North and Mid Wales

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

Welsh holidays

During his childhood and student days, Darwin spent several family holidays in North Wales, staying, on different occasions, near Abergele, Tywyn, Pistyll Rhayader, Barmouth and Mount Snowdon. He enjoyed riding and beetle collecting.

After graduating from Cambridge, in 1831, he was Adam Sedgwick’s assistant on a field trip to North Wales surveying red sandstone in Llangollen, Ruthin, Conwy, Bangor and Capel Curig. He returned in 1842 to study the geology at Capel Curig, Bangor and Caernarfon. Darwin’s last visit to Wales was for a family holiday in 1869 to Caerdeon and Barmouth.

Cartoon image of a hatchet fish on a museum pass

In World War II the Museum was used as a secret base to develop new gadgets for allied spies, including an exploding rat!