Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens

Natural History Museums • Art Museums
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10:00 - 17:30
Monday
10:00 - 17:30
Tuesday
10:00 - 17:30
Wednesday
10:00 - 17:30
Thursday
10:00 - 17:30
Friday
10:00 - 17:30
Saturday
10:00 - 17:30
Sunday
10:00 - 17:30
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About
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is an inspiring, surprising, family-friendly, free attraction in South London’s Forest Hill.The Museum has been open since Victorian times, when Frederick John Horniman first opened his house and extraordinary collection of objects to visitors. Since then, the collection has grown tenfold and includes internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history collection.Unusually for such an important museum, you can see the collection up-close and face-to-face. You can even pick up, try on and play with some objects.Visitors come time and again to explore this free museum, take part in our activities and enjoy the 16-acre gardens.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
716 reviews
Excellent
362
Very good
255
Average
71
Poor
19
Terrible
9

Karla T
Arkansas3 contributions
Oct 2022 • Couples
London is loaded with historical sites and museums. This is one not to miss. You can enjoy a walk through the gardens.
Written 23 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris M
241 contributions
Nov 2022 • Family
This is a great museum and gardens.

The gardens are easy to access and explore.

The museum is predominantly free and filled with the usual selection of Victorian taxidermy / 'tourist souvenirs ' that you'd expect. What was good was that they were often displayed side by side in a manner endeavouring to explain the difference in morphology between species which was excellent.

We paid extra to visit the aquarium which wasn't much and great little addition.
Written 20 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your review! We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit.
Written 22 November 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AussiesBallarat
Ballarat, Australia811 contributions
May 2022
As visitors from Australia, previously we had not visited this museum because we thought public-transport access would be difficult, but persevering this time proved our concerns unfounded - it was two easy bus rides from Clapham, where we were staying. The museum was founded in 1901 by Frederick John Horniman. Frederick had inherited his father's Horniman's Tea business, which by 1891 had become the world's biggest tea trading business. The proceeds from the business allowed Horniman to indulge his lifelong passion for collecting which, after travelling extensively, had some 30,000 items in his various collections. In 1911 an additional building to the west of the main building was donated by Frederick Horniman's son Emslie, and a new extension opened in 2002.

It has displays of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments, and is known for its large collection of taxidermied animals. In the grounds is an ornate glass and wrought iron conservatory relocated from the Horniman family home property, and perfect for its current wedding business. The Horniman now has a collection of 350,000 objects an aquarium and extensive gardens including a Butterfly House.

We were ready for lunch when we arrived just after 12.15, but the weather meant there were no tables available in the cafe indoor space, so we decided to visit the natural history gallery, which included a number of exhibits originally from Australia.

There now was space in the cafe; however, as the rain had stopped, we actually sat outdoors under a large umbrella. We then resumed visiting the galleries; we found the one about human hair to be creepy, and the one about musical instruments to be fascinating.

We did not spend a lot of time exploring the gardens, as the weather was threatening, but, being in an elevated position, there was a great distant view of the city. On a better day, however, time in the gardens would reward curiosity.

Since our visit the Horniman was awarded Museum of the Year - a worthy outcome.
Written 5 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi there, Thanks so much for your review. We are pleased to hear you had such an enjoyable visit.
Written 10 October 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JohnnyUK7
Christchurch, New Zealand143 contributions
Sep 2022 • Friends
This is a very interesting and well set out museum which is also set in beautiful gardens both of which are free to visit and wander around. The butterfly enclosure and aquarium are also definitely worth paying a little extra to visit. Very friendly reception staff too:-)
Written 16 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Johnny, Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to the Museum, Gardens and Butterfly House.
Written 26 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michele B
London, UK60 contributions
Aug 2022
Museum has amazing exhibits. Great for the little ones. The museum is free to enter, has several exhibitions that you have to pay to see. We chose the butterfly house, and were absolutely amazed. I could have stayed in there all day watching the many different butterflies, fluttering around the bushes and eating watermelon on special plates. The plants in there are amazing to! If you love butterflies go and see!
Written 15 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Michele, Thanks so much for a great review, we are pleased to hear how much you enjoyed your visit to the Museum and Butterfly house.
Written 26 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

malcsaville
Stroud, UK1,097 contributions
Aug 2022
We only knew about this museum after a travel section mention in the Times newspaper: It is quite a find, having several interesting galleries, in particular the musical instrument collection. The gardens are well presented and the whole site is F.O.C. (payment for the Aquarium and Butterfly house is required) .
Written 20 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for your review. We are pleased to hear you found us and hope you come back for another visit again soon!
Written 30 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hope16ra
1 contribution
Aug 2022 • Family
Gardens and museum are fine but don’t waste your money on the Butterfly House and Aquarium. Very disappointed in the shocking prices for what was on offer. The cost of both was disgraceful for what it was.
Written 16 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your visit. We always strive to provide value for money and are sorry to hear you were disappointed with your visit to the Butterfly House and Aquarium.
Written 10 September 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AishaGS
London, UK71 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
Beautiful grounds which have been done up to a lovely standard.
The conservatory is absolutely stunning & you can eat in there.

The museum was a life line when my children were younger - interactive exhibitions which taught them a real love of history & learning. The aquarium is a cute touch & there is just so much packed into this tiny jewel of a place.

Staff always friendly & facilities always clean. Street parking nearby but also near transport.

Love that the museum information includes revisions that reflect modern understandings of how colonisation saw/shaped the world - as a Londoner of colour, was extremely impressed to see history being taught in a true way.

In August, also hosts the Jerk cookout now which is fab - really fun day out with good food, music & nice family friendly atmosphere.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Aisha, Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit.
Written 19 August 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lucy B
3 contributions
Jul 2022 • Solo
I decided to go to the Horniman Museum as I've lived in London a while but have never been. It's not as big as some of the central museums, and to be honest I wasn't sure if it would be a little outdated or not.

I primarily wanted to see the natural world galleries, and these were quite large and I liked how information was grouped. However the gallery that is really worth seeing is the world gallery, on the basement level.

The world gallery has artefacts sorted by areas of the world, with short quotes and stories about how these are relevant to everyday life. I do like this, as it can sometimes be difficult to start to be able to put an item in context, as accompanying text can feel dry or too focussed (losing the bigger picture). However this was like being in a storybook, and was genuinely fascinating. It was also visually stunning, and not what I had expected. It's not huge, but worth a visit.
Written 12 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Lucy, Thank you so much for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit.
Written 22 July 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kombizz
usa5,434 contributions
May 2022
I liked the vast green area of this huge park with lots of sections for children playing or learning with a simple made museum for kids. It has a nice cafe' with good covered staff and good food.
Written 2 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Kombizz, We are glad to hear you had a good visit. Thanks for taking the time to write us a review!
Written 11 July 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Horniman Museum and Gardens | London | UPDATED November 2022 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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Horniman Museum and Gardens is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:30


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