Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum information

Location
London , England
Address
Cromwell Rd
SW7
Getting there
Tube: South Kensington
More information
www.nhm.ac.uk
Opening hours
10am-5.50pm
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This colossal building is infused with the irrepressible Victorian spirit of collecting, cataloguing and interpreting the natural world. The main museum building is as much a reason to visit as the world-famous collection within.

A highlight of the museum, the Central Hall resembles a cathedral nave – quite fitting for a time when the natural sciences were challenging the biblical tenets of Christian orthodoxy. Naturalist and first superintendent of the museum Richard Owen celebrated the building as a 'cathedral to nature'.

Your first impression as you enter is the dramatically over-arching skeleton of a Diplodocus (nicknamed Dippy), which inspires children to yank their parents to the fantastic dinosaur gallery in the Blue Zone, with its impressive overhead walkway passing Dromaeosaurus (a small and agile meat eater) before reaching the museum’s star attraction: the roaring ans shaking animatronic T-rex.

In the Green Zone, the Mineral Gallery is a breathtaking display of architectural perspective leading to the Vault, where you'll find the Aurora Collection of almost 300 coloured diamonds. The intriguing Treasures exhibition in the Cadogan Gallery houses a host of unrelated objects each telling its own unique story, from a chunk of moon rock to a dodo skeleton. The vast Darwin Centre focuses on taxonomy, showcasing 28 million insects and six million plants in a giant cocoon; glass windows allow you to watch scientists at work.

Sensational Butterflies, a tunnel tent on the East Lawn, swarms with what must originally have been called ‘flutter-bys’.

A slice of English countryside in SW7, the beautiful Wildlife Garden next to the West Lawn encompasses a range of British lowland habitats, including a meadow with farm gates and a bee tree where a colony of honey bees fills the air.