Darwin's Britain

Many places in Britain have a connection with Darwin's life and work, from Shrewsbury where he grew up, to Plymouth where the Beagle set sail in 1831.

Find out about the places that inspired his scientific work and the monuments to his life that you can visit. 

  • Down House in Kent, where Darwin lived with his wife Emma © Derek Kendal, English Heritage
    Downe, Bromley, Kent

    Darwin moved to Down House with his growing family in September 1842, and lived here for 40 years until he died in 1882.

  • Darwin's rooms at Christ's College, Cambridge University © David Leff
    Cambridge

    Darwin studied theology at Cambridge University but also spent much time developing his passion for natural history.

  • The Mount, Shrewsbury, where Darwin was born © Jon King
    Shrewsbury, Shropshire

    Charles Darwin was born and raised in the family home in Shrewsbury and also attended school in the town.

  • A blue plaque on one of Darwin's London homes © Robert Siegel Md, PhD, Standford University
    London locations linked to Darwin

    Darwin lived in several locations in London and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

  • Old Burlington House, original site of the Linnean Society © David Leff
    London Societies linked to Darwin

    After his return from the Beagle voyage, Darwin developed contacts with many eminent scientists and scientific societies based in London.

  • University of Edinburgh © Edinburgh University
    Edinburgh

    Darwin spent two years studying medicine at Edinburgh University.

  • The landscape around Glen Roy, Scotland © David Leff
    Glen Roy, Scotland

    Darwin studied the unique geology of Glen Roy when he returned from the Beagle voyage.

  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History © Robert Siegel, MD, PhD, Standford University
    Oxford

    Oxford was the location of the infamous debate on evolution and religion in 1860.

  • Malvern Priory, where Darwin's eldest daughter was buried © David Leff
    Malvern, Worcestershire

    Darwin had several long stays at this spa town between 1849 and 1851, and again in 1863.

  • Maer Hall, near Stoke-on-Trent, the family home of Darwin's wife Emma © David Leff
    Maer Hall, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

    Maer Hall was the Wedgwood family home, located near to the Wedgwood factory.

  • The town of Ilkley in the Yorkshire Dales © David Leff
    Ilkley, nr Otley, Yorkshire

    Darwin was staying in Ilkley and taking water cure treatments when On the Origin of Species was published in November 1859.

  • Barmouth estuary, Wales © www.britainonview.com
    North and Mid Wales

    Darwin visited Wales many times during his lifetime for holidays and field trips.

  • Moor Park Lane, near Farnham
    Moor Park, nr Farnham, Surrey

    Moor Park was a water cure establishment that Darwin visited often between 1857 and 1859.

  • Plymouth harbour © www.britainonview.com
    Plymouth, Devon

    The Beagle set sail from Plymouth in 1831 with 22-year-old Darwin on board as the gentleman naturalist and companion to Captain FitzRoy.

  • Falmouth harbour © www.britainonview.com
    Falmouth, Cornwall

    After five years spent circumnavigating the globe the Beagle returned to Falmouth harbour on 2 October 1836.

Cartoon image of a snake disappearing through closing door

There are 27 km of specimen shelves in the Darwin Centre - the same distance as between the Museum and Junction 6 of the M1.