image: David Iliff

Natural History Museum

Dinosaurs and blue whales

The Natural History Museum occupies a notable building fronting Cromwell Road in South Kensington. It is one of the three major museums in Kensington along with the Science Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Born out of the natural history collections amassed by the British Museum, it gained its independence in 1873 and moved the current site in 1881.

Famous to school children in the United Kingdom and probably a large part of the world for the 32 metre long model of a Diplodocus skeleton in the entrance hallway. Other notable exhibits are the Blue Whale model and skeleton in the Large Mammals Hall and the mysterious Archie, an 8 metre long Giant Squid caught off the Falkland Islands in 2004. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see Archie as he is kept in a large Formalin tank in the basement.

The museum is also rightly famous for the dinosaur gallery housing animatronic and static models and fossils of dinosaurs including a full size Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Entrance is free although a charge is made for an ever changing schedule of specialist exhibitions.

Whilst many see the museum as primarily a public space a considerable amount of work goes on behind the scenes, both in conservation and preservation of the museum exhibits and in scientific study. It is possible, though not overly interesting, to watch scientists at work in some laboratories that have glass walls to allow public viewing.

Official website
2 hours
Opening hours
Open every day
10:00 - 17:50
(Last entry - 17:30)
24 December, 25 December, 26 December
Free entry
...except Special exhibitions
Accessible toilets available onsite
Disabled parking available
Wheelchair access all areas
Wheelchair available onsite
Signer available
Hearing loop available
Large print documentation available
Audio tour available
Braille descriptive material available
Assistance dogs permitted
Carer admitted free of charge
August 2016 - some lifts are not serving all floors. BSL events are scheduled regularly.
If you can provide us with more comprehensive or up to date information about accessibility issues at this site, please use the button below.
Last update - 20 May 2016
Costs checked - May 2016
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