The Natural History Museum, London, houses over 70 million items of botany, zoology, minerology, entemology and palaeontology, often described as a 'Cathedral of Nature'. It contains rare specimens, such as those collected by Darwin and several Dinosaur skeletons. It's research is also world-renown, specialising in taxonomy and conservation.
It all started in 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and collector of natural curiosities, left his collection to the state. They were held in the British Museum, until, after more additions, they were given their own home in the Waterhouse Building, designed by Liverpool architect Alfred Waterhouse.
Since then, a Geological Museum, Darwin House (containing tens of millions of preserved specimens) and an Attenborough Studio (a high-tech audio-visual venue which also holds talks and lectures) have been added.Admission is free, although entrance to some exhibitions may require a fee.