24 November 2011
My daughter is doing a school project on Florence Nightingale so we decided to visit the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. The museum is on the site of St Thomas' Hospital where she founded a nurse training school. We had visited the museum before, but that was several years ago before we had children.
We travelled to the museum by bus to Waterloo station. The nearest underground station is Westminster which is about a 10 minute walk over Westminster bridge; Waterloo station is about 15 minutes walk.
The entrance fee is quite reasonable and if gift aid includes a free return visits for 12 months. We weren't asked about gift aid when we paid the admission, but then we saw the form and filled it in, not realising it gave us free return visits.
The museum is quite small, but has been completely redesigned since we last visited. It includes a number of interactive exhibits. The best of these were an interactive book listing some of the nurses that had travelled to the Crimea, a computer based quiz and a hand-washing activity. There was a member of the museum staff available to help with the hand-washing as it was not particularly easy to follow and one of the dispensers didn't work, but once shown how to use it, found it to be particularly good. There were also a number of static displays and draws with information and objects.
One of the key things about the museum is the audio tour which uses a stethoscope to listen to the various recordings. We didn't however take up the audio tour as we had a young child with us (age 3) and wanted to visit the museum as a family rather than going around listening to the different audio parts. Even without the audio it was worth a visit and we found out some useful information for our daughter's school project.
We spent about an hour visiting the museum which was plenty of time to look around all the permanent exhibits. They also hold special exhibitions in a small area in the museum.