WhatMuseums & Galleries
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, SW7
Open daily 10am–5.50pm
Last entry 5.30pm
Closed 24-26 December
Goodbye Dippy, hello Hope
The 25.2m blue whale skeleton that takes centre stage floating above the Hintze Hall is a symbolic choice. Blue whales were on the verge of extinction in the 1960s but having been declared a protected species their numbers are on the rise. This 19th century specimen bridges the gap between the ancient and today's natural world and is both magnificent and fragile.
The distinction between the old and the new is continued in the choice of ten star specimens from the collection displayed in the alcoves, or Wonder Bays, on either side of the great hall.
Those on the East side are extinct species - a mammoth, a dinosaur from the Isle of Wight, fossilised trees, a dramatic rock formation. Those on the West side are living species - a giraffe, coral, a beautiful insect display. And the whale holds them together, a story of life on earth and our responsibility towards the planet.
The new hall is complemented by a fab new temporary exhibition about whales. Click here for our verdict.
Open daily 10am–5.50pm
Last entry 5.30pm
Closed 24-26 December
Cromwell Road, SW7
+44 (0)20 7942 5000
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