London’s unusual attractions: the fan museum

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London is one of the finest cities on earth for fans of a great museum, with a wide array to choose from encompassing everything from science to art, design, and history. The Fan Museum is one of the city’s most intriguing and original attractions – here’s our guide to help you plan your own visit.

What is the Fan Museum?

Situated in the scenic, historic surroundings of Greenwich, The Fan Museum is the only museum in Britain dedicated to the art and history of fan making, making it a truly unique place to visit while staying at your Paddington hotel.

The Fan Museum includes a diverse collection of objects from all over the world, many of which bring with them a rich history. With ever-changing exhibits which explore key areas such as architecture, politics, fashion, and art, a visit here is a great way to get closer to rare finds from the 11th century right up to the 21st century, while learning more about the worlds and eras these fans were designed to be a part of.

The museum itself is housed within two Grade II-listed town-houses, which date back to 1721.

Ground Floor Galleries

The Fan Museum is largely comprised of two floors, each of which houses different displays and collections. The ground floor features a permanent display that provides visitors with a key introduction to the history of fans, as well as insights into how they are created.

The collection has many pieces which date from the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly fans from Europe – and many of these are featured on the ground floor. There are two rooms on the ground floor to explore. The reception room hosts a number of European fans, while the Green Room is mostly comprised of specialist information on how to create fans, as well as a fan which was painted by noted artist Walter Sickert.

Upper Floor Galleries

This is where you will find the semi-permanent displays of the museum. The collection is so vast that it’s impossible to showcase everything to the public at once, but a regular rotation helps to showcase the sheer variety and wealth of artistry which is available to see here.

Curators at the museum select which pieces to display at any given time, with seasonal rotation. This is a fantastic way to see a diverse range of fans before heading back to your spa in Paddington to enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation.

Afternoon Tea at The Fan Museum

One of the most beautiful buildings at the museum is the orangery, which has been lovingly restored to its original splendour. Here, visitors to the Fan Museum can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea experience whilst gazing at the Japanese-style garden. This presents the ideal opportunity for a luxurious refuel while making the most of London hotels special offers.

When can I visit?

The Fan Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday between 11am-5pm, with differing opening hours on Sunday, between 12 pm and 5 pm. Concession and children’s tickets are available. Group visits can also be arranged on the appointment, with schools and organisations benefiting from the many learning opportunities on offer.