Sunday, 3 November 2013

London Life: The Natural History Museum

Every now and then I take a trip to London; to see an exhibition, visit friends or just passing through on a longer journey. However, no matter how many times I go, I still get incredibly excited. London, it seems, is just one of those cities that will steal your heart away each and every time you step foot on its grey pavements and linger on the bridges over the Thames, watching the perpetual movement of both the water and the people.

Now, despite the title of this mini-series, I don't actually live in London: by my fondness for it and close proximity to the city mean that I regularly find myself in London. Recently I went to visit my boyfriend (who does actually live there) for six days. Staying in London for more than 24 hours really enables me to really get a sense of how it would be to live there – which is something I think about regularly as being a possible part of my future – if I get lucky one day! 

At this point, we were both keen to keep things as cheap as possible, so on the third day of my visit we went along to the Natural History Museum. This is somewhere I’d been longing to go back to for years;  I used to go regularly as a child, and it seemed like the perfect free activity for a drizzly autumn day. I’m a big fan of culture in cities; you’ll always find me going into art galleries, museums, theatres and bookshops. The Natural History Museum is in the Kensington area, which means that it’s not far from some really beautiful shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s also right next to the Victoria and Albert museum, though we didn’t really have time to go there on the same day!

The previous day had been extremely busy – I had an interview which was based a long train-ride away – so we didn’t get to the museum until lunchtime. By this time the sky had started to cloud over and it started to rain as we made our way inside. It really was perfect museum weather!

Once inside, we headed straight towards the dinosaur exhibit. I used to be fascinated with Dinosaurs when I was younger, and I’m not afraid to admit a part of me still is. So, understandably, our first stop was to see those 'Terrible Lizards'. I loved seeing all of the fossils and reminding myself of the names of the beasts I’d memorised as a little girl.

We also went into the Darwin Centre’s cocoon – I was dubious about this to begin with, as I wasn't sure what to expect; but we both loved it. It was an exhibition detailing research into bugs, beetles and plant life. With interactive displays, countless creepy-crawlies and even the chance to peer into a lab or two, it was a far cry from the old exhibits I remembered from years ago. We got to see the heart of the museum, and it highlighted the incredible research that goes on there every single day.

You can’t go to the Natural History Museum without seeing the scale model of the blue whale, and we trailed through corridors full of stuffed animals, testing our memory in the human body section. Unfortunately the earth gallery is closed until January, meaning we couldn’t experience earthquake simulations or travel up through the centre of the earth – but what better excuse to return in the new year?

Once we’d exhausted the museum, we wandered through the rain trying to decide what to do next. After a huge and delicious Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks (who knew this was a medium?!) we booked a last minute table at a small Tapas restaurant and headed out into the dark to find our destination for the rest of the evening. But I’ll leave it here; you can read my review of the restaurant in a later blog post! Nothing like a bit of a cliff-hanger, eh?

You can find all the information you need to plan your visit to the Natural History Museum on their website HERE.

Where do you like to go on a rainy autumn day in London?



  1. I've only ever managed a quick whistle stop visit to the Natural History and always longed to have spent more time there!

    1. It's a great way to spend a whole day - I hope you get to go there soon! x