Green Zone trail

Explore the galleries with the Museum map

Find out how to get around with the Museum map. There are four zones to discover.

Time: one to two hours
Audience: everyone

Are you big on visiting museums, but short on time? Then this tour of the Museum's Green Zone is for you. Designed by our knowledgeable visitor assistants, it will introduce you to Charles Darwin's specimens, the Museum's hidden treasures and Guy the gorilla.

Hintze Hall

Hintze Hall is the gateway to our collections and galleries. On the ground floor you'll find:

Walk up the stairs to our statue of Charles Darwin. To your right you will find a portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently discovered evolution by natural selection at the same time as Darwin. The pair formally announced their theory to the scientific community in a co-authored paper in 1858, and our artworks pay tribute to their scientific discovery.


Look to your right and you will see our ever-popular western lowland gorilla, Guy, standing watch over the Museum's Treasures gallery. You will also find an array of spectacular specimens, including:

  • Blaschka glass models of marine invertebrates
  • a first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species
  • an emperor penguin egg collected during Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic expedition


When leaving Treasures, take the stairs to the second floor and marvel at part of a giant sequoia tree, paintings on the ceiling of plant specimens and the view of Hintze Hall. To your right you will find our Minerals gallery, which has remained virtually untouched since the Museum opened in 1881, and contains:

  • a flawless blue topaz gemstone - the largest of its kind 
  • a 200-year-old iron meteorite that weighs more than 635 kilogrammes
  • The Vault, which contains the Tissint meteorite - the largest Martian meteorite in the Museum - and a piece of the Winchcombe meteorite

Creepy Crawlies

Go back down the stairs to Hintze Hall's ground floor level and follow the signs to our Creepy Crawlies gallery, where you can enjoy:

  • examples of insect communication methods, including scent and colour
  • a life-size model of a termite mound
  • a cabinet of crustacean curiosities

Fossil Marine Reptiles

Walk along Fossil Marine Reptiles and marvel at the many fossils on display, including:

  • specimens collected by Mary Anning and her brother Joseph in the early 1800s 
  • Ichthyosaurs
  • Plesiosaurs
  • a giant ground sloth


This popular gallery has many Museum favourites that you can discover for yourself, such as:

  • an Archaeopteryx fossil cast - the original can be found in the Treasures gallery
  • hummingbirds
  • cases of nesting birds dating from 1883, featuring blackbirds and storm petrels