London's Best Museum And Gallery Gift Shops

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 9 months ago
London's Best Museum And Gallery Gift Shops
Image © Science Museum Group

Can't visit a museum or gallery without making a cheeky detour to the gift shop? Us neither. It doesn't hurt that London boasts many gift shops stuffed full of treasures.

We've rounded up the cream of the gift shop crop — because while cultural enrichment is a gift in itself, there's no harm in picking up a souvenir or two on the way out...

Museum of London: best shop for London culture vultures

Image: Museum of London

If you're passionate about the capital and its history, the Museum of London shop is for you. Packed with gifts from popular London-based designers including Brick Sixty and Tatty Devine, it also stocks Museum of London exclusives, including this River Thames-inspired necklace.

Find it to the left of the Museum of London entrance, (London Wall). Open 10am-6pm every day.

Shop online here.

Pollock's Toy Museum: best shop for kids

Image: Pollocks Toys

We're pretty confident that next to the dictionary definition of "whimsy" you'll find a picture of Pollock's Toy Museum and shop. The original one was established by the eponymous Pollock in 1837 and actually predates the museum itself, which launched in the 1960s in response to growing interest in Victoriana.

The museum boasts a small shop to this day — not to be confused with Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop in Covent Garden, which parted ways with the museum in the 80s. That said, the latter also stocks some lovely old fashioned playthings. From shadow boxes to toy theatres, there's plenty here to stimulate little imaginations (and stop them whining for a go on the iPad... temporarily, at least).

Find it inside Pollock's Toy Museum (Fitzrovia). Open 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday.

Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop (Covent Garden). Shop online here.

Tate Modern: best shops for contemporary art lovers

Image: @tatemodernshop

Tate Modern has found room for several shops inside its colossal concrete walls. If you're serious about art, head to the Turbine Hall Shop and browse its incredible range of books, prints, design objects and art materials. Bring the kids to the River Shop, crammed with arty activity kits and kitschy artist memorabilia. Tate Edit Shop is your go-to destination for designer homeware, while the Terrace Shop stocks artist books, designer collaborations, jewellery and prints (we particularly like these vintage Tate exhibition posters). It also hosts an exciting range of talks, workshops, and performances.

Find the Terrace Shop on Level One of the Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern (South Bank). Open Sunday to Thursday 10am-6pm and Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm.

Shop online here.

British Library: best shop for bookworms

Image: British Library

As well as housing a vast selection of beautiful tomes, the British Library's shop gets bonus points for its cracking selection of bibliophile accessories. We're talking illustration prints from the British Library archive, reading lamps that double as battery packs, and even Virginia Woolf-themed socks.

Find it inside the Entrance Hall of the British Library (Euston). Open 9.30am-6.30pm daily.

Shop online here.

Science Museum: best shop for tech-heads

Image © Science Museum Group

From smartphone hologram projectors to flow air pollution sensors, you'll find all manner of gadgetry in the Science Museum shop. It also sells an exclusive range of science-themed apparel — we especially like this Human Ingredients t-shirt — as well as tons of fun lab kits for kids.

Find it on the ground floor of the Science Museum, near the Exhibition Road entrance (South Kensington). Open 10am-6pm daily.

Shop online here.

BFI: best shop for cinephiles

Image: BFI

Whether you want to be the next Danny Boyle, or simply appreciate the art of a good horror movie, the British Film Institute's Southbank shop has something to suit every flavour of film buff. In addition to special re-releases and heavyweight film theory texts, the shop offers some fun, frivolous items that you can't buy any else — like these The Shining socks. (We do love a good pair of novelty socks).

Find it at BFI Southbank. Open 11am-8.30pm daily.

Shop online here.

London Transport Museum: best shop for Underground aficionados

Image: London Transport Museum

Tube geeks, this one's for you. From moquette cushions to genuine decommissioned platform signage, you can pick up tons of London Underground merch in the Museum of London Transport shop. More into your vintage Routemasters? There are plenty of bus-themed souvenirs too.

Find it at the front of London Transport Museum (Covent Garden). Open Sunday to Tuesday 10am-6pm, Wednesday to Saturday 10am-7pm.

Shop online here.

Natural History Museum: best shops for animal lovers

Image: Dino Store at Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum boasts not one, not two, but three permanent shops. The Cranbourne Boutique offers luxury wares inspired by natural history, while the Dino Store is the ideal place to pick up prehistoric presents for any young dinosaur fanatics in the family. Meanwhile, the main shop has all sorts of treasures for nature lovers, including these delightful dinosaur string lights.

