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Horniman Museum and Gardens

#150 of 1,529 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
10:30 - 17:30
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:30 - 17:30
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Fee: No

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 423 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 187
  • 165
    Very good
  • 42
  • 9
  • 2
Great variety, way out of the centre of town

Good museum with a lot of variety. We went for the Wildlife Photography exhibit which was great. We also liked the natural history part. It's well exhibited. I think we needed a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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423 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 405: English reviews
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Good museum with a lot of variety. We went for the Wildlife Photography exhibit which was great. We also liked the natural history part. It's well exhibited. I think we needed a bit more patience for the musical instruments. It's really a lot to take in and quite time-consuming to read what everything is. We didn't do the aquarium. We... More 

Thank Esthero1970
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

What a change! I remember this museum from childhood when it housed an eclectic collection which appealed to a young mind due to the inclusion of a few goulish items of the shrunken head variety! Now it has been revamped and offers a whole range of attractions which demonstrably attract a huge family audience. Arriving on a wet Saturday morning... More 

Thank AndrewJMS
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Just popped in on the way in to the city and found a gem. Hidden away behind fences and a grand facade is a gem of interesting features, lovely gardens and a good cafe. The museum proper is not quite of the same standard as the larger museum in central london but this is more thorough. There are lots of... More 

Thank eel p
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

This place has a massive display of taxidermy from all over the world. The aquarium is small but worth a look at 4 pound and everything else was just whatever donation you felt like making. All in all very good value. Lots and lots of kids who all looked absolutely pumped to be there so a good one for the... More 

Thank Dlillnz
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Most of the museum is free except for the aquarium. We went to the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Photos and captions are at child friendly/ backbreaking height. A corner is given over to colouring and worksheets. Horniman's has a pretty varied collection which means there's always something interesting. It has a fine cafe and shop and lovely... More 

Thank ochre8
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I had last visited the Horniman about 30 years ago and came back with my children. A number of galleries are closed for renovation but what is open is worth a visit. Smaller than the major London museums and not as well known. Small aquarium in the basement is the only thing that has a cost. its nice, but nothing... More 

1 Thank David A
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

To be honest we did not care for the stuffed animals - seems to have been a Victorian obsession to kill anything that moved ... and then preserve it for display in a museum! However the gallery of musical instuments is fascinating (there are audio benches where you can hear bits of enchanting music played on a variety of instruments... More 

Thank IndianGlobalVillager
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The gardens received only a cursory inspection because of the darkness and weather. They are apparently very attractive. The museum has an excellent aquarium with displays of different environments. Admission to this is charged but the rest of the museums is free. The displays of stuffed animals and birds are of much interest as is the comprehensive collection of musical... More 

Thank iffley094
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Full of stuffed animals, a Dodo, a Walrus and much more. Such fun and educational for all. It is a bit like a stationary Zoo. Excellent grounds

Thank robin m
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Horniman museum is one of those pearls in south east London. Horniman is a free museum, surrounded by really nice gardens, perfect for a walk. It has several exhibitions, one dedicated to animals, another one to music instruments, African culture, etc. The museum has a convenient cafe where you can get hot drinks and sandwiches. The museum is perfect for... More 

Thank Miguel S

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Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
Chelmsford, 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?