London’s Horniman Museum: perfect for a family day out

Hornimum Museum

Visitors to the British capital have an array of fabulous museums to choose from, with popular options including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A. But if you want to discover one of London’s hidden gems, then you should consider a trip to South-East London for a day at the Horniman Museum.

This large museum offers visitors a little bit of everything, including anthropology and natural history exhibits, musical instruments, an aquarium, beautiful gardens and some unique architecture. It’s a popular choice for families, and there are plenty of interactive exhibits and activities to keep younger visitors interested.

History of the museum

The museum was established during the Victorian era when Frederick John Horniman first opened his house – and his extensive collection of objects – to visitors. Since then, the museum’s collection has grown extensively, and it now includes internationally important collections.

Getting there

The Horniman Museum is located in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of South-East London. The closest station is Forest Hill; it offers both train and London Overground services and is about a ten-minute walk from the museum. However, please be aware that the walk to the museum from the station is up a fairly steep hill.

A number of bus routes also serve the local area: the 122, 176, 185, 197, 356, 363, P4 and P13. Some of these routes stop at the station before heading up the hill to the museum, and the short bus ride could be an ideal choice if you want to conserve your energy.

Parking is severely limited in the local area, so using public transportation is highly recommended. If you still plan to drive, there are pay-and-display car parks located at the nearby supermarket and by the train station.

Visiting hours

The various elements of the Horniman Museum have different opening hours, so it’s a good idea to keep these in mind when planning your visit:

    • The Horniman Museum – Open every day of the year (except December 24th, 25th and 26th) from 10am to 5:30pm.
    • The aquarium – Open every day of the year (except December 24th, 25th and 26th) from 10:30am to 5:30pm.
    • The cafe – Open daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm.
    • The gardens – Open every day except December 25th. The hours are Monday to Saturday, 7:15am to sunset. On Sundays and bank holidays, the gardens are open from 8am to sunset.
    • The Animal Walk – Open daily from 12:30pm to 4pm, except December 24th, 25th and 26th.
    • The Nature Trail – Open daily from 9am to 4pm.

Admission prices

Most of the Horniman Museum boasts free admission. However, there is a nominal ticket price for the aquarium and some special exhibits.

Nearby accommodation

If you’re visiting London and looking for comfortable and stylish accommodation, then the Park Grand London Kensington Hotel is an ideal option. We cater to families, couples and business travellers, and our well appointed rooms will help to ensure you feel relaxed and rested after a busy day of exploring the capital.

The hotel is also located just a two-minute walk from Earl’s Court Tube station, meaning that you can enjoy easy access to other parts of the city, and you could be at the Horniman Museum within an hour of leaving your hotel room (the museum is about eight miles from the hotel).