If you’re spending a short-break in London at accommodation Piccadilly London, you must pay a visit to the Natural History Museum. It’s an experience so all-encompassing that, frankly, you could spend more than one day trying to take in all that the venue offers visitors; just as well then that entry’s totally free – and great news if you’re looking to watch the pennies on your short-break and, for instance, already making use of Premier Hotel membership like the Park Grand London Kensington Reward scheme. That said, there are some must-see things however long you expect to spend in the museum; yes, it’s most exciting exhibits…
Look around Hintze Hall
Once upon a time, Hintze Hall – or, essentially, the museum’s entrance hall – was dominated by a giant replica of a dinosaur (affectionately referred to as ‘Dippy the Diplodocus’). No longer, though, as Dippy’s gone out on a national tour and been replaced permanently by a dramatic yet magnificent 82-feet-long skeleton of a blue whale. And not just that, but it’s a real skeleton too – delicately suspended from the ceiling in a stance as if it appears to be diving through the air towards those entering the hall (and, thus, the museum itself). That said, there’s more too see in this particular hall, such as another full-sized skeleton – of an ancient American mastodon – and a pair of antlers measuring 3.5 metres that once belonged to an Irish elk.
Of course, one of the things for which the Natural History Museum’s most revered is its dinosaur section – and rightly so, it’s simply awesome. Why? Because it enables you to come face-to-face with the prehistoric likes of the allosaurus, iguanodon, parasaurolophus, stegosaurus and triceratops. And it’s far from all skeletons; some of the exhibits move and breathe and grunt and roar just as the real things would have done hundreds of millions of years ago!
Visit the Mammal House
This part of the venue’s all about variety. For, here you’ll come upon preserved still-lifes of wonderful whales and glorious dolphins, as well as the skeletal remains of the largest known marsupial ever to have walked the Earth, the jaw-dropping diprotodon. This is the place then for both your eyes and mind to be filled with wonder and awe.
Step into the Red Zone
Finally, this section is the one that might just blow your mind. For its here that you get transported on a journey back through millions upon millions of years in order to learn about, understand and appreciate how Planet Earth evolved. Highlights include a 3,500-million-year-old fossil (yes, really, it’s that old; possibly a relic of the earliest of all life), the footprint of a stegosaurus dinosaur, an enormous stalagmite and a breath-taking metallic recreation of the entire planet that you view while ascending an ‘earth escalator’. It’s revelatory, mind-boggling stuff.
All in all then, the Natural History Museum is one of those venues in which it’s incredibly easy to lose yourself for hours on end, which is ideal if you’re planning on staying relatively nearby – such as at one of the hotels near Piccadilly like the Piccadilly London West End. But arguably, if you can, you ought definitely to try and make time too for everything from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit to the butterfly section. Beguiling and stunning in equal measure.