The Fan Museum
The Fan Museum
4.5
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About
The UK's only Museum devoted to the history of fans and the craft of fan making. Nestled in the heart of historic Greenwich, The Fan Museum is home to a diverse collection of fans from around the world, dating from the 12th century to the present day.
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The area
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Neighborhood: Greenwich
Greenwich Mean Time starts here, so to speak, as the very concept of global time was established at Royal Observatory, just one of several buildings of architectural interest in Greenwich. Indeed, the whole of Greenwich's historic town center, its Royal Park and a number of related buildings (and one world famous ship, the Cutty Sark) make up the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Maritime Greenwich. Today a laser beam is shot out across the night sky from the Observatory to mark the location of the Prime Meridian. Other bold (some say brash) 21st century additions to the area include landmarks such as The O2 entertainment complex (previously known as the Millennium Dome) and the Air Line cable cars, which offer scenic transport across the Thames between North Greenwich and the Royal Docks.
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  • Beverly
    17 contributions
    Not to be missed
    A friend told me about this gem of a small museum several years ago. Although I live in London I only got there for the first time yesterday and was thoroughly impressed. I was charmed by everything about it, from the lovely building and interesting, stunning fans on display to the friendly and helpful staff and volunteers. It's only a few minutes' walk off the well-worn tourist route around Greenwich and well worth taking a detour. I live on the other side of London so it took me longer to get there than it takes to go around the exhibitions, but it was well worth the effort. Equally engaging is the back story of the woman who fell in love with collecting fans and established the museum. As some other review says, the modest £3 entry fee is a bargain, but it's even more of a bargain if you are over 60 and it's free on Wednesdays.
    Written November 3, 2022
  • W8101EKlesleys
    Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom28 contributions
    Bright and welcoming, beautiful fans
    Found this place after a Google search for unusual museums. Thought, why not, might be good for a quick visit. A touch over 2 hours later, after a lovely chat with the owner & founder, and the general manager, I wandered out surprised I’d enjoyed it quite as much as I did. The fans were stunning, the house they are in bright and airy, and the welcome was nothing short of enthusiastic. There is a lovely, welcoming atmosphere that I have’t experienced in any other museum. A real breath of fresh air. You are free to wander at your own pace, and if you’re lucky enough to be there when Mrs Alexander is, stop and talk to her! Her passion for her collection is obvious and she’s a fountain of knowlege. And I could have stayed talking to the general manager all day lol. All in all, a lovely place to visit (the orangery is calm and lovely too, though not serving when I visited) and I would definitely recommend it for a gentle but surprising and engaging London museum experience. The ladies’s loo is also worth a mention! Another reciew also mentions free entry for National Trust members. Not true I’m afraid. It is worth the full admission price anyway.
    Written April 8, 2022
  • Elpida Dalietou
    Corfu, Greece35 contributions
    A delight for afternoon tea!
    A beautiful museum right in the heart of Greenwich. Interesting collection of exhibits but the reason we visited was the orangery! Since we were short on time, we quickly took a look at the collection of fans and exhibits and made our way to the orangery to enjoy our afternoon tea. We discovered the museum in various websites, which boasted that it offers the cheapest afternoon tea in London. And it did! The pastries were delicious, the tea came in a huge pot which we weren’t even able to finish. We loved the brownie so much and the other piece of cake was creamy and flavorful. I had tea with raspberries and it was one of the best teas I’ve tasted to date. The orangery was beautiful, too. The decor really allowed you to travel through time, with colorful flowers and a stunning garden. Perfect Instagram location, as well! Will definitely come back.
    Traveled with family
    Written January 4, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Panache83
Sydney, Australia150 contributions
Mar 2022
I stumbled upon this museum during my wanderings in Greenwich and was pleasantly surprised.

Its fan collection spans two floors and details the story of how hand held fans have evolved throughout history. There's also a gift shop with an interesting selection of items for sale.

