London: where to begin? There's a reason there are so many guidebooks about London! So much history, so many museums, so many shops. Think about all the authors, all their characters who walked the streets of the city over the centuries. It's mind-boggling. (To me, at least. I get that I'm a little nerdy about this--I do.) So a pronouncement of Favorites in various categories seemed to be a good approach.
How many museums did we visit? Let's see, although technically not a museum, the British Library was our first official stop in London (after the hotel-luggage-drop-off and the rain-soaked lunch), followed by the British Museum that same day. Other venues included the Tate Modern, the Museum of London, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Maritime Museum. All of these places were free. (!)
Our top picks: Rob's choice was the Victoria and Albert Museum. True to form, we only saw about one-third (maybe less) of the total museum, but we were there for a couple of hours! We mostly concentrated on the part covering England from the medieval period through the 1800s. I did enjoy it--even if the giant Bed of Ware (an enormous bed that is one of the big attractions) was loaned out to another museum.
My top pick was the Museum of London. We spent about an hour and a half there. We arrived a little after 4pm, and they didn't close at 6 (like the guidebooks say): they started announcing the closing around 5:30 and by 5:55, we were asked to leave. But learning the history of the city was really cool. There was a special Dickens exhibit that we did not see--it required the purchase of timed tickets, and I couldn't see enough time in our schedule to do it (plus I don't think Rob was as into Dickens as I pretend to be).
One of the benefits of doing so much research beforehand was that we had a nice background of knowledge. Once there, we were able to really enjoy what we were seeing instead of trying to cram in all the information.