Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Museums and galleries

There are more than 2,500 museums and galleries in Britain covering subjects like science, nature, arts and local history. Other museums are dedicated to more unusual subjects, including lawnmowers, hats, stained glass and knitting. Discover how to find out what’s going on and how to get there.

What you can do at museums and galleries

Museums and galleries hold and display collections of items and artwork of interest to the public. Exhibitions are held to highlight specific collections or groups of items. In addition to their featured exhibitions, museums and galleries often hold special workshops, activities and events. Many of these events are aimed at children and usually take place during school holidays.

You can find out what is happening across the UK by using the Culture 24 website, which contains details of more than 4,000 cultural venues. You can find out information including:

  • how much you'll have to pay to get in
  • opening hours
  • what facilities are available for disabled people, children and families
  • contact details for each venue
  • maps showing where the venue is located

Culture 24 also includes details of events, exhibitions and workshops that are being offered and links to online exhibitions and resources.

Free entry to national collections

A number of national museums and galleries offer free entry to permanent collections, including the following:

  • National Football Museum
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museums Liverpool
  • Tate art galleries
  • National Portrait Gallery

Although entry is free, you may be charged for special exhibitions. Some venues only offer free entry for children and young people. Find out which venues offer free entry by following the link below.

How to get there

If you plan to go to a museum or gallery by public transport, Directgov's journey planner can help you work out how to get there.

Access keys