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.

Captain Bligh: Myth, Man, Mutiny

  • 17 March 2017 — 7 January 2018 *on now

Step into the sights and sounds of one the greatest survival feats in British history.

230 years ago, British navy ship HMS Bounty was sailing from Tahiti to the West Indies. During its 17 month voyage, in the middle of the South Pacific the famous mutiny broke out, led by Bligh’s acting lieutenant, Fletcher Christian. Bligh and his loyal men were cast adrift, mid-ocean in the Bounty’s 23-foot launch in the expectation they would die.

Cast adrift in the South Pacific, Bligh and his men seemed to face certain death. 19 men packed into the launch, which was only 23ft long and little more than 6ft wide. Supplies were only enough to last that many people, on normal rations, for five days. The journey would take over 48 days.

In a remarkable feat of seamanship, Bligh sailed the heavily overloaded launch to safety across 3600 nautical miles of open sea from Tonga to Timor, in the East Indies. This journey has been described as one of the greatest small-boat survival voyages, a triumph of endurance, navigation and leadership against extraordinary odds.

Experience the reality of this gruelling journey through some of the world’s most remote and unforgiving seas. Uncover the secrets of survival and get a closer understanding of Bligh’s epic feat.


Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed

  • 17 March 2017 — 7 January 2018 *on now

“Tattooing is a magical, romantic, exciting and often-misunderstood art-form, and this exhibition aims to communicate some of that magic to visitors.” Dr Matt Lodder, guest curator.

Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed is a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing, featuring cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors. This is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK featuring over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts.

The exhibition challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age, whilst at the same time celebrating the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing in the UK.


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.