Horniman Museum & Gardens

skeleton reflection 2
horniman natural history museum

Located in Southeast London, The Horniman Museum is a fascinating place. Its existence is due to one man’s passion for collecting and travelling: Frederick Horniman, a tea trader. He commissioned the building at the end of the 19th century where all the collected items from his various travels could be displayed for the public’s enjoyment. The collection is divided in several sections: natural history, anthropology and musical instruments. Today, you can also visit an aquarium as well as temporary exhibitions.

The section of the museum I was most excited about was the natural history room where dusty stuffed animals and skeletons coexist in a frozen harmony behind windows. I was especially eager to see the museum mascot in real life, an overstuffed Walrus, but the strange beast was unfortunately on holidays at the time of my visit. Still, the dark room didn’t disappoint and I was happy (if not slightly chilled) to see  oddities like a half-skeletton/half-skin bat or a baby koala up close.

stuffed birds
half bat
stag's and other heads
baby koala
half turtle
evolution of teeth
giant locust

Be sure to have a wander around the garden after perusing the museum. The building is standing on 16 acres of land and it sure feels great to breathe the fresh air and sit in the grass after being surrounded by taxidermy. The garden features a medicinal plant patch, giant instruments, a bandstand, but the star of the show is the impressive London skyline rising above the trees.

horniman gardens view

Practical Information

100 London Road

Forest Hill
London SE23 3PQ

Bus: 176, 185, 197, 356, P4, 122, P13, 363
Overground: Forest Hill

Entrance: Free (a chagre is made for the aquarium and the temporary exhibitions)

Museum Opening Hours: Daily, 10.30am-5.30pm
Garden Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 7.15am – sunset/Sun & Bank Holidays, 8am -sunset
General Admission: Free (but you’ll have to pay to visit the aquarium/temporary exhibitions)

Closed: 24-26 December


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