• FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Reopening FAQs

We're reopening our doors

The National Army Museum is planning to reopen from Wednesday 19 May, with measures in place so you can enjoy your experience here as safely as possible. Entry remains free, but we are asking visitors to book a time slot online before arriving.

Book your free time slot

Covid-19 safety measures

Our contemporary building features large open spaces and modern facilities. We are offering a simple and safe one-way route around the Museum. This one-way route will enable social distancing and there will be additional cleaning and hand sanitiser units.

We are also limiting capacity and staggering entry to the Museum, so we ask that you book your free time slot in advance of your visit.

Some of our facilities and services may remain temporarily closed.

Please follow government advice when planning a visit to the Museum. If you or any of your household have any of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19, please do not visit the Museum. Instead, re-plan your visit for a time when it is safe for you to do so.

Please also adhere to government guidance on the wearing of face coverings.


When is the Museum open?

The Museum is open daily from Wednesday 19 May, except on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday - Sunday: 10.00am - 5.30pm (last entry 5.00pm)

Which facilities are open?


The galleries will be open to view via a one-way route. Some gallery interactives will be unavailable.

Templer Study Centre

The Templer Study Centre will be open for current readers from Wednesday to Friday, 10.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm).

Access to the Templer Study Centre will be by appointment only in order that we can maintain social distancing and will require 10 working days’ notice. Please email info@nam.ac.uk to book your slot.

Before booking a visit, we encourage you to visit our Templer Study Centre page, read our website research advice, and search our Online Collection.

Research visits (Stevenage)

The viewing room at Stevenage will be available on Thursdays, 10.00am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Access to the collections is free, by prior appointment only, and will require 10 working days’ notice. Please email info@nam.ac.uk to enquire about booking a visit.

Before enquiring about a visit, we encourage you to check our information on stored collections visits.


The Shop will be open between 10.00am and 5.30pm. However, it will be accepting contactless card payments only. You can also visit our online shop.

Toilets and changing facilities

Toilets will be open, including baby change and Changing Places facilities.


Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, lifts will only be available for visitors with limited or restricted mobility.


The Cookhouse Café will be open between 10.00am and 5.00pm and available for takeaway or for eat-in, but with a reduced seating capacity to adhere to government guidelines.

The Café will offer hot and cold options for both breakfast and lunch alongside pre-packed sandwiches, kids' packed lunches, and cakes. Card payments only.

Play Base

Play Base will be open with new measures and changes to ensure it continues to be safe and fun while ensuring we are compliant with Public Health England requirements.

With new social distancing measures in place, and increased cleaning between sessions, we have adjusted our Play Base session times and now only offer five sessions a day, with reduced capacity in each session. 

Play Base session times:

  • 10.00am – 11.00am
  • 11.30am – 12.30pm
  • 1.00pm – 2.00pm
  • 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • 4.00pm – 5.00pm

Tickets for Play Base will go on sale on Tuesday 11 May.

Which facilities remain temporarily closed?


The cloakroom will be closed, so we ask that you keep all your personal belongings with you (including push chairs) as you follow the one-way route. Please do not bring suitcases, large bags or scooters to the Museum.


There will be no lunchroom facilities at this time and we ask visitors not to bring food and drink into the Museum.

Birthday parties

We are not currently able to offer children’s birthday parties.

We anticipate that it will be possible to restart this service as part of Stage 4 of the government's roadmap, which will be no sooner than 21 June. If you would like to enquire about birthday parties, please email birthdays@nam.ac.uk.

What measures will you have in place to meet government guidance for visitors?

Risk assessments

Risk assessments have been carried out for both staff and visitor operations. These are regularly reviewed and take into account the latest guidance from the government and Public Health England.

Staggered entry

We are limiting capacity and staggering entry to the Museum. Entry remains free, but we are asking visitors to pre-book a time slot in advance of their visit.

Social-distancing markers

We have put markers outside the Museum to help you adhere to social-distancing rules as you wait to enter.

One-way route

We are offering a simple and safe one-way route around the Museum. You may need to wait to enter a gallery or to progress on your route. Our staff will be on hand, at a safe distance, to help assist and guide you during your visit.

Please do not use the lifts unless you have specific mobility needs. If you do need to use them, please observe the guidance outside and within the lift itself.

Protective screens

There will be protective perspex screens in place at the Welcome Desk, the Shop and in the Templer Study Centre.

Increased cleaning

We have increased our cleaning regime across the Museum with increased frequency to sensitive areas (handrails, handles and doors) and our toilet facilities.

Hand sanitiser

There will be hand-sanitising stations on entering the Museum, with additional stations located along the route.

How do I book my free time slot for the Museum?

