Enjoying your visit and staying safe 

As we respond to COVID-19, we have made many changes at Reading Museum to help keep our visitors and staff safe, introducing new measures to ensure we maintain social distancing and help manage our visitor numbers.

Please read on for information about booking and what to expect when you visit us. 

Booking your free visit

We have introduced advanced booking to Reading Museum to help us manage our visitor numbers and their arrival times. You need to book a free ticket and select your arrival time window. Booking your arrival time is completely free, but a donation of £5 per person is encouraged and appreciated. Booking is now open.

Arrival times to the Reading Museum are in one-hour time windows throughout our opening times (Tues-Sat 10-4). Please book an arrival time slot for each member of your party, including children (up to a maximum of six people per household). 

The suggested route around the museum will take approximately one and half hours to complete. After you have viewed the galleries you can visit our gift shop.

Please do not visit if you or any members of your household are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been in contact with anyone who has it. Please contact us to cancel your ticket so that we can offer it to someone else.

What we are doing to keep you safe  

  • Giving you a warm welcome at a safe distance 
  • Introducing advanced booking for staggered entry times 
  • Using signage to help you maintain social distancing 
  • A one-way route around the museum galleries 
  • Asking for cashless payment wherever possible 
  • Providing hand sanitiser for you to use 
  • Removing high-contact exhibits and interactives 
  • Increased cleaning in high traffic areas
  • Asking you to avoid touching surfaces during your visit

If you have any concerns or questions during your visit, please talk to a member of our team – they will be happy to help you. 

You can find out answers to some commonly asked questions in our museum reopening FAQs.

Social distancing and hygiene  

During your visit, we ask that you follow our guidelines on social distancing and hygiene to help keep us all safe. Please wear a face covering during your visit. We are operating a one-way system at Reading Museum; this is indicated by clear signage and you will also be briefed by a member of our team on your arrival. There will be handy new floor plans available for all visitors. Hand sanitiser stations are positioned at the entrances and exits. 

Toilet facilities 

Our women’s, men's and accessible toilets are open to use in the Town Hall lift lobby which is situated to the right of our gift shop.  The baby changing facilities at our reception are still available. 

The toilets on the 2nd floor of the museum, and behind our reception have been temporarily closed due to them being in high traffic areas. 

The Pantry Café 

The Town Hall's Pantry Café is still closed but many independent cafes and national brands have reopened in and around the town centre. You can check what's open on the Living Reading interactive online map.

Gift shop 

Our gift shop is open, stocking a wide range of unique and beautiful products celebrating Reading heritage and the stories of our collections. We encourage visitors to use card payments wherever possible and to avoid picking up products to browse unless they intend on purchasing. 

The gift shop has now got a maximum capacity of 4 people or households at one time. We have split the shop into four zones to ensure keeping to social distancing is as easy as possible. There is a one-way system in place and an area located to the right of the entrance for queuing.  

Our gift shop is also available online for you to browse and purchase our fantastic range of souvenirs and gifts from the comfort of your home.


We have introduced a one-way route around the Museum galleries, see our museum reopening FAQs for full details of the route. 

To help keep us all safe, we have reviewed exhibits, interactives and spaces which may pose a risk of spreading the virus. All interactives have been removed from the museum galleries or closed off.  

We have also identified areas of our galleries which are too small to maintain social distancing, these areas have been marked off as one person/household per area.  

Our re-usable bingo trails and bags have been removed. However, we have a selection of paper trails that can be used by families and taken home at the end of your visit - these have been specially adapted to follow the one-way route. We also have a brand new Bertie Badger Trail available, which aims to help young children follow our one-way route in a fun and interactive way!


The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on all of us. Please donate £5 per person to help us re-connect our communities through culture: 


The museum galleries are located across three floors. The galleries are accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. There is a central lift available for those that require it. We will be encouraging our visitors to take the stairs where they can so that use of the lift is limited to those that need it. Regularly cleaning will be carried out on the touch points, and we are restricting a maximum of one person/household per lift. 

An Accessible toilet is available at our reception lift lobby. 

To find out more about accessibility at the Museum please head to our Access page.

Group visits 

Group and school visits have been suspended. The maximum booking per household is 6 people. 

Please contact our Education team to find out about what services we are currently offering to schools.

How to get here 

We encourage visitors to the museum to walk, cycle or drive where possible and to avoid taking public transport.

See our how to get here page for more details.

Risk assessment

In accordance with government guidelines, we have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to make our sites COVID secure and identify risk control measures.

Click below to download our user-friendly museum risk assessment:

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