According to information provided by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), the Natural History Museum became the most visited museum in the UK last year, achieving a 21% increase in attendance.
It achieved this despite being closed for five months in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these phenomenal numbers given the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic – including the closure of the museum for over five months,” said museum director Doug Gurr.
The museum’s popular temporary exhibitions have helped boost visitor numbers throughout the year, including the ‘Fantastic Beasts: Wonders of Nature’ showcase, which is inspired by the creatures imagined by JK Rowling in his series derivative “Harry Potter”.
The exhibition, which was developed in partnership with the BBC and Warner Bros., welcomed 128,000 visitors in 2021.
Its exhibition “Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and How to Fix It”, which engages visitors with the planetary emergency, has already been seen by 500,000 visitors since it opened in May 2021.
More than 75,000 visitors have seen the museum’s popular photography exhibition – “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” – since it opened on October 15, 2021.
Dippy the Dinosaur, a 26-metre (85.3ft) installation of a cast of Diplodocus, will also return to the museum in May after recently wrapping up a four-year tour of the UK.
The dinosaur cast was first exhibited at the London Museum in 1905 and was seen by over 2 million people during its nationwide tour.
“We have an exciting year ahead of us – we look forward to introducing a whole new generation to the country’s favorite dinosaur with the opening of ‘Dippy Returns’ in May and the start of the transformation of our gardens as part of the Urban project. Nature.” added the museum’s director of public programs, Alex Burch.
“As part of our drive to become a more inclusive museum, we continue to grow our community program and explore ways to engage underserved audiences,” he said.
The museum said it will continue to hold its popular events throughout the year, including “Silent Discos”, “Yoga at the Museum”, “Adventure Babies” and “Behind the Scenes Spirit Collection Tour”.