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“Outdated and questionable displays” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
Book In Advance
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US$22.74*
and up
London Night Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #11 of 1,568 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A center of scientific excellence in the discovery of taxonomy and biodiversity, this world-famous museum promotes the discovery and enjoyment of the natural world through such exciting exhibits as the Life and Earth Galleries, wildlife garden and geological collections.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Outdated and questionable displays”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

My last visit to this museum dates 13 years back. I was impressed and told myself that I must return some day... me not being a museum person at all.

So today my first impression was that things have changed for the worst. I cut my visit short as I got bored after checking out three of the four zones. Starting with the Blue Zone, I first went to the dinosaurs which is the coolest part of the museum. I counted four animated dinosaurs including the T-Rex which were all a bit lame. The T-Rex seems to be the major attraction here as people pose for pictures, so be prepared to be shoved around. If you are interested in the history of palaeontology, there are plenty of displays to inform you about when the first fossils were discovered, how they are named etc. The Mammals section shows some stuffed animals from the museum's historical collection which by now have faded and worn out. I also checked out the blue whale but couldn't figure what the fuss is about. If you have ever seen a whale in nature, you'll be disappointed how unreal this model looks like.

Off to the Green Zone where I only visited the Creepy Crawlies. Nothing worth mentioning, only lots of information on display and a gigantic scorpion model. What a disappointment.

You reach the Orange Zone via the lift which takes you to the 7th floor of the cocoon shaped building. Again lots information to read if you're into it, interactive displays and videos running in the background which I found disturbing. I was expecting a huge collection of insects but only few on display of which of them in such bad light that you couldn't make them out properly.

In one of these zones I spotted a tank with a crab pierced on a stick (it looked real and dead, of course). Visitors are encouraged to pull it out of the water to see if it weighs more in or out of the water. What a disturbing display, if it was indeed a dead crab.

There is an overall children-friendly theme in the museum and I dare to say it's mostly aimed at them. Kids brochures about the museum can be purchased for £5 at the entrance. There are lots of benches in case your feet feel tired and you need to have a little rest. I found the architecture of the building is much more intriguing than the exhibitions. Be prepared to have your bags checked.

Visited June 2014
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Thank UrbanMoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
254 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“The best Natural History Museum!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

Hands down my favourite Natural History Museum! It's interesting and I assure everyone can find something interesting in the Museum. My personal favourite was the dinosaur part and a huge T-rex!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Aino R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Enjoyed it as much as an adult as I did as a child”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

Going to London and not visiting this museum would be unthinkable. The exhibit spans centuries worth of history, and is therefore a gigantic museum; you can be in there for hours on end. Interactive stations break up the reading and the museum is split into different themes allowing you to immerse yourself in a topic before moving on in time.
The museum is always pretty busy, so be prepared for some queuing.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank jroberts91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
571 reviews
440 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 650 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

We had an enjoyable visit here. Our dinosaur mad 5 year old daughter loved the fossils, and much preferred looking at the fossils and skeletons to the recreated robotic T-Rex. We found the dinosaur section to be so dark and cramped, especially compared to the airy spaciousness of the rest of the museum. It made looking at the exhibits a bit difficult, especially to see detail in the fossils, so we found it was a shame about the lighting and we weren't particularly impressed by the suspended walkway. We have had much better dinosaur hunting experiences at other natural history museums in Europe (Oxford, Brussels, Berlin and Paris). It was also quite hot in some parts of the museum (the dino shop and the dino room in particular). It was busy when we went but I imagine in the school holidays it can be so much worse.

We loved seeing the giant plesiosaur skeleton by the restaurant, very impressive! The architecture of the building never fails to impress. There is so much detail in the brickwork itself. I also couldn't believe how little the whale room has changed over the years! I really like that!

The restaurant is very good, and the food served very quickly. We didn't get a chance to look around the whole museum. I will have to return to visit the volcanoes and earthquakes section sometime.

Visited June 2014
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Thank gecko77
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Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
188 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“A Lot to See”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

We only had a couple of hours to spend here which is not really long enough to see very much. Even the design of the building is interesting and the museum has plenty of interesting and informative displays. Several visits would be required to appreciate this museum properly. Suitable also for older children.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank LsBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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