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Visiting the Polar Museum

Visiting the Polar Museum

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

Opening hours

The Polar Museum is open from 10am-4pm from Tuesday to Saturday (and on Bank Holidays). Admission to the Museum is free and all are welcome.

We are closed on Sundays and Mondays (except Bank Holiday Mondays) and the period between Christmas and New Year. Visitors making a special trip are advised to check opening times beforehand by contacting the Museum.

The Museum will be closed over Christmas and New Year from Friday 20 December 2019 and will re-open at 10am on Friday 3 January 2020.


The Museum's entrance is located on Lensfield Road, close to the centre of Cambridge.
We are situated close to the the Fitzwilliam Museum 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. Free accessible parking is available for visitors with disabilities in the Scott Polar Research Institute car park, via the entrance on Lensfield Road. This facility should be booked in advance, by contacting us prior to your visit. The Museum has a toilet for visitors which is wheelchair accessible.

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

Disabled accessLift at main entrance

Step free access to the Institute is available using a ramp, accessible via the car park. The ramp is next to our disabled car parking space. Please contact us in advance if you would like to book the space. Roadside parking outside the museum is also free for blue badge holders.

The museum has a wheelchair available for visitors to use. Please ask on the day when you arrive, or call or email us to book it in advance.

The SPRI Museum is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building, and every effort is made to make access to the museum easy for everyone. Staff are always willing to help visitors with mobility difficulties. The WC is wheelchair accessible.

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).

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 guide can be purchased at the information desk.

Teachers planning a visit or people who are have special access needs, for example if they are blind or partially sighted, are welcome to a free audio guide.

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