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. £5 per person. 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. The fee will increase to £10 per person from 1 October 2019 but all pre-exisiting bookings will be honoured at the lower rate.

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.

Eye Opener Events

As an experiment, the museum (Sutcliffe Room and Giles Room) will open on selected afternoons this summer on a drop-in basis, without the need for a prior appointment. Guided tours will not be offered, but museum staff and volunteers will be available to discuss the exhibits and answer your questions. Entrance is free but subject to a maximum of ten visitors at any one time. 'Eye Opener' events will be held on Tuesday 2 July and Tuesday 6 August 2019, between 2pm and 5pm.

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 12 July 2019
  • Wednesday 31 July 2019 - closed in afternoon. Morning appointments available as usual.
  • Thursday 1 August 2019
  • Friday 2 August 2019
  • Monday 5 August 2019 - closed in morning. Afternoon appointments available as usual.
  • Monday 26 August 2019 (Late Summer Bank Holiday)
  • Thursday 29 August 2019
  • Friday 30 August 2019
  • Monday 21 October 2019-Wednesday 23 October 2019 inclusive

Christmas and New Year Closures for the 2019-20 season will be announced soon.

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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