It’s surprisingly easy to have an affordable holiday in Britain. From cheap hotels to inexpensive (or free) museums, there’s a lot to see and do that won’t cost you a fortune. But don’t be fooled into thinking you’re stuck with the usual castles and classic artworks. Britain is home to some of the quirkiest exhibitions you’ll ever see! From dentures to dog collars, check out some of the most unique museum collections in the U.K.:
Hunterian Museum, London
Inspired by the work of 16th-Century surgeon John Hunter, this collection offers a glimpse into the unsettling reality of medicine through the ages. Its glass cabinets contain some fascinating exhibits, such as original surgical equipment and medicinal relics from previous centuries. Peer into specimen jars containing actual preserved human remains, including Winston Churchill’s dentures and the brain of computer pioneer Charles Babbage.
British Lawnmower Museum, Southport
Whether you’re a lawn perfectionist or simply want to experience something a little different, the British Lawnmower Museum in Southport is the place to go. Set up by former racing champion (and lawnmower enthusiast) Brian Radam, the museum houses a surprising number of exhibits, from Victorian-era garden machinery to lawnmowers of the rich and famous. You can even see Brian May’s and Prince Charles’ lawnmowers (although one suspects the royals don’t do their own mowing).
Dog Collar Museum, Leeds
The late John Hunt was a respected medievalist, but also an avid collector. After his death, Mrs Gertrude Hunt put his impressive collection of dog collars on public display. Initially a collection of about 100 items, this has been expanded to what is now the rather curious Dog Collar Museum, housed within the grounds of Leeds Castle. See a huge range of doggie accessories which spans decades; some exhibits dating back as late as five centuries ago.
The Cartoon Museum, London
Home to over 1,500 cartoons and drawings, there’s also a library with thousands of comics and books to browse. This animated gem is located right in the heart of the business district, hidden amongst the bustle of London hotels and offices. It’s worth seeking out though; from much-loved cartoon characters to political caricatures and animated satire, this is as much a U.K. history lesson as it is a taste of nostalgia.
The Gnome Museum, Devon
Just a stone’s throw from the Devon/Cornwall border lies the magical world of garden gnomes, The Gnome Reserve. This museum and garden focuses on the ecological and entertaining, and is home to more than a thousand garden gnomes and woodland characters. The ponds, woodland gardens and flower displays are worth visiting for their loveliness alone, but the gnomes are what bring the visitors here every year. The reserve is recommended for “adults whose sophistication has robbed them of a freshness of vision.” In other words, borrow the free gnome hats and fishing rods, and join in the fun!