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About the Nature Trail

The Horniman Nature Trail is the oldest in London. It is roughly half a mile long on the site of the original Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway. The railway was closed in 1954 and the area was left unmanaged until 1972. This resulted in it becoming a wild woodland area.

Today, the trail is managed carefully to encourage a wide variety of plants, birds, insects and other animals which depend on each other for survival. Pond and meadow habitats have been introduced to attract new species, and a log pile area is home to dozens of different mini beasts, including the endangered stag beetle.

Finding the Trail and opening times

The main entrance to the Nature Trail is located on the cycle path that runs parallel with the Horniman Museum and Gardens and can be accessed from London Road.

It is open from 9am - 4pm, but may be closed at short notice during bad weather. Please check with the Information Desk at the start of your visit or call 020 8699 1872.

The ground on the Nature Trail is uneven and can be muddy in rainy weather, so is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

Looking after the Trail

The trail is a sensitive area and much time goes into managing it for your enjoyment. Please help us to look after the area by not taking dogs onto the trail and by taking all of your litter home with you. Guide dogs are allowed.

Please do not pick any leaves or flowers as they are an important part of the Nature Trail habitats and some can be sharp or sting.

Map of the Nature Trail

Click on the image below for a printable version of our Gardens map, showing the Nature Trail on the left marked 5.