Booth Museum of Natural History

A brick wall with a red sign in the centre and two red doors either side. The one on the left is open.
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Over half a million specimens, natural history literature and data extending back over three centuries are housed in this fascinating museum, including hundreds of British birds displayed in recreated natural settings. Plus butterflies, skeletons, a whale and dinosaur bones. Children and families can explore the Museum's collections through a variety of interactive displays in a new 'hands on' gallery. The Museum also organises an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions and events for adults, children and schools.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon-Wed Fri Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 14.00-17.00

Closed: Thurs

Admission charges

Free admission

The entire collection of the Booth Museum of Natural History is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The collections in the Booth Museum of Natural History were the first in Brighton to be Designated. Containing over 700,000 items, these collections are strong in world-wide and British insects, vertebrates (especially birds), UK plants and fossils.

Collection details

Natural Sciences, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Stories on the Wing: British Birds in Literature

  • 19 May — 21 September 2017 *on now

This special display explores the relationship between British birds and storytelling through the ages. Combining books and specimens, it shows how ornithologists have turned their observations of birds into stories and how birds have sparked our imaginations over time through myths, folk tales and creative writing.

The display includes specimens of well-known British birds and explains how they have been used in literature, mythology and culture. Examples include the robin, whose red breast was imagined as a stain from the blood of Christ, seagulls, which turn into terrifying killing machines in Daphne Du Maurier’s story ‘The Birds’ (the basis for Hitchcock’s film of the same name), the magpie, often depicted in literature as a thief, and the blackbird, which has frequently been seen as a symbol of evil or even the Devil in disguise.

Texts on display will include Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Randolph Caldecott’s Babes in the Wood.

The display forms part of an AHRC-funded project involving collaborators from the Universities of Sussex, Leeds and St Andrews, that investigates the history of British nature writing. It will ultimately be accompanied by a book tracing how writers have depicted the natural world, from Gilbert White in the eighteenth century to modern authors like Helen Macdonald in her recent prize-winning book H is for Hawk.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Booth Museum of Natural History
194 Dyke Road
Brighton & Hove
East Sussex




03000 290900

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.