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Horniman Museum and Gardens

#156 of 1,568 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 - 17:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:30
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 438 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 192
    Excellent
  • 171
    Very good
  • 44
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Love this place!

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... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Octoberkid
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438 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 419: English reviews
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

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
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,017 reviews
604 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago 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?
Thank cazbatt
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago 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
141 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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
172 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 

Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2017

The Horniman has been a regular destination for at least eight years. The latest exhibition is 'the Robot Zoo' very good, but spoilt by use of 'American' spelling and imperial measurements. At least half the visitors were school age, and will have been confused by this. Staff superb, very busy but queuing well managed and cafe coping with crowds from... More 

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

Thank you for your review, we are pleased you enjoyed The Robot Zoo. It is good to hear feedback, and we will look into the spelling and measurements on the interpretation panels. More 

Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2017

Went to the robot zoo this morning with my 8 and 10 year old boys. £17 ticket got us into one dimly lit room with a few mechanical animals which moved their mouths and eyes. We got their at opening time but within 10 minutes the room was packed with children. Fortunately we didn't need to stay in there too... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank anna f
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,480 reviews
782 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 387 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2017

I really liked the gardens to walk around and the musical instruments gallery was very impressive. I liked all the nature galleries and the aquarium too.

Helpful?
Thank Ed E
HornimanMuseum, Digital Manager at Horniman Museum and Gardens, responded to this review

Many thanks for your kind words Ethan - we're glad you had a great visit! More 

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Questions & Answers

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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?