The Natural History Museum is one of South Kensington’s three main museums – the others being the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Science Museum.
The NHM – Natural History Museum of London was founded in 1881 as part of the British Museum, but it wasn’t until 1992 that it became known by that name. It is one of the best known and most visited museums in Europe. It has a collection of more than 80 million species and more than 300 scientists working in its laboratories, bookshops and archives.
The incredible Victorian building of the Natural History Museum houses around 70 million objects – so don’t expect to see them all! However, the museum is well-designed and half a day is all it takes to enjoy the many highlights on offer. Fossils, meteorites, weird creepers and earthquake simulations are only part of the offer, although perhaps the most iconic of all the exhibits is perhaps the 105-foot-long skeleton replica of a diplodocus, which is located in the main central hall.
The museum is divided into four areas :
Blue: which explores the diversity of life on Earth, including dinosaurs, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, including a model blue whale and human biology. Green: which deals with the evolution of the planet, birds, crawlers, minerals and other treasures, including the skeleton of a 25-metre whale. Red: a journey through the forces that sculpt and shape the Earth, including volcanoes, earthquakes, fossils and more. Orange: where the Darwin Center and the garden of plants and wild animals are located.
The new Darwin Center houses the museum’s immense collection of preserved specimens and also allows visitors to interact with the scientists who use the collections and conduct current research. For live specimens, there is an outdoor wildlife garden which houses hundreds of species including sheep, pheasants and foxes.
How to get to the London Museum of Natural History
The best way to get to the London Museum of Natural History is by tube, the nearest station being South Kensington, where the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines run. The station is about a 5-minute walk from the entrance to Exhibition Road.
At the end of the year, during the winter season, an ice rink and carousel are built in front of the museum. In addition to the opportunity to have fun in the Christmas atmosphere, the view with the magnificent NHM building is magnificent.
The museum is open for visits every day of the year, except for Christmas, when it closes on 24, 25 and 26 December. Opening hours are from 10am to 5.50pm.
Admission is free, but some exhibitions are partially paid for or require prior reservation. You can consult the official website, including times and updated values.