Six science museums
'The greatest scientists are artists as well', said Albert Einstein. So set your creative spirit free at some of the UK's most inspiring science museums.
- Greater London
With more than 800 interactive exhibits at this landmark museum in London, from cosmology to weights and measures, there is plenty to inspire you. The Who am I? gallery on the first floor of the Wellcome Wing explores the controversial area of biomedical research, while The Discovery Motion Theatre offers a choice of 3D films with special effects, providing a unique insight into pioneering scientific events from the past. The Science Museum Arts Project commissions artists to bring fresh perspective to many of its galleries.
- Greater Manchester
Based in the world's oldest surviving railway station, this museum is devoted to developments in science, technology and industry, with an emphasis on Manchester's achievements in these fields. Here you'll find extensive displays relating to transport, energy supplies, textiles, communications and computing. Many of the exhibits are interactive, and fascinating for children.
One of the 10 museums in Ironbridge Gorge, Enginuity is packed full of hands-on interactive science-and-technology-themed fun. Discover how a little creativity can help you pull a 10-ton locomotive by hand or generate electricity from flowing water. You can also test the speed of your reactions by challenging Enginuity's robotic arm, build an earthquake-proof tower and look at everyday objects in a new light with a giant X-ray machine.
When future historians look back on the digital age, they'll trace its origins to this modest estate in the home counties. Home to Britain's codebreakers during World War II, Bletchley Park was the birthplace of the modern computer, and its development can be traced in the permanent exhibition exploring the life and work of its inventor, Alan Turing.
For those who are curious about which scientific instruments were once used in the pioneering colleges of Cambridge University, the Whipple Museum provides intoxicating insight. Instruments date as far back as the medieval period, with a particular focus on those from the 17th to 19th centuries. A selection of navigation, surveying and mathematical tools, as well as early electrical apparatus and sundials, is on display.
Isaac Newton was born in the manor house in 1642. During the plague years, when Cambridge University was closed, he made some of his historic breakthroughs here. The manor is furnished as a typical 17th-century farmhouse, and you can still find the legendary apple tree that is said to have inspired Newton's theory of gravity. Make sure you visit the interactive Science Discovery Centre to reconstruct some of the physicist's celebrated experiments.