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The main entrance of New Walk Museum with grand white pillars.
A large dinosaur skeleton on display at New Walk Museum.
An art and sculpture exhibition at the New Walk Museum.
Children interacting with the hands-on mask exhibits at New Walk Museum.

New Walk Museum

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Also known as Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, New Walk Museum is one of the most popular free museums in Leicestershire.
  • Established in 1849, it was one of the first public museums ever to open in the United Kingdom.
  • New Walk Museum's eclectic gallery collections cover everything from ancient history and dinosaurs to contemporary arts and science.
  • Don't miss the regular New Walk Museum events and exhibitions that take place throughout the year, such as the much-loved LEGO Brick City and hands-on children's workshops.

Since they opened in 1849, Leicester Museums and Galleries have been welcoming the public with some of the first free art galleries in the country. One of its main institutions, the New Walk Museum showcases a huge range of cultural artefacts from around the world as well as celebrating the local work of Leicester's own community and heritage.

The Leicester Museum and Art Gallery - also named New Walk Museum - is home to 15 diverse galleries covering Ancient Egypt, Victorian Art, Picasso Ceramics, German Expressionism, Art & Crafts, Dinosaurs, Wild Space and many fossil, animal and insect relics. As well as a whole host of permanent and temporary exhibits, this varied Leicester museum also has a dedicated educational programme and provides a range of activities for children to enjoy such as interactive talks, family workshops, activity packs and special kids' handling sessions to allow the little ones to really immerse themselves in these cultural collections. Leicester Museum and Gallery's many notable exhibits include the Dinosaur Gallery, which transports visitors back to Great Britain during prehistoric times with Jurassic replicas such as their 15-metre Rutland Dinosaur. Another favourite with families, the Wild Space Gallery ventures deep into the animal kingdom through atmospheric tunnels that animal-mad kids will love, and the Life and Death in Ancient Egypt gallery features four mummies and fascinating Book of the Dead fragments in one of the most prominent Egyptian collection in the East Midlands. There is also a wide range of fine art and craft-work on display at the New Walk Museum, such as the stunning portraits and landscapes of the Victorian Art Gallery, the vibrant Picasso Ceramics collection and the internationally-acclaimed German Expressionist Art Gallery, a bold and colourful collection which has been building since the 1940's.
 

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is a wonderful place for children of all ages to visit and has tons of perfectly tailored family activities on offer throughout the year. Young kids will love the children's handling sessions which let curious little ones interact with the artefacts, relics and accessories around them, whilst older children and artistic teens will revel in the fascinating talks and lunchtime concerts on offer in the museum. To make the most of your visit, make you sure you print out some of New Walk Museum's wonderful activity packs that encourage kids to engage with the exhibits in educational, fun and intuitive ways. Little artists-in-the-making can get creative by crafting their own Egyptian masks and learning the drawing techniques of the Ancient World, whilst science buffs will be fascinated by the animal and space fact sheets free for you to download, which include reading, writing and drawing tasks by theme. From its stunning mosaic floor upon entrance, in the pattern of a mythical wyvern dragon, to its delightful terraced café, the Leicester Museum and Gallery provides a whole day of family fun and learning not to be missed in Leicestershire's namesake city centre. Explore the mesmerising free galleries at your leisure and then relax with a slice of homemade cake (perhaps making use of the museum's handy free Wi-Fi) as a family at one of the first public museums in the United Kingdom.

Alongside the permanent galleries, make sure you keep an eye out for the regular touring exhibitions hosted by the museum, such as Black History workshops, commemorative World War Two events and the charming LEGO Brick City exhibit, which was an inevitable smash-hit with families across the country. Nearby the New Walk Museum you can find many more family cultural venues which are also part of the Leicester Museums and Galleries such as Soft Touch Arts, a charity institution engaging with young disadvantaged people through the arts, volunteer-run The Little Theatre and the Attenborough Arts Centre, which hosts a range of major exhibitions throughout the year. To keep the learning going at another wonderfully interactive museum in Leicestershire, head to the National Space Centre and get star-gazing as a family.

What to know before you go

  • The New Walk Museum Leicester is open from 11am to 4.30pm on weekdays, and 11am to 5pm on weekends.
  • Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is free but welcomes any small donations you can make.
  • We recommend allowing at least 1 hour and 30 minutes for your visit.
  • The Museum Café on site at New Walk is the perfect place to refuel, serving a variety of lunch options, homemade cakes and hot and cold drinks in their indoor café or outdoor Butterfly Pavement seating area. You can also enjoy your own food in the outside seating area or adjacent Museum Square park.
  • The café shuts 30 minutes before the museum closing time.
  • Nearby you can also find many more family-friendly eateries including Pizza Express, Nando's, Las Iguanas, The King's Head pub, Shivalli Indian restaurant, Caffe Nero and many more.
  • There is a great Gift Shop on-site offering pocket money souvenirs, fossils, games, gifts and toys.
  • New Walk Museum has locker facilities for you to store items from £1 each.
  • Buggies can be stored at the visitor's own risk by the museum entrance.
  • The New Walk Museum is accessible for buggies and wheelchair users with level access throughout the galleries, a lift to the first floor and a ramp at the main entrance.
  • There are accessible toilets, Changing Places facilities, mixed-gender toilets and baby changing facilities within the museum.
  • There are two accessible parking spaces in the on-site car park.
  • A hearing loop system is installed in the Victorian Art Gallery.
  • Assistant dogs are welcome within the museum, and staff are happy to provide drinking water for them.
  • There is Wi-Fi in all main areas of the venue.
  • Leicester Museum and Art Gallery provide a range of children's activity packs which you can print at home via their website and bring with you on the day to make the most of your family visit.

Getting there

  • The New Walk Museum is located in Leicester on New Walk, near to the city centre.
  • If you are driving, then you should follow signs for Leicester City Centre. The New Walk Museum has an on-site car park, or you can park at the NCP East Street car park.
  • You can also use the Leicester Park and Ride system from the Haymarket Bus Station. Take one of the Arriva bus numbers 31, 31A, 44, 44A or 48 to Leicester Railway Station.
  • The nearest train station is Leicester Station, just a five-minute walk to the venue.
  • Leicester museums also encourage cycling around the city centre, and the New Walk Museum has secure bike rails available in their car park.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines

Location

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