Natural History Museum
London, SW7 5BD
From its world-famous dinosaurs exhibition to displays of research work and a natural art collection, the museum has plenty to inspire visitors of all ages.
The museum's encyclopaedic permanent collections comprise some 70 million specimens. The oldest item, the Wold Cottage meteorite, is thought to be around 4.6 billion years old.
The museum has drawn together its most significant and valuable objects and put them in the upper mezzanine of the central hall. Overlooking 'dippy', the museum's replica diplodocus, the Treasures gallery comprises 22 star objects, including the skull of a Barbary lion, thought to have lived in the Tower of London around the year 1300; an archaeopteryx fossil, the most valuable fossil in the collection; Audubon's The Birds of America, the world's most expensive book; a dodo skeleton; fragments of moon rock; and a first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
Other areas of the museum give visitors a chance to explore the forces that shape our planet in detail, and to find out about how life forms react to their environment.
Don't miss the stunning architecture of the Cocoon space, which offers opportunities to gain an insight into the work done by the museum's scientists. If you have children with you, get hands-on and explore specimens in the Investigate Centre.
And no trip to the Natural History Museum would be complete without a visit to Hintze Hall, where a gigantic blue whale skeleton leads a cast of stars of the natural world, telling the dramatic story of evolution, diversity in the world today and our urgent role in the planet’s future.