National Maritime Museum Cornwall

National Maritime Museum Cornwall
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The multi-award winning National Maritime Museum Cornwall has 15 galleries, over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of this island nation. Silver winner of UK Heritage Attraction of the Year at the 2013 British Travel Awards, the Museum features a number of stunning exhibitions dedicated to the sea, boats and Cornwall.

Venue Type:

Museum, Transport heritage site, Ship or maritime heritage site

Opening hours

The Museum is open every day of the year from 10am - 5pm, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Bartlett Library is open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm.

Admission charges

Adult: £12.50
Children (6-18): £5
Children (0-5): Free


  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage

Additional info

The library is open Tuesday - Saturday only

National Small Boat collection of about 140 boats and other objects & collectables.

Collection details

Archives, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Science and Technology, Social History, Sport

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Viking Voyagers

  • 20 March 2015 — 2 January 2017 *on now

National Maritime Museum Cornwall brings the Vikings to Cornwall in a new major exhibition called Viking Voyagers. Featuring nationally and internationally historically significant artefacts, the exhibition explores what is behind the popular myth of the bloodthirsty raiders, what it meant to become a Viking and shows how their mastery of maritime technology was the secret to their success.

Ships and boats were vital to Viking expansion; they explored and colonised, were invaders and migrants and the seas and rivers were the highways and byways to amassing huge wealth and power through raiding and trading.

Experience Viking life over 1000 years ago and climb aboard a full scale replica Viking ship. Get up close to rare antiquities on loan from the British Museum, National Museum of Ireland, National Museum of Denmark and Manx National Heritage, many on display for the first time in the UK.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Free with admission.

Admission Charges:

Adults £12.00

Children (Under 5s) Free

Children (5-15) £8.50

Seniors £10.00

Family £33.50


King Cnut: Holding Back the Tide

  • 7 March 2016 — 2 January 2017 *on now

Dive under the waves in our Tidal Zone and meet King Cnut a thousand years after he became King of England. What was the truth behind the legend of King Cnut holding back the waves? Enjoy our audio-visual spectacle in our unique under-water gallery and meet the Viking warrior who became a king and emperor of the sea.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Medal Winners: Hall of Fame

  • 4 July 2016 — 2 January 2017 *on now

This new exhibition celebrates British success in water sports at the Olympic and Paralympic games.

In recent years Britain has earned an enviable record in both sailing and rowing at the Olympic Games, with gold medal winners such as Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Ben Ainslie now household names, but these are by no means the only medal winners.

At London 2012 Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott won gold in the Men’s C2 Canoe Slalom and the Museum will be displaying the canoe they paddled to victory. In fact Team GB won gold and silver in this event with Baillie and Stott beating fellow Brits David Florence and Richard Houslow by just one third of a second.

The exhibition will also feature three dinghies raced to gold medal success by their respective helmsmen: Rodney Pattison’s Superdocious, which he sailed to victory in the two-man Flying Dutchman class in 1968 and two dinghies, a Laser and a Finn both call Rita, in which Sir Ben Ainslie’s achieved his unprecedented four gold medals, making him the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


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.

Christmas Supersized Weekend: Viking Yule

  • 10 — 11 December 2016 11-4am

Between 11:00 - 16:00, Saturday and Sunday there will be:
-Viking winter saga story telling.
-Meet real Vikings and hear their stories.
-Hunt on our trail for Yule Viking bears.
-Make and take your very own Viking Yule goat tree hanger.
-Learn some Nordic crafts.
-Come and meet old man winter for your traditional Nordic gift.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


FREE with a valid museum ticket

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.

Museum Minnows

Join the Museum Minnows at Falmouth's National Maritime Museum for a multi-sensory session designed especially for under fives. Visit on the 4th Friday at 13.30 for different activities every month, including a creative activity, storytelling and a magical journey to discover treasure.

How to obtain

It is free to attend Museum Minnows, after you have purchased your museum entry ticket. Booking is essential. To do so, call the museum on 01326 214532.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Discovery Quay
TR11 3QY




01326 313388

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.