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Sheffield Arts & Culture

Sheffield’s Museums Reopening: A Guide (UPDATED)

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

A number of Sheffield’s Museums are beginning to reopen. Here’s a guide to what’s happening and what social distancing measures are being put in place to help keep everybody safe.

Guide to Museums in Sheffield reopening and social distancing measures

It is fantastic news that Sheffield’s museums are beginning to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many are operating at reduced capacities and with social distancing measures in place. For some, there may be a requirement to book in advance in order to ensure you get access.

Check below for our guide to what Sheffield Museums are open when, and what safety measures are in place.

Weston Park Museum Now Open

As part of Museums Sheffield, Weston Park Museum have announced they will be reopening on Monday 17 August. A number of social distancing measures are in place to help keep you and staff safe.

Weston Park Museum will be operating reduced opening times, from 11am to 3pm daily.

Visitors are advised to pre-book a free ticket in advance to guarantee entry. Walk-in visits are still available, but entry may be delayed as the museum is operating a reduced capacity.

Visitors should wear face coverings and maintain social distancing whilst browsing the museum. Hand sanitiser will be placed at key points throughout the museum, and an enhanced cleaning programme will be taking place.

Some interactive exhibits will be removed or inaccessible currently, including the popular kid’s dress-up costumes. These will be reintroduced once it is safe to do so.

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Be aware that if you wish to buy from the Museum shop only card payments are available currently (no cash transactions).

Millennium Gallery Now Open

The Millennium Gallery will also be reopening on Monday 17 August. The gallery will operate much the same as Weston Park Museum above, from 11am to 3pm daily.

  • Limited numbers of visitors
  • Pre-booked visits (some capacity for walk-up entry)
  • Visitors asked to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser available throughout the museum
  • Enhanced cleaning throughout the day
  • One-way routes in some areas
  • Clear social distancing guidance
  • Some interactives removed for a little while
  • Screens on shop counters and card-only payments

Graves Gallery Not Reopening Yet

Whilst the above Museums Sheffield attractions are set to reopen, the Graves Gallery will remain closed for the time being.

“[reopening] the Graves Gallery won’t be too far behind – we’ll let you know as soon as its reopening date is confirmed”Museums Sheffield, regarding Graves Gallery.

Kelham Island Museum Now Open

The popular Kelham Island Museum reopened on Monday 10 August.

Kelham Island Museum will also be operating reduced times, from 11am-3pm Mon-Thurs, and 11am-4pm Sat-Sun.

Similarly, Kelham Island Museum is asking people to pre-book tickets in advance. Two arrival slots are available each day (11am/1pm, 11am/1:30pm weekends). Reduced prices of £5 for adults (children under 16 free) are currently available.

Kelham Island Museum Bessemer
Kelham Island Museum Bessemer

The museum will have a reduced capacity and social distancing measures are in place throughout. A one-way route has been established through the museum to help everybody get around safely. Likewise, floor markers will help you maintain social distancing.

Again, visitors are asked to wear face masks. Contactless payment will be the primary transaction method.

Unfortunately, some areas will be closed and some hands-on exhibits have been removed for now. The River Don engine will be unable to run at the current time.

The Millowners Arms and Island Cafe+Bar are open, with an excellent socially distanced beer garden in place.

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel Workshop remain closed

“For now, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel Workshop will remain closed. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.”Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust

National Emergency Services Museum To Reopen

The excellent National Emergency Services Museum has announced it will be opening a little later, at 9am on Wednesday 9 September. The date is special as it marks 999 Day!

“Between now and then we will be working hard to complete all the required changes to our building to make it as safe as we can for visitors. We will also be welcoming back our fabulous team of staff and volunteers, providing them with support and training so that they feel confident about their role in making your visitor experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.”The National Emergency Services Museum

The National Videogame Museum Reopening

One of Sheffield’s newest museums, the National Videogame Museum will be reopening from Saturday 22 August.

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“We’ve have developed a bunch of new safety procedures, and having had a successful trial opening last weekend we are excited to be welcoming you back.”The National Videogame Museum

There are some changes to be aware of:

  • Pre-booking is essential
  • Timed visit slots are available with very limited availability
  • Safety procedures must be followed

Galleries have been rearranged to allow for social distancing. Additionally, cleaning regimes have been increased across the site.

All staff are equipped with face coverings and visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times within the museum. Hand sanitiser is available around the site.

The National Videogame Museum, Sheffield — Sheffield Museums reopening
The National Videogame Museum, Sheffield

Your museums need your support now more than ever

Sheffield’s museums are an important part of the history, culture and fabric of the city. To lose any of the great facilities would be tragic.

Current times have had a profound effect on museums already, with some struggling. Many museums can only continue operate with donations, ticket revenue or shop purchases from visitors.

Please bare this in mind and visit your favourite museums. Where possible and if you’re able, offer a donation or buy something from the museum shop to help keep them going through these strange times.


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Written By

Founder and editor of The Sheffield Guide. A lifelong Sheffielder with a local pride that lovingly crafts each and every piece created. Discover the very best of the Steel City with The Sheffield Guide.

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