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What’s on in July? Kensington Museum Guide

The summer months have now truly arrived in London, but you cannot always trust the great British weather. With this in mind, it is good to know there are world-class museums not far from the hotel to pass the time on those not so infrequent rainy days. Add to this the fact that these cultural gems have a constantly-changing schedule of events and you have the recipe for a fascinating day off.

Natural History Museum

A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum will explore the creatures that thrive at night. Life in the Dark will begin on 13 July and explore the senses that animals use when they cannot rely on their eyes. From the shadowy world of a bat cave to the natural bioluminescence that emerges in some underwater locations, nature and its functions is interesting and diverse.

After the success of the first yoga session in Hintze Hall, there will be another chance to perform a perfect downward dog in the shadow of the huge blue whale skeleton. The class on 15 July will pay particular attention to movement and breathing, before finishing with a live gong bath.

Science Museum

Opening this month at the Science Museum is a display to mark 40 years of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Four decades after the birth of ‘miracle baby’ Louise Brown, IVF: 6 Million Babies Later looks at the innovations, trials and setbacks faced by Robert Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy, as they tackled the issue of infertility. The exhibition runs from 5 July.

Up until 15 July, children can learn more about the invisible world of bacteria at the Infectious Adventures immersive experience. From discovering what bacteria smell like to the process of mutation to develop antibiotic resistance, there is so much to find out.


There is still time to visit the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at the V&A, which continues during July. It is not the only display to draw attention, however, as the museum has a number of different spaces, with vibrant collections throughout.

Discover more about Islamic tradition and how it shapes art with the showcase to accompany the Jameel Prize 5. The work of eight contemporary artists and designers is on display as they compete to take home the coveted award.

Design Museum

Celebrating its status as European Museum of the Year 2018, the Design Museum is a must-visit on any trip to Kensington. Ongoing exhibitions throughout July include: Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier; Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18; and May ’68 and the Atelier Populaire.

Just opened at the museum is Material Innovation, an installation to commemorate 70 years of Land Rover as a brand. Visitors can sit on 18 different fabrics used in the vehicles from 1948 to 2018. Notable among the cushions in the atrium is the Paul Smith-designed material for the Land Rover Defender, which hit the market in 2015; and the fabric developed by Kvadrat for 2017’s Range Rover Velar.

Photo credit: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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