When it comes to history school trips, the world has no shortage of great destinations – every place has a history, after all. However, school groups needn’t travel far to find dramatic stories and unforgettable sights. London, one of the most history-rich cities in the world, has hundreds of world-class museums, ranging from some of the largest and most famous in the world to tiny specialist museums – but one thing they all have in common is the potential to surprise and enlighten their visitors. Here are some of the best for school visits – and some of the reasons that they are worth including on the itinerary.
The Museum of London
As a city that has existed since time immemorial, there is an endless amount that could be covered on history school trips to London. But whatever part of the city’s past your group may be studying, there is no better place to start than the excellent Museum of London. Covering the history of the area from prehistoric times to the recent past, this museum provides not only an invaluable overview, but also the opportunity to see each aspect of London’s history in the context of what came before and after – thus avoiding the danger of treating individual eras simply as disconnected moments in time. Visitors are able to get a glimpse into life in many previous incarnations of the city, including Medieval London, Victorian London, wartime London and more.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum, more commonly known as the V&A, is one of London’s most legendary museums – not to mention an incredible resource for those who visit the city on history school trips. With its collections divided into rooms based on common themes, it is a fun museum to explore, and with its treasures from all around the globe it offers a wealth of interesting objects and stories for those studying world history. Its collections of Greek and Roman sculptures, Medieval art and design objects, and costumes from throughout history are especially worth viewing, while its temporary exhibitions offer fascinating looks at an eclectic range of subjects. For teachers looking to make connections between history and other subjects, such as science or art, the extensive nature of the V&A’s collections offer plenty of scope for doing so.
The Imperial War Museum
London’s wartime history makes it a fascinating destination for history school trips, particularly for groups learning about the city’s part in the Second World War. While in many ways the entire city bears witness to the dramatic events of that world-changing time, the Imperial War Museum offers an in-depth look at a variety of different facets of the war. From the effect of the Blitz on London’s citizens, to the experiences of those fighting in the trenches, and much more, the exhibitions here are bound to enhance students’ understanding of WWII’s impact.