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Visiting the Polar Museum

Visiting the Polar Museum

The Polar Museum is currently open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:00-16:00. You no longer need to book a time slot to visit.

We are cautiously planning to open the museum with an amber weather warning in place over the next few days. Please check our social media before your visit as we may have to adjust our planned activities or close at short notice if needed.

Information about other museums within the University of Cambridge is available on the University of Cambridge Museums website. Sign up to our newsletter to stay updated about the Polar Museum.

For an introduction to the Polar Museum and our displays, download our leaflet.

Opening hours

  • Wednesday - 10:00-16:00
  • Thursday - 10:00-16:00
  • Friday - 10:00-16:00
  • Saturday - 10:00-16:00

Location

The Polar Museum's entrance is located on Lensfield Road, close to the centre of Cambridge. We are situated close to the the Fitzwilliam Museum, Botanic Garden and other University Museums, and only ten minutes walk from the railway station.

Getting to the Museum

Location map for the Polar Museum

Cambridge is easily accessible by road, and is just under 1 hour by train from London. Frequent coach services link the city with London, Oxford and towns across East Anglia.

By Road || By Rail || By Coach || By Bicycle

Once in the city, we encourage our visitors to make use of the Cambridge Park and Ride facilities. If you wish to park in town, Queen Anne is the closest car park to the Museum. Please be aware, however, that parking in Cambridge can cost up to £25 per day. A free accessible parking space is available for visitors with disabilities in the Scott Polar Research Institute's car park, via an entrance barrier. Please contact us to book this space in advance. Alternatively, roadside parking outside the Museum is free for blue badge holders.

Enlarge a map in a new window showing the location of Museum.

Disabled access

We have a full page about accessibility at the Polar Museum.

Lift at main entrance

Step-free access is available using a ramp, which is accessible via our car park, located to the right hand side of the Polar Museum's main entrance. The ramp is tucked in beside a life-size replica of the James Caird (Sir Ernest Shackleton's lifeboat) and our disabled parking space. Please contact us in advance to book the space. Alternatively, roadside parking outside the museum is also free for blue badge holders.

The Polar Museum also has a wheelchair available for visitors to use. Please either ask on the day when you arrive, or contact us to book it in advance. Our toilet is also fully accessible to all.

The Museum is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building, and every effort is made to make access to the Polar Museum easy for everyone. Staff are always willing to help visitors with mobility difficulties. One to one guiding can be provided, but must be booked in advance.

Service dogs are welcome, however pets are not permitted inside the Polar Museum.

If you have special accessibility requirements, please feel free to contact us about how we can make your visit more enjoyable. We will be happy to make arrangements to accommodate you.

Find our listing, alongside other local venues, on Euan's Guide. Click to download an audio described introduction to the Polar Museum (duration 10:36) or read our Visual Story.

Group visits

The Polar Museum welcomes visits by organised groups of up to 20 people. We ask that groups book in advance by sending a completed booking form. You may wish to suggest a range of dates and we will confirm once we receive your form. There is a charge of £100 for guided tours and talks, which are usually offered on Tuesdays and Fridays. Groups are welcome to visit on a self-guided basis, when space is available, and are also asked to complete a booking form.

Audio guides

The Museum has developed two audio tours, one suitable for adults and the other aimed at younger visitors. The audio gives our expert curators, scientists and other staff in the Institute a chance to describe some of our most significant objects in detail and gives you access to more information about the collections. The handsets are available in both touch screen and push button types, so please say if you have a preference. A small charge is made, which helps the Museum to cover the cost of maintaining the audio equipment. The guides can be purchased at the till.

Free audio guides are available for teachers planning a visit, the blind and partially sighted, or those with special access needs. Please speak to the volunteers at the museum front desk for more information.Arctic peoples display

Photography policy

Visitors are permitted to take photographs (without flash or use of a tripod) in the galleries for their personal, educational use only. Photographs taken by visitors must not be reproduced or published in any form, including on the internet, without permission. Permission should be sought from the SPRI Picture Library.

The Museum welcomes requests for research access to the Collections. Researchers wishing to access the Museum's reserve collections should make an appointment by emailing museum@spri.cam.ac.uk.