The best bit about following a variety of people on instagram is seeing their insta stories and being inspired by things to do out and about in London. I saw on one of my favourite florists stories that she and her hipster hubby had visited the Sensational Butterflies at The Natural History Museum. I suspected that this would be something possibly sold out but a quick google and I found that there hasn’t been much advertising and there are plenty of tickets. Even on the coveted weekend time slots! It doesn’t cost much to go and hang out with the butterflies either, £5.85 for individuals and there is a family ticket for £19.80.
A quick train and tube ride to the SW of London and it wasn’t too long before I was having a lovely time relaxing with the butterflies! Speaking with the head manager Luke Brown, he has sourced butterflies from mainly South America, Africa and Asia with some of the Asian butterflies delayed due to monsoons. They are on their way and there are potentially up to 35 species that you can see with 10 being quite dominant and sociable! Luke has been interested in butterflies since he was a small child and has been running the NHM butterfly house since 2008.
Once you have arrived for your set ticket time you can wander for as long as you want in the butterfly house. It is small and well designed, with a winding pathway through the tropical plants and heated to tropical summer temperatures. Make sure you wear layers as it feels like summer in the butterfly house, with high humidity and you will want to stay as long as possible. At first I couldn’t see any butterflies but as I stood and took in the plants I started to notice movement and focused in on the hundreds of butterflies in the house. A closer look at the leaves and you can find lots of caterpillars munching away as they grow before cocooning and evolving to winged creatures. To understand the lifecycle of the butterfly there is also a house that holds all the pupae cocoons and you can see them all in different stages of growth.
I imagine this will get busy on the weekends so try and visit during the week between 10am and 5pm. This is also a 6month project and the butterflies will start breeding filling the house even more. I have booked tickets for later in the year so that I can see the house in full butterfly mode!
If you are lucky a butterfly will land on you like it did on me! PF xo