Natural History Museum

Discover the Natural History Museum London, a Cathedral to the wonder of nature

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum London is a cathedral of the natural world. One of the most beautiful monuments to the animal and plant kingdoms.

The Natural History Museum is a place of study, research and discovery for all. Here is a museum that has glass cases of specimens, but also has teams of scientists exploring new sources of food and predicting the spread of disease. You can see it all going on at one of the world’s greatest Natural History Museums. 

See the superb Dinosaur exhibit and then compare the sizes of mammals. The Blue Whale is still favourite. Put on a white coat and explore the Darwin wing and see some of the 23 million specimens stored in alcohol. We can provide expert guides who tell the world's story and its biodiversity – turning your visit into an eye-opening day of enlightenment.

An Emporium of life

A brief history of the Natural History Museum

South Kensington site
The British Museum originally housed the natural history collection, but run out of space to display the vast array of items. The trustees decided to move to the site to South Kensington. 

In 1881, the new 'church-like' terracotta building opened. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, it resembles a Romanesque German Cathedral with huge round arches and central hall. Waterhouse sketched creatures from the natural world, such as snakes, monkeys, bats, birds and more. He then provided the sketches to the best stonemasons to re-create in terracotta stone. The result is a structure crawling with the faces, wings and feet of animals. The museum feels alive, but, you do need to take a second glance to realise you are being looked at by a thousand eyes.   

The core of the original collection is of Sir Hans Sloane, a doctor and naturalist. During his life, he acquired over seventy thousand specimens, and incidentally, he invented drinking chocolate. After his death, the British Museum purchased his inventory and moved to the current site. 

The book 'On the Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin published in 1859 provoked outrage in the church. The debate on the origins of man and evolution continues today. Still, it is interesting to note that the trustees created the beautiful building we see today to house 'Gods' creations. 

Much has changed at the museum; there are bigger and better displays, yoga, more interactive exhibits, and an emphasis on getting involved and learning.

Museum highlights

The dinosaurs
The Dinosaurs exhibit is famous, and rightly so. Animatronic pre-historic beasts terrify the very young, especially the roaring T-Rex, one of the largest carnivores to walk the earth. There are some excellent skeletons to see, including; Iguanodon, triceratops, and parts of a T-Rex and more. 

The mammals
For many, this gallery is a favourite. Come to face-to-face with the world's living giants. It is fascinating to compare the size of Blue Whales and Elephants. 

Special exhibits
Interactive displays that get the imagination going for children and adults. The current exhibition 'Fantastic Beasts, The Wonder of Nature' explores animal myths, and asks questions such as where do dragons come from? The discovery of unusual fossils and sightings of a giant squid may be the origins of these fantastic stories, find out at the museum.  

Explore the Darwin wing
Put on a white coat and be taken on a guided tour of the laboratories and take a peek at the vast hidden collection behind closed doors. The museum doesn't have enough space to display everything it has. You can learn about the research programs and see items, not in the main galleries. 

There is so much to see and interact with at the museum; please contact us for tour options.

Touring and accommodation
For most people visiting the museum and listening to audio commentary from Sir David Attenborough himself is exciting enough. For some, you may wish to delve deeper to make your visit a truly enlightening experience. We can provide a tour with a scientist who can explain the world's history and its creatures on an enthralling guided tour of the Natural History Museum. We highly recommend this experience; please contact us for further information. 

Kensington has many accommodation options, usually the attractive townhouse variety. Stay at the Milestone Hotel, a five-star townhouse hotel, a stroll from Harrod's and the Science and Natural History Museum. Alternatively, stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens, delightful Chelsea townhouse hotel, only a hop from Sloane Square, and a walk to the Natural History Museum. 

The best places to stay in London are Mayfair, St James, and the Royal Borough of Kensington. If you are considering day tours from London, staying further west in Kensington makes sense. Harrods and Hyde Park are close. Staying in Mayfair and St James will give you easy access to Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and high-end shops. The theatre district called the ‘West End’ is a short hop too. Here is our recommended collection of the Best Four and Five-Star Hotel in London

Our Tour Designers are here to customise your private tours of London and day tours from London. Tell us about you and your interests, and we will create a tailor-made tour. Our Old City of London tour features St Paul's Cathedral. However, we can tailor a tour of London for you. 

If this is your first time to England, we would recommend a custom version of your Town and Country Tour; it covers the famous places and allows you to utilise your private driver-guide by getting-off-the-beaten-path. Our Classic tour of Ireland is a good place to start for the first trip to Ireland, and we suggest the Classic tour of Scotland for your first trip to the bonny Highlands. Merging Wales with England makes for a dynamic experience of mountains, stately homes and cosy country pubs.

A cathedral of nature

Over 23 million specimens stored in tanks

  • Expert Guides Available
  • Exhibition Evenings
  • Access Special Exhibits
  • See Archie the giant squid in the tank room

Help us make your trip exceptional

Our UK, EU and US office-based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

Contact information

From the UK: +44(0)20 8669 3666

FREE from Canada or the USA: 1-888-472-1799

Email: [email protected]

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