Natural History Museum

What you can seePlan your visit


Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area?

Find out more about local wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this much-loved, family-friendly museum. Get up close to nature as you learn about stag beetles – a Colchester success story – and discover the secrets of the drowned world underneath the North Sea. 

What You Can See

The Building

The museum is housed in the former All Saints Church. The nave and chancel are thought to be Norman, while the windows are typically gothic. The north aisle and tower were added more recently.

The Collections

The Natural History collections focus on Britain and north-east Essex in particular.

Did you know that there was an earthquake in Colchester in 1884? Or that mammoths and hippos used to roam this area?

Interactive Displays

We have a range of hands-on activities for families to explore, from microscopes and magnifying glasses to books and trails. You can even crawl through a badger sett!

Mini Museum Explorers

The museum is particularly popular with young children and families.

Our Early Years sessions have a different theme each month and unlock some of the stories behind the objects.

Plan Your Visit

We’ve been shortlisted by Hoop as one of Britain’s most popular family activity organisers!

Please vote for us in the 2019 awards. Don’t delay – voting closes 27th March.

Vote Now

Opening Times

Tuesday – Saturday
10.00am – 5.00pm

11.00am – 5.00pm




Every effort has been made to make the Natural History Museum a great place to visit for everybody.

If you have any access queries please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Facilities include:

  • The main entrance has level access with double glass doors which can be opened to allow access for wider wheelchairs or scooters.
  • The museum is all on one level apart from a slight slope at the entrance of the museum and a slight slope at the far end of the gallery.
  • Gift shop for mementos and gifts.
  • Accessible toilet with baby changing facilities.
  • Hands-on interactive and sensory experiences.
  • Guide and Helping dogs are welcome.
  • British Sign Language interpretation provided at selected events. Please see our events section for details.

Where will your adventure start?