Is the Natural History Museum Part of the British Museum?

The Natural History Museum and the British Museum are two of the most popular museums in London. However, there is often confusion among tourists and locals alike about whether the Natural History Museum is part of the British Museum. In this article, we will explore this question in detail.

What is the British Museum?

The British Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. It was established in 1753 and has a vast collection of over eight million artifacts from various cultures around the globe. The museum’s collection includes items such as coins, sculptures, manuscripts, and paintings.

What is the Natural History Museum?

The Natural History Museum, on the other hand, is a museum that focuses on natural history and science. It was established in 1881 and has an impressive collection of over 80 million specimens ranging from plants to animals, fossils to minerals.

Are they part of each other?

Despite being located close to each other in London’s South Kensington area, these two museums are not part of each other. The British Museum operates independently of all other museums or institutions. On the other hand, The Natural History Museum operates independently as well but it does share some resources with other museums within its group.

The Consortium

The museum is part of a consortium called National Museums Group which also includes Science Museum Group and Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum. This group shares resources such as administrative staff or IT infrastructure but still operates independently.

Similarities between both Museums

Despite being separate institutions, both museums have similarities that can cause confusion for visitors who are not familiar with them. Both offer free admission with optional donations at entry points to help support their operating costs. They also have similar opening hours; 10 am to 5 pm daily except on certain holidays when they are closed.


In conclusion, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum are two separate institutions that are not part of each other. They operate independently but share some resources, including being part of the National Museums Group Consortium.

Although they have similarities, such as free admission and similar opening hours, they have distinct collections and themes. So if you’re planning to visit London and want to explore these museums, be sure to visit them separately to get the most out of your trip.