Newest Review: ... Galleries throwing a cursory look at the Earth Gallery due to our time available. Easily you need hours just to walk around the Life Galle... more
Natural History Museum - A National Treasure
Natural History Museum (London)
Member Name: madbob
Natural History Museum (London)
Advantages: Free entry, great exhibitions, good disabled access
Disadvantages: Catering outlets are expensive
The Natural History Museum is situated in Cromwell Road near to South Kensington tube in London.
The museum is next door to the Science Museum and accross the street from the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Royal Albert Hall is within easy walking distance as well, you should bear these in mind when planning your trip as you can easily fit all of them in should your time be limited.
Entry to the museum is totally free since 2001 (they do charge a small fee for certain exhibits and you can make a donation of £3 which is totally optional) and the museum opens every day of the year apart from three days during Christmas. Opening times are 10am until 5.30pm
Upon entry, any bags you may have will be searched so there may be a delay in getting inside. The first room you see is a beautiful hall in the centre of which is a display of a diplodocus skeleton. I believe this is a replica but it still gives a great wow factor to anybody visiting for the first time and this is where most people tend to congregate on entry so getting a decent picture can be difficult if the museum is busy.
I found the museum to be a lot larger than I'd thought, as the main hall branches of in 3 different directions or 'zones' as the Natural History Museum calls them on the map.
If you're visiting with Children they may get bored quickly so veer off to the left and visit the blue zone where the Dinosaur exhibitions are. At the end of the trail having taken in various Dinosaur bones there is a lifesize moving model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It's designed to follow movement so if you're in there with few other people you can get the erie feeling of being watched!
Other major exhibits include the Large Mammals Hall which has the skeletons of lots of different species, replica lifesize models and interactive exhibits but the highlight is the 70 year old blue whale model. The scale of the model is breathtaking but it looked as though it could do with a respray on my last visit.
One of my personal favourites was the Earth Galleries, the entrance to which is a massive hall with an escalator taking you up into a model earth. If you love the universe and how things in it were formed this is a great section, I particularly like the Kobe earthquake experience which replicates just how much the earth moves during a quake with you standing on a moving floor in a supermarket. I found the sound generated quite disturbing really.
In summary, you could easily spend a day here if this is your kind of thing. In my experience kids loved it but would get bored after a couple of hours which is why It's so great that the aforementioned attractions mentioned earlier in this review are so close by.
There is good access for the disabled (entry at the side) and plenty of toilets/baby nappy changing facilities and there are several places within the Museum to eat but these are ridiculously pricey.
One word of advice. There always seems to be a mobile hot dog vendor outside the Museum selling them for as little as a pound each. Avoid like the plague, not only are these stalls illegal they are totally unhygienic and you're likely to take away more than the memory of a pleasant visit should you buy from them.
Summary: A must see for any visitor to London
More reviews in the field of Museum National
- The Pink House
- A must see attraction to combine with mary kings close
- The only contemporary gallery to shock and mesmerise
- Take a New Walk... you might find you love it!
- Lancaster's Seafaring Past
- The Titanic Experience Belfast-Well Worth a Visit Informative and Surprisingly E ...
- Stepping back in time at the Churchill War Rooms in London
- An Air Adventure, Without ever leaving the ground.
- A star attraction
- Toddler to granny. . . .toys for everyone!
- The Lost Prince: The Life & Death of Henry Stuart
- Shakespeare: Staging the World (British Museum)
- Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Museum
- Horniman Museum and Gardens
- The National Museum of Scotland
- Bygones Museum (Torquay)
- Tuxford Prison (Nottinghamshire)
- Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
- DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery (Durham)
- The Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)