The newly opened BBC Earth Experience at Earl’s Court is quickly becoming one of London’s most popular attractions for all ages, but this is one exhibition that is particularly fascinating for children with sensational cinematography that takes them on an immersive journey all around the world, without a passport or packing in sight.
Citizen Enfant’s experience of the month shares why this is perfect for young adventurers, teaching them why it’s so vital that we protect our planet.
What is the BBC Earth Experience?
The BBC Earth Experience is an audio-visual, virtual journey through the natural world, highlighting the extraordinary diversity of the seven continents. With narration from Sir David Attenborough, the experience showcases awe-inspiring footage on an epic scale across multiple multi-angle digital screens.
As you walk up to the low-carbon Daikin Centre (which minimises waste and conserves water), the main room literally takes you around the world in seven continents; fin the middle of the Earl’s Court Development, the scale of the building hints at the size of the screens inside. And as expected, the enormous digital screens display moving imagery from the natural world as exciting as it is immersive. Step into a world of rapids, tropical rainforests, tornados and more; taking you to the centre of the eye of the storm as the cameras traverse the seven continents and dive into what makes them so geographically unique.
There is one main room with all the screens with 360-degree audio and visual experiences that you can walk around, with different places and animals from many angles, as Sir Attenborough narrates the whole experience. Take a moment to sit in the middle of the room and take it all in. Plus make sure you discover the breakout rooms, dedicated to Micro life and Water life. From predicts to primates, expect to see animals from all over the globe. The screens are not in sync, showing different camera angles of the same creature, so every time you turn your head there’s something new; you can see more of any given creature simply by wandering the vast space, which also incorporates a couple of nifty raised viewing platforms.
In one gallery you can stand over a screen, with the illusion of flying over mountains, forests and lakes, while in others you’ll experience panoramic views of juggles and savannahs, giving you a real sense of their scale. The whole experience takes approximately an hour, but it is up to you and the children enjoying the exhibit how long you want to indulge in the experience.
Who is the experience for?
Everyone can enjoy this, although children under two may struggle to sit still long enough to really take in the amazing footage on the large screens. Having said that, there is plenty of space to run around and enjoy the vastness of the visuals. Those aged between two and five will love all the colours and the images. Rest assured, older children will be mesmerised, able to grasp the enormity of what they are seeing. There is an overriding message that we must take care of our planet and while that might be lost on very little kids, it’s something older ones will understand and appreciate.
The beautiful footage of the natural world is vastly impressive, likely places most people will never see for themselves and certainly not that close up. The breakout room Micro Life is all about creepy crawlies which are all too realistic and maybe not for those with a fear of bugs; and Water Life is particularly special with beautiful shots of underwater creatures, from giant whales to shoals of stunning fish. These are a great way of drawing younger children’s focus when there is so much going on around them.
What To Wear
Comfortable, casual clothes are ideal. Prams are to be left outside in the foyer and not food is allowed inside. Outside the Daikin Centre is a handy assortment of food trucks including coffee so it’s the perfect place to stop for a snack before you head in or afterwards.
Where is it?
BBC Earth Experience, The Daikin Centre, Earl’s Court, Empress Place, London, SW6 1TT