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How to book and what to expect

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Preparing for your Visit

Opening Hours
The Russell-Cotes Museum will be open; Tuesdays – Sundays 10am – 5pm when we can reopen.
The Outdoor Terrace Café will be open; Tuesdays – Sundays 11am – 4pm from Tuesday 13 April, subject to the latest government guidelines.


Garden: Open from Tuesday 13 April
Historic House: Currently closed. When reopen, please follow the one-way route around the building.
Exhibition: Hidden Highlights – Life in Lockdown, Online
Shop: Open from Tuesday 13 April
Toilets: Open from Tuesday 13 April
Cloakroom: Reduced facilities – Please do not bring large bags (over 45cm) or backpacks to the museum.
Café: Museum café currently closed. Outdoor Terrace Café will be open – 11am – 4pm upon reopening.

Pre-Booking, Pre-Paid Tickets when the Museum reopens
Visitor numbers will be limited. We have reduced visitor number capacity from 250 to 60 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 128000.

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.

Members of the public are required to wear a face covering when visiting the Russell-Cotes. You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. Government guidance on the wearing of face coverings can be found here .

In line with government advice, if you’re visiting with others they must be from your household or support bubble. More information on local restrictions can be found here.

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.

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.

The gift shop will reopen on April 13, 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.

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