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National Maritime Museum

Park Row, Greenwich London SE10 9NF

It's had its ups-and-downs over the years, and these days what was once a very traditional museum, full of ships in bottles and old naval uniforms, is now a much more contemporary affair, with a themed rather than chronological approach, and lots of interactivity and contextual explanation, primarily aimed at children. The jury's out on whether the National Maritime Museum is a better museum as a result, but you can't argue with the richness of its collection, which is an unsurpassed hoard of paintings and documents, applied arts and nautical equipment, and – yes – ships-in-bottles, spread not only throughout several floors of the museum's two main buildings but in the other buildings that make up Greenwich's maritime complex, principally the Royal Naval College across the road and the Observatory up the hill in Greenwich Park.

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