Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A day at the Horniman

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a fantastic place to "let kids be kids".  We went along last Sunday morning, and stayed the whole day.  We had little or no expectations of this place, way down in Forest Hill (East Dulwich if you are trying to be posh).  But it proved a huge hit with The Boy - and hence with us as parents.

We started off having a run around the beautiful grounds, including a play in the "Sound Garden".  This was simply ingenious for explorative little toddlers, with large outdoor musical instruments to whack, bash, hit and blow.  The Boy loved it.

Eventually we tore him away so we could see inside the main building.  The collection is similar to the Pitt-Rivers museum in Oxford: crammed full of taxidermy, bones and natural history.  But I felt it was in a much better condition, and the explanatory notes were much more helpful and engaging.  Even better, the extensive display cases were accessible to toddlers and he could see everything without needing carried.

Entrance to the Horniman was free, but we payed a little extra (£6) to also visit the aquarium.  This was small, but again well displayed and thoughtfully arranged for little ones.

No visit to a museum is complete without testing out the cafe facilities.  The food and drink offer was fairly wide and varied, and we enjoyed our panini and drinks.  We returned later for tea and cakes.  The cafe was mobbed over lunch time, but they have a beautiful Victorian greenhouse which was a fabulous spillover.

After lunch, the "animal walk" was open, so we took The Boy along to see the collection of sheep, llamas and rabbits.  I have to say I have never seen such a well-kept city farm.  Not a scrap of mud anywhere!

Finally, I have to mention the spectacular 360degree views across London.  From various spots in the grounds, you can see The City, Battersea Power Station, Wembley, Crystal Palace... Amazing!



  1. What a good fun place for kids to explore. I love the idea of a sound garden, fantastic!
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  2. Sounds like such a fab place, for all the family, and especially the little ones! I bet the London views are pretty spectacular too! xx #letkidsbekids

  3. Looks like a great place to visit! #letkidsbekids

  4. I love the Horniman, and so do my girls! It's a fabulously under-rated gem. We've got plans to go in the May half term :-)

  5. I read another blog recently about a trip to the Horniman and now want to go even more than ever. It's now well and truly on my list the next time I am over in London.