Skip to main content

Group visit information

View of the period gardens from the herb garden

View of the Geffrye Museum from the Herb Garden - photographed by M Williams

The Geffrye is one of London's most friendly and enjoyable museums. Its setting is in the former almshouses of the Ironmongers Company, beautiful early 18th-century buildings. It is surrounded by delightful gardens, which include an award-winning herb garden and a series of period garden rooms showing the changing styles of town gardens over the past 400 years. These outdoor spaces offer a tranquil sanctuary, less than a mile from the City of London.

The Geffrye explores the home over the past 400 years, from around 1600 to the present day. Our focus is on the living rooms of the urban middle classes in England, particularly in London. We aim to show how homes have been used and furnished over this period, reflecting changes in society and patterns of behaviour as well as style, fashion and taste.

An exciting programme of special exhibitions on a range of topics relating to the Geffrye's main themes runs throughout the year. We also have a restored 18th-century almshouse, which has been taken back to its original condition and offers a rare glimpse into the lives of London's poor and elderly in the 1780s and 1880s. Groups can pre-book tours of the almshouses on the first and third Wednesday of the month (maximum of 10 people per tour).

Talks - Available until 17 November 2017

Introductory Welcome

We provide a brief history of the Geffrye from its beginnings as almshouses erected in 1714 through its transformation in the 20th century to a museum showing the decorative styles and tastes of the English middle classes. After your introduction, you will be free to explore the rest of the museum on your own. Time: 20 minutes.

For groups up to 52, cost per person £3.  Minimum group size: 10 people

Talks and Slide Lectures

If you would like more than an introductory welcome, we can offer a choice of talks outlined below, given by museum staff with specialist knowledge, on themes and subjects relating to the Geffrye’s collection, buildings, gardens and special exhibitions. Time: Approximately 45 minutes.

For groups up to 52, cost £6 per person.  Minimum group size: 15 people

The Geffrye Museum: A General Lecture

A general lecture on the museum, including the history of the almshouses, how the collections were formed in the early years of the century and how the museum has recently developed its displays and gardens. A popular lecture which provides a full overview suitable for most groups.

English Homes

A slightly more specialist talk than the general lecture, this provides a social context for the decorative arts and explores the changing values of the urban middle-classes as expressed in their homes. It gives a broad view of the changing decorative trends in urban middle-class homes in London from 1600 to the present day.

All the above are subject to the availability of staff, and are not offered at weekends or Bank Holidays. You are advised to book well in advance.

Group visits to the Almshouse

For advance booking for groups of 8 or more contact or 020 7749 6024.

Tours are priced at £4 per person. For Friends of the Geffrye, disabled visitors (and their companion) and children under 16 tours are free.

Please note a maximum of 10 spaces per tour can be reserved for pre booked groups, if your group is more than 10 we able to split your group over 2 tours. This is so we keep 6 spaces for other visitors that turn up on the day.

Unfortunately we are unable to take advance bookings for tours on Saturdays.

Please note that owing to the museum's listed building status the restored historic almshouse has no step free access, however visitors can view a virtual tour here. 

Planning your visit

All groups must book in advance. Space is limited in the museum and we can help you avoid the busiest days. You should allow at least 2 hours to see everything and have time to visit the gardens, shop and café; if you are attending a lecture, you may wish to allow more time.

Booking the café

The Geffrye’s café is located in the museum’s contemporary wing overlooking the period gardens, and provides a delightful space for lunch or light snacks. Although quite spacious it is still necessary for all groups wishing to use the café to book in advance. This will enable us to ensure that your visit is a relaxed and enjoyable one. View the group menu and contact Netto to make a café booking. 

Preliminary booking

Please ring the Bookings Officer on 020 7749 6024 to discuss details of your proposed visit and contact our café on 020 7749 6030 to discuss any catering requirements you may have (please see separate group menu for details).


Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am - 5pm

Our herb and period gardens are open during museum hours between 1 April and 31 October.

Closed Mondays (unless Bank Holiday), Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.