I am absolutely fascinated by natural history so on my recent trip to the London the Natural History Museum was on the top of my ‘must do’ list!
The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London (the others are the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum). It’s is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology – from my understanding basically Plants, Bugs, Minerals (including precious stones), Dinosaurs and Animals.
Walking into the museum the first thing you see is the giant diplodocus cast in the middle of the ground floor. Like a magnet it draws kids in and is glistening with the almost constant flash of cameras. From here I would make it a priority to ensure you have a map. You can go off in any direction and be lost for hours. If you have kids, it’s a great first step to show them where to go or what to do if they get lost. A great tip I have heard from mothers is to write your mobile number on their hand and tell them to show someone if they get lost.
My first point of call was the new Darwin Centre. What a great addition to the museum, with its interesting exhibits with great interactive commentary and games.This new area is a great place to bring the kids, it is extremely educational but also very visual which not only helps you to understand but also keep the littlest little ones amused. The interactive games are set up to help you understand the concept and then let you play a game to see what you have learned. I must say I spent a lot of time examining algae and trying to match them! What is really different though is that you can actually watch the scientists working through the clear glass which looks into their labs, probably highly annoying working all day with peoples faces pushed up against the glass but hey, I’m sure it’s in the job description.
The other exhibits are equally as interesting with models showing evolution to those showing just how small and insignificant we would have been at the time of the dinosaurs. Watch out for those dinosaurs! Some are robotic and will try to eat you! The museum is cleverly broken up into coloured zones as follows:
- Earth Lab
- Earth’s Treasury
- Lasting Impressions
- Restless Surface
- Earth Today and Tomorrow
- From the Beginning
- The Power Within
- Visions of Earth
- Creepy Crawlies
- Fossil Marine Reptiles
- Giant Sequoia and Central Hall
- The Vault
- Our Place in Evolution
- Plant Power
- Fishes, Amphibians and Reptiles
- Human Biology
- Marine Invertebrates
- Mammals (Blue Whale)
- Nature Live
- Wildlife Garden
- Darwin Centre
Overall a great day out and best of all admission is free! I have some tips in mind for those who are thinking of going:
- Take comfortable shoes. Sounds obvious, but I saw the odd mum attempting it in heels.
- Pack a lunch. The restaurants are expensive and I would rather feel the joy of donating to the museum rather than spending it on an average sandwich.
- Don’t take unnecessary items. Females, myself included, are really bad at not even knowing whats at the bottom of our handbag anymore. Now obviously for weight reasons you should lighten your load, nut more importantly because you get searched on your way in, like at the airport. So travellers who tend to always keep the essentials in your bag especially, beware.
- Let the kids take their pocket money. There is a great shop in the museum, fool of great toys and experiments. If I wasn’t flying into Australia after were you get fined for having an apple or something wooden in your bag, I would of bought some great little treats for the little ones in my family. Remember to consider the room in suitcase though!
Click here to visit the London Natural History Museum’s website.
Disclaimer: This information was correct at time of writing. Travel and the World and it’s writers cannot be held responsible for inaccurate or out of date information.