Horniman Museum and Gardens
Horniman Museum and Gardens
This fascinating museum of ethnography, natural history and musical instruments has a mandate to explore the World's cultural and natural diversity.
That's a pretty ambitious mission statement, but what does it mean in practise? The Horniman has several main galleries, each with a specific theme; there is a Music Gallery, Natural History Gallery, an Aquarium, and an African World gallery. The Music gallery shows off over 1300 historical instruments and other musical artefacts. See how music is made and used in cultures across the world, and trace the development of wind instruments from the 18th century to the modern day.

The natural history area focusses on the development of species around the world, particularly the horse and elephant. There is a large display of British fossils, samples of taxidermy and animal skeletons.

A special African Worlds display area looks at the amazingly diverse sculpture and decorative arts of Africa, and also brings in artefacts from as far away as Brazil. See bronze pieces of art from Benin, religious altars, Egyptian mummies, and a huge Igbo Ijele mask, the only one in Britain.

The gardens include a Grade II listed Victorian greenhouse, a 1903 bandstand an 1895 Dutch barn brought here and reassembled, a totem pole from Alaska, sundials, a nature meadow, wildlife garden, and the first nature trail ever created in London.

Garden: 16 acres of formal and natural landscaping complements the Horniman Museum of ethnography. Rose and sunken gardens; animal enclosures; views out over London.