The Lightbox

The Lightbox - view from the courtyard
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The Lightbox is the award winning gallery and museum in Woking, Surrey, where there is something for everyone. Whether you’re passionate about the arts and history, want activities and fun, or would just like somewhere quiet to relax and think, you’ll find it all at The Lightbox.

The stunning building designed by Marks Barfield Architects boasts two spacious galleries and a number of side galleries, hosting a wide range of free exhibitions, changing regularly. The Lightbox is also home to Woking's Story, the interactive museum of the town's history from the 19th Century to the present day. If you’re visiting with children you’ll find plenty to keep them occupied and entertained.

Enjoy the changing displays around the building from the prestigious Ingram Collection of Modern British Art , which is on long-term loan to The Lightbox from Woking businessman, Chris Ingram and includes works by Anthony Caro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elisabeth Frink and Barbara Hepworth.

In addition to the changing exhibitions and displays, The Lightbox runs an extensive education and events programme, meaning there is always something different to experience.

A visit can be completed with a delicious meal or coffee at the canal-side cafe, or browsing for that special gift in the gift shop which stocks a wide range of beautiful gifts including handmade work by local designer-makers.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Heritage site

Opening hours

Tues - Sat: 10:30am - 5.00pm
Thurs: 10.30am - 9.30pm
Sun: 11.00am - 4.00pm

Closed Mondays and bank holidays.

Admission charges

Free entry, £4.50 Day Pass, £7.50 Annual Pass, Under 18s Free


  • Museums Association
  • National Art Pass
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of woman and young boy in the Woking's Story gallery at The Lightbox

Woking's Story

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Woking's Story is a permanent museum at The Lightbox which explores the town's fascinating history covering themes such as the 'mad, the bad and the dead'. This family friendly space has something for everyone, from a fun children's dressing up box to the moving stories of local people.

The museum has eight main displays which are interactive and some have oral history listening points. You can discover people’s personal memories of life in the town and watch historic films. Have you ever wondered about what life in Woking used to be like? Or how the town came to be the way it is today?

Tours of Woking's Story can be arranged if booked in advance.


Italian Peasant Woman sculpture

Picturing People: The Ingram Collection

  • 20 January — 1 April 2018 *on now

This exhibition will feature portraits and self-portraits from The Ingram Collection. From wives and husbands, to mythological characters, celebrities, soldiers and footballers, this exhibition will explore over 100 years’ worth of artists’ work depicting people.
Introspective, revelatory and autobiographical self-portraits will show how artists see themselves while Young Contemporary Talent Tom Benedek’s ‘Eggs Benedict’, from Camberwell College of Arts will show how portraiture continues to flourish today.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


£4.50 Day Pass or £7.50 Annual Pass | Under 18s Free


Marcel Ronay, The Road to Midge Hole (near Hebden Bridge Yorkshire) pastel

Marcel Ronay: Tranquility and Stability after two World Wars

  • 3 February — 11 March 2018 *on now

With pastoral and bucolic images, themes of tranquillity and peace are reflected in Marcel Ronay’s art, created in England in the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibition will reflect the artist’s contentment with colourful seascapes, riverscapes, urban scenes and forest landscapes displayed.


Free entry | Donations welcome


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Wood carving

Introduction to Chair Making

  • 24 February 2018 10:30am-1pm *on now

Join Mervyn Mewis for an Introduction to Green Wood Working. Come and make a traditional three legged stool from locally sourced hardwoods. You will complete your stool to take away on the day and experience some of the processes in furniture making.


£25 adults | £22 Friends


J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), Thomson's Aeolian Harp, 1809, oil paint on canvas © Manchester Art Gallery, Bridgeman Images

J.M.W. Turner and 'the Matchless Vale of Thames'

  • 27 February 2018 1-2pm

Turner found great inspiration in the Arcadian landscape which forms the famous view from Richmond Hill, described by the 18th century poet James Thomson as ‘the Matchless Vale of Thames’. He rented property at nearby Isleworth and Hammersmith, and finally bought his own piece of landscape at Twickenham, where he built Sandycombe Lodge, to his own designs. This talk explores the importance to Turner of this small part of the Thames, and the ways in which poetry shaped his work.

Catherine Parry-Wingfield is an art historian and is chairman of Turner’s House Trust. She has worked extensively on the history of the house and its new presentation to the public.


£6 Adults | £4 Friends


Conversations in the gallery

Conversations in the Gallery

  • 7 March 2018 10-11:30am

This is a programme of regular interactive gallery discussions for older people, led by artists, curators or art historians. Come and join us for a cup of coffee and a chat and learn more about the art on display.

