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Children exploring the Gardens

Plan Your Visit

Museum opening times
The Museum is open, from 10am to 5:30pm daily.
All Visitors must have a pre-booked ticket to enter.
Café opening times
Our Café is open from 9am - 5.30pm, for a fresh and delicious range of snacks, treats and hot and cold drinks.

Gardens opening hours
Open from 7.15am (Monday to Saturday) or 8am (Sunday and Bank Holidays) until 6.50pm.

Please follow social distancing advice.
We hope you will enjoy your visit to the Horniman. We've included lots of information here to help you make the most of your visit.

Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free. The Museum is open, from 10am until 5.30pm (last entry 4.30pm).

The Museum is free, but everyone – including Members – must book a ticket online in advance to visit.
Our family-friendly exhibition, Permian Monsters, is charged for.

Tickets are now on sale.

Please wear a mask or face covering unless you have a good reason not to (children under 11 are exempt).

What can I see on my visit?

In the Museum, the Natural History Gallery, World Gallery and Music Gallery will all be open, along with the free displays Turn It Up: On Paradoxes and Falling Birds. You can also book tickets to see the exhibition Permian Monsters.

The Gardens and Animal Walk are open. The Butterfly House will reopen from 1 October 2020.

What will not be open?

The Aquarium, Natural History Balcony and Music Gallery Hands on Space remain closed until Government guidance allows, and the necessary distancing and safety measures are in place.

Many of our hands-on interactives, including the fish projection in the Oceania section of the World Gallery, are currently not available or have been adapted for your safety. Our popular volunteer-led handling trolleys will return again once it is safe to do so.

A green circular logo with We're good to go written on the top half, a tick in the middle, and the words visit England written on the bottom of the circuleThis information will change in response to guidance from the Government and Public Health England. Please check back before your visit. Thank you for your understanding as we adapt to the situation.

Download the information on this page:

All visitors must book an entry ticket to the Museum in advance.

  • To control capacity and ensure social distancing in the Museum, all visitors, including Members, are required to book a free ticket in advance for admission to the Museum. You cannot be admitted to the Museum without a valid ticket.
  • You can book up to five tickets for you and your household.
  • Tickets allow entry at any time during a 15 minute time slot. There are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the Museum.
  • Please note, if you leave the Museum you will not be readmitted without a new ticket for a future timeslot. This includes visiting the Café. Please ensure you plan your visit to the Café in advance of your timeslot or once you have finished your visit in the Museum.
  • You must show your tickets on a mobile or tablet, or a printed version, at the entrance to the Museum. We will do our best to admit you as quickly as possible, but please note that you may need to queue outside before being admitted. As this area is open to the elements, please bring your own umbrella in case of rain.
  • Please only book one visit per week so as to give others the opportunity of visiting the Museum.
  • Tickets will be regularly released so please check back for availability and updates.

Please note, all buggies must be left in the designated area inside the main entrance.

Please book your tickets to Permian Monsters in advance.

All Permian Monsters tickets include entry to the Museum, so you don’t need to book two tickets.

Horniman Members must book a free ticket and present a valid Membership card at the entrance to the exhibition. Please ensure you book sufficient tickets, accounting for each member of your party.

Tickets are valid for entry to the exhibition at any time. Please note that you may need to queue inside the Museum before being admitted to the exhibition.

Find out more about Permian Monsters.

Please wear a mask or face covering unless you have a good reason not to (children under 11 are exempt).

To control capacity in the Butterfly House, all visitors, including Members, must book a ticket in advance online for admission to the Butterfly House.

Tickets for the Butterfly House are separate to those for the Museum, and you do not need an entry ticket to the Museum to purchase a ticket for the Butterfly House.

Children under three may visit free of charge, and carers accompanying visitors with access requirements get free admission, but you must book into a timeslot. A family ticket is for two adults and two children aged 3-16 years.

Find out more and book tickets to the Butterfly House.

Download our Museum floorplan and the Gardens map to help you plan your visit.

Museum floorplan

Gardens map

Visitor route

Visitors must follow the one-way route around the Museum.

You must only use the designated up and down stairways to change levels. An accessible step-free route is also available.

The lift will only be available for visitors in wheelchairs and those with access needs.

Please wear a mask or face covering unless you have a good reason not to (children under 11 are exempt).

  • If you are feeling unwell, please do not visit and follow NHS guidance.
  • The toilets off Gallery Square will be open – please follow social distancing guidelines. They will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Please note that the toilets near the main entrance are currently closed.
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be located throughout the Museum, and additional cleaning of doors and touch points will take place regularly throughout the day.
  • Extra staff will be on hand in the Museum. Our team will wear face coverings and are available for the usual help and assistance.
  • We encourage visitors to use contactless methods of payment where possible in the Shop and Cafe.
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines throughout your visit, including when speaking to our staff.

The Museum and Gardens are both wheelchair friendly with accessible toilets. All buggies and pushchairs must be left in the buggy park by the entrance.

A lift gives access to all the exhibition areas, for those with access needs.

Find out more about access at the Horniman.

When you make a booking we will retain your name and telephone number or email address for as long as necessary for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace.​

After your visit, all ticket bookers will be emailed a survey to provide feedback on their experience at the Horniman.

All personal data will be held securely and managed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. It will not be passed on to any third parties unless explicitly stated. Full details are available in our privacy policy.

The Horniman is a charity.

At this time more than ever we rely on your generous support to ensure we can shape a positive future for generations to come.

Please make a donation when you visit on one of our contactless donation points, or donate online.


Toilets are located off Gallery Square downstairs, which are also wheelchair accessible.

Baby changing facilities are available in these toilets.

There are also toilet facilities in the Gardens, near the Bandstand.

