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Horniman Museum and Gardens

#154 of 1,596 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 100 London Road | Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 8699 1872
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Fee: No
Description:

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is an inspiring, surprising,...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 452 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 199
    Excellent
  • 177
    Very good
  • 44
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Enjoyable

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum and gardens - absolutely beautiful on a sunny day. The only problem is that some of the exhibits in the aquarium were closed due to... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Brian L
,
County Dublin, Ireland
via mobile
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452 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 432: English reviews
County Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum and gardens - absolutely beautiful on a sunny day. The only problem is that some of the exhibits in the aquarium were closed due to maintenance... Although I have no problem with such a thing, it would have been good to been made aware of this by reception before purchasing a ticket...... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brian L
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Hornimans is one of my favourite places in London. The museum is an eclectic mix of modern & Victorian curiosities. The interactive music room is great. Younger children will love the chance to play some instruments too. More child friendly things to do in the gardens also, as well as the animals. One of the best views in London! Can't... More 

Helpful?
Thank AEaton73
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thank you for your kind review. We are pleased you enjoy visiting the Museum and Gardens. More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I have visited this wonderful museum several times with friends and on my own and have always enjoyed the experience. The centre piece for me is the Natural History gallery stuffed with taxidermy including a Dodo. I love the space and the way the glass cabinets upstairs have the taxonomy of family and sub family shown over each main display.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Nigel G
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thank you for your review Nigel, we are so pleased you enjoy visiting the Horniman. We enjoyed seeing all the sketches from the Urban Sketchcrawl. We hope to see you again soon. More 

Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2017

I've only given it 3 out of 5 because they have closed two rooms for a long period of regeneration. Prior to the closures, it was 4 out of 5 (minus a star for the aquarium which seems to have too small tanks for its sea animals). The now closed rooms gave my child many rewarding visits and encouraged him... More 

Helpful?
Thank Octoberkid
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. We are so pleased you enjoy visiting the Museum and Gardens. We would like to reassure you that the animals in our Aquarium are carefully looked after by our expert team of Aquarium curators. You can see more of their good work at Horniman.ac.uk/aquarium. We are looking forward to opening our new World Gallery next... More 

Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,027 reviews
605 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 262 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2017 via mobile

If there were half spots I'd give 3 and half / good. I'd read about this museum on a list of 101 things to do in London so I persuaded my friends to visit with me. It's a good little museum with a nice history which is free to enter and see the main exhibits, you need to pay to... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank cazbatt
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2017

We loved the quirky feel of the eclectic collection. It was set up in a really fun way as well - great for little kids. We downloaded the trails before we went, and followed them at the museum. My son's favourite part was a music class that dealt with instruments arounds the world.

Helpful?
Thank Nmkhan1
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thanks for the lovely review Nmkhan1. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit and that your son liked our Music Gallery. We hope you can come back for another visit soon. More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2017 via mobile

I visited the museum knowing that some of the galleries were out of action for the long term. Entry is free to the main areas with a charge for two specialist galleries. The older galleries were very traditional with lots of stuffed animals and displays of bones and fossils. The main Natural History gallery had a lot of school parties.... More 

Helpful?
Thank TrinityDave
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thank you for the review of your visit TrinityDave. We are sorry you were disappointed by your trip to the Aquarium. Our British Coastal display tanks are closed for essential maintenance and the animals that live there are being cared for elsewhere. We are working to reopen this display as soon as possible. We are also sorry that you found... More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
142 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2017

My first visit to this excellent small museum in South London. This museum was started by the owner of the Horniman's Tea Company who had a passion for collecting. At present there are just two free galleries, one devoted to a superb collection of musical instruments, and the other two natural history and taxidermy. There is also an aquarium which... More 

Helpful?
Thank Philip M
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thanks for your review Philip. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit to the Horniman and hope you will visit us again soon. Best, Polly More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
175 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2017 via mobile

We visited the museum with some friends and their kids and had a lovely few hours looking at the taxidermy and especially seeing the walrus. A great thing to do for an afternoon.

Helpful?
Thank Penny C
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thanks for your review Penny. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit to the Horniman and meeting the Walrus. We hope you will visit us again soon. Best, Polly More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2017

I absolutely adore this little museum and gardens, which give wonderful views over the city of London. I have been going here since I was a little girl, took my children there and will be taking my grandchildren there. There is something for everyone from instruments from around the world to mummies and everything inbetween. There are workshops for children... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jozz64
HornimanMuseum, Digital Assistant at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Thanks for your lovely review. We are so pleased you keep coming back to visit us, with your children and grandchildren. We hope to see you soon. Best, Polly More 

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Horniman Museum and Gardens and other visitors
3 questions
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
Essex, England

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?