The Polar Museum

The Polar Museum
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Exploration into science: Discover the story of planet Earth's coldest, driest, windiest, highest and deadliest places …

If you have ever wondered what it is like to travel to the Polar Regions or why they are so important to the future of our world, take a trip to The Polar Museum. From penguins to paintings, sleeping bags to sextants, Inuit art to explorers' diaries – come and find out about exploration, science and survival at the extreme ends of the earth. Discover the North and South Poles just 10 minutes' walk from the city centre. We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages, including school and other groups.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive

Opening hours

Museum opening times: 1000-1600 (Tues to Sat), open on Bank Holidays, closed over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Polar Museum welcomes school and other groups of all ages - please book in advance. Please note that the museum is small and we therefore ask that you limit groups to 24.

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

Our library and archives are open to the public by appointment.

We have been shortlisted for a European Museum of the Year Award 2012.

The Museum holds an unrivalled collection of artifacts, paintings, drawings, photographs (including cinematographic film, lantern slides, and Daguerreotypes), and other material relating to polar exploration, history and science.
The museum displays feature items from Scott's last expedition, including farewell letters to friends and family, diaries, the sleeping bag of Captain Oates, and the black flag left by Amundsen. The museum also houses displays on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, scientific instruments and equipment from the 'heroic age' of exploration, the sledges and skis used by Scott, Shackleton and other explorers, geological specimens, modern exploration equipment and clothing, polar artworks and an example of an Emperor penguin.
Items not on display may be viewed by prior arrangement.

Collection details

Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Film and Media, Land Transport, Maritime, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott
  • Captain Lawrence Oates
  • Roald Amundsen
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • British Graham Land Expedition
  • Northwest Passage
  • Sir John Franklin
  • Sledges and skis
  • Modern exploration equipment and clothing
  • Emperor penguin
  • Arctic
  • Antarctic
  • North Pole
  • South Pole
  • Inuit
  • Scrimshaw

The Polar Museum
Scott Polar Research Institute
Lensfield Road

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General information


Museum Shop


General enquiries

01223 336540

Education & Outreach Officer

01223 336562


01223 336548


01223 336549

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.