Outings: `Are we nearly there?'

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The Independent Travel
There's a wealth of places where kids can discover the history of money, and none of those below asks you to part with any cash to get in.

Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2 (0171-601 4878)

Traces the history of the Bank, which numbers among past customers one Horatio Nelson. On show are gold bars and the world's finest collection of bank notes, including handwritten bills. An interactive dealing desk gives a taste of modern money markets; pikes and muskets once used to defend the bank remind visitors of more lo-tech days. Open 10-5pm Mon- Fri.

Museum of Mankind, Burlington Gardens, London W1 (0171-437 2224)

The Gilded Image shows gleaming pre-Columbian gold from South and Central America. Not money so much as valuable body art. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2.30-6pm.

The Sovereign Gallery, 7 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1 (0171-828 8724)

An insight into the 500-year history of that most romantic of coins, the sovereign, including the handsome 20-shilling gold sovereign introduced by Henry VII to dignify his new Tudor dynasty. Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.

Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford (01865-278 000)

About 20 cases of money from Ancient Greek to early English, curated to illustrate historical themes including athletics and architecture. Guides help children to learn how the iconography of coins reflects political propaganda and mythical beliefs. Open Tue-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 2pm-4pm.

Hunterian Gallery, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow (0141-330 4221)

Children will be pleased by the idea of a case holding pounds 1m. Unfortunately, it's all in chopped up tenners (worn-out bank notes are used as fertiliser). Scotland's largest coin collection covers forgery and early bartering (iron arrowheads from Nigeria, tea bricks from China), pieces of eight and the small change of Cleopatra. Youngsters are encouraged to try their hand at identification. Open Mon-Sat, 9.30am-5pm.

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