Natural History Museum - Kensington, London

Museum, Event Venue, Institute, Library, Natural History Museum, Research and Development, Research Institute

Address

Address

Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
nhm.ac.uk

+44 20 7942 5000

Reviews

Reviews

4.7

Based on 201 reviews.

 

Agregated reviews (201) Natural History Museum - Kensington, London

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The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road.

The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The museum is a centre of research specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin. The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture—sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature—both exemplified by the large Diplodocus cast that dominated the vaulted central hall before it was replaced in 2017 with the skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling. The Natural History Museum Library contains extensive books, journals, manuscripts, and artwork collections linked to the work and research of the scientific departments; access to the library is by appointment only. The museum is recognised as the pre-eminent centre of natural history and research of related fields in the world.

Although commonly referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was officially known as British Museum (Natural History) until 1992, despite legal separation from the British Museum itself in 1963. Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881 and later incorporated the Geological Museum. The Darwin Centre is a more recent addition, partly designed as a modern facility for storing the valuable collections.

Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee. The museum is an exempt charity and a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[2] Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is a patron of the museum.[3] There are approximately 850 staff at the Museum. The two largest strategic groups are the Public Engagement Group and Science Group.[4]

5 by vaghela ashok Review source

The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History Museum's main frontage, however, is on Cromwell Road.

The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The museum is a centre of research specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin.

The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons and ornate architecture both exemplified by the large Diplodocus cast that dominated the vaulted central hall before it was replaced in 2017 with the skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling.

The Natural History Museum Library contains extensive books, journals, manuscripts, and artwork collections linked to the work and research of the scientific departments; NOTE THAT access to the library is by appointment only. The museum is recognised as the pre-eminent centre of natural history and research of related fields in the world.

Although commonly referred to as the Natural History Museum, it was officially known as The British Museum (Natural History) until 1992. Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark building was built and opened by 1881 and later incorporated the Geological Museum. The Darwin Centre is a more recent addition, partly designed as a modern facility for storing the collection.

5 by David Widlake Review source

This museum is the one of the best museums of the world where a layman can understand the science easily... People can really feel the science... Lots of efforts have been made in putting the science into easily understantable form..
Many brains have worked for the museum to make more splendourous.. We enjoyed the Darwin centre, my son was so much excited to see the Dinosaur,... He made us to visit repeatedly many times... he enjoyed by participating in many scientific activities... The mammals (elephants, bears, panda...... ) , blue centre (how whale makes sound, how dolphin locates its prey... ) , human biology (RBC, memory.... ), birds and reptiles were so interesting... A huge collection of rocks and minerals makes people to stay there.. particularly soil scientists feel so proud...People get opportunity to feel earthquake.. I was overwhelmed to see creepy crawlers (butterflies, termite mound, spiders, bees, Alfred Russell Wallace 's collection .....) ... Over all experience was awesome... fabulous...
One day is not enough to cover everything and learn... I will visit again to explore the adorable world... A bigg kudos to the entire team for making such a impressive museum for the general public....

5 by Review source

Incredible, world class museum. Upon entry you're usually met with someone shouting please donate here but it's a worthy cause and you can see how much work has gone into the exhibitions.

The only issue I had was the massive lack of octopuses if they can sort that out of would be perfect!

There are currently extra payed exhibitions on for venom and whales. They cost £12 a pop for adults. If you're local I'd personally recommend getting a membership as you're not only supporting the institute but get great privileges.

We spent about two and a half hours waking around as we were short on time but you could easily spend double that.

There is also a cafe located near the beginning and the prices are very reasonable. You can walk around the place with a drink which is nice but I think you're not allowed to take them into special exhibitions.

Lots of interactive displays like the earthquake simulator and rock formation spinners, so it's great for keeping the kids entertained as well as adults.

If you're stopping in London, definitely make the effort, and make sure you find the T-Rex!

5 by O Ketchlove Review source

The building on its own is stunning, so it is worth just visiting for the architecture. If you are a nature fan you are going to find a lot of information about each item on the gallery and probably see some unique exhibits.

If you go on a busy day, its better to work your way at the far off the gallery and work your way down.

More importantly, the Museum is also open late until 22.00 on the last Friday of every month, excluding December.This is the perfect chance to check lower floors in low key light with no interruptions from the crowds.

