The Sir John Soane Museum is my kind of place, clutter everywhere and a nice sense of ordered chaos. Left to Great Britain by the architect Sir John Soane in 1837, this is the kind of place that Victorians would dream about. Mounds of antiquities and lots of shadowy corners-with a good deal of London sunlight streaming in here and there as well.
London's Soane Museum has developed a programme of free Audio Tours-which can be downloaded to you MP3 player, iPod and some mobile phones. There is an introduction by the brilliant Stephen Fry, who speaks briefly about his own love of the Soane Museum. You can listen to the audio tour before or after your visit and plan your tour of the Sir John Soane Museum.
One of the prizes of the John Soane collection is William Hogarth's satirical series The Rake's Progress, which includes the well known Orgy and The Election, a satire on mid-18th-century politics. Sir John Soane's Museum also has the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I, found in a burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings-London seems to have a lot of Egyptian stuff lying about. Also on display are John Soane's architectural drawings, about 30,000 or so. Be sure to see the West End Attractions map.
Sir John Soane's house is on a lot of must see London lists, and for good reason.
Sir John Soane's Museum is open free: Tuesday to Saturday inclusive, 10-5. Also on the first Tuesday evening of each month, 6-9 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, Bank Holidays and Christmas Eve.