In line with Government guidance, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is currently closed to support the fight against COVID-19.
We’re really looking forward to welcoming you back once lockdown measures are eased. In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to get your culture fix from home!
We’ve been working hard to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. All visits must now be booked in advance.
Please do not visit if you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms. Face coverings are required for the protection of yourself and others, unless you are exempt.
We ask that you keep two metres apart from other visitors. Staff are on-hand to advise and there are markers throughout the museum to guide you. Please be considerate to other visitors and staff.
Hand sanitiser stations can be found throughout the museum. Please wash or sanitise your hands regularly. We have introduced extra cleaning measures for your protection.
Have a question about your visit? See our frequently asked questions below and find out more about our reopening.
How do I book a time slot?
The easiest way to book a visit is online.
Time slots are available every 30 minutes during the day. Last entry into the museum is 4pm. We close at 5pm.
There is no booking fee. Entry remains free – although donations are always welcome!
Time slots are available two weeks in advance. This helps us to manage cancellations and respond to any changes in Government regulations. New time slots are released every Monday.
After booking, you will receive an email confirmation that you will need to show us when you arrive. You don’t need to print it – just show it to us on your mobile phone.
In line with government guidance, the personal details you provide upon booking may be used to support the NHS Test and Trace process to control the spread of coronavirus. This data will be held by us for 21 days and then deleted.
If you can’t book online due to an accessibility requirement, you can book over the phone by calling our Box Office on 0117 352 6600, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
What if I have to cancel my booking?
Please email us at [email protected] as soon as possible so we can release your time slot for someone else.
Who is the Priority time slot for and how do I book?
Our Priority time slots are dedicated periods for:
- Disabled adults and their carers / family members.
- Adults who have been shielding during lockdown and would prefer to visit when there are fewer visitors.
- Older people (65+)
People within these categories are free to visit at any time but may feel more comfortable during this time slot as there will be fewer visitors in the museum.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
10am – 12pm on Wednesdays
Book Priority access for Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
10am – 12pm on Fridays
Book Priority access for M Shed.
Priority visitors are welcome to stay beyond 12pm but the museum will be open to the general public after that time.
We will be monitoring the popularity of these time slots and may adjust the frequency of them accordingly.
Children with special educational needs are welcome to visit at any time outside Priority hours. Please give us a call so we can discuss your needs and advise when the museum is likely to be quieter.
Priority visitors can book online or call to book on 0117 352 6600. If you have any questions about Priority hours, please do give us a call.
What safety measures do you have in place?
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has ‘We’re Good To Go’ accreditation from Visit England – an industry standard for UK tourism. This confirms that we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have a Risk Assessment in place and a process to maintain cleanliness and social distancing.
We’ve implemented a number of changes to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe:
- All visits must be booked in advance.
- We’re limiting the number of visitors each day to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.
- There are social distance markers to manage any queues.
- We are asking visitors to maintain social distancing by staying two-metres apart.
- Visitors are required to wear face coverings unless they are exempt.
- Some areas have one-way systems in place. These are clearly marked.
- We’re limiting the number of visitors in some galleries and the gift shop to help maintain social distancing. Please do be patient with us.
- Hand sanitisers are available around the venues. Please wash your hands regularly and use the hand sanitiser provided.
- Enhanced cleaning measures are in place. High traffic areas such as toilets, lifts, and handrails will be disinfected regularly.
- There are screened pods on each floor of the museum. Our staff may stand behind these when speaking to you for everyone’s safety.
- Our interactive exhibits and touchscreens will remain closed to limit people’s contact with hard or shared surfaces. Look out for QR codes so you can experience these objects from your mobile device. You may also wish to bring your own headphones.
- Our play areas for younger children are closed for the time being.
- Toilets and baby change facilities are limited to one support bubble at a time. Please queue outside in a socially distanced manner if they are busy.
- The lifts are also limited to one support bubble at a time.
- Our cafes will have reduced tables and seating.
- Our picnic areas will not be available. If the weather is being kind, we recommend Brandon Hill as a scenic spot to eat. If not, our cafe serves a delicious range of food and drink.
Do I have to wear a face covering?
Yes. In line with government guidance, visitors are required to wear a face covering throughout the museum. We cannot provide face coverings to visitors.
We have installed signage to help remind visitors that face coverings are required and there are screened pods on each floor of the museum. Our staff may stand behind these when speaking to you for everyone’s safety.
Visitors who choose to sit in our cafes, while observing social distancing, can remove their face covering when eating / drinking their purchased items.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. To find out about exemptions, including details of downloadable exemption cards, please visit the Government website (section 3).
Can I book a group visit (6+ people) or a school visit?
The maximum number of tickets you can book is six. In line with government guidance we cannot accommodate groups larger than six or multi-group bookings.
We are not taking bookings for school or education visits until 2021. Instead, we will be offering an online programme of webinars, assemblies and professional development for teachers. Find out more about our online programme.
If you would like to be kept up to date about our plans to re-open school bookings, please sign up to our teachers’ newsletter.
If you’re a group organiser and would like to receive details of when you can visit, contact [email protected].
What exhibitions will I be able to see?
We’ve extended the two exhibitions that were originally scheduled to finish during lockdown.
Do you believe in magic? has been extended until 28 February 2021. Entry is ‘pay what you think’. You will be able to see this exhibition as part of your pre-booked time slot.
We’ve reduced the capacity of this gallery to enable social distancing so you may experience a short wait if the gallery is already full.
Being Human: An exhibition of modern sculpture has been extended until 5 April 2021. Entry is free – donations welcome. You will be able to see this exhibition as part of your pre-booked time slot.
The exhibition is spread across two galleries. We’ve reduced the capacity of these galleries to enable social distancing so you may experience a short wait if the gallery is already full.
Will I be able to use the family play areas and interactives?
Our play area for younger children is closed for the time being.
Our interactive exhibits and touchscreens will remain closed to limit people’s contact with hard or shared surfaces. This includes the big green bus at M Shed.
Look out for QR codes so you can experience these objects from your mobile phone. You may also wish to bring your own headphones.
Will I be able to use the lockers?
No, the lockers are not in use for the time being.
Are you accepting cash payments?
Yes but contactless payments are preferred.
Can I just use the toilets / cafe / shop?
Yes but you still need to pre-book a time slot.