During the late nights there is also a bar/restaurants & live music (right in the middle of the Hintze Hall!). The bar is open from 18.00 to 21.45. It is worth noting that they even let you to get a drink and wander in the dinosaur gallery. Usually there are some interesting exhibitions during the late nights but make sure you buy tickets before you visit.

To really experience this museum to its fullest you need to go 3 times: First, go during a normal day and see all the floors. Secondly, go during the late night. Lastly, go once the ice ring is up in December!

5 by Anthony Charalampous Review source

Great museum to see the dinosaurs and volcanoes

If you love anything about being a kid, it has to include dinosaurs. With an amazing array of iguanodon, t-rexs, baryonyx and more, prepare to bring out the child within.

If dinosaurs aren't your thing, this museum is full of things that are a little less extinct, such as mammals, insects, minerals and other secret treasures

There are no free tours in this museum but they do offer a chance for you to speak to a scientist in the Attenborough studio. If you're lucky (like me) you can even speak to deep sea scientists offshore in the gulf of Mexico - LIVE!

Like most museums in London, it's free to enter but they do ask for a donation for atleast £5, if you wish. This museum will take you the entire day to cover but we did about half in 5-6 hours. It's definitely one experience you can't leave without!

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It can get quite busy on the weekend, especially Fridays as school kids are around and in summer the museums are open till late - 'Friday lates'. So mind the children and the crowd!

5 by Namrata Bagree Review source

Visit date: 27th March 2018. We visited early afternoon and on arrival, the queue was quite long out front. If you have a party member with a disability or mobility issue, the Museum allows you to go to the front of the line and loans out wheelchairs free of charge for those that require them. The museum is as impressive on the inside as the building appears on the outside. It is only a couple of minutes walk from the nearest tube station. On this visit, we only did the dinosaurs and mammals sections of the museum. Both are well laid out. There are interesting displays as well as animatronic exhibits, such as the T-Rex, and interactive activities that are both informative and fun for the younger visitor. The Blue Whale display reminds us all just how amazing nature is and puts our own place in the natural order into perspective. There is so much more to see than we did and you could easily spend a full day at the NHM. The gift shop is well stocked and has a great range of products from a couple of pounds upwards. Well worth a visit for anyone with a passing interest in the natural world around them.

5 by Cathal Berney Review source

Natural History Museum is an amazing place to visit. At the entrance you will find huge skeleton of whale, and it doesn't stop there! The amount of things on display is staggering, I went there at 12 and by 5pm I haven't even seen half of what's available. There is a huge display of precious gems, diamond's and everything related to extracting resources from earth. There is a whole display dedicated to mammals, birds. Their dinosaurs display is legendary which even includes a robotic dinosaur! If you are in London make sure you visit this museum, also to see everything make sure you secure 2 days, 3 if you want to look at everything properly. The entrance is free they will ask you if you would like to make donations I highly recommend you do as the job they do is amazing! The museum is located near to South Kensington tube station, and there are number of bus stops around the place. There might be a short wait outside and you might have to have your bag search, but for free access to such a huge resource of information that's a small price to pay.

5 by Matthew Bulat Review source

A gorgeous building in itself, the Museum is packed with amazing exhibits and things to see. It's a place most everyone can enjoy and find an area of immense interest. For me, I particularly liked the 'Human Evolution' area, which was small but incredibly interesting. You can find several amazing stores, selling great quality items with adequate prices (that is, they're not 'cheap' per se, but the quality justifies). It's an amazing place to visit, especially considering it's free (may whoever had the ideia to make the Museums in London free be blessed), and it's really modest of them to ask a donation of only 5£ for the amazement you're getting.
If you're scared about the lines, don't be; they may seem enormous, because they are, but they move very quickly and you'll be in in no time.
The only con I found was the overpricing of the food, but that can be easily solved: go somewhere else, enter again.

