Your visit to the Horniman

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Museum on 30 July. Here is the essential information you need to know to enjoy your visit.

Find help planning your visit, learn more about ticketing and information to make your visit more accessible.

Before your visit

Book your entry ticket 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 online for admission to the Museum. You will not 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 30 minute time slot. There are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the Museum.
  • 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 you may still need to queue outside.
  • 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 visit the website for availability and updates.

Permian Monsters exhibition

You need to book tickets in advance to Permian Monsters and Museum admission is included in all Permian Monsters tickets. Horniman Members must also book a free ticket in advance and present a valid Membership card at the entrance to the exhibition.

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.

Support the Horniman by becoming a Member and enjoy a year of benefits including free entry to Permian Monsters.

Butterfly House

The Butterfly House will reopen from 1 October 2020 – book tickets for the Butterfly House.

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.


The Aquarium will reopen from 21 October 2020 – book your tickets for the Aquarium.

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

Tickets to the Aquarium include entry to the Museum so you don’t need to purchase a separate ticket for Museum entry.

You can also buy a combined ticket to the Aquarium and Permian Monsters from the Aquarium tickets page, which includes Museum entry. On arrival, visit the Aquarium first, followed by Permian Monsters then the rest of the Museum.

Support the Horniman by becoming a Member and enjoy a year of benefits including free entry to the Butterfly House. Join Horniman Members.

About the Horniman

Getting to the Horniman

We encourage visitors to walk or cycle to the Horniman if possible.

There is no parking at the Horniman, except for limited spaces for Blue Badge Holders. The closest parking facility is the Pay and Display car park behind Sainsbury’s Forest Hill.

If you are using public transport please follow the latest safety guidance.

In the Museum

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

Visitor route

Visitors must follow the one-way route around the Museum. This will give you the opportunity to visit all the galleries currently open. 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 if required for access reasons
  • The Aquarium, Natural History Gallery Balcony, Music Gallery Hands on Space remain closed.
  • Some of our interactive exhibits, including the fish projection in the Oceania section of the World Gallery, will not be available or have been adapted for your safety. Our popular volunteer-led handling trolleys will return again once it is safe to do so.
  • The toilets at the main entrance and the cloakroom will be closed. Please follow safety measures when using the Gallery Square toilets.


Buggies should be left in the designated area inside the main entrance. They can be collected on the way out. Please note that you cannot leave your buggy anywhere else in the Museum and that the main visitor route contains stairs.

Safety and cleaning

Social distancing measures will be in place for the Gallery Square toilets and they will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Hand sanitiser stations will be located throughout the Museum, and additional cleaning of doors and touchpoints will take place regularly throughout the day.

Extra staff will be on hand in the Museum to provide help and assistance. Our team will be wearing face coverings. Please follow social distancing guidelines throughout your visit, including when speaking to our staff.


A pop-up shop selling a range of popular products and gifts can be visited on the way out of the Museum. Contactless payments are preferable.

Please sanitise your hands when you enter and only handle products that you intend to purchase.

The Butterfly House shop remains closed.

In the Gardens

The Gardens toilets are open with additional cleaning and distancing measures in place.

Plonk Golf and the Horniman Market are all in operation with distancing measures in place. The Animal Walk is now open.

The Butterfly House will reopen from 1 October 2020 – see further details above.

Eating and picnicking

The Café and Gardens kiosks will be open and offering a fresh and delicious range of snacks, treats and hot and cold drinks to take away. All outlets will be taking contactless payments only. Please note that the Café will have a separate entrance and exit and will only be accessible from the terrace outside the Museum, operating with a table service.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic to enjoy in the Gardens.

Please note that eating and drinking is not allowed anywhere inside the Museum.

After your visit

All ticket bookers will be emailed a one-off survey to provide feedback on their experience 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.​

Data will be handled according to GDPR, security and ethical standards at every stage of the process – from its collection and storage by us to its transfer and use by NHS Test and Trace. NHS Test and Trace will handle all data according to the highest ethical and security standards and it will be used only for NHS care, management, evaluation and research. Read full details in our privacy policy.

Support the Horniman

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 or online – donate to the Horniman.

This 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.