Colour & Vision at the Natural History Museum


The Natural History Museum is a perfect destination for visitors to London hoping to enjoy a fantastic day out learning about the wonders of nature.

One of the English capital’s most popular attractions, the museum is located in the bustling and vibrant borough of South Kensington and offers a wealth of wonderful sights to see and exciting exhibits to explore.

Natural History Museum

Colour & Vision – Through the Eyes of Nature

One such exhibition is Colour & Vision – Through the Eyes of Nature, which is currently open at the museum and will be running until early November.

Guests are treated to a vivid display of all the hues and shades of nature, with the exhibition making use of immersive art and digital imaging to provide an enlightening look at the many facets of colour perception, warning, disguise and distraction that are so integral to life on Earth.

It takes visitors on a journey of 565 million years through the history of the evolution of colour in the natural world and explores how the ability of animals to mimic their surroundings or warn off potential predators can make all the difference between life and death in nature.

Rated five stars by both the Guardian and Time Out magazine, the exhibition is described as “a mind-expanding peepshow of nature” and “if ever a show was made for Instagram, this is it”.

Highlights that visitors simply will not want to miss include the impressive specially-commissioned light installation from British artist Liz West entitled ‘Our Spectral Vision’, as well as being able to explore the world through the eyes of different creatures in a range of immersive attractions.

Bright feathers, metallic shells and iridescent butterflies are just some of the fantastic adaptations that have taken place down the years to create the vast array of colour in nature that can be seen today. From colour-changing chameleons to the techniques and technologies that are being used in the latest man-made camouflage materials, colour and our perception of it plays an integral part in how the world has evolved.

Indeed, visitors truly will have their eyes opened to the wonders of vision and colour in nature, with Dr Greg Edgecombe, vision evolution researcher at the museum, explaining: “Only six branches of the tree of life contain species with eyes that form images, but they include 96 per cent of all species. This highlights how eyes and a brain sophisticated enough to process an image – and see rays of light as colour – are a profound evolutionary advantage.”

Up to 350 species of rare birds, insects and other animals are on display for guests to enjoy, showcasing the vast breadth of adaptations that make use of colour in the animal kingdom, from some of the most beautiful and breathtaking birds of today through to fossils of some of the earliest organisms to have evolved eyes.

A real treat for the whole family, visitors will come away with a deeper understanding of the wonders of vision and colour, as well as a stronger appreciation for the wondrous world around them.

Travel to the Natural History Museum

Anyone keen to make their way to the Natural History Museum with the minimum of stress and fuss might like to consider travel via the extensive London Underground network, which connects many parts of the English capital.

Several stations are just a short walk from the museum and offer an easy way for travellers to traverse the often busy and jam-packed streets of London’s most popular areas, including:

    • South Kensington (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines)
    • Gloucester Road (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines)

Investing in an Oyster Card should be a priority for those wishing to travel either by bus or Tube at a reduced rate, with the area around the Natural History Museum also well-served by local bus services.

Full details of all public transport options for visitors to the area can be found by heading to the official website of Transport for London. This includes station opening times, service timetables and details of potential disruption to journeys through line closures.

Individuals hoping to take to the roads and drive during their time in the city can also make use of several nearby facilities for secure parking, including:

    • Union Car Park (0.2 miles, four minutes’ travel time on foot)
    • NCP Pavilion Road Car Park (0.8 miles, 17 minutes)
    • Indigo Hornton Street Car Park (one mile, 21 minutes)

However, motorists are reminded that traffic volumes in this busy part of central London can be dense, especially during the hectic morning and evening rush hours. It is therefore advisable for travellers to avoid planning journeys at these times, while pre-booking parking is also recommended, as spaces can be limited.