Whenever possible, a trip to London should include a visit to the British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area.
The Museum is a good place to go to watch people, as well as a place of historical significance. Like most large museums, you need to have a plan and a specific objective to make the visit worthwhile.
Our quest was to view the treasures from Sutton Hoo. We had just been to the Sutton Hoo archaeological site in Suffolk. The site contains several 7th Century burial mounds which were just recently (historically speaking) excavated in the 20th Century. Now a National Trust site, there are not many original artefacts that are on display at Sutton Hoo – you have to visit the British Museum to see the real things.
Like many of the other national museums in the UK, admission to the British Museum is free (donations are gratefully appreciated). The museum relies on a lot of private and corporate donations to keep it operating. You can view the names of some of the most significant donors on the wall of the circular Reading Room in the middle of the courtyard.
The Great Court (the centre of the museum) is covered with a glass roof, creating the largest covered square in Europe.
As many of the artefacts at the British Museum were collected during the heydays of the British Empire, the Museum is not without its controversies. There are several items in the collections that have been claimed by other countries, requesting their return to their place of origin. The Sutton Hoo treasures were locally sourced, so these should remain in the UK.
We did sight two carved totem poles from the Canadian west coast on display in the courtyard. Are they just on loan?
One final technical point for other photographers. I found that the AWB setting on my camera did not adapt well to the covered courtyard. All of my images had a significant green tint. Thank goodness for the white balance adjustment brush in Lightroom!