Behind the Scenes Tour: Spirit Collection

A photo of specimens preserved in jars

Get up close

A 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum's unique spirit collection.

Daily tours are currently available until the end of July.

Adult: £25, Child: £25, Member: £20

Go behind the scenes with our knowledgeable science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit.

As we explore some of the Darwin Centre's 27 kilometres of shelves, you'll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.

You'll meet Archie, our 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself and learn more about our cutting-edge research.

Find out about the security measures we have in place.

  • Important information

    The tour is suitable for adults and children aged eight and over. This age limit is in place because the tour content, specimens covered and chemical smells in the tank room are not suitable for younger children. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

    Due to the chemical smells in the tank room, the tours may also not be suitable for pregnant visitors.

    Bags are not allowed on the tour, but free use of the cloakroom is included in your ticket.

    We welcome guide dogs at the Museum. There are grass areas for them outside and water is available on request. You can leave your guide dog with the attendants at either of our cloakrooms if you wish.

    Guide dogs are not allowed on our Spirit Collection Tours. If you need help with access talk to staff at the information desks or call us on +44 (0)207 942 5000.

    If you'll be using a wheelchair on this tour, please let us know in advance so can we make appropriate arrangements.

    Due to the behind-the-scenes nature of the tour there will be some spaces which will require you to be in close proximity to other visitors and the guide for short time periods.

    Please arrive at the Turbinaria coral bay in Hintze Hall a few minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin.

    For private tour requests email us at

    Got a question? Call us on +44 (0)20 7942 5000, Monday to Friday, 9.00-17.00 or email us.

Meeting point

Spirit collection tours meet by the Turbinaria coral bay in Hintze Hall.