A school group being shown the reading rooms by an education officer

Coach parties

Large group visits

Large group visits are welcome at The National Archives. However, pre-booking is required for groups of 16 or more people and we only allow one large group per day. If you are planning a large group visit, please check the group visits booking calendar for available dates and then email our group visits registration team with the following information:

  • your name
  • your preferred date of visit (please check the group visits booking calendar for availability)
  • your email address
  • a contact phone number
  • whether you will be arriving by coach
  • the expected number of people in your group
  • the expected number of people who will require readers' tickets
  • if your group has a themed topic, such as family history or census records, please also let us know

Once we have received your application we will email confirmation of your booking and send you an information pack.

The group will be fast tracked through the reader registration process (if required) and given general record advice if they are researching a single topic.

Please do not make any travel arrangements until we have confirmed your booking.

Please do not visit as a large group if you are not the official group for the day.


We have only one coach bay which must be pre-booked. Unofficial groups will not be allowed to use the coach bay.

Busy periods

We publish a schedule of planned visits on our website and on site at Kew, so that group organisers can avoid the busiest days. Please note that half-term weeks are particularly busy and you are advised to avoid them.

Group visits booking calendar (PDF, 0.05Mb)

Coach party guidance

Please check to see whether your visit is essential by reading our guidance document:

Coach party guidance (PDF, 0.02Mb)

Events and talks

A number of popular events and talks take place throughout the week. Weekly talks are free and there is no need to book.

Readers' tickets

Visitors only need a reader's ticket if they want to look at original documents. Many of our most popular records, particularly those of interest to family historians, are available on microfilm or online, which can be accessed without a reader's ticket.

If members of your party are likely to need readers' tickets, please ask them to bring proof of their identity and address with them on the day.

Specialist interests

Academic researchers

Our on site academic induction series for the year 2012-13 has now finished.

We are currently developing new online and on site services for students and postgraduate researchers, focusing on methods and sources. Do check our website for more information about these new services.

School and undergraduate visits

For more information about workshops, videoconferences and undergraduate visits, go to our Education website. 

Library and information service professionals

Reference-focused tour of reading rooms, including the library for librarians and information professionals.

Duration: One hour

Availability: Tuesday to Friday. Pre-booking is required, a minimum of two months in advance.

Contact: ARK events

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