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

Adults £11.50
Children (0-5) Free
Children (6-15) £8.00
Seniors £9.50
Family £32.00


  • 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 — 22 February 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


Great Big Gig Build

Great Big Gig Build

  • 1 June 2015 — 7 April 2016 *on now

In a first for the Maritime Museum, this exciting new project will see a team of wounded, injured and sick armed forces personnel and veterans building their own specially adapted Cornish pilot gig to compete in the 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships.

The project, which is partly funded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant, will see participants working with renowned gig builder Andrew Nancarrow and visitors will be able to see the construction as it happens in the Museum’s workshop gallery.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Mermaids: Women at Sea

  • 14 September 2015 — 21 February 2016 *on now

An exhibition exploring the hidden histories of women at sea.

From Mary Lang, who joined the crew on the last of the merchant sailing ships to journey from South Australia to Cornwall in the 1930s, to Dame Ellen MacArthur who blazed a trail for women in competitive sailing assuring herself a place in sporting history as the fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe, this exhibition tells the compelling stories of those who’ve challenged the establishment and made their mark in a male dominated world.

The exhibition, which is supported by the Hypatia Trust, brings these stories to life through objects, film and photography.

Suitable for

  • Any age


How Europe Saw the World

  • 3 October 2015 — 24 April 2016 *on now

Over 400 years ago vivid visual and written descriptions of pioneering voyages to the Americas, Africa, India and the Far East reached Europe in the form of finely detailed copperplate engravings. This exhibition presents the alluring images of Flemish engraver Theodore de Bry, amongst the earliest ever published. Between 1590 and 1602 de Bry illustrated the diverse customs and people who lived in distant lands, including their nautical traditions. - See more at:

Suitable for

  • Any age


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

logo: Museums at Night




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.