Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens, London: Hours, Address, Horniman Museum and Gardens Reviews: 4.5/5

Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens
4.5
Natural History Museums • Art Museums
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
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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Tours and Tickets

The area
Address
Popular mentions

4.5
700 reviews
Excellent
352
Very good
251
Average
69
Poor
20
Terrible
8

JillianT391
Fundao, Portugal33 contributions
Lovely Place
Oct 2021 • Friends
We had a great visit here. The displays are interesting, the cafe was good and the gardens are lovely. The butterfly house was nice, not many butterflies out but fun anyway, the alpacas and other small animals were sweet, and the Sunday market was a bit of extra entertainment. A good day out!
Written 18 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brian T
London, UK4,542 contributions
Don't miss the gardens!
Aug 2021
This is a small but very popular museum in suburban Forest Hill. It seems to focus on the themes of the natural world and human cultures, spread across two main exhibition halls filled to the brim with showcases full of the likes of stuffed birds and animals, animal bones, musical instruments, and wonderful curiosities from various parts of the globe. You’ll see the huge old walrus that’s been there for decades, and the eyes of the stuffed primates seemingly following you around, and wonderful beadwork on tribal masks. Apparently there’s some 350,000 items for you to cast your eyes over.

Entrance is free, but you need to book a time slot online so that appropriate volumes of visitors can be maintained within the museum, as a Covid safety precaution. Unfortunately it was a bit of a free for all once inside the museum, with huge groups of adults blocking passageways, and children racing around unsupervised and unruly. As we’d been to the museum many times previously, we thus didn’t linger in the exhibition halls and focused this visit on the gardens. And what a riot of colour they were. The 16 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, set against the backdrop of the skyline of Central London, were a feat for the eyes and a beautiful kaleidoscope of summer colour. The Sunken Garden was a tranquil delight of yellows and oranges, and the Grasslands Garden was ablaze with spectacular flowering specimens native to the prairies of North America and the grasslands of South Africa. They were full of bees and butterflies, and a delight to wander and to just sit awhile. It’s a beautiful part of the museum complex that it’s often overlooked. Of course, expect seasonal variations, and understand that it may not be too colourful in winter.

The museum is not open on Wednesday. The gardens are open daily until 18:50. There’s a cafe at the museum, with seating in the fabulous Victorian conservatory. But take a picnic and enjoy it in the garden if weather permits.
Written 21 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen H
New Malden, UK2 contributions
I’ll be back
Sep 2021
What a fantastic little museum! I can’t believe I’ve never been before. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

I took my 10 year old son on a school inset day. I thought we’d spend no more than a couple of hours there and to be honest, I only booked the trip to avoid my son spending an entire day playing on tech.

But to my amazement, we spent five hours at the Horniman and the time just flew by! The aquarium was a particular hit - well worth the small additional entrance fee. We enjoyed the butterfly house and I practically had to tear my son out of World gallery! There’s loads of interactive elements that encourage you to engage with the information on offer. But what makes this museum so engaging is its eclectic nature. The themes are diverse and include natural history, black music in the UK, cultures of the world and the evolution of primates (to name a few). This diversity creates an environment where there really is something for everyone. It’s really very special.

All the staff we encountered were polite, professional and pleasant. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the girl in the butterfly house who was a mine of information.

There’s a lovely cafe serving a good range of food, but for those on a budget there’s plenty of tables for eating a picnic lunch, including a beautiful Victorian style glass house/conservatory next to the cafe for indoor eating. The gardens are beautiful and I’d love to explore them in more detail during our next visit. Sadly, we ran out of time on this visit.

I’d like to go back on a weekend, as I believe there are regular events that take place in the gardens. There’s also a market in the gardens on Sundays which would be right up my husband’s street.

If you haven’t been to the Horniman before, I’d recommend you give it a shot.
Written 13 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for this recommendation. It sounds as if your son had a wonderful experience in the Museum and we hope you all get to explore the Gardens on your next visit.
Written 21 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sandy
44 contributions
Great holiday
Jul 2021 • Friends
Seeing the beautiful butterflys flying around and landing on you. Watching them eating slice fruit watermelon orange and kiwi. Visited the small farm.
Written 24 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the review, we're glad you enjoyed the Butterfly House and Animal Walk.
Written 2 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Platvisit
9 contributions
Horniman museum
Aug 2021 • Family
A well organised museum that caters for all. The museum is situated at the entrance to the gardens. The main exhibition always has something on. They have the main museum, aquarium and exhibitions which run throughout the year. With Covid this led to online bookings in order to manage the flow of users. There is an animal walk and the butterfly house in the gardens. There is also a lovely cafe in which I must recommend the soup of the day. If you are on a budget then the gardens have more than enough seating areas if you carry a packed lunch.
Written 15 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the great review.
Written 16 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LeanneR102
Sidcup, UK172 contributions
Absolutely fantastic museum
Aug 2021 • Family
What an amazing place! Can’t believe we haven’t been here before. We had tickets for the aquarium at 10:30 and parked directly opposite the museum just before and had no issues finding a space. Lovely packed little aquarium with lots to see. The rest of the museum has so much to see and do, it really is amazing. Very easily accessible with the pram and no bits were out of bounds. We visited the animal walk through, which even though is much smaller than we expected, was very clean, lots of space for the animals and well set out. Lots of picnic benches or deck chairs out side to have a picnic. The music garden is also a wonderful addition, especially for young pre schoolers. We had a walk around the gardens and headed back inside for another mooch around. We actually spent longer here than when we went to the natural history museum. The whole place was very clean, sanitiser stations everywhere where (and actually full) and almost everyone adhering to the one way systems. The toilets were very clean and there was even a baby feeding room, all though very small.
We can’t wait to come back!
Written 9 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the review, Leanne and we are glad you enjoyed your visit.
Written 16 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

duncan t
Wakefield, UK75 contributions
Fantastic museum. Well worth a visit.
Aug 2021 • Family
What a fantastic museum. Some fascinating exhibits in both galleries, and sensitively curated to help explain the Victorians' intentions. What was lovely was seeing so many young children enjoying the place alongside older families, couples etc.
Written 6 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you, Dunk. It's fantastic, welcoming visitors back to the Museum.
Written 2 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Linda H
Yeovil, UK2,291 contributions
Amazing place. Can’t wait to return
Jul 2021 • Family
Loved our visit. Have been visiting London for over 60 years I as amazed I hadn’t heard of it. Our son took us there. It was informative, had interest for all ages. Staff were very helpful and even obligingly let us leave our coffee for safe keeping when we went into the aquarium section on our timed tickets. It had a nice girt shop at good prices.There was an event in the gardens so we may return to view those another day
Written 3 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are happy you enjoyed your visit and hope you do come back to visit the Gardens.
Written 4 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emily
London, UK86 contributions
Interesting & Informative Visit.
Jul 2021
Interesting & Informative Visit. Exhibits were interesting well documented with the higher level of detail available on the first floor. Only downside was lack of space to move / stand & read so would suggest going n a quieter day. Gardens provided a pleasant walk also. Recommend for an afternoon. Café had some Gluten free cake/snack option.
Written 29 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Landry G
Greater London, UK15 contributions
A place that you cannot miss
Aug 2020
This museum is impressive, I recommend coming with children since on this tour they learn a lot of new things!
Written 3 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks, Landry <3
Written 8 July 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Horniman Museum and Gardens

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

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