Authentic objects and high-quality wax-and-teeth (as opposed to flesh-and-blood) exhibits are informative and aesthetically pleasing but, in some way, they are only a means to an even more important end described by several thinkers (such as, for instance, Edward Everett Hale or Antoine Saint Exupery) as "the greatest luxury in life". Depending on how close to each other people are, it might go by "socialization", "rapport", "friendship" and such, but the common denominator for all those concepts is "connection".
That's exactly what those, who care enough to take their time and make an effort, are trying to do while visiting one of the recently mentioned museums - to connect with their fellow human-beings, be they represented by a wax image or even just implied by the setting (as [Sherlock Holmes](/blog/sherlock-holmes) is). And that's exactly what's lacking in otherwise perfect [hop-on-hop-off](/blog/hop-on-hop-off) guided tours or even more traditional ones (because there are too many people and too much to cover - to leave the actual human guides any time for taking a more discerning approach to their groups). At some point that niche of need was filled by so-called "walking tours".
"Kevin - a famous archeologist, Margaret - a writer, Nina - an art historian, Richard - an actor and...a restorer of old buildings. He is brimming with competence and...that special panache typical of someone who really knows what he is talking about..." The quote is from a brochure published by and agency called "Walking Around London". The agency promotes those and other guides without employing them, because all the guides are freelancers coming from all walks of life (quite literary as one of the guides is a former factory worker). They specialize in walking tours, which means they can't take their group (a very small one, usually no more than 5 people) too far - so, they provide depth rather than breadth. Whatever they tell about is seen point-blank, and the scope of their knowledge concerning all those little streets, lanes and passages is nothing short of amazing. No such knowledge can possibly come from books but only from personal experience. Some choose to tell about the area they were born in and spent their formative years around - so, it's hardly surprising none of their stories are superficial or matter-of-factly. The guides are passionate storytellers, and passions are infectious. As a result, visitors start feeling like they don't learn about the places in question but rather...recall them - and, once recalled, those places remain forever associated with the city and the whole life experience gained during the trip that brought those visitors to that city...