Horniman Museum and Gardens
If you want to be inspired and surprised then visit this intriguing museum with its Natural History Gallery. It is packed with an amazing collection of taxidermy, skeletons and specimens preserved in fluid, all of which were collected over 100 years ago when naturalists and collectors were exploring the globe.
Head to the Centenary Gallery which has more than 1,000 artefacts from different cultures and civilisations across the world. Be fascinated with a death mask in the shape of a crocodile, a dramatic paper-mache figure from Calcutta collected in 1894 and a torture chair that was reputed to have been used in a dungeon in Cuenca in Spain in the 17th century.
But if you fancy something less gruesome, walk around the calming Music Gallery and admire over 1,300 instruments, making up the largest number on display in the UK. Interactive sound tables offer you the chance to listen to the sounds of your favourite instruments and you will even get to make some music of your own.
Go to the gallery dedicated to African art and culture and learn about the continent’s diversity, history and creativity. Then take a magical journey through rivers, seas and oceans in the Aquarium, and if you want to get closer to other animals, go on the Animal Walk.
Enjoy looking at alpacas, goats, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits and chickens and learn the connection between domesticated animals and their wild relations and why people live alongside domesticated animals.
There is also a Hands-On Base where you can explore thousands of fascinating objects which you can touch, wear and discover for yourself. And if that is not enough, you could wander around 16-acres of stunning gardens with beautiful botanical displays and a wonderful wild life garden.
There is so much to see, feel, hear and touch at this fascinating museum, you will be kept occupied for hours. This is an ideal venue for the whole of the family.
Facilities: The Horniman is fully accessible from the main public entrance on London Road.
Opening Times: Daily from 10.30am to 5.30pm, except from the 24th to 26th December.
Costs: Entrance to the museum and gardens is free, but a charge is made for the Aquarium and temporary exhibitions.