Oxford University Museum of Natural History


Displays in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

©Amy Pay/Lonely Planet

Housed in a glorious Victorian Gothic building, with cast-iron columns, flower-carved capitals and a soaring glass roof, this museum makes a superb showcase for some extraordinary exhibits. Specimens from all over the world include a 150-year-old Japanese spider crab, but it’s the dinosaurs that really wow the crowds. As well as a towering T-rex skeleton – ‘Stan’, the second most complete ever found – you’ll see pieces of Megalosaurus, which was in 1677 the first dinosaur ever mentioned in a written text.

A particular local favourite is the (stuffed) dodo that was immortalised by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. The unfortunate bird was stunningly revealed in 2018 to have been shot in the head, rather than dying peacefully in captivity, as previously thought.