Visits to the museum are by prior appointment only. You cannot simply show up at our door. We operate a semi-automated booking system. You may use the electronic form to request an appointment...but we will contact you separately to confirm the arrangement and/or discuss alternative possibilities. Please do not turn up at the museum unless you have received a firm confirmation of booking for a mutually agreed date and time.

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  • Please note, this is a working building whose primary purpose is not to serve as a tourist attraction, so please forgive us if we can only offer minimal visitor facilities.
  • All visits are by pre-booked, curator-led guided tour. There is only person who gives the tours and, inevitably, he cannot always be available at the museum every day. We are currently experiencing high demand for visits. We are therefore unable to offer same-day appointments. Please contact us to book your visit a minimum of 24 hours in advance (not including weekends).
  • To request an appointment to visit the British Optical Association Museum at the College of Optometrists please contact the Museum Curator, either by the online form or by email, stating which tour you would like to book:
    • Standard Museum Tour - a guided tour of the Sutcliffe Room and Giles Room.
      Free of charge (donations invited, especially from groups). This tour typically takes about 45 minutes.
    • Full Building Tour - a guided tour of the College meeting rooms as well as the Sutcliffe Room and Giles Room. £10 per person. Free for College Fellows and Members and their immediate guests, Members of the Museums Association, children aged 7 or under and persons registered as sight-impaired. N.B. This tour takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. Availability is limited because the meeting rooms are frequently in use for the College's other purposes.

If you simply ask to 'visit the museum' we will assume you mean the Standard Tour option. Whichever method of contact you choose please bear in mind that, for operational reasons, we cannot guarantee to offer you your first choice of appointment day or time. Please have an alternative date or time in mind. The College Meeting Rooms have a heavy programme of use and so, regrettably, Full Building Tours will not always be possible.

If emailing or leaving a voice message over the telephone, please give your name, contact details, the number of people in your party and the dates and times you would like to visit. If using a gmail account, please check your junk mail folder for any reply.

Advance Notice of Closure Dates 2019

We regret that the museum will also be closed for operational reasons, including staff absences and College events, on the following dates this year:

  • Friday 22 November 2019
  • We have limited opportunities to visit on Wednesday 27 November in the afternoon or Thursday 28 November in the morning (please enquire about times).
  • Wednesday 4 December 2019
  • Thursday 12 December 2019 - closed in the afternoon, but appointments are still available for the morning. Don't forget to vote in the General Election!
  • Friday 13 December 2019
  • Friday 20 December 2019

The College of Optometrists will be closed for the entire period between Christmas and New Year, reopening on Thursday 2 January 2020.

Remember that the museum is always closed at weekends and on UK public holidays.

Appointments should be available at most other times subject to levels of demand and subject to you giving us sufficient notice.

You are welcome to write, email or leave a voice message at any time.

Online Appointment Request Form

Privacy Statement
When you fill out this online form the College collects your personal data purely for the purposes of processing your request for an appointment to visit the museum. The data is stored on a managed secure server and deleted after your visit has taken place. We will not use your data for any other purpose.



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