4 by Guilherme Ferrão Review source

I can't but admire all the work people put in this huge space.
It's a great place for families/kids to learn and have fun day. The place is quite safe to let them go - but keep an eye on them as they get very inventive :-) Staff are friendly and always helpful.
You can easily spent the whole day in there - cafe or restaurant offer a great range to choose from - food quality is great - not cheap as you would expect in McDonald but not very expensive either. Overall great experience.
Giving it only 4 stars though as I think there are too many 'hands on' activities that actually do not work, a lot of permanent exhibitions are aging a bit and obviously to maintain it all costs a lot of money - so if you can, support them, they can't do it without us and I still think you get a lot to see/learn for free entry. If you are a paying member, you get to see much much more. Great investment for Londoners. Worth the trip for everyone else.

4 by Petr Hollar Review source

It's still a really great natural museum with a quaint British spin on it. Not as big or well laid out as it's counterpart in New York.

Yes it is free, but it is also pretty heavily commercialized. Even a museum map costs money, and it feels like a large portion of the museum is monetized anyway (big special exhibitions, large cafe/cafeteria spaces), and there are plenty of signs and boxes asking for a 5£ donation. If they really are so strapped, they should just charge a flat rate ticket and call it day. I'd rather that than feeling sort of guilt-tripped into giving money. Many exhibitions aren't functioning fully, probably from all the kids messing around with it and the museum not having the money to fix it. Britain needs to either fund their museums properly again or just charge entrance fees.

General tip: avoid on a rainy weekend winter day, as every family with a child under the age of 5 in London is bound to be there.

4 by Joanna Ji Review source

I couldn't help but feel disappointed at the way content was displayed in what I thought would have been the premier natural history museum in the world. While the building and architecture was amazing, the displays of artifacts feel old and worn.

I am not talking about the beautiful, original timber cabinets. I am talking about the roughshod rooms as though the contractors left before the job was done.

I was also expecting that each specimen be labeled. As a public education institution, all objects should have a corresponding label, outlining their species or type. Some form of cataloging info. Yet on many exhibits around the main hall, a single label was attached to a display of many varied things.

If funds are tight, charge a small fee, say £2 per head, for entrance. I would still pay that knowing what I know now and the amount of foot traffic it would be enough to keep the bones dusted (the dust was 3D!).

2 by Adriaan Window Review source

I returned here today with my family after 17 years since my last visit and little seems to have changed. The dinosaur and animals exhibit are all the same. Anything new was not free. I agree with many of the reviews uploaded here that this museum is in dire need of an update. Having said that, it is free, and the breadth of exhibits is massive, albeit they are presented poorly. Sadly most of the interactive activities didn't work and there were even some facts presented that have been surpassed by later knowledge.
Lastly, we had lunch at the T-Rex Grill. The burgers and desserts were wonderful, but the waiting time for service was terrible. The staff were having a stressful time with unruly school groups, but 90 mins for a meal & desserts when we all want to be looking at the museum is bad service.
There's potential here for a world class museum to be returned to former glory, but not today.

2 by Mike Going Review source

One of my favourite places to visit, I've been many times in my lifetime and visited again a few weeks ago for my birthday with my boyfriend. Truly an awe inspiring place, if you can it is best to come at off peak times to avoid the crowds. First thing is if you are visiting between April and mid September I'd recommend the butterfly walk just outside the front of the museum, it's only £6.50 for an adult, they do have family ticket options, and it's so amazing, filled with butterflies and plenty of space to enjoy them. We even saw multiple pairs mating or laying eggs this time. The red zone with all the rocks, minerals and science behind it is so fascinating and I feel every time I go I learn something new. The earthquake simulator is fantastic too! The collection of stuffed animals is also great with beautiful specimens, especially the hummingbird cabinet.

5 by Bev Shaw Review source

I would go so far as to say that the Natural History Museum is probably my favourite museum in the world. The building itself is stunning and the permanent exhibitions are well laid out, informative and interactive.
The museum also has a range of temporary exhibitions which change on a regular basis (take note that although the museum and permanent exhibitions are free, these temporary exhibits can only be entered by purchasing separate tickets).
There are a number of gift shops selling a range of different items depending on the area of the museum they are based in, and a centrally located cafe with public restrooms.

During the festive period there is also an ice rink outside of the museum (this is at an extra cost)

The museum is easily accessible via tube and is also within walking distance of the science museum and the V&A museum.

