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Four children are grouped around some instruments wearing blue jumpers. One child is holding a stringed drum shaped instrument and is smiling. There is a drum just seen in front of them.

Plan your day

Museum opening times
The Horniman is open from 10am - 5.30pm, and is free to enter with a charge for the Aquarium, Butterfly House and some exhibitions and events.
Lunch time
Schools who have booked Learning sessions have access to a lunch room for 30 minutes, as well as coat and bag storage.
Travelling to the Horniman
School groups in London can travel to the Horniman Museum and Gardens for free. For more information visit Transport for London School Party Travel Scheme.
Everything you need to know to plan a successful school visit to the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Book your visit

To make a booking for your pupils as self-led visitors or to book tutor-led, object handling Learning Sessions please contact 0208 291 8686 or email

When you contact us we need to know:

  • possible date/s you would like to visit.
  • if you would like to book as self-led visitors or to book learning sessions.
  • the year group and approximate numbers of pupils and adults; and
  • if you would like to visit our Aquarium, Butterfly House or temporary exhibition (Permian Monsters until 1 November 2020).

Essential information

We are open from 10am–5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge.

Entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House and our temporary exhibition Permian Monsters (opens until 1 November 2020) is charged with reduced rates available for school, college, university and nursery groups.

Charges apply to all children aged 3 years and over, and all accompanying teachers and adults, unless they are specific 1:1 carers.

Reduced admission is not available at weekends or during the school holidays.

We allocate timed entrance per class (up to 30 pupils) with no re-admittance.

Please book in advance as we may not be able to give access to walk up groups when the Museum is busy.

We can invoice after the visit or you can purchase tickets from the Information Desk.

The Aquarium and temporary gallery are busiest between 10.45am – 12pm and all areas can be very busy in the summer months.

  • Aquarium: £1.50 inc VAT per person
  • Permian Monsters: £3 inc VAT per person
  • Combined Aquarium and Permian Monsters: £4 inc VAT per person
  • Butterfly House: £2.50 inc VAT per person

Please take your pupils or students to the Butterfly House 10 minutes in advance of your entrance time for a briefing. If you miss your allocated entrance time we may not be able to offer an alternative. 

The Animal Walk is open daily from 12.30 – 4pm.

Access to the Hands on Base and Education Centre is restricted to schools with booked learning sessions.

Access to the Music Hands on Space is restricted from 10.30am – 2.15pm while teaching happens in the adjacent room. Please check with the Visitor Assistant in the Music Gallery for opening times on the day of your visit.

School groups in London can travel to the Horniman Museum and Gardens for free. For more information visit Transport for London School Party Travel Scheme.

Home Educators 

Home educating groups and families are welcome to book taught learning sessions as a group or to visit as self-led visitors.

Please contact us on 0208 291 8686 or to make a booking. Join our mailing list to receive details of our learning events specifically for Home Educators.

Pre visit preparation

Look at our Learning Resources in advance of your visit. You can download them or use the different images and text to create your own tailored resources. 

Explore our diverse displays and exhibitions.

Download our:

When you arrive 

  • If you have booked a learning session please read your booking information for arrival instructions, and your lunch and cloakroom details. A Learning Assistant will brief your group, you may need to wait a short while on arrival for space to be available to accommodate your group in our Education Centre. 
  • Self-led groups without learning sessions booked please either visit the Information Desk to sign in and confirm the numbers in your group or speak to the member of staff greeting groups in the foyer. If you have booked entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House or temporary exhibition please collect your tickets.
  • Please choose a meeting point for your group outside the Museum to avoid overcrowding in the Museum entrance.
  • The Horniman is a public place so please remind students to respect other visitors, exhibits and staff. For health and safety reasons you must accompany and actively supervise your students at all times.
  • Please be aware that you will not have exclusive access to the paid areas of the Museum, members of the public or other school groups may also be present during your visit.

Cloakroom facilities, lunch and shop 

  • Those schools who have booked Learning sessions have access to a lunch room for 30 minutes and coat and bag storage.
  • Self-led school visitors have access to our public cloakroom. The Gardens are available for picnicking, with outdoor picnic tables on the Bandstand Terrace available every day during Garden opening hours and the Dutch Barn (indoor space for 30 children) open all day Wednesday – Sunday, and from 2.30pm-5.30pm on Monday and Tuesday. These are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please do not use the Café tables for picnicking as these are required for those purchasing food from the Cafe. In the winter months there is an additional temporary covered area for self-led lunches available near the Conservatory. 
  • Please use the toilets located in Gallery Square or the toilets at the top of the Avenue in the Gardens. 
  • Please do not eat in the Museum as food attracts pests that damage our collections. 
  • Please send pupils into the shop in small groups of five with an adult supervisor.

Vehicle information 

  • If arriving by coach or minibus there is a red route bay on London Road to drop off pupils. There is no parking available on or off site for coaches.
  • Limited parking space onsite is available for those who require close access to the main entrance e.g. wheelchair users. We are unable to reserve parking spaces.
  • Access is through the Horniman Drive gates only – see the map:
Horniman Museum & Gardens
100 London Road
Forest Hill
London SE23 3PQ
By train / London Overground
By Bus
By Bicycle
By Car
Accessible Parking