London is such a great city to visit as a family because there’s so much to do. Not only that but there is so much to do for free, including some amazing museums. One of those museums is the Natural History Museum, somewhere we visited during the Christmas holidays.
Getting to the Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum can be found on Cromwell Road/ Exhibition Road, South Kensington. Transport links are fantastic with South Kensington or Gloucester Road tube stations only 5-10 minutes walk away. There are also a couple of bus stops near the entrance or just around the corner so there are plenty of options available.
Bus routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1 stop outside South Kensington Underground Station.
Bus routes 9, 10, 52, 452 and 70 stop outside the Royal Albert Hall on Kensington Gore.
There is no parking available at the Natural History Museum but the nearest pay and display car parking is in Prince Consort Road and Queen’s Gate.
At the time of our visit, due to Covid restrictions you still had to book tickets online in order to visit the Natural History Museum. Tickets are booked for a certain time slot and you must arrive close to that time. Once you are in the museum you can stay for as long as you like.
You can find more information and book tickets on the Natural History Museum website.
Tickets were being checked on the day we visited the museum by security guards. You first had to have these checked at an entrance on Exhibition Road (near the Science Museum) and then walk along the paths that take you to the main steps of the Natural History Museum.
It’s important to note that there are only a certain number of tickets available each day and that means walk ins are not always possible. There was one quite irate woman trying to argue with the security guards while we were there who was very unhappy because they wouldn’t let her in without a ticket.
Make a plan
The Natural History Museum is set up into different coloured zones and split onto different floors. The map is a great way to see what there is to see and figure out a place to start. You can view this online before you visit and it’s a great idea to show the kids and talk about what they might be interested beforehand.
If you have all day and arrive at 10am when the museum opens you might be able to get around everything however, younger children probably won’t last this long. We visited for a couple of hours and made sure we saw the most interesting things for Erin; the dinosaurs and the creepy crawlies (with a quick visit to the minerals section).
If your children already love museums and love learning then they might be like Erin and ask question about EVERYTHING as they go around. Erin likes to look at every single board and find out what’s going on. This is something you should factor in when you plan your visit and it means you will get around a lot less.
Snack and toilet breaks
One of the great things about the Natural History Museum is that there are toilets dotted around all over the place. You won’t walk too far before coming across more which is a great thing when you’re with children. Although the museum was quite busy when we visited we never waited more than a couple of minutes and the toilets always seemed to be being cleaned as well.
When it comes to food and drinks there are a few different options at the Natural History Museum. There are 4 differences places to get food and drinks from, ranging from pizza and chips to sandwiches or coffees depending on where you choose. You are also welcome to take your own food which is what we did. To find somewhere quiet to sit we headed to the Darwin Center Cafe and went down the stairs where you will find some seats dotted along the big windows.
A good plan will really help you to make the most of your visit to the Natural History Museum, whether you have 2 hours or a whole day!
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