Horniman Museum


A little further out from central London lies one of London’s most wonderful attractions. The Horniman Museum is in Forest Hill, South London and is the perfect place for a day out with the kids.

There’s natural history, anthropology, musical instruments and aquarium and acres of gardens with a wonderful view of London.
Frederick John Horniman, was a tea trader in the 19th century and began collecting objects, specimens and artefacts ‘illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world’ from around 1860. He wanted to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ and educate and enrich the lives of the local community who didn’t have the chance or money to go travelling and see these amazing things.

He travelled to Egypt, Sri Lanka, Burma, China, Japan, Canada and the United States collecting objects. Mr Horniman’s interest as a collector was well known and many travellers approached him with specimens and curiosities.

By the end of the century, he had accumulated so much stuff that he gave up the whole house to the collections’.

His wife said ‘either the collection goes or we do’ so the family moved to Surrey Mount the grounds of which adjoined those of the former residence.

Get directions with Citymapper

Like taxidermy? Try the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosity!

Rather Splendid London Walks Book

In this book of 20 walks, I will show you some of the fun, interesting, weird and ridiculous things I’ve noticed on my travels around London