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Fascinating galleries in London that are off the tourist track.

When it comes to museums and galleries, London offers a veritable host of attractions that can leave you wondering where to start. If you like to take in smaller exhibitions, don’t have days to spend in the British Museum, or have already visited the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate, you might like to visit the following sites that leave you less exhausted than the heavyweight cultural venues. They all offer free entry too!

First on the list, as recommended by BBC Travel is Sir John Soane's Museum (13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields). Sir John was an early 19th-century architect who designed the Bank Of England, and his West End home, filled with his personal effects and curiosities, is largely as he left it when he died in 1837. The house contains Christopher Wren drawings, a lantern room, slaves' chains and much more, and makes a great place to visit, especially on the first Tuesday of the month when the home is lit by candles.

Next stop, The Whitechapel Gallery (77-82 Whitechapel High Street) is actually a collection of 10 galleries in an art nouveau building first opened in 1899. It’s the place where Pablo Picasso's Guernica was first shown in 1939 and continues to mix its exhibits between established and emerging artists. There’s also music, readings and films on Thursdays and some Fridays.

Finally, try the Wallace Collection (Hertford House Manchester Square), housed in a beautiful Italianate mansion which is worthy of a visit in itself. It’s also packed with 17th- and 18th-century art works.

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