Access at South Kensington

We aim to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all our visitors and the widest possible access to our buildings, exhibitions and collections.

Follow @NHM_Visiting on Twitter for the most up-to-date entrance information during peak times.

Talk to us about access

All D/deaf and disabled people, and their accompanying family members and personal carers can jump the queues to enter the Museum. When you arrive, please approach a member of staff at an entrance for assistance.

For more information about accessing the Museum:

  • call us on +44 (0)20 7942 5000 
  • email us
  • Closed until further notice

  • Free entry

  • The Natural History Museum
    Cromwell Road
    London SW7 5BD

Security notice

Bags and other personal items will be inspected when you enter the Museum.

Please do not bring any sharp objects including knives and scissors to the Museum, as they may be confiscated.

Smoke free

Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products) is not permitted in the Museum or outdoor areas. 

Luggage, cloakroom, parking and photography

Parking

We have a small number of parking spaces on site for Blue Badge holders. Book in advance by calling +44 (0)20 7942 5000 and asking to speak to the Security Reception team. You can access these spaces via Queen’s Gate to the west of the Museum.

There are also 12 Blue Badge parking spaces on Exhibition Road, which are managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and cannot be booked in advance. You can park there for four hours between 8.30 - 18.30. More information on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's website.

Luggage and cloakroom

You can leave coats and luggage in our cloakrooms in Hintze Hall (just inside the Cromwell Road entrance) and at the Exhibition Road entrance.

Luggage is charged according to weight. 

Please note that large and wheeled suitcases that cannot be carried must be left in the cloakrooms and paid for at the appropriate cost. This is subject to availability of space, so it is recommended that visitors avoid bringing such items if possible.

Prices per item:

Umbrellas: £1
Coats: £2
Folded pushchairs: £2
Bags weighing up to 4kg: £2.50
Bags weighing more than 4kg: £5

Museum Members can use the cloakrooms free of charge. 

Photography

Photography for personal use is permitted in the Museum with hand-held cameras only. 

Find out more about our commercial filming and photography opportunities. 

Getting around the Museum

Wheelchairs

You can borrow wheelchairs for free from the cloakrooms just inside the Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road entrances.

Lifts

All floors in the Green and Red Zones, and the Darwin Centre, are accessible by lift. These are marked on the Museum map and floor plans. 

Lift update

Sometimes we need to close lifts for repairs. Current closures include:

  • Blue Zone - to the balcony in Mammals (blue whale model)

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Accessible toilets

Wheelchair-accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities are clearly marked on the Museum map and floor plans.

Assistance dogs

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

Visually impaired visitors

Large-print gallery guides

Tactile and Braille books and large-print gallery guides are also available at the entrance to many of the Museum's galleries.

If you need any other assistance during your visit to the Museum our staff will be happy to help you.

Guide dogs

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.

Please note that 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.

Deaf and hard of hearing

Audio descriptions

Induction loops are built in at our information desks and ticket desks, and at various points in the Darwin Centre and Images of Nature gallery.

British Sign Language events

The Museum will book British Sign Language interpreters on request, where reasonable, for free public programmes with two or more weeks' notice. To arrange an interpreter, please contact us.

Deaf-led tours

The Museum runs British Sign Language deaf-led tours around the fascinating Spirit Collection. Find out more about the tours here.

Upcoming events

Check back soon for upcoming events.

Neurodiversity

Dawnosaurs

Dawnosaurs runs four times a year for children with neurodiverse conditions including autism and other sensory processing difficulties. It allows them to enjoy the Museum with their families and siblings, free from the hustle and bustle of the general public.

The events include a wide-ranging programme of activities, including a chance to see, meet and even touch live animals. All activities are supported by experienced and autism-aware facilitators.

 

Dawnosaurs-specimen-volunteer-July2017-hti-top

Upcoming Dawnosaurs events

Dates: 12 July
Time: 8.00-10.00
Cost: free, advance booking required
Tickets are limited; first come, first served.

Dawnosaurs is a free event for children with neurodiverse conditions including autism and other sensory processing difficulties. It allows them to enjoy the Museum with their families and siblings, free from the hustle and bustle of the general public.

A Mobiloo will be available on 12 July.

Visiting the Museum at Tring?

Find access information for the Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire and all you need to know for a great day out.