The Natural History Museum – A practical guide


    London’s Natural History Museum is one of the most famous venues of its kind in the entire world. Thousands of people visit every day to experience the incredible dinosaur skeletons, which include all specimens of giant creatures that used to rule the world, long before humans turned up in recognisable form. Kids and adults alike love to try out the earthquake simulator, based on judders witnessed during an event in Kyoto more than ten years ago. And there is plenty of opportunity to go inside the Earth’s crust and witness what lies beneath our feet.

    In short, it’s a venue you won’t want to miss out on. If you’re lucky enough to be staying near Kensington, this wonderful place is right on your doorstep. But no matter what you’re doing during your stay in the capital, you’re certainly going to want some practical information for your visit to the Natural History Museum. Have a look below for everything you need.

    Tube station near Natural History Museum

    Getting to the Natural History Museum is not difficult. Located in London’s so-called Museum Quarter in Kensington, it is within easy reach for those using the capital’s Underground network. The nearest station is South Kensington. Once you get off, the Museum Quarter is clearly signposted and accessible via an underground tunnel that takes you straight to the centre of the action with a five-minute walk. South Kensington is on the Piccadilly, District and Circle lines. Other nearby options include Gloucester Road but since this station is served by exactly the same lines, there is little benefit from getting off here unless you want to avoid the museum crowds.

    If you’re planning to make a day of it in west London, it’s also possible to walk through the picturesque Kensington Gardens to the museum, past major London landmarks such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial. Get off at Lancaster Gate, Queensway or Marble Arch and take a stroll south past the Diana Memorial Playground until you’ve meandered past the Serpentine, and take a walk down Exhibition Road past the Imperial College.

    South Kensington Tube Station is also located within easy reach of a collection of great restaurants and cafés, meaning there is always somewhere close by for a bite to eat and a sit-down. There’s no need to head straight for the museum’s cafés – have a look nearby and see what London has to offer.

    Hotels near Natural History Museum

    Situated in the centre of South Kensington, one of the most stylish districts of London, you won’t be short of accommodation if you’re looking for somewhere to stay near the Natural History Museum. Boutique hotels are particularly popular thanks to the area’s reputation for being chic and trendy.

    Among them proudly stands the Park Grand London, which offers luxurious surroundings and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is absolutely perfect for families looking to experience the capital together. Famed for providing everything you could possibly need, including a restaurant and plenty of advice on the local area, the facilities are without comparison. What’s more, cosy rooms with beds that you won’t want to leave in the mornings help you feel all the better about going back to your hotel after the fun is over for the day. But it is the caring staff members who really put the finishing touches on a perfect stay – their calm, collected nature complemented with exemplary service is the icing on the cake.

    Parking spaces near the Natural History Museum

    Nobody drives in London – largely because there is too much traffic – so parking near the Natural History Museum is extremely limited. Nearby residential areas are usually reserved for those living here and there are severe limitations on parking spaces (usually daytime only and up to four hours). We haven’t even mention the prices, which are sky high, but since South Kensington has such excellent public transport, there are always alternatives ways to get to the museum.

    If you feel you simply have to drive into London, however, your best options for parking are provided by NCP, which allow you to book a space online at one of their facilities in West London. There is one on Royal Pavilion Road and another in Cadogan Place. Both are a mere five-minute walk from the Natural History Museum, are available 24 hours a day and have numerous safety certifications for peace of mind. A 24-hour contact centre is also an advantage. The prices start at £12 for an hour and go up to 24 hours at £48. Motorcycles get a better deal at just £5 per day.

    Cinema near Natural History Museum

    So you’ve taken photos of the dinosaurs, rocked around in the earthquake simulator, checked out the top submissions for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award and found out about all the interesting properties of a geode. What’s next? If the kids don’t want to go back to the hotel just yet, you could take them to see the latest blockbuster at Cine Lumiere in South Kensington at 17 Queensberry Place. Considered a shining beacon for fans of European and world cinema, its varied programme of films and authentic local cinema atmosphere is a fantastic combination.

    If you’re willing to take the half-hour walk across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park to Bayswater, you’ll also find The Lounge, which is situated in Whiteley’s Shopping Centre. Run by Odeon, the venue boasts a unique cinema experience that blows the usual cinema menu out of the water. Forget lukewarm nachos and half-melted cheese with salsa. This is a five-star approach to cinema that includes waiter service, great meals and a unique seating plan to allow uninterrupted viewing of the screen at all times.

    Finally, it’s also worth popping into the Science Museum IMAX just over the road from the Natural History Museum. The enormous IMAX screen – ten times larger than the average cinema – features digital surround sound and a programme of fascinating documentaries. Screened in sumptuous 3D, it’s a visual experience that you’ll never forget. Expect the majority of slots to be dedicated to nature films, space adventures, earthquakes and prehistoric creatures. However, there are some mainstream movie features too.