Museum visits

We are now taking bookings for onsite school sessions on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Please contact to book your session. Self-led schools visits are not currently available.

  • Maximum two classes per day. Must be part of the same bubble.
  • You will be greeted and briefed at the Pavilion. This will also be your base for the day and includes toilets, bag and coat storage and space to eat your lunch should wish to.
  • Learning sessions take place in a dedicated space away from other visitors.
  • The Museum itself can only be accessed within a booked timeslot with staggered entry in small groups.
  • The Gardens are open and offer plenty of opportunity to explore, learn and let off steam.
  • Regrettably the Aquarium and Butterfly House are not accessible to groups at present because of reduced capacity in these smaller spaces.
  • If arriving by coach or minibus there is a red route bay on London Road to drop off pupils. There is no parking available on or off site for coaches.
  • Limited parking space onsite is available for those who require close access to the main entrance e.g. wheelchair users. We are unable to reserve parking spaces.
  • Learning sessions are charged at £72.50 (£87.00 inc VAT) per class and last either 45 minutes (EYFS) or 1 hour unless stated otherwise.
  • *The 90 minute Go Outside: Habitat Explorer session is charged at £122.50 (£147.00 inc VAT).
  • Learning sessions for Special Educational Needs classes (up to 12 pupils) last 30-45 minutes and are charged at £36.25 (£43.50 inc VAT).
  • Schools benefit from reduced entry rate of £3 per person (inc VAT) to our Monkey Business exhibition which opens on 12 February
  • We offer a bursary scheme to support eligible schools.
  • We understand that circumstances are changing very quickly in the present climate so we are temporarily waiving our cancellation fee in the event that schools need to cancel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • We can accommodate up to two classes per visit, on the condition that they are part of the same bubble.
  • All objects are quarantined before and after each object handling session.
  • Learning Officers wash their hands upon arrival and wear disposable gloves during the sessions.
  • Learning Officers practise social distancing when teaching the whole class and wear a face covering whenever moving around the class during activities.
  • Pupils and accompanying adults will be asked to wash their hands before and after the session. We can provide gloves if required.
  • For entry into the main museum each class will be allocated a specific time slot and will be divided into smaller groups for staggered entry. A Learning Assistant will help this run as smoothly as possible.
  • A one-way system, enhanced cleaning and reduced visitor capacity are in place throughout the museum. Please note you will not have exclusive access to the galleries but overall visitor numbers will be greatly reduced.
  • “Staying COVID-19 Secure notices are displayed throughout the museum and we will contact you in the event that somebody who was in the museum at the same time as your group tests positive for Covid-19.
  • For more information please see our current risk assessment for school visits.

Look at our learning resources in advance of your visit.

You can download them or use the different images and text to create your own tailored resources.

Explore our diverse displays and exhibitions. Please bear in mind the Aquarium and Butterfly House are not accessible to groups at present.

Staying in your class or year group bubble, we can give you a dedicated space for the day where you can store bags, coats, use toilet facilities and have lunch.

If you wish to visit the galleries we can organise a time slot so that your group can safely enter without our reduced visitor capacity being exceeded. We have adapted some of our popular learning sessions and of course we follow Covid-safe practices, details of which can be found below.