5 by Wednesday Lanchester Review source

I really don't understand how someone can rate this museum any stars under 5.
It is a great place, lots of animals to see, dinosaurs, sea life, amazing building, free entrance, what else would you want?
I really love the place, no negative apart from the restaurants which can be expensive for some.
But bring your own snack and you will be fine.
Highly recommended for both children and adults. My daughter loved it. Everyday she is saying she wants to go back to see the dinosaurs.
Make sure you allocate plenty of time as it is very big with many things to see. We spent 3 hours and didn't manage to see all of it.
We will return to finish and visit the science museum.
We have been on a working day so not so busy. Not sure about the weekends but might be busier than normal.

5 by Irina Scarlat Review source

Our five year old loved this place. But what’s better is we loved it, too! So much to see and do but not overwhelming. Perfect for a rainy day. Free admission with a suggested donation of £4-5 upon entry. The paid exhibits are fun, but not a must see unless one really catches your eye. The escalator ride into the planet core you see when you enter the museum off of the Exhibition Rd entrance is the best way in. The dinosaurs are awesome and a must see, but the earthquakes and volcanos are just as good. The T-Rex Grill in the museum is not great. They have pizza on the menu but they don’t serve pizza anymore. So you can get a salad, falafel wrap, burgers with fries or a chicken sandwich. Definitely skip it or eat before or after. The cafe as you enter is better if you must eat there.

5 by Craig Williams Review source

My favourite museum ever since I first came to London as a child.
The building itself is a work of art and many of the exhibits date back to the early days of exploration (and taxidermy), so some of the stuffed animals and birds are beginning to look a little moth eaten. Look out for the emperor penguin eggs collected by Edward Wilson (but brought back by Cherry-Garrard) from Captain Scott's Terra Nova expedition and tragic attempt to reach the South Pole. The geology sections with the various gemstones and minerals are not to be missed either.
There is usually a range of special activities available for children which are connected to specific areas of interest (dinosaurs and dung beetles are popular) and plenty of friendly staff to answer any questions.

5 by Sarah Alton Review source

If you love history and prehistoric animals and plants, sea life, human life, venomous creatures and everything in between, you're going to love the Natural History Museum in Kensington, London. It is breath taking. The dinosaurs are awesome, the whale in the middle of the museum is crazy and all the other bits and pieces are so interesting, you'll want to keep going back just to see the things you missed the first time. We went for an hour, and that wasn't long enough. You need at least half a day to look around properly. There is so much to see and read through, so much history. There are fun interactive things for the kids to do, and even the adults too. This is a fun, family day out and i'd recommend it to everyone visiting London.

5 by Micheala Gough Radonich Review source

Visited again today. entrance is free but they will check your bags for any sharp items or sprays. Mainly interesting for a family trip or with kids, it’s nicely decorated and in a way that it will attract children. Overall a beautiful museum which can be interesting for different age groups, there is a kitchen but it has over priced food, you can get much cheaper food around the museum area so its better to eat outside and then visit or thereafter. There is a Starbucks at the South Kensington station and other food branches, definitely visit with kids. The building is beautiful too. The entrance line was huge when I left, around 1-2pm is better or earlier in the morning. 10:00am to 17:50 is free of entrance charges.

4 by S Ahmad Review source

This is one of gems in London's museum crown, along with the V&A and the Science Museum (both conveniently located next door to this one).

The museum itself is housed in magnificent building with enormous halls, and several floors. The building and the collection is so big, that they created colour-coded routes to guide you according to your interest. There are various collections on flora and fauna including big beasts and dinosaurs (for the children).

The ground floor of the main museum contains the largest museum shop I saw in England with great souvenirs and a cafe. After a fantastic day spent entirely free on the premises, I felt compelled to buy stuff.

4 by Review source

This is a HUGE and very interesting place. You definitely need more than a day to see everything even if you don’t read the notes for each thing.
I definitely will go to see everybody else I couldn’t see and will enjoy it for sure as the first time!
Be aware the food there is horrible and exclusively overpriced. Take some sandwiches from home and never drink their homemade lemonade because there isn’t anything real inside it is absolutely face and I had a stomach ache afterwards.
Don’t go to the Venom exhibition!
There is nothing interesting on it which to worth these experience tickets for absolutely nothing! Better go to the zoo and spend it for something real!

