'A little further please Sir.' The Natural History Museum’s Conservator Cheryl Lynn ensuring the specimens are social distancing too

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Natural History Museum sites to reopen on Thursday 3 December 2020

It will be essential to book a free timed ticket in advance online at nhm.ac.uk when doors reopen in South Kensington from Thursday 3 December

  • Bookings for general admission open on Friday 27 November

  • The ever-popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will reopen on Thursday 3 December (available to book from Friday 27 November)

  • The much anticipated blockbuster exhibition Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature will open, as planned on Wednesday 9 December (available to book from next week)

The Natural History Museum is delighted to be able to, once again, offer a warm welcome to visitors, throwing open the doors to its world-famous building in South Kensington from Thursday 3 December. It will be return to its usual opening hours of 10-5.50pm, seven days a week.

As before, measures will be in place to ensure staff and visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience. To help manage the number of people in the Museum at any one time, capacity will be significantly reduced. It will be essential to book a free timed ticket in advance online at nhm.ac.uk. Museum Members and Patrons will benefit from fast-track entry upon booking.

The vast majority of the Museum’s galleries will be open alongside its five-acre gardens. Food and drink will be available to purchase either as takeaways or to enjoy at socially distanced seating. Transactions will be contactless where possible, but cash will be accepted.

The Museum’s perennially popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will also reopen on Thursday 3 December. Tickets for this captivating exhibition will be made available to book online from Friday 27 December. 

The major new exhibition, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, the result of a creative partnership between the Museum, the BBC and Warner Bros will open, as planned, on Wednesday 9 December. Tickets for this spellbinding celebration of nature will be available to book from Wednesday 2 December. Priority booking will be available to those who originally booked tickets and had them refunded when the exhibition was postponed, as well as our Members, Patrons and mailing list, Wizarding World Gold members and Harry Potter fan club members. Visit our website for full details. 

Both the Museum’s main entrance on Cromwell Road and its Exhibition Road entrances will be open.

The Natural History Museum at Tring

The Museum at Tring will also re-open on Thursday 3 December and will be welcoming visitors six days a week (closed on Mondays). Free admission tickets will need to be booked in advance online. With numbers strictly capped to a very low capacity, visitors will be able to freely explore the Museum as they choose or follow the self-guided tours and activity trails. All galleries will be open and visitors will have the opportunity to visit the intriguing Animal Mummies: What’s Inside exhibition.  

The Museum at Tring will have all the same safety measures in place as South Kensington. Visitors will be directed to enter the Museum via the main public entrance on Akeman Street.

The Digital Museum

For those unable to visit the Museum buildings just yet, you can still explore the Museum from home through our virtual tours, interactive experiences, online talks, news, features, videos, quizzes, games and activities about the natural world.

Highlights include: an interactive experience about Hope the blue whale; 
Discover our online magazine of digital content about the natural world, featuring topical content with our scientists and cutting-edge research; audio guides narrated by Sir David Attenborough and activity ideas to try at home or in local outdoor spaces; and Lates events online


Notes for editors

Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654/ (0)779 969 0151 Email: press@nhm.ac.uk

About the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.