Museums

(updated 14 April 2021)

Following the publication of the Roadmap out of lockdown we are working on plans to open our museums to visitors. We are pleased to be able to offer free, pre-booked outside tours at Lancaster Castle and Helmshore Mills from Monday 19 April.

Indoor visits may be able to begin from Monday 17 May. We will update this page with information as government decisions are made.

Lancaster Castle courtyard tours

Free courtyard tours at Lancaster Castle will be available every day from Monday 19 April. Tours must be pre-booked and there is a maximum of six people per tour. Your guided visit will allow you to spend up to thirty minutes exploring the courtyards with one of our guides, during which time you can ask questions and hear some of the castle's fascinating 1000 year history. As part of the NHS Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. We will ask you to provide details before joining the tour.

Book your tour now.

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum outdoor tours

Free tours of the grounds of the museum and Helmshore, lasting around one hour, will be available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 23 April. Tours must be pre-booked and there is a maximum of six people per tour. You will find out fun facts about the history and heritage of Helmshore, the role the Turner family and the mills they built played, as well as stories of the people who came before us living and working here. As part of the NHS Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. We will ask you to provide details before joining the tour. The tour is fully outside and is just over a mile and a half in length. The tour starts and finishes on the car park outside the museum. The tour is subject to weather conditions and you take part at your own risk. We have the right to cancel the tours on the day if weather conditions or issues out of the museums control deem the activity to be unsafe.

Book your tour now.

Further information

The Kitchen cafe at Lancaster Castle will be serving refreshments and light bites to customers seated at outside tables from 10am to 4pm Monday to Sunday.

All other cafes remain closed.

Clitheroe Castle will be closed until changes are announced to the national restrictions. The Castle and grounds are free to access and open to the public all year round.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are temporarily offering free guided visits of the mill grounds and Helmshore. Tours are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12.15pm and 2.15pm from Friday 23 April. The tour is fully outside and is just over a mile and a half in length. The tour starts and finishes on the car park outside the museum. The tour is subject to weather conditions and you take part at your own risk. 

During the tour you will find out fun facts about the history and heritage of Helmshore, the role the Turner family and the mills they built played, as well as stories of the people who came before us living and working here. 

Each visit accommodates up to six people and availability is limited. We strongly advise booking ahead.

On the day if you have still not arrived 10 minutes after your booked start time we reserve the right to re-allocate your slot. If you are running late or need to cancel, please let us know by phoning 01706 226459.

We will email you if your tour is cancelled due to events beyond our control such as severe weather conditions. If you are in doubt we encourage you to call on the day to check that visits are going ahead by phoning 01706 226459.

Book your place now.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are temporarily offering free guided visits of the castle courtyards. Tours are available every day between 10am and 3.30pm.

Behind the imposing walls of Lancaster castle lies a dark past. A place of defence, justice, persecution and incarceration. Your guided visit will allow you to spend up to thirty minutes exploring the courtyards with one of our guides, during which time you can ask questions and hear some of the castle's fascinating 1000 year history. 

Each visit accommodates up to six people and availability is limited. We strongly advise booking ahead.

On the day if you have still not arrived 10 minutes after your booked start time we reserve the right to re-allocate your slot. If you are running late or need to cancel, please let us know by phoning 01524 64998.

We will email you if your tour is cancelled due to events beyond our control such as severe weather conditions.  If you are in doubt we encourage you to call on the day to check that visits are going ahead by phoning 01524 64998.

On the day bookings cannot be made online but please phone 01524 64998 to check availability

Book your place now.

Our shops will remain closed until further notice.

As part of the NHS Test and Trace service we will be keeping a temporary record of your name and contact details for 21 days. We will ask you to provide details before you join the guided tour.

You will be able to download the NHS Covid-19 app and scan a QR code when visiting. The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check into venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus.

If you cannot, or choose not, to download the app our staff will take your details.

Toilets will be open at Lancaster Castle.
Toilets at other museums will remain closed.

Read our blog Stories from Lancashire Museums.

Volunteers and Friends' groups

Our volunteers from the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership and museum friends' groups were put on hold at the start of the pandemic.

They are all vital to our services and we will be welcoming them back as we reopen our museums. Our volunteers at Gawthorpe Hall, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Judges’ Lodgings are supporting us.