Plan Your Visit

Museum opening times
The Museum is open daily, from 10am - 5.30pm (except Wednesdays when we are closed).

The Butterfly House is open from 10.30am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)
Café opening times
The Cafe is open from 9am - 5.30pm daily (except Wednesdays when we are closed). The Bandstand Kiosk is open weekends only, 9am – 4pm, and the Cafe Crepe Kiosk is open at weekends, 11am - 4pm.
Gardens opening hours
The Gardens are open daily, from 7.15am (or 8am Sunday and Bank Holidays) until 4.20pm.
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.

The Museum and Gardens are open, and free to visit.

You need to book a free ticket to enter the Museum. The Gardens are unticketed.

There is a charge for the Aquarium, Butterfly House, and some exhibitions and events.

Please continue to follow social distancing and the latest safety advice. Please wear a mask or face covering unless you have a good reason not to (children under 11 are exempt).

Thank you to everyone who has been able to support us during this time.

What can I see on my visit?

In the Museum, the Natural History Gallery and Nature base, World Gallery and Music Gallery will all be open, along with the free displays including Hair: Untold Stories, Cult Hair, Falling Birds and Intimate Archives.

You can also book tickets to visit the Aquarium.

The Gardens are open, and you can book tickets to visit the Butterfly House.

The Garden toilets are open during Gardens opening hours. Extra cleaning and additional safety measures remain in place.

The Animal Walk is open daily from 12.30pm to 4pm, and you do not need a ticket to enter. Please follow social distancing advice.

The Library is open by appointment on Tuesdays.

The Café and kiosks are open serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks and ice-cream to take away.

  • Horniman Cafe – 9am – 5.30pm, daily (except Wednesdays)
  • Bandstand kiosk – weekends only, 9am – 4pm
  • Crepe kiosk on the Cafe Terrace – weekends only, 10am – 4pm

The Horniman Market is open weekly, from 11am – 3pm.

What will not be open?

The Hands on Base and Music Gallery Hands on Space will not be open. We may also have fewer hands-on interactive exhibits at this time.

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 circleThis 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tickets will be regularly released so please check back for availability and updates.

Buggy parking is available in Gallery Square. Please note that all items are left at their owner’s risk.

You are able to check in to the Horniman when you visit. This is now discretionary. When you visit the Museum, Butterfly House or Cafe you can check-in to the NHS app using the QR codes onsite.

Your details collected by the NHS app are not accessible to the Horniman.

We encourage you to wear a face covering unless you have a good reason not to.

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


Tickets for the Aquarium include free admission to the Museum at the same time. Please visit the Aquarium as soon as possible once you enter the Museum. You will be able to enjoy the rest of the Museum once you leave the Aquariumb n.

Find out more about the Aquarium.

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.

Find out more about the Butterfly House.

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

Museum floorplan

Gardens map

Visitor route

Visitors are advised to 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 and a lift is available for everyone 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 are open – please follow social distancing advice. They will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Please note that the toilets near the main entrance are open for Café visitors only, and are not accessible from the Museum.
  • 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 advice throughout your visit, including when speaking to our staff.

The Museum and Gardens are both wheelchair friendly with accessible toilets. Buggy parking is available in Gallery Square. Please note that all items are left at their owner’s risk.

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

Different galleries have different accessible elements – tactile maps, torches and large print guides, to name a few. You can check what is available in each gallery on each gallery page on the right hand side.

The Gardens have concrete paths throughout. Some of the paths are very steep and on wet or frosty days may not be suitable for wheelchair users or anyone who is unstable on their feet.

The ground on the Nature Trail is uneven and can be muddy in rainy weather, so is not suitable for wheelchair users or anyone unstable on their feet.

Find out more about access at the Horniman.

When you visit the Museum, Cafe or Butterfly House your party are able to check-in to the NHS app using the QR codes onsite.

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.

We have put in place cost-saving measures, but are still expecting a deficit of over £500k this year, and a shortfall for years to come.

We are asking for your help and there has never been a more important time to support the Horniman.

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 advice.
  • The toilets by the Café are open to Café visitors and are not accessible from the Museum entrance area.
  • The Museum does not provide hoists or adult changing facilities.

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

Breastfeeding is welcome everywhere at the Horniman, but if you would prefer a private space, feel free to use the Breastfeeding Room located off Gallery Square.

Please speak to one of the Visitor Hosts who can help direct you to a quiet space if this is busy.

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

Dogs can be released from their leads in the Meadow Field. Please be mindful of other visitors.

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

Assistance dogs are welcome in the Museum.

Read about dogs in our Gardens in our By-Laws.

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 in Gallery Square. 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 and parts of the Gardens, 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 Cafe and Café kiosk in the Gardens are open with a fresh and delicious range of snacks, treats and food and drink to take away.

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

Seating around the Café Terrace, Conservatory or Conservatory Terrace is for Café customers only.

When you visit the main Café you can check-in to the NHS app using the QR codes onsite.

You are welcome to consume takeaways from our kiosks, as well as packed lunches and picnics, in the Gardens.

The toilets available for visitors to the Café and Café kiosk are those to the right of the counter or 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.

National Art Pass holders (Art Fund members) and museum colleagues entitled to reciprocal free admission can visit the temporary exhibition and Aquarium for free.

Book your free ticket online, and show your Art Pass or work ID at the Ticket Desk on arrival to receive your free ticket.

Please note, access to the Butterfly House is not included and availability for the Aquarium is limited.

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

We welcome your photography and filming at the Horniman 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.

Monopods and selfie sticks are permitted in the Gardens for personal photography.

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, and by the Butterfly House, just inside the Horniman Drive gate. The Avenue bike racks are more suitable for cargo bikes/trailers. 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.