Skip to main content

Plan a school visit

Handy tips and info to plan your school visit

How do I book a visit?

Please see our available sessions for Primary Schools and Secondary Schools to book a visit. 

You’ll find it helpful to have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of date and a time frame for your visit ready. Please try to book your visit at least 6 weeks ahead.

If you are a self-guided school group that does not require a National Gallery facilitated session, please book a self-guided group visit.

How many adults should I bring?

Image: School workshop taking place in the Gallery

Age of pupils

Adult : Pupil ratio

Early Years Foundation Stage (3–5 years old)  


Key Stages 1–2 (5–11 years old)


Key Stages 3–5 (11–18 years old)


Please note that teachers are responsible for the behaviour of their group at all times during their visit.

Please read the guidelines in the Pre-Visit Information (sent to you in your confirmation email) and ensure they are shared with all accompanying adults.

How do we get to the Gallery?

Please follow the latest guidelines on travel and public transport.

[All links to TFL and Google Maps open in a new window]

Plan your journey on the TFL website.

Parking for:

There is a parking space on Orange Street for Blue Badge holders only. Please book in advance by calling 020 7747 2885.

There are designated parking bays on St Martin's Street. Please phone Westminster Parking Information Service on 020 7823 4567 for more information.

Public car parks are available nearby in Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square.

The nearest bike stands are on Orange Street, St Martin's Street, St Martin's Place, and Duncannon Street.

The nearest Santander Cycles docking stations are on St Martin's Street, Craven Street, Pall Mall East, William IV Street, Charles II Street and Oxendon Street.
Please check TFL for up-to-date information about nearby Santander Cycle docking stations.

Where should I arrive?

Booked school groups should use the Getty Entrance.

Please arrive 20 minutes before your booked slot.

If you are running late, please call us on the phone number provided in your confirmation email. If you arrive late, your Gallery Educator may not be able to offer you your full session.

Visit an exhibition

We provide free exhibition entry to school groups on three mornings during the exhibition run. Entry is every 30 mins beginning at 10.00, with last entry at 12.30. Tickets can be booked by emailing

Teachers’ notes are available to help you make the most of your visit.

Please be aware that some exhibitions contain sensitive images which may not be suitable for all groups.


Facilities and amenities

Sandwich rooms

You can book 30-minute slots in our sandwich rooms when booking a facilitated session. If your group is small, you may be asked to share with another group. Please arrive and leave punctually in time for the next group to use the space. 

Please keep us tidy

If you use our sandwich rooms, please make sure you leave the room clean and tidy by using the cleaning materials provided. 

Nearby parks

There are several parks close to the Gallery which might provide an alternative lunch or play spot in good weather.


There is cloakroom space but please try to bring the minimum with you and do not leave valuables. Students using the cloakroom must be accompanied by an adult.


There are two sets of public toilets near the schools’ area. Please allow sufficient time to ensure you are on time for your session.


You may use pencils and felt tips if you are doing your own activities, but please do not use wax crayons, pastels or ink pens in the Gallery. Materials for all workshops will be provided. 

All sessions are led by experienced Gallery Educators. Their aim is to help you and your students engage and respond to the collection of Western European paintings which date from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.

Your Gallery Educator will meet you at the Pigott Education Centre entrance and take you back there at the end.

If you arrive early, or if you want to stay on after your talk, you are more than welcome to do so. We recommend you divide the class into small groups and try to avoid rooms where other school or adult groups are being taught. Our Explore the collection resource will help you to enhance your visit.

Please remember teachers and adult helpers are responsible for their students at all times and must stay with their group.

Mobile phones must be switched to silent.

Yes, though please be aware that the Gallery can get very busy and must remain accessible for all. 

Paintings are sometimes moved and rooms closed at short notice and there may be other activities taking place. It is advisable not to assume that you will be able to see a particular painting or room and plan any activities accordingly. 

You may use pencils and felt tips for drawing but please do not use wax crayons, pastels or ink pens.

Our Explore the collection resource can be used for any painting, in any room and in any order.

Yes, but you will need to book tickets separately. Please email for more information.

Visiting guidelines

To help us keep the Gallery a safe and enjoyable place for everyone, please follow the guidelines listed in our Visitor Admissions Policy.