The Horniman Museum has collections from the natural and cultural worlds. The exhibits were started as a private collection by the founder, Frederick Horniman in the late 1800s.
- Lots to do for children of all ages
- Interesting for all the family
- Not in central London, but good access on London Overground
- Not much else to do in the area
Before You Even Enter The Horniman Museum
Natural History Gallery
The highlight of the Natural History Gallery is the overstuffed walrus. A London taxidermist had never seen a walrus so how was he to know they have loose, saggy skin?!
You can see plenty of other stuffed animals and birds and models of extinct creatures, such as a dodo. There's also the Bee Room where you can safely watch the bees making honey. It's fascinating.
African Worlds Gallery
The African Worlds Gallery has a mask that's 20 feet high! Yes, a mask! It's amazing to see - so colorful, and probably so heavy. It's a Nigerian ceremonial mask called a Ijele.
A real highlight of your trip will be the aquarium in the basement. It's been designed so even small children can get a really good look in the curved tanks. It can get busy down there so be prepared to leave your stroller/buggy by the aquarium entrance and for children to walk or be carried.
Horniman Museum - Guide Review
This London museum has made a real effort to move with the times. Half of the exhibits are in the original Townsend buildings, and the rest in the modern extension. The aquarium cost £1.5million to renovate but the funds were raised as they know what the public want to see. I was amazed at the amount of children's events happening each day. You can check the noticeboard by the main entrance when you arrive, or check the Horniman Museum website in advance. They have an extensive list of family events throughout the year.
If only the Horniman Museum was in central London... But you could make a day of it by going to The London Dungeon in the morning (as it is near London Bridge station) then get the train to the Horniman Museum for the afternoon.And finally, a great quote from Frederick Horniman, founder of the Horniman Museum:
Those who use their eyes obtain the most enjoyment and knowledge. Those who look but do not see go away no wiser than when they came.