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The best family days out in London and beyond rated by kids

Old Operating Theatre Museum

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Average K-Rating based
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Old Operating Theatre Museum

KidRated’s Old Operating Theatre Top Tips:

  • Surgical demonstrations on Saturdays at 2pm
  • Visit Borough Market & Southwark Cathedral as well
  • Narrow spiral staircase unsuitable for prams and wheelchairs

The Old Operating Theatre Museum is one of London’s hidden gems and the oldest of its kind in Europe.


It is in a unique location in the Herb Garret in St Thomas Church, which is basically in the roof and was originally part of the old St Thomas Hospital.


The museum gives you an idea of what medicine would have been like back in the 19th century when there were no anaesthetics or painkillers.  The collection includes displays of gruesome surgical tools, pathological specimens and the history of herbal physic.


Arguably the most exciting exhibit is the  Operating Theatre itself, complete with a wooden operating table and observation stands for students and spectators to witness surgery being performed.


With it’s unusual location and ghoulish artefacts this will delight and appal kids in equal measure. And it’s definitely one of the most unusual museums in London. So, if you fancy something different do pop along.


If your kids are into weird and wonderful museum, why not also check out the Clink Prison Museum which can also be found in London Bridge?

Booking advice:

  • Family tickets available
  • Open daily



Herb Garret
9a St. Thomas’s St

Phone number:

+44 (0)20 7188 2679


Opening hours:


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Parent Point of View

About London Laura Porter

Laura Porter

  • You’ve got to climb a spiral staircase to enter so this is only for older kids.
  • This is probably best for kids really into medical history or when you have a London Pass.
  • The shop has quite a lot for kids so they actually might spend longer there than in the museum.

You can find loads more information by Laura Porter at 

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