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Everything you need to know to plan a successful school visit to the Horniman Museum and Gardens

 Book your visit

  • To make a booking for your pupils as self-led visitors or to book tutor led, object handling Learning Sessions  please contact 0208 291 8686 or email schools@horniman.ac.uk
  • When you contact us we need to know possible date/s you would like to visit. If you would like to book as self-led visitors or to book learning sessions. The year group and approximate numbers of pupils/adults and if you would like to visit our Aquarium, Butterfly House or temporary exhibiition (Brick Wonders to Oct 2019). 

Essential information

  • We are open from 10am – 5.30pm. Entrance to the Museum and Gardens is free of charge.
  • Entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House and our temporary exhibition (opens February 2020) is charged with reduced rates available for school/college/university and nursery groups.  Charges apply to all children aged 3 years plus and all accompanying teachers/adults unless they are specific 1:1 carers.  Reduced admission is not available at weekends or during the school holidays.
  • We allocate timed entrance per class (up to 30 pupil) with no re-admittance. Please book in advance as we may not be able to give access to walk up groups when the Museum is busy. We can invoice after the visit or you can purchase tickets from the Information Desk. The Aquarium and temporary gallery are busiest between 10.45am and midday and all areas can be very busy in the summer months.
  • Aquarium:                                   £1.50 inc VAT per person
  • Combined aquarium and temporaory exhibition entrance: £4.00 inc VAT per person (applies February 2020)
  • Butterfly House                           £2.50 inc VAT per person
  • Please take your pupils to the students to the Butterfly House 10 minutes in advance of your entrance time for a briefing. If you miss your allocated entrance time we may not be able to offer an alternative. 
  • The Animal Walk is open daily from 12.30 to 4pm. Access to the Hands On Base and Education Centre is restricted to schools with booked learning sessions, access to the Music Hands On Space is restricted from 10.30am to 2.15pm while teaching happens in the adjacent room. Please check with the Visitor Assistant in the Music Gallery for opening times on the day of your visit.
  • School groups in London can travel to the Horniman Museum and Gardens for free. For more information visit Transport for London School Party Travel Scheme.

Home Educators 

Home educating groups and families are welcome to book taught learning sessions as a group or to visit as self led visitors. Please contact us on 0208 291 8686 or email schools@horniman.ac.uk  to make a booking. Join our mailing list to receive details of  our learning events specifically for Home Educators.

 Pre visit preparation   

When you arrive 

  • If you have booked a learning session please read your booking information for arrival instructions, and your lunch and cloakroom details. A Learning Assistant will brief your group, you may need to wait a short while on arrival for space to be available to accommodate your group in our Education Centre. 
  • Self led groups without learning sessions booked please either visit the Information Desk to sign in and confirm the numbers in your group or speak to the member of staff greeting groups in the foyer. If you have booked entrance to the Aquarium, Butterfly House or temporary exhibition please collect your ticket/s.
  • Please choose a meeting point for your group outside the Museum to avoid overcrowding in the Museum entrance.
  • The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a public place so please remind students to respect other visitors, exhibits and staff. For health and safety reasons you must accompany and actively supervise your students at all times. Please be aware that you will not have exclusive access to the paid areas of the Museum, members of the public or other school groups may also be present during your visit.

Cloakroom facilities, lunch and shop 

  • Those Schools who have booked Learning sessions have access to a lunch room for 30 minutes and coat and bag storage.
  • Self led school visitors have access to our public cloakroom. The Gardens are available for picnicking, with outdoor picnic tables on the bandstand terrace available every day during Garden opening hours and the Dutch Barn (indoor space for 30 children) open all day Wednesday - Sunday, and from 2.30pm-5.30pm on Monday and Tuesday. These are available on a first come, first served basis. Please do not use the café tables for picnicking as these are required for those purchasing food from the cafe. In the winter months there is an additional temporary covered area for self led lunches available near the conservatory. 
  • Please use the toilets located in Gallery Square or the toilets at the top of the Avenue in the Gardens. 
  • Please do not eat in the Museum as food debris attracts pests that eat our collections. 
  • Please send pupils into the shop in small groups of 5 with an adult supervisor

 Vehicle information 

  • If arriving by coach or minibus there is a red route bay on London Road to drop off pupils. There is no parking available on or off site for coaches.
  • Limited parking space onsite is available for those who require close access to the main entrance e.g. wheelchair users. We are unable to reserve parking spaces. Access is through Horniman Drive gates only (see map below).