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World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery to reopen doors to public

National Museums Liverpool (NML) has announced that two of its popular attractions, World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery will reopen to the public on Wednesday 15 July. 

The two venues will be open from Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). 

In line with being COVID-secure, National Museums Liverpool has implemented changes to World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery to offer a safe and enjoyable visit for all, including pre-booked timed entry, increased safety, enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing measures. As part of a phased reopening of venues, these changes will also be implemented at NML’s other venues, which will also be reopened in the coming months.  

World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery to reopen doors to public
Liverpool Donor Centre Dale Street. Staff highlighting the measures being taken to keep everyone safe from Coronavirus. Picture by Gareth Jones

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool said:

“This is an important moment for all of us at National Museums Liverpool as we have missed the interaction with our visitors and our collections.  

“We are spaces of wonder, curiosity and inspiration, things which so many of us have missed during lockdown. While the measures we have in place will mean visits are not entirely back to normal, a lot of thought and planning has been put into place to enable visitors to enjoy their experience as much as possible, while staying safe. It’s an opportunity to appreciate our venues with more tranquillity, allowing our visitors to immerse themselves in the joy of arts and culture as respite and escapism from the current situation facing us all globally.”  

Visits to World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery will remain free, but timed entry slots must be pre-booked ahead of visiting via www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk  

  • NML members will be able to book from Friday 10 July 
  • General tickets will be available from Monday 13 July 

Examples of new measures include:  

  • Pre-booked timed ticket slots to enable social distancing and a steady flow of visitors throughout the day. In line with government guidance, the personal details visitors provide as part of booking may be used to support the NHS test and trace process to control the spread of coronavirus. 
  • A lower capacity of visitors within the buildings and live monitoring of numbers to ensure that capacity isn’t exceeded. 
  • Suggested routes around venues allowing visitors to move around safely. 
  • Social distancing measures integrated throughout with clear signage. 
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures with increased frequency across venues. This will include (but is not limited to) lifts, toilets, door handles. 
  • Hand sanitiser stations installed at key points across both venues and visitors will be encouraged to make use of them whenever possible. 
  • Cafés and shops operating on a contactless payment method, with food and drink sold on a takeaway basis only.  
  • Interactive ‘touch points’ closed/removed 
  • Venues will operate on a five-day week: Wednesday – Sunday, between the hours of 10am and 5pm. This will allow two days for staff well-being and facility cleaning procedures to take place.  

Laura Pye continued:

“The Walker Art Gallery and World Museum have been on William Brown Street for more than a century and have been a constant through so much of our city’s history. While COVID-19 has impacted, and continues to impact our lives, we hope that by opening up these favourite spaces in Liverpool, we can give people some sense of normality back. 

“From the exotic fish in the Aquarium of World Museum to the romance of the Pre-Raphaelites at the Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street will once again be a place to transport and engage visitors with stories of art, history and the natural world.” 

Plans for the other six venues of National Museums Liverpool to reopen are underway. We will make a further announcement in due course. 


Linda McCartney Retrospective will open from 8 August to 1 November at the Walker Art Gallery. More than 200 photographs explore what a prolific and gifted photographer Linda was, featuring iconic images from the music scene of the 60s, family life and a never before seen selection of photographs taken in Liverpool and Wirral. Tickets to this exhibition will go on sale to NML members from Wednesday 22 July, with general tickets on sale from Friday 24 July.  

AI: More than Human at World Museum has been rescheduled to next year, with revised dates of 22 January to 20 June 2021. World Museum will start 2021 with a bang, launching this extraordinary exhibition which explores artificial intelligence through interactive artworks and scientific developments, exploring the many facets of the future of AI. Details of tickets to follow.  

The John Moores Painting Prize has also been rescheduled to 12 February to 27 June 2021. Bringing together the best of contemporary British painting, the exhibition will once again host a hugely diverse range of work that push the boundaries of paint.  

For further information, please see the FAQs available at https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/reopening 

Image credit Gareth Jones

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