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How to book and what to expect

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Preparing for your Visit

Opening Hours
The Russell-Cotes will be open; Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10am – 5pm. 

Facilities

Garden: Open, please visit before you enter the building
Historic House: Open, please follow the one-way route around the building. (Print Room and Irving Room closed)
Exhibition: Beyond the Brotherhood: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy – Open, reduced capacity, we will control the numbers of visitors entering the exhibition.
Shop: Open – Please bring a mask/ face covering if you would like to visit the gift shop.
Toilets: Open
Cloakroom: Reduced facilities – Please do not bring large bags (over 45cm) or backpacks to the museum.
Café: Open – 10am – 4.30pm

Pre-Booking, Pre-Paid Tickets
Visitor numbers will be limited. We have reduced visitor number capacity from 250 to 50 people. To manage these numbers, we are asking all visitors to pre-book where possible. This includes Friends Members and Annual Ticket holders.
To book, please visit  https://russell-cotes.arttickets.org.uk/
For those unable to book online you can call the museum on 01202 451858.

We encourage you to pre-book to avoid disappointment, we may be able to accommodate you on the day without a booking. However, this will be dependent on the number of visitors we already have in the building and the number of tickets already allocated to those that have booked.

If you are a Friends Member, Annual Ticket Holder or have an Art Pass your booking is free but please remember to bring your membership card with you on the day. 

You’ll need to choose an arrival time for the day you want to visit. You can arrive at any time within your half hour time slot. The timeslot is for your arrival time only, the length of time you choose to stay is up to you.

We’ll send your booking confirmation by email. Please have your ticket ready to show staff (printed or on your phone).

Before your visit

Make sure you have your booking confirmation either printed out or on your mobile device.

If you have booked a free Friends Member, Annual ticket holder or Art Pass ticket, you will need to bring your membership card with you. If you do not, you may have to pay the full ticket price on arrival.

Please note that cloakroom facilities are reduced, please do not bring large bags (over 45cm) or backpacks with you.

The Government recommends that face coverings are worn in museums and galleries, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.
Face Coverings or Masks are required whilst shopping and browsing in the shop space. Those entering the museum will pass shoppers in the shop. From 8 August members of the public are required to wear a face covering when visiting the museum.

Please don’t visit if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

What to expect on the day of your visit

Entrance and Exit
As part of the new one-way system, there will be a separate entrance and exit.

Please enter through the garden as usual.

The temporary visitor exit does lead to a short set of stairs. However, wheelchair users and those unable to manage the stairs will exit via our normal garden exit.

When you arrive at the museum
There may be a queue, but a friendly colleague will be managing the flow of visitors into the building, to maintain social distancing.

You can arrive any time within your half hour time slot. If you arrive late, we will not be able to guarantee you entry. Entry will be at the discretion of the staff, based on visitor numbers.

Entering the Building
Please show your booking confirmation, either a printed version or on your phone, to the member of staff at the Welcome Desk. 

Friends Members, Art Pass and Annual Ticket holders will also need to show a valid Membership Card as well as a booking confirmation.

You’ll notice that we’ve installed a protective screen at the front desk between you and our team members.

Hand sanitiser will also be available at the door if you don’t have any with you.

Once your ticket has been checked, your visit can begin, and a staff member will update you on our one-way system and social distancing measures.

Our Staff and Volunteers are here to help
Don’t hesitate to talk to a member of staff if you have any questions or feedback. They might be wearing PPE – each member of staff and volunteer has the option to wear this if they wish to.

Social Distancing
Please keep socially distanced from other visitors.

Keep an eye out for signs and floor markings reminding everyone to give each other the space they need.

We also ask families to keep children with you, throughout your visit.

One-way system
There will be a one-way route around the building, please follow any signs or guidance from the staff.

In addition to the one-way system, we have also reduced the number of visitors that can be in our exhibition ‘Beyond the Brotherhood: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy’ at any one time.  You may need to queue in Gallery II until there is space for you to enter the exhibition.

Interpretation and Activities
To reduce risks, all room books, and label books have been temporarily removed and instead we will be providing information on the rooms, paintings and sculptures on our website. This can be viewed online or downloaded here www.russellcotes.com/digital-guide.

Please be aware that we have also temporarily removed our dressing up and children’s activities.

 Shop
The gift shop is open, if you would like to visit the gift shop as you exit the building please let a member of staff know.

A Mask or face covering is required whilst shopping and browsing in the shop space.

The shop will take card payments only, we encourage you to use contactless payment wherever possible.

Donations
For those visitors that would like to donate to the Russell-Cotes you can do so in the following ways;
Cash Donations: We have donation boxes at the Welcome Desk, Conservatory and Main Hall.
Card Payments: We are able to take donations by card at the Welcome Desk Till.

Exiting the Museum
To help with social distancing we are asking those that can to exit via a short staircase from the café gallery, taking you out onto Russell-Cotes Road.
Wheelchair users and those unable to manage the stairs will exit via our normal garden exit.

Please refer to our Reopening FAQ’s section for further information

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