Since its founding in the mid-19th century, visiting the Natural History museum has offered visitors one of the largest, most diverse collections in the world. The dinosaur exhibits are world-renowned, but there are dozens of others equally deserving of a visit.

The building itself makes the trip worthwhile on your romantic vacation in London. Completed in 1880, the Italian Renaissance design sports an ornate terracotta facade with several stepped arches. It looks as much like a Gothic cathedral as a museum. Terracotta was popular, as it stood up well to Victorian soot. The exterior is festooned with hundreds of carvings that reflect the contents of the interior.

visiting-the-natural-history-museumInside, there are displays as old as 1750 and as new as today. The original collection was formed from a bequest of the estate of Dr. Sloane, physician to Queen Anne. Comprising books, dried plants and animal and human skeletons and much more, it was transferred from the original site, Montague House, which had served for more than 100 years. The collection, originally part of the British Museum, grew to require its own building.

Expanding in the 19th century, as explorers and naturalists brought back specimens from their travels, the museum grew to house the largest dinosaur collection anywhere. The long-ago erected giant Diplodocus skeleton is one of the more prominent symbols of the collection in Waterhouse Way.
Visiting the Natural History Museum

Today that collection has even become animated as several of the life-sized reptiles have been re-cast in animatronics. T-Rex shows his ferocious, teeth-lined jaw in motion while velociraptors battle oviraptors. Visitors can get a real sense of how the dinosaurs not only looked, but moved and sounded.

Out of the millions of specimens, some of the oldest are still the most spectacular. The mineral exhibit holds an array of quartzes, gemstones and rocks that dazzle the eye and the mind. The variety possible from a few simple elements will amaze kids and adults alike.

But the exhibits aren’t all as static as rocks. There is a floating squid (preserved from a live specimen netted in the Falkland Islands) that’s a full 8m (26 feet) long and still looking very lifelike. There are also scaled down erupting volcanoes and simulated earthquakes that give a good view of how dynamic the Earth is.

Visiting the Natural History museum can get you an inside look at people and animals too. There are skeletons galore, but also a Human Biology Gallery that allows viewers to walk through a birth-simulation chamber. And the remains of a 25m(82-foot) Blue whale is suspended overhead in one section.

The new Darwin Centre showcases 22 million samples – many that the famed naturalist gathered on his voyages. There’s a frog from Seychelles Islands and a Komodo dragon, among many others. Nearby are items from the Creepy Crawlies Gallery. Among the creepy is a giant scorpion that will frighten some people and amuse others.

Many of the exhibits allow hands-on interaction with the objects and discussions with the working scientists who study them. Take advantage of the opportunity to find out first hand about ongoing research and the latest discoveries.

The Natural History Museum is easy to reach on a romantic London getaway via the London Underground, i.e. ‘the tube’ or subway. Exit at South Kensington.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about Natural History Museum

A General Guide To The British Museum (natural History), London

Read More About Romantic London

  • Buckingham Palace
    Visiting Buckingham Palace on your next romantic London getaway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Buckingham Palace is still the official residence of Britain’s monarchy, as it has been since Queen Victoria’s designation in 1837.
  • Harrods
    No romantic London getaway would be complete without visiting Harrods. Much of London, for the tourist anyway, is historical. Ancient buildings and centuries old monuments. Palaces and works of art from the ages.
  • Kew Palace and Gardens
    Visiting Kew Palace and Gardens allows you to step inside and explore this intimate and beautiful royal retreat. Kew Palace, known at Dutch House until 1827, was built in 1631 for the Dutch merchant Samuel Fortrey.
  • Kensington Palace
    When visiting Kensington Palace it is important to keep in mind that it has been home to royalty from long before Queen Victoria’s birth there in 1819 to Princess Diana’s residence until her death to today.
  • Madame Tussauds
    Visiting Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is one of the very few attractions in London that is both centuries old and completely modern and a fun thing to do on a romantic London getaway.
  • Piccadilly Circus
    What you need to know about visiting Piccadilly Circus: At the junction of Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue lies a trapezoidal area near London’s West End known to the world as Piccadilly Circus.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
    If you are visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, you should know that it is in fact long gone – closed by Puritans in 1642 and taken down 2 years later.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
    Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral is steeped in history. For three hundred years St Paul’s Cathedral has served as one of the enduring symbols of London, a role it richly deserves.
  • British Museum
    Like most museums in London, visiting the British Museum is free of admission (though some events and special exhibitions have an admission charge).
  • London Eye
    Visiting the London Eye on your romantic vacation in London can serve a very good purpose since one of the best ways to see London is from the air.
  • London Zoo
    Visiting the London Zoo may not be on the top of your list since London has such a long history, filled with great churches, monuments, art and history museums that seeking nature here often isn’t what immediately comes to mind.
  • National Gallery
    Since its founding in the mid-19th century, visiting the Natural History museum has offered visitors one of the largest, most diverse collections in the world.
  • Natural History Museum
    Since its founding in the mid-19th century, visiting the Natural History museum has offered visitors one of the largest, most diverse collections in the world.
  • Royal Observatory
    To most visiting the Royal Observatory, the question “What time is it?” is mundane. But to the men and women whom, over the centuries since 1675, have worked at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich it is of huge importance.
  • Tower of London
    There is some history to know about when visiting the Tower of London. Few prisons can claim to be as popular as the Tower of London, an attraction – unpleasant for some – for over 900 years.
  • West End
    For the London traveler looking for variety, the West End is the place to be. Piccadilly Circus is next door, where antique book shops mix with the latest restaurants and Covent Garden is not far.
  • Trafalgar Square
    When visiting Trafalgar Square on a romantic London getaway, you will see that it is the center of England in more ways than one.
  • Westminster Abbey
    Visiting Westminster Abbey continues to attract visitors over 900 years after its founding as it is a church, burial ground, coronation site and much more.
Kyle and Jo