I’d heard good things about the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London so when we arrived to find a long queue I wasn’t too worried, thinking it would be worth the wait. And boy, was it worth it! Even without a single exhibit inside this is a must see when visiting London just for the beautiful building alone. What’s more it’s free!
Designed by Alfred Waterhouse the museum first opened in 1881. The exterior is beautiful but when I stepped inside the central hall it really bowled me over, I thought I had been transported to Hogwarts and a scene from Harry Potter. I half expected the staircases to start moving at any minute!
Look up and you’ll see these beautiful painted ceiling panels.
The details are exquisite, with monkeys climbing up backbones, intertwining serpents, birds and plants growing up into the ceiling.
Of course, the exhibits are fascinating too, such as this long since extinct dodo.
But the building itself kept distracting me!
This way into the depths of the Earth!
And don’t miss the earthquake room, guaranteed to shake you up!
There was another queue to see the dinosaurs, but again worth the wait.
What a sight they must have once been! Can you imagine digging this fellow up? What a thrill to discover these remains.
Like many museums in London, as well as a café, there’s an area set aside for people to eat their own packed lunch, which saves a small fortune, especially for families.
Check out their website for opening times and any temporary exhibitions, such as the current amazing butterfly room, with hundreds of live butterflies to see flying and landing all around you, even on you! (until Sep 15th 2013)
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5000
Map and directions
I recently stayed in a very stylish hotel in South Kensington, The Millennium Gloucester, and there will be more on this fashionable part of London coming soon.