Visits to the museum are by prior appointment only. You cannot simply show up at our door. Find out how to book a visit on this page.

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We operate a semi-automated booking system. You may use the electronic form lower down this page to enquire about making an appointment to visit the museum...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.

Please bear in mind:

  • We are a privately-owned museum. We welcome public visitors out of pleasure but not as of right.
  • That said, anyone is welcome to request an appointment and we are always delighted to receive each and every one of our visitor requests.
  • 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.
  • 'Off-the-street' visitors are not admitted. All visits must be pre-booked!
  • All visits are by curator-led guided tour. There is only person who gives the tours and, inevitably, he cannot always be available at the museum every day.
  • Scroll down to see the regularly updated list of which mornings or afternoons we already know we will definitely be closed and hence no appointments will be available.
  • 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.

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.

Advance Notice of Closure Dates 2018

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

  • Tuesday 20 March 2018.
  • Monday 26 March 2018.
  • Tuesday 27 March 2018 - Closed in the afternoon. Appointments available as normal in the morning.
  • Spring Closure: Tuesday 17 April-Tuesday 1 May 2018 inclusive. (Appointments to visit on 2 May will need to have been made by Monday 16 April. Online booking requests will not be monitored during this period).
  • Wednesday 6 June 2018 - closed in the morning - appointments still available in the afternoon
  • Friday 8 June 2018 - due to an external lecture.
  • Wednesday 27 June 2018 to Friday 29 June inclusive.
  • Friday 20 July 2018.
  • Wednesday 3 October 2018 - we are only taking visit bookings for the early morning period 9.30am-11am.
  • Thursday 4 October to Friday 5 October 2018 inclusive - closed due to an OAICC event.
  • Christmas and New Year closure: The College closes for the entire period between Christmas and New Year, so it is not possible to provide visitor access to the museum. This year we expect the College will close at midday on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopen at 9.30am on Wednesday 2 January 2019 (tbc).

Remember that the museum is always closed at weekends and on UK public holidays. In 2018 these include:

Friday 30 March (Good Friday), Monday 2 April (Easter Monday), Monday 7 May (Early Spring Bank Holiday), Monday 28 May (Spring Bank Holiday), Monday 27 August (Summer Bank Holiday).

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


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