things in the capital are free!
Best free museums in London
- British Museum
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- Tate (Britain, Modern)
- National Portrail Gallery
- Imperial War Museum London
- Natural History Museum
- Museum of London
- National Gallery
- V&A Museum of Childhood
- Wallace Collection
What are you favourite museums in London, in the UK or in your own backyard?
For a complete list of all the free museums in the UK, check out nationalmuseums.org.uk.