It was at home in Down House that naturalist Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by natural selection, which is now a centrepiece of modern scientific thought. And the house remains almost as if Darwin and his family have just popped out, with the old study - complete with furniture, fittings, specimens, and notebooks – laid out just as it was when he penned his masterwork, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
It seems only right that the free interactive tour is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and Andrew Marr, and that visitors can walk freely through the gardens that were so important to the father of evolution. The greenhouses are even still stocked with the same plant specimens, including rare orchids and carnivorous plants, that he used for botanical experiments. Upstairs, on the first floor of the Georgian house, is the award-winning exhibition with his notebooks and explanations of the furore his ideas caused as it shook Victorian society to the core.
With your head heaving with ideas from the gentleman naturalist, make your way to Darwin’s old kitchen, now the cafe, and tuck into something grown in Down House’s very own kitchen garden.
|Weekdays||06:05 - 21:00|
|Saturday||06:05 - 21:00|
|Sunday||06:45 - 21:00|
|Staffing level||Full time|
|Travel card zone||Zone 6|
|Telephone types||Coins and cards|
|Bureau de Change||Unavailable|
|Tourist Information Office||Unavailable|
|Customer help points||Available|
|Weekdays||Open 24 hours|
|Saturday||Open 24 hours|
|Sunday||Open 24 hours|
|Carpark name||Station Car Park|
|Carpark operator||Meteor Parking Ltd|
|Car parking spaces||319|
|Cycle storage spaces||58|
|Sheltered cycle storage||Available|
|Cycle storage CCTV||Available|
|Cycle storage notes|
on either side of station
|Step-free access||Whole station|
|Step-free access notes|
Access to all platforms and interchange via lifts.
|Ramps for train access||Available|
|Accessible ticket machines||Available|
|Accessible Booking Office counter||Available|
|Accessible taxis notes|
Accessible taxis are not available