Support Your Museum + Enjoy The Benefits

By joining one of our membership schemes, you’ll be helping protect Colchester’s heritage!

Whether you decide to become a Museum Guardian or a Castle Pass holder, your support enables us to keep preserving Colchester’s incredible history and offering visitors of all ages a fun-filled and memorable day.

It’s a win-win!

 

Membership Types

Convert to a Museum Pass

 

By becoming a Museum Pass holder and visiting Colchester Museums, you are supporting the conservation of our heritage, preserving it for future generations.

The excellent value Museum Pass scheme provides annual admission to Colchester Castle and Hollytrees Museum for a great price! Come back as many times as you like to see how the exhibits and interactives change.

 

Become a Museum Guardian

 

Guardian Members help us to protect, share, and preserve Colchester’s heritage, which includes all three of our venues – Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum and the Natural History Museum. Enjoy a range of benefits, including free entry to the Castle, invitations to VIP preview events, discounts in the Museums’ shops, and Museum Money vouchers for After Hours bookings and events. 
 
Our Guardian Membership is managed in partnership with Colchester Museums Development Foundation. CMDF is a registered charity (number 1192018) and exists to support Colchester Museums to inspire and enrich our local community, through the preservation, exploration, and sharing of the city’s heritage in its widest sense.

Benefits

A close up colour photograph showing one scene from the Colchester Vase. Raised around the outside of the ceramic pot are depictions of two gladiators fighting.

Museum Guardian

Benefits

  • Free entry to Colchester Castle year-round.
  • One complimentary guest pass for Colchester Castle.
  • £10/ £15/ £20 (Individual/ Individual +1/ Family or Life) in Museum Money, which can be used in the Castle and Natural History Museum shops, any ticketed Colchester Museums events throughout the year, and on After Hours bookings including Dark Tours, Escape Rooms, birthday parties and Sleepovers.
  • Invitation to VIP exhibition preview events.
  • Subscription to our quarterly Guardian Member e-newsletter.

 

Prices

Individual: £40 (£3.50 per month for direct debit members)
Individual +1 (named member plus one guest): £55 (£4.75 per month for direct debit members)
Family (2x adults + 2x under 18s OR 1x adult + 3x under 18s): £70 (£6 per month for direct debit members)
Guardian for Life: £100

 

Prices accurate from 1 April 2024
Prices valid until 31st March 2025

An annual pass graphic for Colchester Museums set on a purple background. The pass features stylised white icons with coloured outlines representing three attractions: a castle for Colchester Castle, a classical building for Hollytrees Museum, and a magnifying glass with a beetle for the Natural History Museum. White text over a swooping purple shape reads "ANNUAL PASS," highlighting the year-long access it provides to the listed sites.

Museum Pass

Benefits

  • Unlimited entry to Colchester Castle and Hollytrees Museum for a calendar year from the date of purchase.
  • Free entry to all exhibitions and displays during that time.

 

Prices

Talk to our team at the Welcome desk about converting your admission ticket to a Museum Pass.

  Colchester Residents Colchester Non-Residents
Adult (inc. Seniors) £17.75 £23.50 
Child (aged 4-16) £7.50 for first child
£3.75 for all additional children 
£9.85 for first child
£4.95 for additional children 
Student £12.50 £16.25
Qualifying concession £12.50 £16.25

Prices valid until 31st March 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Do I need to book in advance?
  • Admission tickets, Guard Cards, Museum Passes and guided tours can be purchased at the Castle on the day.
Are all special activities in the Museums free?
  • Unless otherwise specified, there is an additional fee for small activities admission, usually around £5.
I want to bring a group of 12+ to visit.
  • If you are expecting to bring a group of 12 people or more, you will need to call us to pre-book. Otherwise, simply contact us, and we will be happy to help you.
If 2 or more children want to come in without an adult, do they get the reduced child rate?
  • No, there needs to be an adult included to get the reduced child rate.
Can I use a discount voucher on the saver rates?
  • No, discounts cannot be used with any other offer or saver rate; they are for individual full-price entry tickets only.

