The Horniman museum in Forest Hill is oft-overlooked in cultural tours of London. But venture southwards, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and you’ll find a beautiful museum full of eclectic hidden treasures, including an aquarium, natural history galleries, and Africa World, the first permanent exhibition in Britain dedicated to African art and culture. That’s just the permanent collection.
The museum was opened in 1901 by Frederick Horniman, a keen collector. Originally built to house the overflow of pieces, the original collection now comprises only 10% of the current inventory. Still, part of the Horniman’s charm is the fact that whilst it’s small enough to be manageable in one visit, crucially it’s still interesting enough that there’ll be something new each time you go. There’s a cafe, which overlooks lovely gardens (which are also open to the public), and it’s a popular spot for family outings, as well as afternoon strolls.