The Natural History Museum Was The Most-Visited London Attraction In 2022

Not to get all RossfromtheTVShowFriends on you all, but it’s really hard not to be fascinated by dinosaurs.

And it seems that isn’t exactly a hot take. After the numbers were crunched, it’s been found that the Natural History Museum was, in fact, the most visited London attraction in 2022.

A picture of the blue whale in the Natural History Museum, one of the best history museums in London
Photo: @pixabay

Data found that a trip to see the giant blue whale and the terrifying T-Rex topped the cultural hotspots that we all flocked to last year, as we all made the most of a couple of quieter years prior to this, due to the pandemic.

In fact, visitor numbers in 2022 across London attractions were up 152% on the previous year. Visitors to the fossil-filled palace were up an eye-watering 196%, with 4.65 million treading through their doors. London also took home the lion’s share of most-visited destinations; with nine of the top 10 in the UK situated in the Big Smoke.

the british museum at night
Credit: The British Museum

Artefacts of the Ancient World were also heavily-enjoyed over at the British Museum, with over 4.1 million people flocking in to view the Egyptian Mummies and Greek sculptures. Visitor numbers here were up 209% compared to 2021.

The Natural History Museum also saw off stiff competition from the Tate Modern, which welcomed 3.88 million to view its enviable collection of art, and the Southbank Centre’s 2.95 million visitors was close behind.

The exterior of the famous Tate Modern on Bankside in London
Photo: @shutterstock

Crunching the numbers here was the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), who found that, across their 2,000 sites studied in the UK, visitor numbers went up by 69%. It should be said, however, that numbers still slightly lag behind 2019 figures before the pandemic, with a 23% decrease in visitors to ALVA sites.

Speaking about the study, Director of ALVA Bernard Donoghue said: “These figures show that visitors flocked back to their favourite places in 2022 to breathe, heal, repair and to enjoy special moments with special people in special places.”

Despite boasting nine of the 10 most-visited attractions in the UK, London did not quite manage to nab the top spot crown. Quite fittingly, that headpiece was claimed by The Crown Estate in Windsor which attracted 5.63 million visitors last year. I’ll doff my slightly less majestic cap to that royal victory.

Read the numbers collated by ALVA here.

Top 10 most-visited tourist attractions in the UK in 2022

1. The Crown Estate, Windsor (5.63 million visitors)
2. Natural History Museum (4.65 million)
3. The British Museum (4.1 million)
4. Tate Modern (3.88 million)
5. Southbank Centre (2.95 million)
6. The National Gallery (2.73 million)
7. V&A (2.37 million)
8. Somerset House (2.35 million)
9. Science Museum (2.33 million)
10. Tower Of London (2.02 million).