- Let your wild side out with the amazing exhibitions, both temporary and permanent at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
- Check out the collection of rare animal skeletons for some spooky fun.
- Blow your mind with the museum's collection of real preserved animal brains.
- Get a deeper insight into the research happening in the University with the free Lunch Hour Lectures.
Established in 1827 by Robert Edmund Grant, the Grant Zoological Museum is a secret gem in the heart of London. Robert Grant was the first professor of zoology in Britain and took a job at the University College London to teach. Shocked with the lack of teaching materials and specimens to conduct research with, he started his own collection of species to aid his students in their learning. Upon his death, he donated his entire assembly of species to the UCL museum. His collection is the foundation of the museum's now over 68,000 preserved species in the building, making it one of the oldest zoological archives in Britain. It is an incredible museum in London to visit with the kids for a fun, unique day out at no extra cost.
Feast your eyes on some of the world's most rare specimens, including the only quagga skeleton in the UK. A quagga is a zebra-like animal which is now extinct, but even the remains of this animal are incredibly rare, with only seven full skeletons remaining on the planet! Other impressive bone collections include the dodo remains, the large African rock python skeleton and a very cool skull of a Great Deer from the Ice Age. These things are fascinating to look at and will give you a greater understanding of the world of zoology.
It's not just about bones at the Grant Zoological Museum, the extensive collection of fluid-suspended species is something to seek out. From the crowded jar of moles to the creepy yet fascinating brain collection, there is so much to discover. Keep your eyes peeled for the amazing Negus Collection of Bisected Heads. Get right into the mind of a zoologist by inspecting the anatomy of animals like sloths, seals, pangolins, chimps and more.
Contrasting with the displays of giant skeletons and large suspended species, take in some microscopic mini-beast magic at the Micrarium. An old office in the building has been transformed into a backlit chamber that displays 20,000 microscope slides containing some of the tiniest animals in existence. As well as small creatures, this area of the museum shows close microscopic detail of other parts of animals such as the tooth of a platypus and the hair of a mammoth. It is so interesting to see the breakdown of what makes up these large and regal animals.
The Grant Museum of Zoology also holds temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanent collection on view. Notable shows include the Displays of Power, Art By Animals, Glass Delusions and more. There is always something fresh and exciting going on here, so be sure to schedule some time in one of these temporary displays during your visit to learn things you can't find anywhere else.
This university museum of zoology is a brilliant resource for those interested in biology or veterinary studies. Many students of UCL use this museum as a source of information for their research, so there is always something exciting happening. The Lunch Hour Lectures given by guest speakers or internal professors cover everything from new discoveries to basic biology that children and parents alike will find interesting.
What to know before you go
- There are new rules to follow in order to comply with the latest government guidelines. This includes wearing a mask and being mindful of social distancing.
- There are no food vendors within the premises of the museum; however, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants around the Bloomsbury area, including popular chains like Pret a Manger and Costa Coffee, for a quick grab-and-go snack.
- There are toilets, including wheelchair-accessible toilets, on the same floor as the gallery.
- The entire museum is step-free, making it a wheelchair and buggy friendly destination.
How to get there
- The Grant Museum of Zoology is located at the Rockefeller Building in London.
- The closest Underground stations are Euston Square (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria lines) and Goodge Street (Northern line), all just a few minutes' walk from the museum.
- Bus routes 18, 24, 29, 39, 134, 168 and 390 all have stops within around a five-minute walk of the museum.
- There is no designated car park on the premises of the museum; however, there are some pay-and-display areas nearby.