Spaces are limited therefore advance booking is required.


£3 per person | Free for supporters


Ethel Smyth, 1908, Lewis Orchard Collection Ref.9180, courtesy of Surrey History Centre

Dame Ethel Smyth (1858–1944): Composer, Writer, Suffragette, and Woking Resident

  • 8 March 2018 1-2pm

On International Women’s Day, Dr Christopher Wiley, senior lecturer in music at the University of Surrey, will discuss the life and works of Ethel Smyth, one of Woking’s most famous former residents. Smyth entered the music profession at a time when women composers were under-represented internationally, becoming one of the foremost British composers of her generation. A strong female role model on those grounds alone, in 1910 she met Emmeline Pankhurst and pledged a period of service to the suffragette movement. In later years, she developed a secondary career as a writer of memoirs and polemical essays.

Advance booking required. Talks last for approximately 45 minutes with a short time for questions.


£6 Adults | £4 Friends


Film Nights

Film Nights: Surviving Picasso

  • 8 March 2018 8-10pm

The passionate drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty and move on with her life. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore, and directed by James Ivory. Come early for dinner and a drink in Seasons café, serving a delicious tapas menu. Browse the Shop or the galleries before making your way upstairs for the 8.00pm screening.


£8 Adults | £6 Friends



Discover Surrey Tour: RHS Wisley and The Lightbox

  • 15 March 2018 11am-4:30pm

Enjoy guided tours of both venues. Start your day at The Lightbox and view our Picturing People exhibition. Enjoy a buffet lunch in our Ambassador Room, overlooking the Basingstoke canal. You will then travel to RHS Wisley, one of the UK's great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. An expert guide will show you round the amazing gardens giving you insight into areas you may not have seen on your own.
Upon your return to The Lightbox take advantage of a free day pass and view all exhibitions until 9:30pm. Don't forget to grab some delicious food from Seasons Café and check out all the amazing hand-crafted gifts in our award winning Shop.
Tickets include coach and lunch.


£40 Adults | £37 Friends.


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Brookwood Hospital: A Victorian Community History Box

Specially designed to introduce visitors to Woking's story, this History Box explores how the hospital worked and how patients were treated in Victorian Woking. It contains a pack of suggested activities to do with the objects included. Due to its sensitive subject matter, this box is suitable for pupils aged 11 and up. It contains a pack of suggested activities to do with the objects included.

How to obtain

Contact the Education Team on 01483 737815 or email

Frames of Refuge

An exhibition being put together by 30 young people, focusing on the experiences of refugees. The presentation incorporates a film using video interviews of refugees carried out by the students, and also students' artwork in response to those interviews. The exhibition, designed by the students, will be shown at the Lightbox in July 2009, at Surrey History Centre in the autumn of 2009 and at the production of 'The Vision', Woking's new community play about refugees and displaced people, in April 1010. It will also be made available as a DVD and on The Lightbox's website.


  • Students at Winston Churchill School, Woking, with the assistance of Rib Davis from The Lightbox.


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How to obtain

The exhibition will be viewable without booking or charge.

Oral History Box

Specially designed to introduce visitors to Woking's story, this History Box includes wartime and childhood memories of Woking on CD, together with recording equipment for pupils to carry out their own oral history interviews and a pack of suggested activities. Suitable for all ages.

How to obtain

Contact the Education Team on 01483 737815 or email

Tours of the Lightbox

Take a close-up look at the architecture of the building, enjoy views of Woking from different angles, and find out why certain design decisions were taken.
Discover Woking’s Story and marvel at the design features incorporated to make the 2000sqm space an excellent display area for a personal collection of modern British art, including renowned sculptures.
Visitors will see why the stunning building has been highly acclaimed in the media and was voted Museum of the Year and won the prestigious Art Fund Prize 2008 as well as the RIBA SE award.

How to obtain

The 30 minute tours, held on the first and third Tuesday of every month, are hosted by one of The Lightbox’s team of dedicated volunteers and begin at 11am. Numbers are limited, but although the tours are free, pre-booking is required through reception or on the booking line: 01483 737837.

World War II in Woking

Learn about what life was like in Woking during World War II and take part in a WWII themed workshop activity.

How to obtain

This activity session costs £60 and will last approximately two hours. It includes a hands-on creative workshop in our education studio and a visit to the relevant exhibition. If you would like to discuss your individual requirements then please contact the Education Team on 01483 737815 or email

The Lightbox
Chobham Road
GU21 4AA




01483 737800


01483 764369

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.