The Outside of the Museum
The Museum of Natural History is a large, old building with a tower in the middle of the roof. There is some building work going on inside the barriers on the Front Lawn.
The Main Museum Entrance
The main entrance is in the middle of the Museum and has big wooden doors. When the Museum is open, one of the doors will be open.
Inside the wooden doors is the porch. The porch has stone steps inside which lead up to a second set of wooden doors. The second set of wooden doors may be open or shut. The Museum is inside the second set of doors.
The Accessible Museum Entrance
The main entrance of the Museum can be difficult to get into if you use a wheelchair or walking aid. There is another entrance to the Museum which is accessible. To find the accessible entrance, walk towards the main doors of the Museum then turn right. Follow the red arrows to find the accessible entrance of the Museum.
As you follow the arrows to the accessible entrance, you will walk between the outside of the building and a tall barrier until you arrive at some arches.
Walk under the arches.
On the left is a wooden door which is the accessible entrance to the Museum. Use the button to open the wooden door and enter the Museum.
Once you are inside the accessible entrance, you will be on the Lower Ground Floor of the Museum. You will notice signs pointing you to the lift, which is nearby. You can take the lift to get to the Ground Floor and Upper Floor of the Museum.
If you enter the Museum through the Main Entrance you will arrive at the Ground Floor of the Museum. In front of you will be a wooden desk called the Welcome Desk. There is always a member of staff standing behind the desk. The member of staff will usually be wearing a blue fleece. They are there to say hello and help you during your visit.
On the right as you enter the Museum is the Enquiries Desk. If you have any questions or problems, please ask the person at the Enquiries Desk. Different people work there at different times of day, and sometimes there doesn't seem to be anyone there at all -- don't worry! Someone will be there soon.
You can pick up family trails from the Enquiries desk and use them to find objects in the Museum. There are also pencils for you to borrow.
On the left as you enter the Museum is a shop where you can buy gifts like books and toys.
Behind the Welcome Desk is a big jawbone from a whale. Behind the whale jawbone is the main part of the Museum, called the Main Court. It is a large open space with dinosaur skeletons, rows of cases, and a high glass roof.
Most of the objects in the Museum are not models, they are the real thing! There are lots of skeletons and skins from animals that died as well as minerals and fossils. Many objects are in glass cases, some are on open display.
In the Main Court, there is a table with objects that you can touch including furry animals and fossil skeletons. There are other objects in the Museum with signs saying that you can touch them. If there isn't a sign, please don't touch the object as it may break.
There is a small hut in the Main Court called the mineral tent. Inside it is small and dark and you can see colourful glowing rocks.
There are chairs in the Main Court of the Museum in between lots of the cases. Feel free to sit down if you need a rest.
There is a corridor that goes all the way around the Main Court of the Museum with more displays. It can sometimes be a bit dark and crowded but there are lots of interesting things to see.
At the back of the Museum of Natural History there is a doorway which is the entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum. This is a separate Museum with objects made and used by people all around the world. Visit the Pitt Rivers website to find out about the Museum and when it is open.
You can get to the First Floor of the Museum using the lift or by walking up the stairs. There are stairs at the front of the Museum on both sides -- you can see them from the Welcome Desk if you look left or right. If you need help finding the lift or stairs, just ask at the Welcome Desk.
The First Floor of the Museum has displays about shells, insects, and birds. From the First Floor of the Museum, you can look down to see the Main Court.
The First Floor of the Museum has a room with displays about insects called the Ellen Hope Gallery. It is at the front of the Museum, near the staircase that connects to the shop. If you use the lift to get to the First Floor of the Museum, it will drop you off in the Ellen Hope Gallery.
At the back of the Museum on the First Floor there is an exhibition with displays that change every few months.
There are cases containing live insects on the First Floor of the Museum.
The Museum cafe is on the First Floor of the Museum. You will see it as soon as you walk up the stairs. It has lots of tables and chairs and some high chairs. The cafe serves hot meals, snacks, and drinks. It may smell strongly of food. There is also a fridge which makes a constant buzzing sound.
Lower Ground Floor
There are two sets of toilets in the Museum. Both of these are on the Lower Ground Floor. There are male toilets, female toilets, accessible toilets, and baby changing tables.
If you walk down either staircase, there will be toilets on your left.
The toilets have hand driers which make a loud noise when you put your hands underneath.
You can leave the Museum through the big doors at the front of the building.
You can also leave the Museum through the accessible exit. Take the lift to the Lower Ground Floor and you will see signs pointing to the accessible exit.