The Postal Museum

Joan Agie
Feb 14, 2024 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
Life size model of postal office with post box and car.
Age: 2+
Read time: 3.9 Min

  • Take a look at centuries' worth of communications history, brilliantly displayed in the two buildings of the Postal Museum.
  • Hop aboard Mail Rail for an underground tour of the postal railway, with some surprises in store!
  • Kids will love the activities available, from games to role-play to dress-up!
  • The Postal Museum is great for families, jam-packed with information delivered engagingly, for a variety of audiences.

The Postal Museum London is a museum dedicated to the history of the British invention: the postal service. While seemingly mundane nowadays, The Postal Museum spotlights the evolution of the postal system, arguably the first social network ever created. Get up close to the intricate designs of postage stamps and examine them like never before.

Formerly known as the British Postal Museum and Archive, the museum first opened in 2004 and was run by the Postal Heritage Trust. It was renamed The Postal Museum in 2017 and has since welcomed millions through its doors. Just imagine over 500 years of social and communications history on display. 

A special treat for young kids is The Jolly Postman Trail. Familiar or not with the storybook character, kids will love touring the museum to find the oldest letter in the collection and more. Pick up an activity sheet and follow along the journey, with lots of fun, learning and laughs along the way.

The Postal Museum is full of fun for all. While there, have a go at Lioness Attack: the game where players rush to deliver mail on time. See if you can deliver the letters promptly while fending off highwaymen and the odd lioness! In addition, their Postal Play Space for young kids is educational, fun and interactive, children will love dressing up in kids-size postal uniforms, taking on the role of postal staff for some time. Picture a miniature town and all its mini-features, with roads, buildings, pulleys, trolleys, chutes and slides. They can sort parcels, or sit, chill and read kids' books about post; it's a setting to get lost in.

What's more, they can explore some impressive technologies with Pneumatic Deliveries, learning how to send a secret message to another, overhead. With so much to see, it's no wonder visitors tend to spend between two and three hours at the Postal Museum.

While we may be very used to postage stamps, at one point, they were revolutionary. At the Museum, you can find the very first adhesive postage stamps, Penny Blacks. You'll be filled in on all things post, from details, to design, to delivery. You can also see some rare Royal Mail archives. Find out about the vehicles used to transport our post in the early days of the system, and find out why they occasionally transported passengers. Boasting an impressive archive of postal artefacts, there is a wealth of knowledge to gain.

The Postal Museum site spans two buildings; the museum itself and the British Postal Museum Mail Rail, a mini train ride tunnelling you through years of postal history. In 15 minutes of exploration, you can delve into 100 years' worth of stories about the postal railway. You'll even venture through some of the original tunnels and spot some of the original station platforms! Immersive in its own right, prepare to be dazzled by the audio-visual show and exhibits along the route.

The Postal Museum, in essence, fantastically displays how communication has changed. While letter-writing hasn't changed much, the details surrounding it (from the stamps to the delivery vehicles used) really have. For some fun postal souvenirs, don't forget to check out the fabulous gift shop, centred around British mail, great for train and post enthusiasts.

What to know before you go

  • The Counter Café in the welcome space is The Postal Museum's spot for eating. Choose from their options of salads, homemade cakes, sandwiches and drinks. They even have high chairs for kids.
  • There are baby-changing facilities on the ground floor of the Postal Museum and Mail Rail, as well as the lower ground floor of Mail Rail.
  • Wheelchair users can access almost everywhere in the Postal Museum, with the exception being the Mail Rail ride.
  • Buggies are welcome in the Postal Museum everywhere except the lower ground floor of Mail Rail. There is, however, buggy parking in Mail Rail, though limited.
  • There are gender-neutral toilets and accessible toilets located throughout the Postal Museum, with a Changing Places Toilet available also.
  • For those who prefer to breastfeed in private, the first aid room can be used upon request, if unoccupied.

Getting there

  • The nearest stations are Farringdon (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines and mainline trains) and Chancery Lane (Central line), both a 12-minute walk away.
  • Paid parking is available on Amwell Street (11-minute walk away) and Hatton Garden (12-minute walk away).

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction