Visiting The Natural History Museum

We are working hard and following Government guidance to protect our visitors and staff. So, when you come to the Natural History Museum, things might look a little different.

Scroll down for more information on what to expect when you arrive.

If you, or anyone in your household, are exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19, please don’t visit our museums. Instead, we recommend you follow Government guidelines regarding self-isolation.

Last updated Tuesday 1st December

What to Know Before You Visit

The new entrance will be via the back of the building via Culver Street East.

We are reducing the number of visitors in the museum at any one time, so you may have to join a socially distanced queue outside before being allowed entry.

With regular cleaning and a new one-way system around the displays you will still be able to see everything and stay safe. Please note that some interactive displays will be unavailable.

We have installed hand sanitising stations at the museum entrance and exit.

You can bring plain bottled water into the museum, but no other food or drink is allowed.

We have removed all seating from the gallery spaces to aid social distancing.

If you are visiting with a pushchair, please note you must keep it with you during your visit. There will be no buggy park available.

The Museum will be closed for staff lunches between the hours of 1pm to 2pm Tuesday to Friday, and 1pm to 1.30pm Saturday and Sunday.


While You Are At The Museum

When you make a visit, you will be required to provide your name and contact information on entry. Your contact information will be retained for 21 days from the date of your visit to assist with Test and Trace if required.

On arrival you will be directed by signage to the appropriate waiting area, further aided by floor markings.

Once inside, a new one-way system will guide you around the displays. There are plenty of arrows and signage to help show you the way.

We have tried to keep as many of our fun interactive experiences available, but please note some resources and areas of the museum may be inaccessible due to the current safety guidelines.

Our staff will be regularly cleaning throughout the day.

Please keep together in your group throughout your visit. We ask that you follow the current social distancing guidelines, and in areas where distancing is trickier, avoid contact with other visitors by facing away when passing one another.

If you have young visitors with you, they must remain with your group at all times, please do not let them go to other areas of the museum unattended and they must adhere to the one-way system.


Toilet Facilities

Our toilets/baby changing facilities are still operational, but on a reduced capacity, so we have made a few changes.

Previously our toilets have been accessible to visitors even if they do not explore the museum galleries. At this time the toilets will still be available, but you will have to join the queue to enter the museum and follow the one-way system to exit the building.

We will be making sure that our staff are keeping things clean regularly throughout the day.

Be mindful to go to the toilet facilities as a group and if possible, please avoid multiple trips.

Please dispose of antibacterial wipes and paper towels in the bins provided there, do not flush them down the toilets, as this will cause blockages.


How To Shop

The shop will be available at the end of your visit, so please do not enter the shop until this time. You will be responsible for ensuring young visitors in your care do not enter the shop without being accompanied by yourself, and at the end of your visit.

The shop is a small area, so we ask you to be patient and observe social distancing guidelines. You may have to queue to enter.

Please avoid handling products where possible and if you have younger people with you please make sure they do not touch items you do not intend to purchase.

We are encouraging contactless payments where possible and screens have been installed around our tills.

We have reduced the number of products on display to make browsing easier.


Unable to visit

We know not everyone will be able to visit us once the museum has re-opened. That does not mean you should miss out however:


What's On


Discover something new in Colchester.

Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round. 

Exhibitions + Displays

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

Saved for the nation, ‘Walton Bridges’ will be on display at Colchester Castle from the 26 September 2020 – 28 March 2021.

Where will your adventure start?