Go See T-Rex!
London’s Natural History Museum is one of three museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington’s Museum Quarter. Constructed in the late 1800s the massive Victorian era, Romanesque Revival marvel which houses the museum’s collections and special exhibitions are for architecture buffs reason alone to pay a visit. For fans of natural history, plenty more treasures await inside.
Here are a few handy tips along with some useful info for making the most of your visit to this major London attraction.
The Natural History Museum is home to 70 million items grouped into five main collections: Botanty, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology.
Highlights to any visit include the prominently placed statue of Charles Darwin; the newly launched Cadogen gallery with 22 specially selected pieces chosen for having particular scientific, historical, aesthetic and cultural importance; the Vault which features some of nature’s most rare, unique and valuable gems and minerals; and of course the fun and educational Dinosaurs gallery.
The museum is open every day of the week all except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 24th to 26th). Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Located in the pedestrian zone of Exhibition Road near the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum of decorative arts and design, the main visitor entrance is actually on Cromwell Road at the corner of Exhibition Road. The closest London Underground Station is South Kensington (on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines). High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and Gloucester Road stations are near at hand as well.
There’s no cost for admission, and everything in the museum’s permanent collection is on view for free. Whether planning to spend a whole day with the family or simply dash inside to quickly take in all the building’s grandeur, the museum caters to any and all with an interest in our natural world – from wide eyed little ones to grown up experts in whatever field of science.
Running until the 8th of September 2013 at the museum is Extinction: Not the End of the World. Presenting astonishing images, real specimens and interactive installations, this special exhibition brings to life some of the planet’s amazing lost species. Alongside dramatic photos and film footage, visitors can get close to 80 real museum specimens, including the impressive skull of Chasmosaurus belli – one of the last dinosaurs, the 12-foot head and antlers of an extinct Irish elk, an enormous elephant bird egg, and tiny live pupfish. Focusing specifically on some of the more recent losses, Extinction: Not the End of the World assesses the future for today’s endangered species like the tiger and orang-utan while also highlighting remarkable stories of survivors of mass extinctions.
Regular ticket prices to view Extinction: Not the End of the World cost £9 (about $13) for adults. Regular tickets for children from four years old cost £4.50.
For further details about Extinction and more info about visiting the Natural History museum go to nhm.ac.uk.
Grab some cheap flights to London before the exhibition ends!
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photo: Chris Osburn