All Rain, No Pain – PART 1: Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton

HELLO. Sorry for the silence. I am still alive. I am just very (x 1000) busy. I’m freelance and work-wise, currently the sun is shining. So I’m just making a little hay right now.


But it feels like my working life is the only place this is happening. OK, now about this rain… IT SUCKS! Hands up who’s sick of it?

So because I am stacked, but because when I am with my children our lives seem to be constantly about ‘what can we do in this rain’, I’m putting together a quick couple of posts about er, what we can do in this rain.

I’m doing three places for a rainy day. With the caveat that they are all places where if the rain pauses in its relentless decent for even half an hour, there are instant outdoor spots to hit.


This is the first part. Two further posts will follow.



Drive: 15 minutes (though do get the train, it’s so easy)
Address: 194 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 5AA
Tel no.: 03000 290 900

It’s dark and creepy to some, inexorably beautiful to others. The Booth is tiny as museums go. It’s (insert expletive) brilliant.

But a word of warning: if stuffed animals wig you out, this is NOT the place for you. And I won’t lie to you, there are some grim ones. Like a seagull standing over a dead ram with blood trickling from its nose. (Look away now if you’d rather not see it).


Edward Booth opened it in 1874. It’s an homage to his wish to capture an example of every British bird in existence.

Boxes and boxes of birds and beasts
Image via Sarah Dyer,

The museum is floor-to-ceiling glass boxes full of stuffed animals and birds, with painted backgrounds behind them to make them look like they’re in situ. This was apparently a Victorian thing called ‘environmental diorama’. It’s so cool.


Down the centre of the museum, there’s a sort of old school kids interactive area. This may have changed, but last time I went there were no touch screens! Gasp! Just buttons to push and drawers to open!

Some of the 650 butterflies at Booth Museum

In this area there are also displays of around 650 butterflies that are totally stunning.


Towards the back of the museum is winding room of real animal skeletons. Everything from a horse to a narwhal to an orang-utan… I could go on, it is  incredible. The pictures I include are of a sloth and a walrus!

Sloth skeleton

Best thing? It’s free! And right opposite is the Dyke Road Park, which has a great playground with a fire engine, kind of castle-like adventure play area, swings, the lot. Along a bit is a café, and there is a cute area in front of that of shaped box hedges that younger kids love to run around.


Oh and on a couple of Fridays each month, there are sessions for 2- to 5-year-olds from 10.30am-12pm, with each themed differently. Check out the skedge here.

For opening times, address and so on, see here. Note that the museum is closed on Thursdays.


Thanks to Sarah Dyer, who let me use her picture of cherubic Stanley at Booth. If you’re interested in freebies and/or museums, you should head to the guest post she penned for me last year about her perfect day in Hove. There you can check out Stanley’s cheeks, too.

You could also see the post about Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. It has a big green outside for a leg stretch if the rain stops. And a duck pond. And a newish café in the village called Mister Magnolia’s that is the most child-friendly place I have been in a while. I’m doing a post about that soon too.

Disclosure: Neither The Booth Museum or Brighton and Hove City Councils offered me any financial compensation for this post. It is the first in a series of three sharing ideas for wet days and I just think it’s a great museum.

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I’m Kate, a copywriter, brand consultant and editor who creates messages that are clear and clean. I create these for brands and agencies both big and boutique, in areas including design, homes and interiors, travel, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, and kids and families. I believe clear, clean messages bolster brands and businesses. They evoke emotion and ignite inspiration, and when written well, they’re easier to absorb – and respond to. I live in Copenhagen and am half-English, half-Danish. I write as comfortably in American English as in British, and behind the scenes I'm also studying Danish. Need help getting your message out? Contact me.

5 thoughts on “All Rain, No Pain – PART 1: Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton

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