When planning our trip to London, I knew that the British Museum was at the top of my “must see” list for the boys. Unfortunately, over our years of travel, they have become a bit wary of museums, especially ones as large as this one. Any fears that I had over the boys being bored here were quickly assuaged when we met our Context Travel docent Lawrence. For starters, he just looked like pure fun with his excitement for teaching and T-rex t-shirt. The boys took an instant liking to him, and it was clear that this would be a museum tour like no other.
During our entire family tour of the British Museum, Lawrence touched on facts of the individual exhibits we looked at, but more than that, he put history into terms that the boys could relate to without dumbing it down. He also picked topics that would be likely to appeal to four teen and pre-teen boys, all the while quizzing them at random times to make sure they had retained the information he was doling out.
Our tour started with some basic facts about the British museum. Lawrence explained how it housed 8 million items and was founded in 1753, before the United States could even gets its act together and become its own country! He explained to the boys who the four kings of the United States were, and that sure threw them for a loop for a moment. Before the Revolutionary War, we were graced with George the German, Good Looking, Mad and Fat. Lawrence went on to explain each of these four kings in great detail along with other famous monarchs like William the Conqueror, otherwise known as the exploding bum king.
While we would never had had time to see each item in the British Museum, our Context Travel family tour did take us through a variety of different historical paths, including the ancient Aztec and Mayan empires, the embalming process and Egyptian gods, a glimpse of the real Rosetta Stone, a peak at the Easter Island statues, the well preserved Assyrian Reliefs and a lesson on the various types of ancient Greek art.
My boys are not terribly outspoken especially around new people, but Lawrence has a wonderful personality that was just plain fun and quickly put them at ease. There is no denying that they learned more from their tour of the British Museum than they likely have on any tour of a museum we have taken in the past, and I think the personalized nature of the private Context Travel tour had a lot to do with that. You could easily spend weeks in the British Museum which boasts free admission, and never see everything in it, so it was nice to have someone narrow it down and lead us to the best bits on a tour.
Context Travel offers a wide range of family friendly tours with knowledgeable docents in London and many other countries worldwide. If you are planning a trip to London to visit either the British Museum or the Tower of London, I highly recommend booking one of their tours. More information on these and other tours can be viewed on their website, ContextTravel.com.