Booth Museum of Natural History

Free

The Booth Museum of Natural History houses a collection of over 500,000 specimens collected over three centuries. Exhibits include hundreds of butterflies and birds, a whale and dinosaur bones.

The museum was opened in 1874 by Edward Thomas Booth who was an avid collector and naturalist with a keen interest in birds. Booth had a desire to collect multiple examples of every bird species found in Britain and the taxidermied birds were displayed in dioramas indicative of their natural habitat. The Booth Museum was the first to display taxidermy in this manner and this influenced how other museums would present taxidermied animal species.

In 1890 Booth donated the museum to the city on the condition that his collection of over 300 dioramas would not be altered.

Other items have since been added to the collection and the museum is now home to over half a million items.

A bird diorama at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton, East Sussex (Photo: Hzh [CC BY-SA 4.0])
A bird diorama at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton, East Sussex (Photo: Hzh [CC BY-SA 4.0])

What to see at the Booth Museum of Natural History

The Booth Museum of Natural History has one of Britain’s largest collections of taxidermied birds. These exhibits include Booth’s original collection of over 300 dioramas as well as newer additions to the collection.

The museum also features a large collection of skeletons including those of extinct animals including the woolly rhinoceros.

A large number of the specimens at the Booth Museum are that of insects and the museum’s collection includes over 650 types of butterflies on display.

Visiting the Booth Museum of Natural History

The museum is on Dyke Road around a 20-minute walk northwest of central Brighton. There is not much else in the immediate area, although Preston Manor is around a 15-minute walk from here. Bus routes 14, 14C and 27 run between the museum and the centre of Brighton.

The Booth Museum is open daily, except Thursdays and admission is free of charge.

The museum is fully wheelchair accessible.

There is a gift shop inside the museum, but not a cafe. Although, there is a small cafe across the road in Dyke Park.

Free Wi-Fi wireless internet access is available throughout the museum.

Most visitors spend between one and two hours in the museum.

Amenities
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Gift shop

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