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.

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 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:

  • Friday 14 December 2018 (due to a staff 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 the College will close at 5pm on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopen at 9.30am on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

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 11 January 2019
  • Friday 18 January 2019
  • Tuesday 12 March 2019 (due to staff training)
  • Wednesday 13 March 2019 (due to an external talk)
  • Thursday 14 March 2019 (due to an external talk)
  • Friday 19 April 2019 (Good Friday)
  • Monday 22 April 2019 (Easter Monday)
  • Tuesday 23 April 2019 to Tuesday 7 May 2019 inclusive (note, these are the two weeks immediately following the Easter weekend and they include the Early May Bank Holiday).
  • Monday 27 May 2019 (Spring Bank Holiday)
  • Monday 26 August 2019 (Late Summer Bank Holiday)

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

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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