Small museums with big names

From a side street in London to two villages beyond Surrey, these three museums with famous names attached to them are worth visiting.

Home of Charles Darwin (Kent)

Down House maintained by English Heritage is where Charles Darwin spent 40 years of his life with his family. The study has been left from Darwin’s time. There is a chance to go through the garden where Darwin’s children helped test his theories and you’ll see the ‘stair slide’ that was put in place for them to enjoy — mark of a true genius! 1689 859119
Luxted Road, Downe, Orpington BR6 7JT

Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre (Great Missenden)

Having read Roald Dahl books growing up and now with kids who have read his stories, I was particularly keen to get a glimpse into the life of this writer and what inspired his fantastical stories and enduring characters (Willa Wonka is 50 years and counting). Here you will find on display his Writing Hut left as is — including the ball of foil wrappers from the three bars he ate nearly everyday (consequently he needed false teeth at 21 — also on display!) and part of his hip bone and the handcrafted writing table finished with cloth from a pool table.  I was surprised to learn of his ties to the US from marrying an American actress to having surgery in the States and ordering US pencils and legal pads of paper he used to write over the course of 36 years. While the museum is on the small side, it is well-organized with interesting displays, including an interactive writing area for kids 6 to 12 using magnets, movies, sticky notes and more. This is a fun place to visit if you are a Roald Dahl fan or have a budding writer at home. 1494 892192
81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AL

Sir John Soane’s Museum (London)

One of the most interesting places to visit with a range of artwork and artifacts collected and displayed in Sir John Soane’s home. In looking at the guest book the day of our visit, we were the only 'locals'. Though not large in size, the Museum has so many objects crammed into every bit of available space you could easily go and see something new each time. There is no admission fee to go inside and the guides are happy to answer questions or share overviews of the works of art. Official guided tours are available Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for £10/person. 2074 052107
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

London Fashion Weekend

London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the highest profile fashion events in the world and one of the ‘big four’ (New York, London, Milan and Paris). 

London Fashion Week is limited to members of the press, buyers or if you are a celebrity. However, tickets for London Fashion Weekend February 25-28, which follows directly from LFW, uses the same exhibition and catwalk venue. You can also add the designer shopping event to shop from designers of LFW caliber, from the high profile to the emerging and includes a ‘catwalk’ show. Go to soak up the atmosphere and inspire your wardrobe.
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road London SW3 4RY

Some more fashionista fun: