School trips

How to book a workshop, exhibition entry, or free visit for your school group.

Book your visit

All nursery, school and university visits should be booked in advance.

To book or for more information, please call 0208 291 8686 or email schools@horniman.ac.uk and have the following information ready:

  • Whether you would like to book a taught Museum workshops or a self-guided visit to the Gardens and Galleries
  • Which workshop you would like to book (if applicable)
  • Possible date(s) for your visit
  • The year group and approximate numbers of pupils/adults for each class
  • If you would like to book (paid) tickets to our aquarium or temporary exhibition.

Essential information

  • We are open for school visits 10am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday during term time.
  • School, FE and HE groups can book self-guided visits to the Museum and Gardens, or one of our popular object handling workshops.
  • The Museum and Gardens are free to enter. Educational groups can visit our Aquarium, Butterfly House, and temporary exhibitions at a reduced educational rate.
  • All school and educational group visits to the museum must be booked in advance (including visits for free, self-guided visits).
  • We cannot pre-book lunch spaces for schools that haven’t booked a taught workshop, however space may be available on the day so please do enquire.
  • Schools with booked workshops will be allocated a timed slot in our lunchroom, along with space to store coats and bags.
  • We encourage all school groups to consider the carbon footprint of their school visit, and to use public transport to visit the Museum where they can. London schools can travel to the Museum for free on public transport, through TFL’s Travel for Schools scheme. We have water bottle refill stations onsite, and encourage all visitors to bring reusable water bottles on their visit.

Aquarium, Butterfly House and temporary exhibition

We offer reduced-price school tickets our aquarium and temporary exhibitions (all prices shown include VAT):

  • Aquarium £1.50
  • Cats and Dogs £3
  • Butterfly House £2.50 
  • Aquarium and Cats and Dogs combo £4

Tickets are timed and must be booked in advance by contacting the Schools Team.

Charges apply to adults and children aged 3 years and over. 1:1 support staff receive free admission (advanced notification should be given).

Tickets are timed and must be booked in advance through our Schools Team. Please note that members of the public and other school groups may also be present during your visit.

Reduced admission is not available at weekends or during school holidays.

Home Educators

We offer a programme of workshops for home educated children, please visit Home Education for further information and to join our Home Educators emailing list.

Home Educators can book entrance to the Museum’s charged-for areas at our reduced education rate, Monday-Friday in term time. This must be booked in advance through the Schools Team.

Colleges and Universities

We offer an educational discount and tailor-made workshops for HE and FE providers that include: curator-led talks and tours; tailored object handling sessions; exploring objects from our renowned Handling Collection; talks about object based and/or Museum Learning. For more information, please contact our Schools Team directly.

Your School Trip

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

Pre-visit preparation

To ensure your class gets the most out of their visit, we encourage teachers to pre-visit the Museum. This does not need to be booked in advance; just notify our reception desk that you are making a pre-visit and any relevant paid areas that you will need access to. You can also find out more about our galleries, gardens, exhibitions and living collections on our website.

Use our resources to structure your visit; they are topic and curriculum linked (from Ancient Egypt to Textiles to Toys and Play). You can download the resources, create your own using the images and text, or request printed copies when you arrive at the Museum with your group. All school groups with booked workshops will receive a set of resources when they arrive, that link to their workshop topic.

Please refer to your booking document for timings, visit information, and information about pricing.

If you have booked a workshop

  • Please check your booking document for arrival instructions and timings.
  • Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a member of Museum staff.
  • You may need to wait a short while on arrival for space to be available in our school greeting spaces. On a morning, priority will be given to schools with 10.30am workshops
  • A Learning Assistant will meet your group, give a health and safety briefing, and answer any questions you may have about your visit.
  • Your class will be given access to schools toilets and cloakroom facilities where you can leave bags and coats.

If you are self-led visitors

  • Please check your booking document for arrival instructions and timings.
  • Please choose a meeting point for your group outside the Museum to avoid overcrowding inside.
  • Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a member of Museum staff, who will answer any questions you have about your visit. If you have any further questions during your visit, do ask our on-gallery team; they will be very happy to help you.
  • If you have booked entrance tickets for any of our spaces, please go directly to those spaces at the booked timeslot.
  • The Horniman is a public place so please remind students to respect other visitors, exhibits and staff. For health and safety reasons you must actively supervise your students at all times.

Cloakroom facilities, lunch and shop

  • Groups with booked workshops have access to a lunch room, coat and bag storage and separate schools toilets.
  • Accessible toilets are located in Gallery Square (down one level, via lift) and in our schools lunch room. Unfortunately, we do not currently have changing facilities with a hoist, however please do let us know if any of your group requires a changing table.
  • Where possible, we will try to accommodate self-led groups in our schools lunch room. However, when space is not available, these groups are welcome to eat in the Gardens or Dutch Barn building.
  • The Horniman has several water refill points; we encourage groups to bring refillable water bottles on their visit to reduce plastic waste.
  • Please do not use the Café tables for picnicking.
  • Please do not eat in the Museum as food attracts pests that damage our collections.
  • Our shop stocks small ‘pocket money’ items for pupils who wish to purchase souvenirs.
  • Please send pupils into the shop in small groups of five with an adult supervisor.