4 by Mell Luxe Review source

I've visited here many times in the past but this was the first time to visit with my wife and our 3 young kids. Entry is free, although we donated ten pounds, but later regretted the donation. Unfortunately the museum was undergoing a major renovation and it seemed like much of it was still closed off. The souvenir shops were of course open and interesting, but my wife who had never visited the museum before was not impressed. I know that the museum is great when fully operational. We didn't stay all that long because of the closure of certain wings.
Not enough hours in the day, several visits required to do it justice.!! Very friendly and helpful staff

5 by AS Khan Review source

It’s been but a dream visiting the Natural History Museum in London for years. Therefore disregarding the minor setbacks I encountered, I choose to give this a 5 star rating. As expected, it proves itself the extensive museum it is known to be; carrying specimens from around the globe. An astonishing collection of materials from the natural world to set your curiosity ablaze.

That being said, apart from the cocoon that seems to be its latest addition. The museum’s headers and descriptors design seemed aged and worn. Regardless, unless you nitpick on such, your experience will not be ruined. But be warned of the crowd, especially if you visit in a busy day.

5 by Marvin Tang Review source

This museum is amazing! The building itself is an architectural marvel and very, very large. Worth a visit if only to view the many collections of humongous skeletons of blue whale and various dinosaurs. There are many exhibits and if you want to take a close look at them all it would easily take more than half a day. The museum looks to be currently expanding and there'll be even more exhibits added so you'll never run out of things to see. Great place to bring your kids too, however on certain days the museum likewise is overrun with schoolchildren in certain sections. Quiet sections would be The Vault displaying gems and minerals, the Darwin Centre, etc.

5 by Trip relaxation Review source

This museum is amazing! The building itself is an architectural marvel and very, very large. Worth a visit if only to view the many collections of humongous skeletons of blue whale and various dinosaurs. There are many exhibits and if you want to take a close look at them all it would easily take more than half a day. The museum looks to be currently expanding and there'll be even more exhibits added so you'll never run out of things to see. Great place to bring your kids too, however on certain days the museum likewise is overrun with schoolchildren in certain sections. Quiet sections would be The Vault displaying gems and minerals, the Darwin Centre, etc.

5 by Anne N Review source

In dire need of refurbishment. So many tired and shabby fixtures and out of date interactive features... it looks like a late 90’s / early 2000’s curation which is almost supported by a wall poster exclaiming “coming soon in 2009”. Also seems like the explanations next to each artefact are written by collectors who can’t create an interesting narrative to save their life. Could be engaging, could be awe inspiring, could be memorable. Isn’t any of these. But it’s free. Makes sense I suppose. It needs investment, a refurb and to work damn hard to catch up to the other great museums and galleries in London or it will soon become a relic of its very own.

1 by Review source

Easy to spend hours here and still not see everything. Usually very busy and we've never not had to queue to get in. Dino area is always popular so be prepared to be patient as it's so busy. Don't miss the escalator up through the earth and the brilliant section on earthquakes and volcanoes.
Cafe is good but not cheap so well worth taking snacks/drinks of your own, or even a whole picnic. There are areas you can eat your own food.
If you take a buggy you can leave it in the buggy store just off the main Hintze Hall so you don't have to push it round if you don't need to.

5 by Natasha Mead Review source

There's always a queue so come early before it's open - it's quieter in the morning too. Plenty of things to see and you can be in here for hours and hours. Lots of good toilet facilities and very baby and toddler friendly. Paid exhibition are also interesting. Kids in London are really lucky to have this museum always!

One star marked down as the restaurants and cafe in the museum is not yet providing kids with healthy and balanced meal. You get pizza option or cod goujons but doesn't come with vegetables (or peas at least?) otherwise all stars for the museum.

4 by Noelle Ng Review source

This place is amazing! There is so much to see. I really loved the Red Zone which is all about the earth and features exhibits about volcanoes, rocks and earthquakes. It was so interesting and laid out really well. There is an earthquake simulator here too that replicates the moving sensation of the 1996 earthquake in Kobe, Japan.

The other zones are also great. The dinosaur section is fun, especially the animatronic T-rex after seeing the exhibit.

I went on a Saturday morning, so naturally it was busy, but it's such a large space it was still comfortable.

5 by Sarah F Review source

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