Royal Armouries

Elephant armour
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Home to the national collection of arms and armour, the Royal Armouries in Leeds houses a world-renowned collection of over 75,000 objects.

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

Discover treasures from around the globe over five floors of amazing objects from Europe, Asia, America and beyond. Wonder at the fabulous arms and armour of the Japanese shoguns, the royal houses of Europe and the armour of the monarchs of England including Henry VIII's impressive tournament armours crafted for the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520.

See history get brought to life every day by the museum's live interpretation team, with action-packed live combat demonstrations, talks, dramatic performances and object handling opportunities. Also keep an eye out for the museum's special live events programme, with events on almost monthly, including the legendary International Jousting Tournament in the purpose-built outdoor jousting arena.

The Royal Armouries is FREE to visit, however some special events may carry a charge. Open 10 am - 5 pm daily, closed 24 - 26 December.

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

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

Make: Believe

  • 26 October 2019 — 29 February 2020

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

Make: Believe is a brand new exhibition, showcasing the museum’s extensive collection of arms and armour from film, television, stage and more. The exhibition follows funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2014 for the museum to explore, extend and maximise the impact of the national collection of arms and armour using fantastic items of arms and armour made famous by popular culture.

Key objects in the exhibition include two Blasters from the Star Wars movie franchise, a Pulse Rifle from Aliens, Lord of the Rings swords, Monty Python helmets, and Lancelot’s hero armour from Excalibur, amongst others.

The permanent exhibition will be open from Saturday 26 October and will be accompanied by an action-packed series of events on the theme of popular culture.

Movie Monsters: 26 October – 3 November
Action Heroes: 30 November & 1 December
Space Heroes: 28 & 29 December
Fantasy Heroes: 25 & 26 January
Superheroes: 15 – 23 February

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/make-believe/

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.
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’.

It’s 1838. The mighty Maharaja has kept the British at bay for three decades, and now they want to march an army across Punjab into Afghanistan. Will the Earl of Auckland, the Governor-General of British India, persuade the Lion of Lahore? Do you have skills and knowledge the shrewd ruler can employ? Come find out…

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.

Daily programme for Saturday and Sunday


Mini Monarchs: Storytelling
10.45am
Discover more about kings and queens in our hands-on storytelling session, specially designed for our youngest visitors.



Meet the Maharajah of the Sikh Empire
11.00am

Bring your petitions and witness the great debate between the monarch and the shrewd Governor General of India, the Earl of Auckland.



Turban tying demonstration
11.30am

Maharajah Ranjit Singh was known for encouraging Sikh youth to wear the royal crown of the turban and would often host turban tying competitions. After seeing a demonstration, why not have a go at tying a turban for yourself.



Mini Monarchs: Crafts
12.00 – 15.00
Royal-themed craft activities to make and take.
Suitable for ages 3+ with parental supervision


Gatka demonstration
12.00
Ranjit Singh reviews the traditional Sikh martial art of Gatka. Join him as expert martial artists demonstrate this battle-tested form of combat.



Gatka: Have-a-go activity
12.30
Have a go at this traditional Sikh martial art with tuition from Gatka experts.



Peshawar: The last battle 1835
1pm
Hear the story of Alexander Gardner, an American adventurer and military advisor who served Ranjit Singh, as he gives his account of the battle of Peshawar and his privileged relationship with the Maharajah.



Gatka: Have-a-go activity
1.30pm
Have a go at this traditional Sikh martial art with tuition from Gatka experts.



Meet the Monarch: Company drill demonstration
2pm
Join Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab, as the Earl of Auckland demonstrates and instructs a drill with muskets. Please be aware that this show includes loud noises.



Storytelling with Roop Singh
2.30pm
International storyteller, Roop Singh, gives an insight into the greatness of the Lion of Punjab, Maharajah Ranjit Singh, in a dramatic storytelling session.



Meet the Monarch: At the point of a sword!
3pm
A true look at east meeting west. A Gatka master and a western soldier examine the differences and similarities of weapons from their own culture as they are reviewed by the Maharajah himself.



