On the last Friday of every month (excluding December), the Natural History Museum keeps its doors open late, becoming a breathtaking evening venue. On Friday evening I visited the museum to view the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, and saw a place I remembered from childhood in a completely different light.
After Hours events at the Natural History Museum are a great place to meet up with friends and relax after work, and there are various bars serving food and drinks. There is also a live band performing at the top of a staircase, transforming the museum's atmosphere into that of a party. After all, there aren't many places in London where you can enjoy a glass of wine beside a genuine dinosaur skeleton.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind, and has been running from as far back as 1965. Now in its 49th year, and is co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.
Walking around the room, I saw some amazing images. Some of them were adorable (a tiny mouse curled around a plant), while others were more artistic, and it was clear from some that the photographers had gone to great lengths to capture.
The competition received entries from all over the world, and it was fascinating to read about the story behind each image, as well as where the photo was taken and the nationality of the photographer. The photos are seen by millions of people globally.
Despite the fact that entry was staggered to limit crowding, the exhibition hall was very busy, and sometimes it was a bit of a challenge to actually see the pictures!. Due to its popularity you will need to book your After Hours ticket in advance as they usually sell out.
I can remember visiting the Natural History Museum when I was little, and being fascinated by the huge dinosaur skeletons towering above me. Coming back as an adult was strange, but I was pleasantly surprised that the exhibit hadn't lost its appeal. For those who haven't been, this is what the museum is renowned for, and it will not disappoint. Try to walk like a dinosaur with the interactive feature, and check out the roaring dinosaur model as you leave. Not quite as scary as I remembered it somehow!
How to get there
The Natural History Museum is easy to find- if travelling by tube, your nearest station is South Kensington. For more details about getting there, please click here.
So why not do something a little different this weekend, and pay the Natural History Museum a visit?!