Poole Museum
Free Entry
Opening times:
As Bournemouth, Christchurch and
Poole move into Tier 4 restrictions,
Poole Museum will be temporarily
closed until further notice.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you allowed to open yet?  

Yes, the Government has announced that museums and galleries can open from 4 July 2020. We have also been granted permission to open by BCP Council.

What guidelines are you following on reopening?  

The Government asked the National Museum Director’s Council to prepare Good Practice Guidelines, which we are complying with.

The Government has published guidelines for people who work or volunteer in heritage locations, which we are also complying with.

We are also complying with the Visit England COVID-19 Industry Standard, confirming we have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing. 

What days are you open? 

The museum will be open every day, Monday to Sunday, 10am –  5pm. Before each three hour opening session, cleaning will take place.  

What is open? 

  • Four floors of museum galleries 

  • Shop 

  • Tourist Information Centre

  • Lift 

  • Accessible toilet with baby-change.  

Why do I need to pre-book a ticket? 

Yes. We are limiting the number of visitors to help everyone follow social distancing guidelines. Pre-booking ensures that visits are spread out throughout the day. 

How do I book a ticket? 

You can book your ticket on this page. Tickets and booking are free but we would be very grateful if you will make a donation when you visit. Maximum of six tickets per booking. You will be asked to select a date and arrival time. If you wish to make a booking for a group of more than 6 people, please contact the museum to discuss your requirements.

What will you do with my booking details?

In line with guidance issued by the government, we will keep your details for 21 days. We will only share them with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event of a fellow visitor testing positive for coronavirus. After 21 days we will delete/destroy your details. It will not be used for marketing or other purposes.

Can I book over the phone? 

Yes, those unable to book online can call the museum on 01202 262600 to book a ticket 

Can I turn up on the day? 

Yes, although we cannot guarantee entry without a pre-booked ticket. 

I am a Poole Museum Foundation Member or volunteer. Do I still need to book? 

Yes, all visitors and volunteers who have not already arranged to work for the museum on the day will need to pre-book tickets to guarantee entry. Entry and booking are free. 
Why is it a timed ticket? 

We ask you to select an arrival time so that we can manage visitor numbers in the museum for everyone’s safety.  

When should I arrive and how long can I stay? 

You can arrive at any time within your 30 minute booked slot but will only have an hour from your booked start time for your visit. 

Is there a booking fee? 

There is no booking fee or entry charge, but we would welcome a donation when you visit. 

Can I book a ticket on the day I want to visit? 

You will need to book your timed tickets by 9am on the day of your visit or call in advance to book a slot for guaranteed entry. 

I don’t have a printer, so can’t print my ticket  

You can show your ticket on your phone. If you booked on the phone we will just need the name of the person who made the booking. 

I haven’t received my confirmation email 

Please check that it hasn’t gone into your junk folder. If you still can’t find it, call us on  01202 262600. 

I booked on the phone, so how do I get in? 

No need to worry because we will have a record of your booking. Please give your name to the member of staff at the entrance. 

Can you post me my booking confirmation? 

No, booking confirmations are sent by email only.  

Why can I not book the time I want? 

Entry times are offered on a first-come, first served basis, so your preferred time slot may be fully booked.  

Will I have to queue outside?  

If you are early or come at the same time as other visitors you may need to queue for a short time outside the museum. To maintain social distancing, we are controlling the flow of visitors into the building.  

What if it’s raining? 

If it is raining you will still be required to wait outside until the entrance is clear. Please come prepared for the weather. 

Why am I being told not to bring a large bag or backpack? 

Poole Museum has a number of objects on open display. To reduce risks to people and objects we are not permitting large bags (over 45cm) or backpacks into the museum for the time being. Please do not bring large bags or backpacks with you when you visit. 

Do Poole Museum Foundation members get priority booking? 

We are extremely grateful for the support members give us. However, our booking system does not enable us to distinguish between members and non-members.  

I am disabled. Can I bring a helper? 

Yes, you can bring a carer or helper as one of your party of up to six people. 

How will you enforce social distancing? 

The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority. We have introduced the following measures to help with social distancing; 

  • We have limited our capacity and anyone wishing to visit must pre-book. 

  • Timed tickets ensure that visitor numbers are spread out throughout the day. 

  • We are operating a separate entrance and exit. 

  • There is a keep left system in place throughout the building. Please follow the signage. 

  • Members of staff will also be on hand to direct you.  

Will there be hand sanitiser on site? 

We will have hand sanitiser stations, but you are welcome to bring your own. 

How are you cleaning the museum? 

During our closure period the museum has been thoroughly cleaned.  

We have implemented enhanced cleaning regimes in line with government guidance. 

Each morning the museum is cleaned and we will also be cleaning touch points, such as handrails, during the lunch time closure period. 

Our staff have also been trained in hygiene and social distancing. 

What time should I arrive? 

Please arrive within your 30 minute booked entry time slot. If you do not arrive in this time slot unfortunately we will not be able to let you in. 

Why aren’t all staff wearing face coverings and PPE? 

Each member of staff has PPE available to them and the option to wear it if they wish to. 
Do visitors have to wear a face covering? 

Yes, following latest Government guidance, all visitors are required to wear face coverings whilst in the museum buildings. Children under 11 and people with certain health conditions or disabilities are exempt. 

What is the keep left system? 

Because of the nature of the building and displays a one-way route would be too complicated to operate social distancing. We have therefore reduced the museum’s capacity and introduced a keep left policy, in compliance with the signage on Poole’s streets. This will guide you around your visit. 

Will the café be open? 

The museum café will be reopening on 1st August, everyday from 10.30am - 4pm.
Can I bring my own food and drinks into the museum? 

No, food and drinks are not permitted into the museum. The only exception to this is water. Visitors can be permitted to bring a resealable (not glass) bottle of water with them. 

Is the shop open?   

Yes, the shop will be open. For the time being it will be taking card payments only. Please remember to wear a face covering.

Is the Tourist Information Centre open? 

Yes, we have a reduced TIC service openPlease note that Poole TIC is at present unable to provide a booking service. This includes bookings for Condor Ferries, Lighthouse and Discover Dorset. 

How can I get to the museum? 

The Lower High Street and Quay have been pedestrianised on a temporary basis. The museum is situated between Paradise Street and the two orange arrows above it. 



There are bicycle racks outside the museum. 


The new Route One bus stops are indicated in green on the map in Old Orchard and Orchard Plaza. Remember you will need to wear a face covering. 


Quay Visitors Car Park is open, accessible from castle Street only. There is blue badge parking on The Quay, near the junction with Thames Street. 


The railway station is just over half a mile from the museum by a mainly traffic-free walk. 

The question I have isn’t in the FAQ 

If you have a question that has not been answered please contact the museum and we will try and help. 

E: museums@bcpcouncil.gov.uk 

T:01202 262600

We're excited to be reopening our doors on 7th July! 
We look forward to welcoming you back.

Please book your tickets in advance by 9am on the day of your visit to guarantee entry.

Take a look at the measures we've put in place and how you can prepare for your visit.

Here you'll find out what to expect on the day of  your visit.
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