Treasures of the Sikh Empire gallery tour
3.30pm
Explore the history behind some of the most fascinating objects from the life and times of Ranjit Singh.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

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

Light Knights

Light Knights

  • 10 — 11 October 2019 6-11pm

We are well-known for our knights in shining armour but you’ve never seen anything like this before.

Imagine 12-foot high illuminated armoured knights battling in the dark outside the national museum of arms and armour. Charge down to Leeds Dock this Light Night to witness a clash of giants.

Kerith Ogden, Artistic Director of Handmade Parade, has been commissioned to create this light sculpture as part of Leeds Light Night 2019.

There will be performances on the hour and half hour between 6pm and 11pm.

The installation is supported by the Leeds Waterfront Enhancement Fund.

Leeds Light Night 2019
There will be several art installations and food outlets at Leeds Dock. Please see the Leeds Light Night 2019 website for full details of the programme of events.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/light-knights/

Movie monsters

Movie Monsters

  • 26 October — 3 November 2019

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

The midnight hour is close at hand. Are you ready to tackle vampires, mummies and zombies? It all seems so simple on the big screen. Come and find out how they really make the magic happen. Join our ghost-hunting gang for a masterclass in movie monsters and how to slay ’em.



Half term events & activities
Movie Monsters: The ghost hunters tour
Not only have we got one of the oldest collections in the world it’s also one of the most haunted! Join expert ghost hunters as they help us identify and remove the paranormal threat.

Movie Monsters: Zombie apocalypse!
Who would you follow in a Zombie apocalypse?! Join our team as join the debate as they discuss the best methods for dispatching the living-dead and surviving the end of times.

Popular Culture: Battle scene to silver screen
Explore the arms and armour of the big screen and discover their real life inspirations.

Movie Monsters: The Mummy attacks
Come and view a museum lecture that’s been gate-crashed by an unexpected and very angry guest.

Movie Monsters: High stakes for Dracula!
Vampire hunter Van Helsing faces Count Dracula in the Royal Armouries version of their final confrontation!

Movie Monsters: The curse of the haunted armour
Something’s not quite right with the newest suit of armour in the museum. Be brave and join us as we investigate the potential evil within.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/movie-monsters/

Natalia Lee

Woman of weapons

  • 31 October 2019 7-9pm

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

Best known for her work on Game of Thrones, we are excited to welcome Natalia Lee – professional film armourer, stunt double and fight master – to the museum. Join us as she discusses her involvement in the award-winning fantasy TV show and reveals some of the tricks of her trade and secrets of movie and television magic.

Part of the national Museums at Night festival

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/woman-of-weapons/

action heroes

Action Heroes

  • 30 November — 1 December 2019

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

Whether you’re a grizzled PI, a dilettante adventurer or just a regular joe in a heap of trouble who’s been landed with saving the world, you’re going to need to know how to take a punch, how to tackle multiple henchmen and how to hang on to a hat while duking it out on a speeding tank. Luckily stunt school’s in session at the Armouries…

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/action-heroes/

space heroes

Space Heroes

  • 28 — 29 December 2019 10am-5pm

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

It may be tough hearing things in space, but at a museum not so very far away you can hear, see and try your hand at the movie magic that makes swords out of light, heroes out of convicts and xenomorphs out of anything those pesky face-huggers can wrap their slimy legs around. It’s time to strike back!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/space-heroes/

fantasy heroes

Fantasy Heroes

  • 25 — 26 January 2020 10am-5pm

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

Winter is here, so you’re going to have to decide what to do with the time given to you. And whether it’s dragons or demons or filthy orcses, all you’ve got in your battle against the darkness is heart, faith and steel. Luckily we have the latter in plentiful supply at the Armouries, so bring heart and faith and maybe a packed lunch, and let training begin…

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/fantasy-heroes/

superheroes

Superheroes

  • 15 — 23 February 2020

Make: Believe at the Royal Armouries and discover the magic behind the movies.

We have speeding bullets and a tall building, so where better to discover your inner superhero than at the Armouries this spring. But not all of us are made of steel, so come design and build your own superhero armour. (Evil masterminds also welcome).

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://royalarmouries.org/event/superheroes/

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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