Guardian Membership Questions

How long does my Membership last?
  • Both Museum Guardian membership and Museum Passes last for one year from the date of purchase unless set to auto-renew annually.
Who can be the +1 on Individual + 1 Guardian Membership?
  • +1 benefits are valid for one named Member, plus a guest of their choosing. The guest does not have to be the same person each time and does not have to live in the same household as the named Member.
How many people can be on a Family Guardian Membership?
  • Family Membership is for two adults plus two 4–18-year-olds living in the same household, or one adult plus three 4-18-year-olds living in the same household.
Can I add extra children to my Family Guardian Membership?
  • Additional under 18 Members can be added for £5 per child. Please come into Colchester Castle to add any additional under 18 Members to your Membership, this cannot be done online.
Do under-fours count as Members on a Family Guardian Membership?
  • Children who are under four years of age do not need to be included in Family Guardian Memberships as they can enter the Castle for free. If your child turns four during your Guardian Membership period, they can be added to the Membership for an additional £5 per child.
Can I give my guest passes to friends or family?
  • Guest passes can be redeemed with or without the presence of the named Guardian Member.
Can I cancel my pay monthly Guardian Membership?
  • Pay Monthly memberships are for a minimum of twelve months. If direct debits are cancelled before this membership term, an early termination fee will be incurred. After twelve months, your direct debit can be cancelled with your bank at any time.
What is the fine print for the Guardian Membership?

You can find further details on the Museum Guardians’ terms and conditions here.

Museum Pass Questions

Why have we changed the Castle Pass?
  • To incorporate the new charge for Hollytrees and keep the Museums accessible for everyone.
Can I buy a pass just for the Castle or just for Hollytrees?
  • No, the new Colchester Museum Pass is a joint museum pass and includes both paying Museums.
Will there be a different card?
  • Yes, the new Colchester Museum Pass will be a purple card showing all 3 museum logos.
Will my card get automatically updated?
  • No, you will remain with your existing card until you renew it.
Can I upgrade my existing Castle Pass to include Hollytrees?
  • Yes, this can be done by paying the additional Hollytrees cost or by showing their Hollytrees receipt at the Castle within 7 days.
If I upgrade my Castle pass will the date be extended?
  • No, the expiry date will be the one on the original Castle Pass.
Can I buy a pass at Hollytrees?
  • No, these can only be purchased at the Castle.
Can we have more than one card per pass?
  • Yes, additional cards can be purchased for a fee of £4.
What happens if I lose my card?
  • You will need to purchase a replacement card for £4.
Can I get into the paying Museums if I don’t have my card with me?
  • No, we can look you up on the system, but you will need to either purchase a new card or find your existing one.
What happens when my Castle Pass expires?
  • We are phasing out the Castle Pass, but once they have expired, you will be able to purchase a Colchester Museum Pass.
I don’t want to go to Hollytrees, I just want a pass for the Castle!
  • Colchester Museums Pass entitles you to free entry to any of our 3 Museums. We no longer have just a Castle Pass, as this allows us to ensure we are able to provide a choice of Museums for future generations.
Can a child have their own pass?
  • Yes, if they are 12 or over. Under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult.
What is the fine print on the Museum Pass?

You can find further details on the Pass terms and conditions here.

Museum Money Questions

How can I spend my Museum Money?
  • Museum Money vouchers are valid for Castle entry, in the Castle Shop, for any After Hours booking such as Dark Tours, Escape Rooms, Sleepovers, and birthday parties, any ticketed Colchester Museums tour, talk or event, and in the Castle or Natural History Museum shops.
  • Only one Museum Money voucher can be used per visit.
  • Museum Money vouchers cannot be redeemed in the Hollytrees Museum Gift Shop because it is not operated by Colchester Museums.
How long are Museum Money vouchers valid for?
  • Museum Money vouchers are valid for one year from date of Membership purchase or renewal and are valid only while you are a Guardian Member of Colchester Museums Development Foundation.
I’ve Lost My Museum Money Voucher, Can I Get Another?
  • Vouchers will not be replaced if lost, stolen or destroyed.
Can I exchange my Museum Money for cash?
  • Vouchers cannot be refunded or exchanged for cash or other vouchers.
Can I gift my Museum Money to a friend or family member?
  • Vouchers cannot be sold or gifted to any third parties; they must be used along with your Guard Card.

What's On

Events

Discover something new in Colchester. Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our displays showcase the variety of the collections from art to archaeology, costume to clocks.

 

Where will your adventure start?