Orange Zone trail

Time: one to two hours
Audience: everyone

Are you big on visiting museums, but short on time? This tour is for you. Designed by our knowledgeable visitor assistants, it will introduce you to the Museum's spirit collection, the futuristic Cocoon and our Wildlife Garden.

The Attenborough Studio

Please note: the Attenborough Studio is closed due to the COVID-19 situation. Our free Nature Live events have moved online.

We start at the Attenborough Studio, which you can find by staying left after entering Hintze Hall and following our signs to the Darwin Centre. In this hi-tech space you will find scientist-led talks, specimen handling and other interesting events, including:

  • free Nature Live talks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday - find out what's on
  • shows for kids during school holidays

Zoology spirit building

You can find the Museum's spirit collection next to the Attenborough Studio. Named after the alcohol used to preserve its 22 million specimens, our spirit collection includes:

  • a common octopus
  • a lesser vampire bat
  • a giant toad


Please note: the Cocoon is closed due to the COVID-19 situation. 

Next up is our futuristic Cocoon, which houses millions of insect and plant specimens, as well as the Museum's many scientists, who you can see working in their laboratories. The top two floors of this building are open to the public, and as you work your way down to the fifth floor, you will discover:

  • butterflies, tarantulas and the goliath beetle
  • digital exhibits featuring Museum scientists
  • interactive displays, including the Inside Explorer Table
  • a specimen preparation area

Wildlife Garden

Having emerged from the Museum's Cocoon, make your way downstairs and step through the glass doors to the Darwin Centre Courtyard. From here, follow the signs to our Wildlife Garden where you can find:

  • a bee tree
  • greyface dartmoor sheep (they stay in the garden for between six and nine weeks from September to November)
  • pond life drop-in workshops

Explore the galleries with the Museum map

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