Advance Booking

For organised groups of any size advance booking is essential.

Our maximum group size is 20 people, including children and adults, so larger groups will need to be staggered into smaller ones. This is to ensure the safety of our collections, and to give you enough space to explore the museum in comfort.

The Cole Museum is centred at the heart of a working University building, which has an open plan layout. We must ask our visitors to be considerate of our staff and researchers working on the upper floors by keeping noise levels to a minimum. We regret that, as a result, the museum is not suitable for children under 5.

Group bookings are self-led, and do not include a guided tour.

Schools are welcome to provide their own learning materials.
Due to the open plan layout of our building, we regret that we can no longer accommodate school bookings for years 1 and 2. 

We are not currently able to accept evening bookings.

Calendar and Booking Request Form

Follow this link to the museum’s calendar, for an overview of when visits have already been booked or when the museum is closed for teaching. We will have limited availability for group visits during term time.

When you have some provisional dates in mind, please fill in the Booking Request form, and a member of staff will get back to you by email within a few days, to confirm or further discuss your visit.

If you have any further questions, please email the museum to discuss available times and dates for your visit.

Travel and Parking

Parking on campus is limited, so we would advise you to take public transport, or walk to the museum if you are a local group. You can find our travel directions here, including information about accessible parking.

If you need to bring a minibus, we need to know in advance so that we can book a parking space for you with the university. Minibus parking is limited and only available on Chancellor’s Way, which is accessed from the Shinfield Road entrance to the campus. Drop-off and collection is not permitted in the small museum car park. You will need to allow approximately 15-20 minutes for your group to walk across campus to the museum – walking directions across campus can be found here.


For group visits, we suggest a donation amount of £1 per person, or a group donation of £25.
(The minimum card transaction that we can accept is £3.)

Payment is processsed securely online, via our dedicated donations page.