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Find information about our facilities, visiting during busy periods and photography in the Museum and Gardens 

We hope you will enjoy your visit to the Horniman. The information here will help you make the most of your visit.

Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free. There is a charge for the Butterfly House, the Aquarium, and some of our events and temporary exhibitions. 

Find out more about our opening hours and how to get here.

Temporary closure

Due to a wedding, our picnic tent is not available from Friday 13 – Tuesday 17 December. During this time you are welcome to eat your picnic in the Dutch Barn near the Bandstand.

What's On

View our latest What's On Guide here (PDF):

Our Large Print guide (Word document) is available to download here:

Tours and Talks

We run two types of free tours given by our Visitor Hosts. There is no need to book for either of them, just meet by the Ticket Desk and enjoy.

Welcome to the Horniman tours last approx 10-15minutes and run on

  • Wednesdays at 4pm
  • Saturdays at 4pm
  • Sundays at 11.30am

Curiosity Talks last 15-30 minutes and include a wide range of topics including dinosaurs, fossils and folklore, music in architecture, Arnold Dolmetsch and more. Find out more in our What's On or call 020 8699 1872 x183 to find out in advance.  

  • Tuesdays at 4pm
  • Saturdays at 11.30am

Facilities and Access

Download our Museum Floorplan and Gardens Map to find your way to the areas mentioned here. Read about our Café and Gift Shop


The Museum and Gardens are both wheelchair and pushchair friendly with accessible toilets.

A lift gives access to all the exhibition areas.


Accessible toilets are located off Gallery Square and between the Café and Ticket Desk. 

Watch these short films to see the route from the entrance to the closest toilets near the Cafe.

Baby changing facilities are available in our accessible, unisex toilet, as well as both male and female toilets downstairs in Gallery Square.

Electric wheelchair users might find it easier to use the accessible toilet on the Lower Ground Floor, which has a wider entrance.

The Museum does not provide hoists or adult changing facilities.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs only are allowed inside the Museum. They are also welcome in the Butterfly House.

Dogs are allowed in our Gardens, but must be kept on leads. Dogs can be released from their leads in the Meadow Fields. Dogs must be kept on leads during events in the Gardens (concerts, performances, etc.).

Baby change and feeding

Baby changing facilities are available in both toilets.

If you would prefer to breastfeed in private, there is a breastfeeding room located off Gallery Square.


Lockers are located between the Café and Ticket Desk. They take a £1 coin which is returned after use.

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

Wheelchair hire

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

Eating and Drinking

The Horniman Café is open daily from 9.00am-5.30pm. As space is limited, tables in our Café, the Café Terrace and the Conservatory are for café use only.

You are welcome to consume packed lunches and picnics in the Gardens or inside our heated Picnic Tent. From Wednesday – Sunday the Dutch Barn opposite the Bandstand is also available.

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


Our café can get very busy especially between 12pm and 2pm.

You may want to plan your day to have an early or late lunch to avoid the peak period. On sunny days you can enjoy a picnic in our Gardens and over the winter months a heated Picnic Tent as well as the Dutch Barn (Wed-Sun) are available.

Food cannot be consumed anywhere inside the Horniman because it attracts pests, which can damage our exhibits

Lost property

If you think you have lost property at the museum, either call us on 020 8699 1872 (x183) or e-mail enquiry@horniman.ac.uk.

National Art Pass

National Art Pass holders (Art Fund members) can visit the Aquarium and all temporary exhibitions for free. Show your Art Pass at the ticket desk on arrival to receive your free ticket. Please note, access to the Butterfly House is not included.

Busy Periods

We can get very busy during school holidays and on weekday mornings during term-time. On sunny days visitors can spread out across our 16.5 acres of beautiful gardens, but on rainy and cold days we can get very full.

Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your visit, no matter how busy we are.

Book online

Our permanent galleries and Gardens are free, but a charge applies for the Butterfly House, the Aquarium, our temporary family exhibitions, and some events. You can book online even on the day of your visit.

Booking online means you can bypass the queues at the Ticket Desk – just show a printed or electronic copy of your e-tickets at the Butterly House, Aquarium, or Temporary Exhibition.

Alternatively, you can join our membership scheme to enjoy unlimited free entry to the Butterfly House, the Aquarium, and temporary exhibitions, and a discount in the Gift Shop.

Arrive later in the day

The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5.30pm. The Aquarium opens at 10.30am, and please note our seasonal opening hours for the Butterfly House. Many visitors arrive mid-morning; come first thing or a bit later to avoid that rush. We're at our quietest after 2.30pm on weekdays during term time. 

Our Music Hands On Space is often closed to the public in the mornings and at lunchtimes for school visits. We recommend that you visit this later in the day.

You can find our Garden opening times online. Please note that during the winter months the Gardens close before the Museum, and you will only be able to exit via the main London Road gate. 


Our café can get very busy especially between 12pm and 2pm.

You may want to plan your day to have an early or late lunch to avoid the peak period. On sunny days you can enjoy a picnic in our Gardens. We have limited indoor picnicking space located in the Dutch Barn on our Bandstand Terrace.

Food cannot be consumed anywhere inside the Horniman because it attracts pests, which can damage our exhibits.

Photography and Sketching

Use the guidelines on this page to help you enjoy photography, filming and sketching when in the Horniman.

Photography and Filming

We welcome your photography and filming in the Museum and Gardens for personal, non-commercial use. Please refrain however 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 any other purpose please contact our Venue Hire team - venuehire@horniman.ac.uk.

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. However, we would prefer if you used pencils, 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 hastag or tag us @HornimanMuseumGardens.