Museum Day in London

Published: 11/11/15 6:00 PM in Europe, Merevin Wedding, Travel.

The list of things to see can be extremely overwhelming when traveling, especially when that travel is abroad. It becomes very important to prioritize and make the tough decisions of what to eliminate early so that you can be sure to see as much as possible during your time. During our honeymoon to England, this was an incredibly hard process that started before we even bought the tickets.

Due to the deep historical ties that exist throughout the country, England is home to countless significant artworks and relics that tell the story of civilization through the ages. This was readily apparent during our visit to The British Museum and became the center of our second to last day as we visited more London museums, including The National Gallery and The Natural History Museum.

One of the best things about world class museums such as these is that they are completely free to the public. This makes visiting that much easier and leaves no excuse for missing out on the displays.

The entrance of The National Gallery, one of the most prominent London museums.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Kevin Banogon take a selfie in front of a Van Gogh painting at The National Gallery.

Meredith Lambert Banogon stands in front of a painting by Claude Monet.

Claude Monet's Water Lilies at The National Gallery in London, England.

Van Gogh, Van Eyck, and Monet; Oh My!

Visiting the National Gallery in central London, gave me yet another opportunity to geek out during our honeymoon. While the prior opportunities were both Harry Potter related (visiting the Leavesden Studio Tour and The Elephant House), this time I stood in awe of the masterpiece works from artists including van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Turner, and countless others. Through years of studying art history, I have often been intrigued by simple photographs of these paintings. But to finally get to see some of them in person was amazing.

The National Gallery is home to a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900 including some of the most recognizable paintings from even your most basic art history lessons. For me, I was most excited to see The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck. Although it is not one of the paintings that speaks to the artist in me, I have always found it striking in its strong colors and defined lines. I have also always loved the ambiguity of the symbolism and the discussions it has created through the centuries. For such a small canvas, it has spoken loudly through the history of art.

The ceiling of The National Galleries shows the beauty found within London Museums.

The Arnolfini Portrait within The National Gallery by Van Eyck.

A view out over Trafalgar Square in the center of many London museums.

Lunch at Trafalgar Square

After perusing the galleries at The National Gallery, Kevin and I took a moment to sit on the steps of Trafalgar Square and people watch. It is easy to do in such a crowded square where you will be surrounded by tourists, kids on school trips, and workers enjoying their lunch outside on a sunny day. It is obvious why this large public space is such a tourist attraction with Nelson’s Column and the four huge lions at its center. Tourists swarm the column for the quintessential London picture.

And while the tourists are busy climbing on the lions, not that we didn’t do the exact same thing, the resident Londoners sat back on the steps eating their lunch in the sun. Watching this side of things forced Kevin and I to promptly leave the square in search of our own lunch leading us enjoying the most memorable meal of our trip. What made it so memorable? It was cheap, delicious, and very filling. At this point in a two week trip through England and Scotland, finding an inexpensive and filling lunch is absolutely thrilling.

Kevin Banogon poses with one of the loin statues in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

The center of Trafalgar Square in central London.

The entrance of the Natural History Museum in London, England.

The Natural History Museum in London

To end our day visiting London museums, Kevin and I headed over to the Natural History Museum. Although many of the displays felt very dated and geared toward children, the design and layout of the spaces were beautiful. The more recent collections moved you through different levels of displays that allowed a peek at what was to come while you could take in the detail of what was in front of you. While the older collections felt like you were attending a historical, English school. The Architecture of the building itself is stately, leaving no wonder as to why the museum is sometimes referred to as a cathedral of nature.

Overall both of these famous London museums were amazing stops during our honeymoon through England. Sometimes it can be just as exciting to learn indoors together as it is to explore the joys of outdoor adventure together. For the two of us, it was fascinating to once again experience tangible artifacts of the history of humankind.

The many whales of the ocean section of The Natural History Museum, one of the prominent London museums.

Meredith Lambert Banogon poses outside of the Chelsea Stadium in London, England.

This last photo is for my brother! His favorite team is Chelsea so since our AirBnB for this leg of the journey was in the neighborhood of the stadium, we had to make a quick stop and at least visit the gift shop for him. But now, I am part of the team!

Enjoy a Short Video of Our Honeymoon in England

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London Honeymoon - Final Day
Meandering the Gardens at Kew

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