Besides the exhibits, I was impressed with the enthusiasm & knowledge of its staff, in particular the gentleman who managed the front desk.
Written March 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PollyAustralia
Sydney, Australia39 contributions
May 2022 • Solo
This is a hidden gem! I loved the displays, the interactive exhibition( audio explanations included in the very modest entry fee of £3 for seniors) and the charming and knowledgeable staff and volunteers. They are obviously passionate about the collection. The gift shop also has some lovely items, very reasonably priced. If you love history and beautiful things this is for you.
Written May 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SJC94
Ashford, UK155 contributions
Aug 2022 • Friends
Having been aware of this museum for many years, we visited for the first time. Lovely building and staff very pleasant in a very British upper middle class way.
Reasonable pricing with free audio guide. Though they tell you about how fans are made and show a selection of fans, we felt it had missed extending its remit by covering the language of fans and the use of fans in dance. There seemed more they could explore.
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chris f
Brisbane, Australia94 contributions
Sep 2019
This is my second visit to this amazing museum of fans. They rotate the collection of hand embroidered, hand painted, hand carved fans collected from around the world. The orangery tea room is also beautiful and extremely well priced.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wilde_David_London_48
London, UK56 contributions
Mar 2019
You could be forgiven for walking past the Fan Museum without even knowing it. Hidden on the beautiful Crooms Hill in Greenwich in a lovely Georgian fronted building is the Fan Museum - one of the foremost homes for fans in the world and providing a wonderful display of them spanning history. Well laid out and easy to walk around, it also has a wonderful gift shop and cafe in the ground floor Orangery for you to sit and enjoy a tea and cake!
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marion D
10 contributions
Mar 2020
Small museum but very interesting. £5.00 adult entry but Half price for Natioanal Trust members. Worth paying the entry fee just to have tea in the Orangery! I had delicious carrot cake and my partner the equally delicious cram tea. It overlooks the garden although entry to the Garden is not allowed by Greenwich Council.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandygranny
Sandy, UK947 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
The Fan Museum is in a lovely location in Greenwich close to the Docklands Light Railway, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. It is the only museum in the UK devoted to the history of fans and the art of fan making. The museum houses a huge collection of fans from all around the world, dating from the 12th century to the present day. Exhibitions are changed every four months.

There is a nice tea room overlooking a beautifully landscaped Japanese style garden where you can relax and enjoy tea or coffee and delicious home-made scones and cakes. There is also a nice gift shop.

This would be a fantastic place to visit if you are interested in fans. If you are sightseeing in the area it is worth a visit but I would not make a special visit. The décor in the ladies is fascinating, everything is fan-oriented, even the soap.
Written April 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ellyk2012
Boston, MA177 contributions
Aug 2019
We enjoyed our visit to the museum with many fans from different time periods and cultures, some quite breathtaking. Located on a quiet street in Greenwich, it is not far from the river and we had afternoon tea there which was wonderful. Scones, lemon drizzle cake and carrot cake were on the menu that day and absolutely delicious. The tea room is beautiful and tranquil and the waitstaff were very pleasant. Quite reasonably priced and I would go again without hesitation.
Written September 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KomalVerma
London, UK57 contributions
Dec 2019
We visited the Fan Museum for a friend's birthday and it was a truly lovely experience. The museum isn't very large, so you can can see all the displays and exhibits in less than hour. The venue itself is immaculately well kept, there are helpful audio guides and the staff are really friendly and helpful. The washrooms are equally charming and then there's the delightful Orangery, where you can have an afternoon tea (though this is really a cream tea with some cake options after - no sandwiches). The tea was perfect - just the right amount, you could get refills and they catered for gluten free wonderfully (though you do need to give them a few days notice). Highly recommended!
Written December 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Donna L
Chicago, IL10 contributions
Aug 2019 • Family
Following a fantastic tour of Westminster Abbey, we went to the Fan Museum. What a great experience! Now you may be thinking, what is there to know about hand fans? Well, we learned a lot. Although it is small, the displays are wonderful and the gift shop is splendid. After strolling through the museum, we went to the lower level for tea. The room was so pretty and it overlooked a lovely garden. The tea, scones and cakes were scrumptious and the service was first rate. My son has a tree nut allergy, but he had a good experience because the staff was very knowledgeable about the ingredients in all the products. The next time I am in London, I will return to this special place. If you are in London, you must go!
Written December 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Fan Museum (London) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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