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3 days in London, which museum, which market for textiles and antiques?

My husband and I will have three days in London and are wondering which museum to make time for (V&A , British Museum and or National Gallery). We are only interested in history of textiles and england in general, no modern exhibits. Which market to go to? We are interested in antique textiles and antiques, but not necessarily expensive, over the top.. just average finds. Which market has the least amount of plastic junk? We looked at Camden Lock and it seemed much too young and hip for us! Also, is it worth it to stay near one of the market areas, like Portobello Road?
We would prefer to be out of the crowds and could take a taxi, tube or walk to places we would like to go. (Selvedge Drygoods, Cloth House, Persephone Books and possibly the Royal School of Needlework) Thank you for your time.

Posted by
392 posts

It sounds to me like you would like the V&A the best, based on your interests. It's a very eclectic collection of what my friend (who studies the era) calls stuff from Victoria and Albert's attics :) Also, I went on a summer morning during the Olympics and it wasn't crowded, though there were fewer tourists during that time, I think. Another approach would be to go online and look at each museum's holdings, and particularly if any of them is having a special exhibition that interests you and will go on while you are there.

Posted by
3336 posts

The V&A specializes in textiles and always has amazing special exhibits. Don't know when you're going to London but Buckingham Palace has a fantastic exhibit on the Queen's coronation until the 29th. One room has her attire as well as that of her clergy, her family, and her attendants. It includes the "plans" and swatches from the planning and is really quite stunning. This exhibit is part of the State Apartments tour. Make reservations!
Notting Hill, where Portobello Road is located, is a lovely neighborhood. The market is nice, if not quite crowded at least on weekends, toward the southern end of Portobello Road, south of the tube line overcrossing toward Notting Hill Gate.

Posted by
1255 posts

For something more avant garde: the Fashion and Textile Museum. 83 Bermondsy St. London SE 13xF
Open Tues-Sat 11-6

Posted by
310 posts

If you like textiles, I will third the V&A. While the British Museum may have a few things you might enjoy seeing, based on what you are saying, the V&A is a better bet.