349. Natural History Museum

What is the Natural History Museum? 

The Natural History Museum is home to 80 million items from five collections; botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology, and zoology. It was originally part of the British Museum (56) but more space was needed and a new museum was built in South Kensington. It opened in 1881.

What's the Natural History Museum like?

The building is almost as impressive as the contents. The entrance hall (now containing the skeleton of a blue whale) is one of my favourites spaces in the whole world - somehow it manages to be stunning while also inviting you inside. It's like a cathedral to nature combined with a library.

Where is the Natural History Museum?

London, England 

When did we go?

September 2019

How did we get there? 

I went on the Tube.

Worth noting

As well as the major showstoppers (the dinosaurs and the skeleton of the dodo and the slice of giant sequoia are always in my top ten), they have good temporary exhibitions. The Museum of the Moon was on when I went and it left a huge impression - an enormous model of the moon combined with lights and music created a very atmospheric experience.

Where was the Natural History Museum in the 2015 edition of the Lonely Planet Travel List? 


Does the Natural History Museum deserve its place in the Lonely Planet 2020 top 500?

Yes, definitely. 

Natural History Museum

Museum of the Moon at the Natural History Museum

Blue whale at the National History Museum