There is an increased cleaning regimen in place across the Horniman – please follow social distancing guidelines.

The toilets by the Museum entrance will not be open.

The Museum does not provide hoists or adult changing facilities.

Only assistance dogs are allowed inside the Museum.

Dogs are allowed in our Gardens, but must be kept on leads.

Dogs can be released from their leads in the Meadow Field.

Dogs must be kept on leads during events in the Gardens (concerts, performances, etc.).

Baby changing facilities are available in both of the toilets in Gallery Square.

If you would prefer to breastfeed in private, please speak to one of the Visitor Hosts who can help direct you.

The cloakroom and lockers facility will not be available, so please only bring coats and bags that you can carry comfortably through your visit.

Buggy parking is available by the entrance, and buggies will not be permitted into the rest of the Museum. Please note that all items are left at their owner’s risk.

We have three wheelchairs that can be borrowed, free of charge, if you require one during your visit.

The wheelchairs will be sanitised after use.

Please ask at the Ticket Desk.

We aim to provide free WiFi throughout the Museum, but access and signal strength can be intermittent in some areas.

Please download online tickets to your mobile device in advance. When available, please choose ‘Horniman Public Wi-Fi’.

The Café kiosks in the Gardens are open for a fresh and delicious range of snacks, treats and hot and cold drinks to take away.

The Horniman Café is open from 9am until 5.30pm daily.

The Café will have a separate entrance and exit, and will only be accessible from the terrace outside the Museum.

Seating in the Conservatory or Conservatory Terrace is for Café customers only, and the Café is operating with a table service.

We require one member of your group to complete a test and trace form when you visit.

You are welcome to consume takeaways from our kiosks, as well as packed lunches and picnics, in the Gardens. From Wednesday to Sunday the Dutch Barn opposite the Bandstand is also available once we reopen.

The toilets available for visitors to the Café and Café kiosk are the Gardens toilets.

Please use contactless payment if you can.

Find out more about food and drink at the Horniman.

Please note, food cannot be consumed anywhere inside the Museum because it attracts pests, which can damage our exhibits.

Please note, if you leave the Museum you cannot be readmitted without a new ticket for a future timeslot. This includes visiting the Café. Please ensure you plan your visit to the Café in advance of your timeslot or once you have finished your visit in the Museum.

If you think you have lost property at the Horniman, either call us on 020 8699 1872 (x183) or e-mail

National Art Pass holders (Art Fund members) can visit the temporary exhibitions for free.

Show your Art Pass at the Ticket Desk on arrival to receive your free ticket.

The Aquarium remains closed. Please note, access to the Butterfly House is not included.

We welcome your photography and filming in the Museum and Gardens for personal, non-commercial use. Please refrain from using a tripod, monopod or supplementary lighting. Flash photography is not permitted. These can damage the objects and the cases that they are housed in.

If you would like to conduct commercial photography or filming at the Museum or Gardens, or feature any of our collections commercially or for any other purpose please contact our Venue Hire team – All commercial filming and photography enquiries must go through them.

If you are a journalist or have an editorial photography question, please contact the Press Team –

If you would like to obtain digital images of the collections for use in your research or publications, we may be able to help. 

Visit our Images and Media page to find out more and apply for Reproduction Rights.

The Horniman is a charity so income gained through commercial activity goes back into running the Horniman.

We love to see people sketching and drawing in the Horniman. If possible, please avoid sitting to sketch in one place if sketching in the Museum, as this makes the area inaccessible to others due to social distancing.

We would prefer if you used pencils in the Museum, as these are less likely to cause damage to the displays and collections.

We love to see the results of photography and sketching in our galleries, as well as artwork inspired by Horniman visits. You can view a selection of our favourite pieces shared by visitors on Pinterest.

If you’re choosing to share your Horniman visit or any sketches, don’t forget to tag us on Twitter @HornimanMuseum and Facebook, or on Instagram be sure to use the #horniman hashtag or tag us @HornimanMuseumGardens.

Horniman Museum & Gardens
100 London Road
Forest Hill
London SE23 3PQ
By train / London Overground
The Horniman is a five to ten minute walk from Forest Hill station and is signposted from the platform 1 exit. Please be aware this walk is uphill, although there are several bus services which stop at both the station and Museum.

Forest Hill is on the London Overground line between Highbury and Islington and West Croydon / Crystal Palace line which offers a high frequency service from North, East and South London.

The station is also well served by trains from Central London, Croydon and Surrey. Direct train services run from London Bridge (approx every ten minutes, journey time 15 minutes) linking with the Northern and Jubilee Underground lines, and London Victoria linking with the Victoria, Circle and District Underground lines, East Croydon, West Croydon, Sutton, Purley and Caterham. Please use the Journey Planner to the right or visit TFL Journey Planner or National Rail Enquiries.
By Bus
176, 185, 197, 356, P4 - stop outside the Museum and Gardens on London Road. 122 - stops on Dartmouth Road P13 - stops on Underhill Road 363 - stops on Sydenham Hill Road See the route from Forest Hill Station by bus.
By Bicycle
There are bicycle racks on the Avenue, near the main entrance on London Road. If you are traveling through the Gardens with your bike, please dismount and walk your bike through, for the safety of our visitors.
By Car
Parking is severely limited in local area, so we recommend using public transport to come to the Horniman. A pay-and-display car park is available locally behind Sainsbury’s, and there are two pay-and-display car parks at Forest Hill station (one at the front, one at the back). Please avoid parking on private roads. For coaches, there is a drop off point outside the Museum near to the Clock Tower.
Accessible Parking
Limited on-site car parking is available for disabled visitors. Call 020 8699 1872 for more details and have a look at the information on our access page.