Natural History Museum - London

natural history museum The Natural History Museum is home to 70 million specimens divided into five categories: Botany, Mineralogy, Palaeontology, Entomology and Zoology. That's rocks, plants, animals and dinosaurs to the rest of us. Visitors don't have to be scientists to enjoy a visit here as the gargantuan skeleton of a diplodocus welcomes all to a museum devoted to nature that is unparalleled in both setting and contents.

Original construction of the Natural History Museum was completed 1881, with the high Victorian style and terracotta-tiled fa├žade the joint work of architects Francis Fowke and Alfred Waterhouse. The Natural History Museum went on to incorporate the nearby Geological Museum in 1986. The Darwin Centre is a recent addition to the Museum and is mainly used for housing specimens including 'Archie' a preserved 8.62m long giant squid. The most well-known of all the Natural History Museum's exhibits is 'Dippy' the 105ft-long Diplodocus skeleton cast that was given by industrialist Andrew Carnegie and has resided in the Central Hall ever since. Another tourist favourite is the Large Mammal Hall, most notably home to a 10 ton, 25m blue whale skeleton and a model of the same mammal at 28.3m in length. Elsewhere in the Natural History Museum, the Earth Galleries take visitors on a geological voyage through the centre of a giant, rotating model of the Earth and into a series of interactive displays including an earthquake simulator.

The Natural History Museum is very close to two other top London tourist attractions - the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.