Royal Armouries

Royal Armouries Museum Leeds
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Home to Britain's national collection of arms and armour, the Royal Armouries Museum houses a world-renowned collection of over 75,000 objects.

Check out the weapons and armour of warriors through the ages from early medieval knights to the modern-day soldier.

Discover treasures from around the globe - explore the Ottoman Empire, the Wild West, Europe, Japan and India.

Wonder at the fabulous arms and armour of the Japanese shoguns, the royal houses of Europe and the kinds of England including Henry VIII who reigns supreme in our newly refurbished Tournament Gallery.

With exciting Hands on History interactives you'll get closer to the action than ever before.

A fascinating FREE day out for the whole family.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 10am – 5pm. Last admission 4.30pm
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December

Admission charges

Museum admission is free.

Getting there

Car - Directions from Transport Direct

The museum is well signposted on all major routes when close to Leeds. Follow the brown tourism signs for Royal Armouries with the ‘horned helmet’ logo.
From the North: Follow brown tourism signs on the A64.
From the East: M62 east users exit M621 at junction 4 and follow the brown tourism signs.
From the South: M1 users exit M621 at junction 4 and follow the brown tourism signs. A1 users follow brown tourism signs on the A64.
From the West: M62 users exit M621 at junction 3 and follow the brown tourism signs.

Bus - Directions from Transport Direct

The following bus services run from Leeds city centre to Royal Armouries:
Geldard Coaches – 28B
Yorkshire Tiger – 93
First Leeds – 28
Bus stops where you can catch one of these buses to the Royal Armouries (the number of the bus service is in brackets).

Leeds University – 5 – Outside Blackwell’s book shop (28, 93, 28B)
Albion Street – J6 – outside St. John’s Centre (28, 93, 28B)
Eastgate – G1 (28B)
Vicar Lane – M4 – opposite Victoria Quarter (28, 28B)
York Street – F5 – outside Leeds Bus/Coach Station (28, 28B)
Chadwick Street – A1 – 100 metres from museum entrance (28, 28B)
Liberty Dock – Student Halls of Residence – 350 metres from museum entrance (28, 93, 28B)

Boat
Clarence Dock is on the Aire/Calder Navigation and has a large number of berths for narrow boats and cruisers.

Bicycle
The museum stands on National Cycle Network Route 67.
Bicycle racks are provided close to the museum entrance.
Please ensure that your bicycle is properly locked at all times and valuables removed.
Free and secure bicycle storage is available at the nearby multi-storey car park.

The collection consists of some 70,000 examples of arms, armour and artillery dating from antiquity to the present day. It includes royal armours of the Tudor and Stuart kings; arms and armour of the English Civil Wars; British and foreign military weapons from the Board of Ordnance and MOD Pattern Room collections; hunting and sporting weapons, as well as an exceptional collection of oriental arms and armour.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Archives

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.
Elizabethan Horse Shows

Tudor riding skills horse shows

  • 25 — 27 May 2019

‘Queen Elizabeth I will be hosting special Tudor riding skills horse shows in our outdoor arena.

During the Elizabethan period, hunting, whether with hawks and hounds, on foot or on horseback, with bow and spear or net and trap was an important method of putting fresh food on the table. In some forms, hunting developed into a highly ritualised activity with its own rules and language.

It was also an opportunity for the cream of society to be seen showing off their finest animals, birds, wardrobe and weapons.

Just as importantly, many of the skills necessary for a hunter of noble birth, especially horsemanship and dexterity with weapons, were equally vital for survival as a warrior on the battlefield. When not involved in battle or tournament (the sporting practice for war), hunting was the nobility’s passion.

Challenges to test the horsemanship and skills with various weapons of our Tudor gentlemen will include:

Javelin at the boar
Sword at the boar
A royal quarrel at the hart
Sword cuts through a cabbage
Sword thrusts at the heart
Running at the ring
Running at the quintain
Running at the glove
(No animals will be harmed in the performance of these skills, though we cannot make that promise for the cabbages).

