The National Archives

Front entrance of The National Archives
Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The National Archives is the official archives and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. We work to bring together and secure the future of the public record, both digital and physical, for future generations.

The National Archives is open to all, offering a range of activities and spaces to enjoy, as well as our reading rooms for research. Many of our most popular records are also available online.

Twitter: @UKNatArchives
Facebook: The National Archives

Venue Type:

Archive, Museum, Heritage site

Opening hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 19:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission charges

Free. Some events paid for.

Getting there

10 minutes walk from Kew Gardens underground station (District line)
15 minutes walk from Kew Bridge mainline station (South West trains)
R68 bus route

Archives of the British government covering over a thousand years of world history and all seven continents from Arctic explorers and Middle Eastern embassies to papal bulls and the photographic collections of Colonial administrations.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Social History, Photography, Maritime, Law and Order, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Domesday Book
  • Magna Carta
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Valor Ecclesiasticus
  • Victorian photographs
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.

Behind the scenes tour

  • 24 November 2017 11am-12:30pm
  • 15 December 2017 11am-12:30pm

We are opening the doors of The National Archives' repositories to offer you the chance to go behind the scenes. Discover how we keep and maintain the record for future generations and explore some of the hidden gems in our collections.




John Cabot

On the trail of John Cabot: a modern detective story

  • 23 November — 23 December 2017 *on now

The history of John Cabot and his voyages of 1497 and 1498 can be traced through documents at The National Archives with fascinating results. Join one of the leading scholars in the field as she tells the amazing detective stories behind recent advances in Cabot studies, which include designer shoes, an obsolete computer, and an estate agent’s particulars, not to mention the destruction by a highly respected scholar of all her life’s work. Margaret Condon is a founding member of The Cabot Project, an international and collaborative project set up to investigate the Bristol discovery voyages of the late 15th and early 16th centuries.


Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood: an evening with Stephen McGann

  • 24 November 2017 6-8pm

Flesh and Blood is the story of McGann’s family as told through seven maladies – diseases, wounds or ailments that have afflicted Stephen McGann’s relatives over the last 150 years, which have helped mould him into what he now perceives himself to be. This event is an opportunity to hear Stephen talk about his latest book, inspired by his passion for genealogy with an academic interest in the social dimensions of medicine. Stephen McGann is an actor, currently known for his role as Dr Patrick Turner in the BBC’s Call the Midwife. He has been an ambassador for Explore Your Archive since 2014.





DCDC Conference 2017 #DCDC17

  • 27 — 29 November 2017

DCDC17 will consider how, by working collaboratively through networks of inter and cross-disciplinary initiatives, we can continue to improve and develop methodologies in order to build a strong evidence base to demonstrate the cultural value of collections and their contribution to the creative economy.

When: 27-29 November 2017
Where: The Lowry, Salford Quays
Attendance: See website for conference fees
Programme: See website for the 2017 programme

We advise delegates to review the DCDC17 FAQ before registering for this event.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


The Lowry
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ


Fighting Proud

Fighting Proud

  • 28 November 2017 2-3pm

Stephen Bourne will present an illustrated talk about some of the gay men who feature in his latest book, Fighting Proud – The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars. Fighting Proud includes the stories of many servicemen, such as Battle of Britain hero Ian Gleed, as well as the wartime home front experiences of Quentin Crisp, bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, PC Harry Daley and Noel Coward. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.





The Time Travel Club - Back in time for Christmas

  • 2 December 2017 10:30am-12pm

Come with us on a festive journey to explore Christmas past. Discover beautiful designs for greetings cards and adverts for tempting treats in our collection. Find out about festive Tudor feasts, Victorian Christmas in the workhouse and Christmas experiences during the Second World War. Then create your own Christmas cards or decorations inspired by our records. Adults do not need to book for themselves.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13


£7.50 per child, adults go free.



The fall of Jerusalem

  • 5 December 2017 2-3pm

The fall of Jerusalem on 9 December 1917 brought centuries of Ottoman rule to an end. It was undoubtedly a military success but also a formidable propaganda and political tool. On 11 December, General Allenby entered the Holy City on foot, well ahead of the rest of the procession, and presented himself as a liberator rather than a conqueror. Dr Juliette Desplat will talk about this turning point in the political running of the war in the Middle East, drawing on records held here at The National Archives.




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.

Getting there

10 minutes walk from Kew Gardens underground station (District line)
15 minutes walk from Kew Bridge mainline station (South West trains)
R68 bus route

The National Archives




020 8876 3444

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.