We made it to the Horniman Museum, a pleasant bus-ride from central London. It's as good as everyone says. Old-fashioned and wonderfully charming in parts, beautifully modern in others. Of course, my favourite bit was the natural world - full of weird skeletons...


odd stuffed (and oddly-stuffed) animals...


... and wonderful infographics ranging from beautifully elegant

Wheel of dogs

... to rather outre.

Apes coexisting with early hominids

And they don't dumb it down.

I was surprised how many Londoners I met who haven't been. It's free and set in a lovely big park with a great cafe. We'd been to the Natural History Museum the day before and couldn't get looking at anything because it was so busy. This was so much better. I took a lot more photos, none of which really do it justice.

My favorite thing about the Horniman Museum is that its free status is insured by the words "Free Museum" in the brickwork on the wall. My second favorite thing about it is that it's great fun.

I suspect the main reason for many Londoners not visiting the gem that is The Horniman is that (a) it's in South London and (b) it's not on the tube and requires getting a bus. Of course if this keeps North Londoners away from our South East London paradise, that's fine by me!

Us locals consider the Horniman to be the jewel of the neighbourhood. I think your Flickr slideshow's really caught the spirit of the place.

Which bits did the boys like best? Crazy voodoo masks? Dayglo fish? Or was the interactive music room open for banging and plunking?

The surrounding gardens aren't too shabby either, are they? I read an interview with Will Self once where he claimed that they offered the best views across London to be found.

(Oh, and Bagrec's right. Too many North Londoners never head South at all, fearfully picturing a blighted wasteland of burning vans and feral hoodies fixing skulls in Burberry baseball caps on to sharpened sticks. Don't give the game away.)

bagrec - I thought the bus was part of the fun. As long as you're not in a hurry, I suppose. What's so great about the tube anyway?

spud - Danny *loved* the music room and I had a fair old time on the dulcimer myself. They both loved the animals too and the aquarium was particularly fine - seahorses and jellyfish!

Anne, that was kind of my point! Like most decent South East Londoners I have a healthy disdain for the tube (apart from the font and the map of course) and prefer to travel everywhere by bus....or foot.
Really glad you liked our museum!

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