Please book online before arriving at the Museum, choosing a date for your visit and one of the following time slots:

  • 10.00am - 11.30am
  • 11.30am - 1.00pm
  • 1.00pm - 2.30pm
  • 2.30pm - 4.00pm
  • 4.00pm - 5.30pm (last admission 5.00pm)

You can book a time slot up to a month in advance of your visit. We will release new time slots every week. Please be mindful of others when booking your slot and don’t book more than you need.

Please bring your ticket with you. We may follow up your visit with a short survey to improve our service to you. 

If you are unable to book your time slot online, please call the Museum switchboard on 020 7730 0717 during Museum opening hours. A member of our team will be pleased to assist you.

Your contact details will be held securely for 21 days in order to support NHS Test and Trace. Please see our Privacy Policy for further details.

Do I need to arrive at the start of my time slot?

No, you can arrive at any time during your time slot. However, we estimate that it will take an hour and a half to enjoy the galleries via our one-way route.

Can I turn up without a ticket?

No, you need to book your free ticket before you arrive.

Do I need to print my ticket?

No, but you will need to show it on your phone, if you don't have a print-out.

What will happen when I arrive?


You may have to queue outside the Museum. Please use the social-distancing markers to guide you.

Security check

If you bring a bag to the Museum, it will be searched upon entry. Our security officer will ask you to place your bag on the desk, open it and step back before they perform the bag search. Our security officer will be wearing disposable gloves to carry out the check and will change gloves between each bag search.

Once the check is complete, the security officer will ask you to close and collect your bag so that you can begin your visit.

Please do not bring suitcases, large bags or scooters to the Museum.


You will be asked to confirm your booking at our Welcome Desk. Government guidance requires all members of your group over the age of 16 to provide contact details to support NHS Test and Trace. Our staff will be on hand to assist you with this and provide you with any information you might need during your visit.

Will there be someone to ask if I have questions?

Yes, our staff are available to guide you and to answer any queries you may have. At the Welcome Desk, the Shop and the Templer Study Centre there will be protective perspex screens in place.

Can I book a school visit?

We are able to offer some of our school workshops on-site at the Museum. Details can be found on our workshop listings page.

In order to facilitate safe school visits, we have greatly reduced our capacity and have also introduced other safety measures. Further details are available to teachers on request.

If you are unable to visit us, but would still like to use our learning content, we have developed a number of virtual workshops. Details of these can also be found on our listings page.

Can I book a group visit?

Group visits are not currently possible. We hope to resume this service soon. For more information on group visits, please email info@nam.ac.uk

I have access needs. Can I still visit the Museum?

We continue to welcome visitors with access needs or reduced mobility. The Museum remains fully accessible with its one-way route in place.

It is also possible to borrow a wheelchair on site. These are fully disinfected after each use. If you would like to inform us of your visit in advance, please email info@nam.ac.uk

Will the Museum continue to run its Public Programme?

Yes, we will begin to reintroduce some of our talks and family programme in the Museum. All events running as part of our public programme have a limited capacity and allow for social distancing. Venues and seating are cleaned between events. We will review this regularly and advise of any changes.

We will also continue to deliver some of our talks, family programme and exclusive members events using our digital channels. 

The rest of our programme, including gallery tours and gallery carts, will be phased in as government advice allows.

For the latest details, visit our What's On page, our social channels or sign up for our e-newsletter.

How can I get to the Museum?

We encourage visitors to walk, cycle or drive a safe distance to the Museum. If you rely on public transport, please consider the current government guidance before making your journey.

The Museum has cycle racks located at the front of the building. The nearest Santander Cycle Docking Stations can be found at:

  • Ormonde Gate, 4-minute walk
  • Flood Street, 10-minute walk
  • Phene Street, 11-minute walk
  • Manresa Road, 14-minute walk

There is some availability for visitor parking on local roads around the Museum. Details can be found on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website.

What else can I do to stay safe?

Visit the government website for more information about Covid-19 and prevention measures.

Why have you chosen to open the Museum now?

Our mission is to tell the story of our Army and those who have served in it. We want to continue to deliver our mission to our visitors as soon as it’s safe to do so.

The government roadmap issued on 22 February outlines that at Step 3, no earlier than 17 May 2021, the opening of museums is permitted as long as Covid-19 secure guidelines can be met. The measures we have put in place are in line with government guidance. We have also taken into consideration the National Museums Directors’ Council Good Practice guidelines for reopening.

Although we are a national museum, our local audience makes up a large proportion of our regular visitors, and it is primarily for this local audience that we reopen our doors. We encourage those who can cycle, walk or drive to us to visit us as we reopen.

Last updated: 30 April 2021

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."