On the 5th August I was lucky enough to go to my favourite place in the world; The Natural History Museum in London for the day that it finally re-opened to the public! Tickets are free you just have to book in advance and book a time slot as they’re trying their best to keep the museum on reduced numbers for social distancing reasons, the tickets are very easy to get and there's always plenty to go around!
This was a day I had been waiting months for, since we moved closer to London in March all I’ve wanted to do is go to the museum…and then we all had to stay indoors for 4 months, so this was a long time coming and it was even better that on the first day of re-opening the museum was very quiet.
If you’ve never been the museum it is easily accessible either by tube or bus from the major train stations around London and is very accessible once inside, it has grand staircases but also offers large lifts if you cannot use the stairs and it also has great picnic areas both inside and out for everyone to enjoy, I was very lucky to find out that it only takes 30 mins from my house to the door of the museum so I will definitely be making more regular trips!
The building itself could be spoken about all day, it is one of the most iconic buildings in London and even without the signposts I think you’d spot it from a mile off, something I’ve been irritating my family and boyfriend with at the moment is the fact that you can get married at the museum! Don’t get me wrong it’s very expensive but such a dream venue for me as the museum has been part of my life since I was about 9 so to have such a special day there would be a dream come true!…Anyway, as you walk in you’re greeted by Hope the ginormous Blue Whale skeleton swimming across the ceiling, the whale was placed in Hintze Hall (the main hall) in 2017 as a symbol of hope and the start of a journey to conserve precious marine life, an interesting fact about her is her bones have actually been found to date back to 1891!
So no matter how many times you visit the museum you will always be greeted by Hope as you walk through the doors.
On the day I was there the museum was doing an amazing job at keeping everybody safe, there was plenty of hand sanitising stations that were regularly filled up as well as cleaners going round the entire museum consistently cleaning handrails and seating areas. My favourite new addition to this post COVID world were their guidelines on social distancing.
I just wanted to give another shout out to the museum itself, if you’re a keen photographer I highly recommend you pay a visit here, the windows are beautiful and let in just the right amount of light to get some very atmospheric pictures at every angle, and if you go in at a quiet time like I did (around 3.30 PM) the pictures will look like you had the building all to yourself! If you head up to the very top archway, you can overlook Hintze Hall for some truly amazing snaps! I am by no means anywhere near a photographer but just look at this place!
I had such an amazing day and it felt so good to finally come back to the place I love so much. As I said before if you’re thinking of going then just do it! Take advantage that it’s pretty quiet right now, the tickets are free and very easy to book online it literally takes 5 minutes to order them, they also offer a little “welcome back pack” for £5 online, I bought one and it includes a branded Natural History museum cotton face mask, a map of the museum and it all comes in a cute re-useable bag!
It's future Harriet here with a quick little update. Today, we got to go back to the Natural History Museum, and obviously, we had the best time but I thought I'd share a couple of new bits with you all.
For starters, the ice rink that's been at the museum every Christmas since 2005 will no longer be coming back after it finishes in January, BUT it's because the museum has said they're going to create a "biologically diverse green space" on the 5 acres of land surrounding the museum, although I know some of us might be a bit sad that the ice rink is going...I never went on it because I was scared of it so I'm actually really looking forward to what this new green space will be like, and of course, I'll have to go back once it's all been planted and completed!
In other Christmas news, one of the museum's most popular residents has been given a very exciting new accessory. The animatronic T-Rex that lives in the museum now has an adorable Christmas jumper!! I assume it will stay on until the New Year but when I heard about this on their Instagram page I knew we had to make time to go and see it! The jumper is actually way better than it sounds, it's sewn together in blocks to fit the dinosaur and is made from recycled cotton and recycled plastic bottles to create a more sustainable outfit, and even better? You can buy the same jumper (in your size) at the gift shop!
This really had me and my partner in hysterics when we turned the corner and saw it, there were lots of children there who although they didn't seem that interested in the Christmas jumper they were still mesmerized by how lifelike this dinosaur is. If you've only got time to visit a little bit of the museum, the dinosaur zone is definitely a must-see...especially if you can get to see this one in his Christmas jumper!
And finally, I just wanted to show you the couple of bits I got from the gift shop this time. Around the museum they've upgraded their "penny machines", you know those machines where you put £1 in and it presses out a commemorative coin? Well now they have machines that charge £2 and you are given this incredible gold coin with a design on the front and a drawing of the museum building on the back! I'd never seen anything as nice as these so obviously we had a go and I think this is one of the most special things I've ever got from the museum.
Don't you just love that? If like me, you like little keepsakes like this or you're not looking to spend a small fortune in one or all of the many gift shops throughout the museum then I would highly suggest getting one of these coins, they're really well made, beautifully designed and quite special, at least to me anyway.
Then from the actual main gift shop, I treated myself to this beautiful carved marble elephant candle holder and this deliciously smelling cruelty-free lip balm! The elephant was £8 which I hope you'll agree is a good price for genuine marble, especially when it looks cute like this, and the lip balm was £5, I think that's about the price for a boutique lip balm like this but it smells amazing so I'll let you know if it's any good when I get round to using it.
I’m sure lots of you reading this have been before so none of this information is new to you but if you haven't been before or haven't been in a few years then PLEASE GO, the museum is beautiful and more than deserves every bit of support during these difficult times, it’s in a great location so once you’re done visiting you can go to the Science Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum next door and Harrods is just up the road too as well as loads of streets full of little cafe’s, bars and restaurants so there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained once you've visited the museum.
I hope I’ve inspired you to take a trip to London if you can!