Natural History Museum

Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 7942 5000

- Free


Stop here to learn about the wonders of the Earth and the life it supports.

Opened in 1881, this palatial museum is devoted to informing us about the natural world and the science behind it. Spread over five levels that are divided into four colour-coded zones, it's a lively if at times chaotic space. One of my favourite galleries is 'Fossil Marine Reptiles' (Green, Ground Floor), where the walls are filled with the skeletons of extraordinary creatures that were splashing around the planet 180 million years ago. There's many more amazing old bones to marvel at in the Central Hall, and it's worth finding your way to the new 'Images of Nature' gallery (Blue, Ground Floor) where prints and artworks inspired by nature are showcased. Often quieter, the futuristic Cocoon (Darwin Centre) offers a 45-minute interactive self-guided tour where you can admire and investigate some of the 20 million specimens housed inside.

Value for money

Price advice

Admission is free, charges apply to some special exhibitions. Maps cost £1 or print one out from the website.

Expert tips

To avoid queueing, use the quieter Exhibition Road entrance.

Time your visit to coincide with the free talks and films in the Attenborough Studio (Darwin Centre) - see for details.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Singles
  • Education
  • History
  • Design and architecture
  • Nature / wildlife