Show times
12 noon
3 pm

Tickets
Adults: £5
Concessions: £3.50 (children 3-15 / 60+ / visitors with disabilities / wheelchair users)
Family: £15 (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children)
Carer: Free (1 free ticket per visitor with disabilities ticket purchased)
Tickets can be pre-booked

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults: £5
Concessions: £3.50 (children 3-15 / 60+ / visitors with disabilities / wheelchair users)
Family: £15 (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children)
Carer: Free (1 free ticket per visitor with disabilities ticket purchased)

Website

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/monarchs-tudor-riding-skills-horse-shows-tickets-60016997455

Elizabeth I

Monarchs – Elizabeth I

  • 25 — 27 May 2019

This May Bank Holiday join us at the court of Elizabeth I and meet the ‘Virgin Queen’.

Nickname: The ‘Virgin Queen’
Lived: 1533 – 1603
Reigned: 1558 – 1603
Ruled: England and Ireland

Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her reign is known as the ‘Golden Age’ — a time of exploration and English naval supremacy.

Themed weekend features
costumed characters
live and authentic combat demonstrations
talks
tours
object handling sessions

Daily event programme
10.30am Meet the monarch: Elizabeth I
10.45am The armour of Lord Dudley / Talk
11.00am Interactive storytelling for under 5s
11.15am Elizabethan sword master / Demonstration
12noon Crafts (until 3pm)
12noon Tudor riding skills / Horse show
1.00pm The Armada / Performance
2.00pm Elizabethan armoured combat / Demonstration
3.00pm Tudor riding skills / Horse show
3.45pm The adventures of Sir Francis Drake / Performance

Tudor horse shows
Queen Elizabeth I will also be hosting special Tudor riding skills horse shows in the outdoor arena.

Time
12 noon
3pm

Tickets available online

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free of charge. However horse shows are ticketed.

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/monarchs-elizabeth-i/

May half term

A Royal Half Term

  • 28 May — 2 June 2019

This half-term week will be packed with Royal-themed activities for all ages including live combat displays, storytelling, dramatic performances, have-a-goes, crafts and much more.

At the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds we have many magnificent treasures that once belonged to monarchs from around the globe.

Come and explore the museum with our regal prize draw puzzle trail and discover fascinating objects like King Henry VIII’s magnificent armours, jewel-encrusted swords and royally decorated sporting guns. There will be a right Royal prize for the winner.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/the-right-royal-armouries/

Tokugawa

Monarchs – Tokugawa Ieyasu

  • 22 — 23 June 2019 10am-5pm

This weekend join us at the court of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and meet the unifier of Japan.

Lived: 1543 – 1616
Reigned: 1600 – 1616
Ruled: Japan

Warrior, statesman and founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, a dynasty which lasted almost 300 years.

Themed weekend features
costumed characters
live and authentic combat demonstrations
talks
tours
object handling sessions

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/monarchs-tokugawa-ieyasu/

George iii

Monarchs – George III

  • 20 — 21 July 2019 10am-5pm

This weekend join us at the court of King George III and meet the ‘Mad King’.

Nickname: The ‘Mad King’
Lived: 1738 – 1820
Reigned: 1760 – 1820
Ruled: Great Britain and Ireland

George III ruled Great Britain during the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars. His reign laid the groundwork for a global empire.

Themed weekend features
costumed characters
live and authentic combat demonstrations
talks
tours
object handling sessions

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/monarchs-george-iii/

charles ii

Monarchs – Charles II

  • 24 — 26 August 2019

This bank holiday weekend join us at the court of King Charles II and meet the ‘Merry Monarch’.

Nickname: The ‘Merry Monarch’
Lived: 1630 – 1685
Reigned: 1660 – 1685
Ruled: England, Scotland, and Ireland

Son of a deposed king, on his return from exile after the bloody British Civil Wars he established a lively, hedonistic court in stark contrast to Oliver Cromwell’s puritanical era.

Themed weekend features
costumed characters
live and authentic combat demonstrations
talks
tours
object handling sessions
Cavalry riding skills horse shows
King Charles II will also be hosting special cavalry riding skills horse shows in the outdoor arena.

Time
12 noon
3pm

Tickets can be booked online

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to museum is free, however the horse shows have a charge.

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/monarchs-charles-ii/

Waterloo

Waterloo study day

  • 14 September 2019 10am-5pm

In partnership with The Waterloo Association.

A full programme of topics and speakers will be available shortly.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

tbc

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/waterloo-study-day/

royal armouries

Heritage Open Day

  • 20 September 2019 11am-4pm

Part of the nationwide festival of Heritage Open Days.

