The huge, handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. The Life Galleries are devoted to displays on animal life, from creepy crawlies, which have a great gallery of their own, to the plaster cast of a Diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall. The Earth Galleries (entrance on Exhibition Rd) explore the natural forces that shape our planet, the treasures we take from it, the effect we have on it and its place in the universe. The Darwin Centre is currently closed while construction of the second phase, due to be completed in 2008, is underway but behind-the-scenes tours and the museum's Darwin Centre Live events programme continue. The museum's wildlife garden attracts urban wildlife such as dragonflies, blackbirds and wrens and highlights inner-city wildlife conservation.
Natural History Museum