Find the main shop on the ground floor of the Natural History Museum (South Kensington). Open 10am-5.50pm.

Shop online here.

Wellcome Collection: best shop for health and wellness enthusiasts

Image: Wellcome Collection

From books on anatomy, to breast milk-scented candles (yep, really), the Wellcome Collection shop offers all sorts of treasures for those with an incurable curiosity for health and wellness. It even has its own range of Wellcome Collection-published tomes, including memoirs from junior doctors, encounters with Ayurvedic medicine, and even a history of cannibalism.

Find it on the ground floor of the Wellcome Collection (King's Cross). Open seven days a week. Times vary — check the website for details.

Shop online here.

RAF Museum: best shop for aviation buffs

Image: Royal Airforce Museum London

This one was shortlisted for Shop of Year at the Museum and Heritage Awards 2019 — and for good reason. At the Royal Airforce Museum London you can find treats for aviation enthusiasts of all ages — from Red Arrow building blocks to spitfire cuff links.

Find it in Hangar 1 of the Royal Airforce Museum London (Hendon). Open 10am-5pm daily.

Shop online here.

V&A Museum: best shops for aesthetes

Image: Victoria & Albert Museum

William Morris-patterned silk scarves, art deco fashion prints, Tim Walker tote bags... the V&A shop is packed with beautiful things for adorning yourself or your home (if you're on the hunt for a housewarming present, this place is a safe bet). In addition to its main shop, the V&A has a bookshop, a fashion shop that's regularly refreshed to compliment new exhibitions, and even a store dedicated to the museum's architectural history.

Find the main shop opposite the Cromwell Entrance inside the Victoria and Albert Museum (South Kensington). Open 10am-5.30pm, Saturday-Thursday, and 10am-9.30pm on Fridays.

Shop online here.

Design Museum: best shop for trendsetters

Image: Design Museum

The Design Museum markets itself as "the only museum where you can buy the collection", and it's true. From classic Anglepoise lamps to 'Design Museum in a box', a collection of 100 prints showcasing 100 iconic works of art and design, this museum shop has it all. With goods from cult brands like HAY and Qwstion, plus inspirational design-centric books, it's a great bet for those who pride themselves on staying ahead of the curve.

Find it on the ground floor in the atrium of the Design Museum (Kensington). Open 10am-5.45pm daily. The Design Museum also boasts a shop on Kensington High Street, which is open 10am-6pm daily.

Shop online here.

RA: best shop for big spenders and art collectors

Image: Royal Academy of Arts

In 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts gave its shops a major revamp as part of its 250th anniversary celebrations, and today all five are packed to rafters with treasures for art lovers. If you're after something really special, head to Gallery X for a peruse of the RA's high-end products. That includes limited edition prints, unique paintings, and commissions which can cost thousands of pounds. For those with a more modest budget, there's the main shop — why not pop in for a Tracey Emin set of notecards for a Grayson Perry Red Alan toy?

Find the RA shop and Gallery X inside Burlington House (Piccadilly). Open Sunday to Thursday 10am-6pm and 10am-10pm on Fridays.

Shop online here.

Barbican Centre: best shop for brutalism buffs

Image: Barbican

Brutalism is back in vogue. And if you've got a passion for raw concrete and geometric design, you need to get yourself to the Barbican. Not just to admire this fine example of brutalist architecture, but to take home some treats inspired by the movement. The Barbican shop boasts a Brutal Collection which includes t-shirts, tote bags and stationery created in-house by Barbican Studio. The shop also features wares by up-and-coming local makers and leading design houses.

Find it on the ground floor of the Barbican. Open Monday to Saturday 10am-9pm and 10am-5pm on Sundays.

Shop online here.

Kew Gardens: best shop for cultivating your green thumb

Image: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Chances are that a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew will have you dreaming of expanding your own plant family. Luckily, you don't have to venture far in order to do so. If you fancy taking a piece of Kew home with you, head to the Victoria Plaza shop, where you can also find tons of gorgeous gardening accessories. For littler gardeners, there's also the White Peaks Children's shop, featuring teeny trowels, soft toys, and grow-your-own kits.

Find the Victoria Plaza shop near Victoria Gate at Kew Gardens (Kew). Open 10am-6pm daily.

Last Updated 12 March 2020