Discover some of the exciting books, manuscripts and treasures from our archives and libraries.

Specialist staff will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the fabulous books, manuscripts, maps and technical drawings.

Drop-in sessions at:
11am – 1pm

2pm – 4pm

Visitor numbers in the Library are restricted so you may need to wait to enter.

Please note no food or drink is allowed in the library.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/heritage-open-day/

Ranjit Singh

Monarchs – Ranjit Singh

  • 28 — 29 September 2019 10am-5pm

Join us this weekend at the court of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the ‘Lion of Punjab’.

Nickname: The ‘Lion of Punjab’
Lived: 1780 – 1839
Reigned: 1792 – 1801 & 1801 – 1839
Ruled: Sukerchakia Misl and Sikh Empire

Ranjit Singh established a Sikh kingdom whilst defending India against invasion. His reign saw a renaissance of Sikh culture.

Themed weekend features
costumed characters
live and authentic combat demonstrations
talks
tours
object handling sessions

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/monarchs-ranjit-singh/

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.

Golden Wednesdays Art Workshops for Adults

These 90-minute adult art workshops will introduce you a variety of
inspiring and creative skills. Led by our specialist tutor, these
workshops are small, friendly and relaxed. All materials provided.

How to obtain

TO BOOK A SESSION
Tel: 0113 220 1888
Email: educate.leeds@armouries.org.uk

Golden Wednesdays Talks and Workshops for Adults

To welcome Henry VIII’s armours back to Leeds this summer after
a year on display in the Tower of London, we are hosting a series of
talks and workshops focusing on the Tudors.
These introductory sessions give an overview of some of the
significant events in the Tudor period, followed by a chance to
handle some of our original and replica objects.

How to obtain

TO BOOK A SESSION
Tel: 0113 220 1888
Email: educate.leeds@armouries.org.uk

Guerilla Artists Family Art Workshops

Be inspired by objects in the collection to create your own immense
masterpiece. An ideal activity for groups of friends for that special day out.

How to obtain

TO BOOK A SESSION
Tel: 0113 220 1888
Email: educate.leeds@armouries.org.uk

Scouting and Girl Guiding Activity Days

The Royal Armouries is hosting a series of action-packed days designed especially for groups of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.
• Sessions last 60 minutes

How to obtain

0113 220 1888
educate.leeds@armouries.org.uk

Getting there

Car - Directions from Transport Direct

The museum is well signposted on all major routes when close to Leeds. Follow the brown tourism signs for Royal Armouries with the ‘horned helmet’ logo.
From the North: Follow brown tourism signs on the A64.
From the East: M62 east users exit M621 at junction 4 and follow the brown tourism signs.
From the South: M1 users exit M621 at junction 4 and follow the brown tourism signs. A1 users follow brown tourism signs on the A64.
From the West: M62 users exit M621 at junction 3 and follow the brown tourism signs.

Bus - Directions from Transport Direct

The following bus services run from Leeds city centre to Royal Armouries:
Geldard Coaches – 28B
Yorkshire Tiger – 93
First Leeds – 28
Bus stops where you can catch one of these buses to the Royal Armouries (the number of the bus service is in brackets).

Leeds University – 5 – Outside Blackwell’s book shop (28, 93, 28B)
Albion Street – J6 – outside St. John’s Centre (28, 93, 28B)
Eastgate – G1 (28B)
Vicar Lane – M4 – opposite Victoria Quarter (28, 28B)
York Street – F5 – outside Leeds Bus/Coach Station (28, 28B)
Chadwick Street – A1 – 100 metres from museum entrance (28, 28B)
Liberty Dock – Student Halls of Residence – 350 metres from museum entrance (28, 93, 28B)

Boat
Clarence Dock is on the Aire/Calder Navigation and has a large number of berths for narrow boats and cruisers.

Bicycle
The museum stands on National Cycle Network Route 67.
Bicycle racks are provided close to the museum entrance.
Please ensure that your bicycle is properly locked at all times and valuables removed.
Free and secure bicycle storage is available at the nearby multi-storey car park.

Royal Armouries
Museum
Armouries Drive
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS10 1LT
England

Website

http://www.royalarmouries.org

E-mail

enquiries@armouries.org.uk

Telephone

0113 220 1999

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.
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