A tour in Room 33

Tours and talks

Choose from

Around the world in 90 minutes

Desire, love, identity: an LGBTQ tour

Eye-opener tours: 40 minutes

Spotlight: the Round Reading Room tour

Hands on desks: 11.00–16.00

Friday night spotlight tours: 20 minutes

Get to know the collection through tours, talks and Hands on desks.

Travel around the world in 90 minutes on our guided highlights tour and explore some of the Museum's most famous objects. Or discover LGBTQ themes and histories in the collection with our Desire, love, identity tour. Take a look below for more details. 

The specific content of tours and talks may change due to gallery work, exhibitions or other essential Museum activities. We are not always able to advise on this in advance.

Around the world in 90 minutes tour

Around the world in 90 minutes tour

Explore some of the most famous objects on display at the Museum on this guided highlights tour.

  • Each tour lasts for 90 minutes and covers multiple galleries.
  • Tours take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11.30 and 14.00.
  • Each tour has a capacity of 20 people.
  • £14 per person.
  • Recommended for adults and children aged 12+.
  • Please note that the tour will visit a number of galleries on different floors and involves a considerable amount of walking.

Desire, love, identity: an LGBTQ tour

Desire, love, identity: an LGBTQ tour

Explore objects in the collection linked to the themes of desire, love and identity. 

  • This tour focuses on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) themes and histories.
  • Each tour lasts for around 70 minutes.
  • Tours are free but booking is strongly recommended.
  • Each tour has a capacity of 15 people.
  • Recommended for adults and children aged 12+.
  • The tour visits a number of galleries on different floors and involves a considerable amount of walking.

Spotlight: the Round Reading Room

Spotlight: the Round Reading Room tour

Please note that tours of the Round Reading Room have been temporarily paused from mid-April due to essential works. The Round Reading Room will reopen in July 2024.  

Take a brief behind-the-scenes tour of the Round Reading Room and discover how it's evolved since 1857 and the famous faces that studied there.

  • Tours take place on Tuesdays at 11.00 and 12.00.
  • Each tour lasts for around 20 minutes.
  • Tours are free but advanced booking is essential.
  • Each tour has a capacity of 15 people.
  • You can book a maximum of four tickets per group.
  • Please note that photography is not permitted in the Round Reading Room. 
  • Recommended for adults and children aged 12+.

Eye-opener tours

Eye-opener tours

Join a volunteer guide on one of our free eye-opener tours bringing you closer to the collection. 

  • Our free volunteer-led eye-opener tours are 40 minutes long.
  • The tours are recommended for adults, though children are welcome.
  • These tours are generally limited to 15 places per session, depending on the Museum location. Please arrive early at the meeting point to secure a space.
  • Eye-opener tours run at different times during the day.
  • The availability of tours and talks may be reduced on bank holidays – see dates of upcoming bank holidays.
  • Please be aware these tours are subject to cancellation. Please ask at the Information Desk on the day for details.

Friday night spotlight tours

Friday night spotlight tours

Join a volunteer guide on one of our free Friday night spotlight tours focusing on four remarkable areas of the collection.

  • Our free volunteer-led Spotlight tours are 20 minutes long. 
  • They take place on late opening on Fridays only.
  • The tours are recommended for adults, though children are welcome.
  • We offer tours between 17.00-19.00.
  • The availability of tours and talks may be reduced on bank holidays – see dates of upcoming bank holidays.
  • Please be aware these tours are subject to cancellation. Please ask at the Information Desk on the day for details.

Hands on desks

Hands on desks

The Hands on desks allow visitors to handle real objects and to find out more about the collection through relaxed, informal conversations. Volunteers facilitate the object handling, encourage discussion and answer visitors' questions. The handling collection for each desk relates to the displays around it.

Sessions are free and take place daily from 11.00–16.00, subject to availability, in the galleries listed below:

Room 1 – Enlightenment 

Room 2 – Collecting the world 

Room 24 – Africa, Oceania and the Americas 

Room 49 – Ancient Europe and Roman Britain 

Room 68 – Money

Rooms 42–43 – The Islamic world

Room 33 – Asia