A fine and fulsome introduction to a great city.
After undergoing a long, £20m makeover, the Museum of London now offers an imaginative and rewarding overview of the capital that is both historical and thematic. Despite being encircled by traffic and set in a somewhat bleak building, its galleries prove easy to enjoy once you get inside and there is also a good cafe. The displays follow a chronological route from 450,000 BC to today and are spread over two levels. For me the sections on Roman London (level E) and the Victorian Walk (level 2) are particularly engaging, and there are plenty of high-calibre exhibits to contemplate including Viking weapons found in the Thames and a very fancy 1928 bronze lift from Selfridges department store. The Linbury Gallery is devoted to the City of London and houses the splendid Lord Mayor's State Coach, built in 1757 and still used every year for ceremonial duties.