Yesterday I took the children for an Easter holiday visit to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. It's a great favourite of ours and is a fantastic resource for families in South London. Luckily I didn't take a picnic because unfortunately we were greeted with this scene, approaching the picnic benches and mini-zoo area.
It's as shame I didn't see anything obvious on the website about this. All the gardens and grassed areas were fenced off and out-of bounds. So now you know.
(I now see that "The Horniman has secured a significant part of the funding needed for the £2.3m upgrade of the Gardens, due for completion in Spring 2012. This includes a grant of £978,500 from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, as well as support from a number of other funders. We still have £150,000 to raise and are seeking support from the community to fulfil the project." You can see the new plans for the grounds here.)
Gripe over and despite this though, we had a great day. The Museum is mostly free remember, with only certain sections charging an admission fee.
current exhibition (the paying bit), 'Bali: dancing for the Gods' (until Jan 2012). Here are their creations - my son obviously went for a union jack/royal wedding theme...
The other bit now charging admission, previously free, is the Aquarium - it's a small charge and understandable given the Museum's funding challenges ahead.
Instead of enjoying the Museum grounds we popped across the road to the great playground, sandpit and large grassed area. The kids spent ages there - I enjoyed a coffee from the cafe and almost managed to read the whole of my New Statesman (that's not happened for many years!).
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ.
Previous post about Horniman museum: Myths and Monsters